How to Shave Your Balls the Right Way
Don’t “just go at it.” There’s an order of operations, a PEMDAS equivalent for penis and testicular grooming that must be followed.
So, you want to shave your balls — or, more specifically, your ball sac — and have some questions. Why you want to do this is for you alone to know. Perhaps this is the next uncharted territory in your manscaping explorations, or maybe it’s to appease a partner. It could be for neither of these reasons, or both of them. It doesn’t matter.
What does matter is that you’re seeking advice on how to shave your balls or how to shave your pubes and that’s good because it can get, well, a bit tricky. We wonder: Where do I start? What direction should I move the razor? What, if any, aftercare products should I use? These are all good questions to ask. If I nick my scrotum too deeply will liquid spring from it as though it were a punctured water bed? Is not a good question to ask.
“I get questions about this all the time in the shop,” says Mike Gilman, founder of DC-based barbershop and men’s spa Grooming Lounge. “I know too much about ball shaving.”
As one man’s burden is another man’s blessing, we asked Gilman to share his expert tips on how to shave your pubes. And he did just that, but not without first offering a warning: Be very, very careful. “If you just go at it and have a bad session, it can be really bad,” he says.
Why? Well, for one thing, Gilman notes that, if nicked, your penis and scrotum can bleed a lot, making a tiny cut seem worse than it is. Secondly, the skin down there is very sensitive and thin. That means, razor burn is more likely in that area — as well as significantly more embarrassing and uncomfortable —than it is when it’s on your face. “There can be pimples, burning, and itching if you shave incorrectly,” Gilman notes.
His main advice: Don’t “just go at it.” There’s an order of operations, a PEMDAS equivalent for penis and testicular grooming. So, be sure to follow these tips. Here’s how to shave your balls properly.
Whether you’re just pruning the hedges out or getting rid of the entire lawn, the process starts by trimming. “If a trim is doable for you, I recommend that route rather than the all-in,” Gilman says. “You need to see the forest for the trees.”
The tool of choice for this task should be an electric trimmer. There are plenty of choices, including those specially designed for the area. Depending on the length of hair, start with a long guard on the trimmer and work your way down until the area is to your desired height.
The Warm up
As with a facial shave, a ball shave should involve a bit of prep. Plan to do it after a nice, hot shower. “You need to warm up the skin to open the hair follicles,” Gilman says. “When you shower, let the water go on that area as much as possible. That will allow the shaving product to get in there to soften the skin.”
Once you’ve let the warm water do its work, add product — but not shaving cream. “With shaving cream, you can’t see,” Gilman says. “That’s an area you want to see when you’re shaving,” Gilman recommends something translucent like the Beard Master Shave Oil. “Apply it to the area, then splash some water on to activate it.”
Gilman suggests using a double-edge or safety razor rather than your typical five-blade facial razor. “The area is so sensitive and prone to cut,” Gilman says. “With a multi-blade, if you do two passes on the same area, that’s ten blades passing over it. That’s tricky.” Never used a safety razor? Before shaving your balls, practice on your face, legs, chest — basically anywhere that’s not your precious cargo before you go at your balls.
Ready for the real deal? Safety razor in one hand, scrotum in the other, pull your skin taut to get a straight line and then very, very very gently get at the hair. “Double-edge safety razors have a weight to them, so let the handle do the gliding — there’s no need to press,” Gilman says. “The last thing you want to have is pressing. Let the razor do the work — just drag it across.” Make as few passes as necessary.
You did it. Hopefully, your journey was nick-lite. Now it’s time for some closure — specifically, the closing of your skin’s pores. Just as you would splash your face after a shave, you must splash your privates. So cup your hands with some nice cold water and let your boys soak for a few seconds.
After that, apply a soothing aftershave. “You want something milky and nutrient-infused to replenish anything you took out with the shave,” Gilman says. “Whatever you do, avoid anything that has high alcohol content. That’s going to be bad news.”
On a final note, Gilman notes that many salons with waxing services also do men’s private parts, including the balls — and recommends going to one if you’re interested in getting rid of hair everywhere. “If it’s a part that you can’t see, go to a waxer,” Gilman says. “Don’t go there with a razor blade.”
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