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Shaving

#1
Probably an unusual question, but here goes....

Im just wondering how strict the Armys policy on shaving is ?
The reason Im asking is that I suffer badly from ingrown hairs when I use a blade to shave so at home I would use an electric razor which eliminates 95% of the problem. I am due to sign up to the Army later this year (just waiting on my interview) so I tried shaving with a blade again as Ive not done it for a few years, but it ended making my face sore and full of large razor bumps again so Ive basically had to grow my beard for a few weeks to get my face back to normal.

Is the Army policy on shaving strict ? I know that you must be clean shaven but I read that they obviously make exceptions on religious grounds so how about in my case ? Would I be expected to use a razor blade or would I be able to use my electric razor.
Its not something Ive brought up at my Careers office yet as only really just thought about it....

This is my only concern as using a blade for me can be painful and also makes every shave after that more and more difficult unless I grow it out again.....
 
#2
Yes, it is very strict, best to buy a kukri, they shave the closest. Id suggest joining the navy, they like bristles.
 
#3
I knew of a couple of lads of African descent who used to shave using hair clippers without a guard. I'm not sure how well it would go down on your entrance medical, though.

But I know that on the sick chits, there is an 'excused shaving' thingy for the medic/MO to sign.

Maybe you should phone up another careers office and pose the question to them.

Sorry, just re-read your post: Yeah, you will be alright with an electric razor.
 
#5
Yeah Ive used hair clippers without a guard cos Im mixed race so have curly hair which is one of the reasons I dont clean shave, but obviously using electric razor or clippers leaves a shadow. I was just wondering how that would be viewed by your seniors, but I obviously will ask about that when I have my interview.....but Im committed enough to clean shave if I have to although it aint pretty, ha.
 
#6
Having been through the same sort of dilemma in the past, I can tell you what works for me.

Wash your beard day and night for a couple of days using washing up liquid, scrubbing it well into the bristles and rinsing thoroughly. The water should be as hot as you can bear.

Shave with a razor, but don't shave again (either wet or electric) until the skin has healed and the spots go down. With me, this can take a week or more. Keep washing your face with washing up liquid.

Then shave again. You'll find that the skin takes less time to heal and that less spots appear.

Repeat the process until you can shave each day. Once in the habit, keep shaving daily, otherwise you'll end up having to start from square one.

Oh - and don't be tempted to electric shave. For some reason, it brings the spots back. Also avoid aftershave. You may find that shaving oil helps, though, as will using a new blade each time you shave until your chin gets used to wet shaving.
 
#7
Have you been to see a dermitologist? They may be able to give you a suitable solution.

You could always try showering before you shave as this will soften up the beard and use a good moistuiser apres shave.

I'm the opposite to you. I cannot use an electric razor at all as the subsequent rash makes me look like I've got a bad dose of scrumpox. I even went and forked out a fortune on one of those philishave moisturising electric shavers and it still makes no difference.
 
#8
Use a shaving brush (badger)and cream(decent), they are much better for softening the bristles. Also as suggested shave after showering.
 
#9
Heres my tuppence, before you shave, wash your face with hot water. It cleans the area and opens the pores. Apply your shaving cream/foam and shave with medium pressiure using long strokes. When you are finished, wash your face again with hot water and pat dry with a clean,dry towel. Now wash your face again this time using very cold water, this will close your pores by constricting your skin thus preventing any s*it from getting in and causing spots. Dry again by pating your face with a clean, dry towel. Apply some moisturiser and your done. Do this and you will avoid having a face like Stalin by the time you reach 30. Good Luck.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
BurnCK,

Exemptions are granted on religious and medical grounds. The latter seems to include people with your condition. Have met a couple of lads who were allowed to keep a neat trim instead of clean shaving which led to avoid ingrowing hairs. Check with the ACIO as they should have the correct details.
 
#11
BurnCK said:
Probably an unusual question, but here goes....

Im just wondering how strict the Armys policy on shaving is ?
The reason Im asking is that I suffer badly from ingrown hairs when I use a blade to shave so at home I would use an electric razor which eliminates 95% of the problem. I am due to sign up to the Army later this year (just waiting on my interview) so I tried shaving with a blade again as Ive not done it for a few years, but it ended making my face sore and full of large razor bumps again so Ive basically had to grow my beard for a few weeks to get my face back to normal.

Is the Army policy on shaving strict ? I know that you must be clean shaven but I read that they obviously make exceptions on religious grounds so how about in my case ? Would I be expected to use a razor blade or would I be able to use my electric razor.
Its not something Ive brought up at my Careers office yet as only really just thought about it....

This is my only concern as using a blade for me can be painful and also makes every shave after that more and more difficult unless I grow it out again.....
After reading your post. The answer is YES, you can use your electric shaver, let them know early in basic training and see the MO, that way any bullshit brigade training NCO can come off his high horse before he starts... Of course, we have all understood your a bloke! We might be answering these letters from a 'burd'.. Then 'Dear' you'll fit in JUST right, most have moustaches and beards! Oh enjoy!! Im sure you will be fine.
 
#12
RP578 said:
BurnCK,

Exemptions are granted on religious and medical grounds. The latter seems to include people with your condition. Have met a couple of lads who were allowed to keep a neat trim instead of clean shaving which led to avoid ingrowing hairs. Check with the ACIO as they should have the correct details.
Are they also excused the confidence part of CBRN training? And do they miss out on visiting operational theatres where there's a risk of chemical or biological attack?

I suspect that if somebody can't shave around the face seal portion of a respirator, this may be grounds for a medical rejection.
 
#14
amazing__lobster said:
I thought a respiratior could take two days growth, before it was ineffective?
Possibly, but what's the difference between two day's growth and a "neat trim"? I'd guess at a week's growth.
 
#15
The Royal Navy, being rather partial to a bit of facial (heh) used to issue a kind of vaseline like substance that you could apply around where the seal would sit to provide an air tight seal. I dont believe this to be issued any more though, but I may be wrong as sailors are still into being airtight (see what I did there?!?!).
 
#16
Wouldn't need a volunteer for a sniff test would you.... :twisted:
 
#17
Thanks for all the replies. I will certainly give anything a try if it helps, 'cos I was actually considering laser treatment to have the damn thing removed permanently.....oh that'd be sweet....never having to shave again. The condition was already noted on Army Medical forms by my GP and it seem no problems arose from that as I passed that stage.
 
#18
when i was on basic there was a muslim guy who was excused shaving on religious grounds. When we did CBRN ( or NBC as it used to be ) and went in the the chamber he was issued with a cream that when placed in his beard filled the gaps and let the resi seal.

seemed to work fine in the chamber but wouldn`t like to think of him having to put the cream on if we were under gas attack.

back onto topic : yeah dont worry about it, you will be fine with an electric in barracks. just need to grit your teeth and bare it in the field.
 
#19
I suffered from bad ingrown hairs once, and I found that if I shaved in the evening straight after a shower, and didn't apply too much pressure with the razor, it healed up. Remember, hair only grows inwards and gets sore and infected if you shave so closely that you push the tip of the hair under the surface of the skin.
 
#20
Get to London, go to Trumpers in Jermyn Street (check their website if you want - they also have a branch in Mayfair) and take a shaving lesson. It costs about £35 and you need to book in advance, but it'll be the best £35 you ever spend. They have been shaving people for 100s of years (well, maybe only a couple of hundred) and, if you explain your problem, they will be able to demonstrate the best way round it.

You can get a sick chit, but you will get heartily sick of people demanding to see it whenever you visit other camps/units!

Good Luck.
 
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