There’s no doubt that the shaved head has come to represent a powerful and iconic look in recent times, thanks in part to the efforts of various Hollywood heartthrobs and leading men (Bruce Willis and The Rock, we’re looking at you!).
As Hollywood and attitudes have continued to change, men have been increasingly inclined to shave their heads in order to create a bold and empowering look, rather than attempting to hide their premature baldness or thinning locks.
Of course, research has also shown that women tend to perceive bald men as being more attractive and dominant, creating yet another incentive for you to grab your shaver and embrace a brand new aesthetic reality!
However, shaving your head is something of an understated art, while maintaining this look can be deceptively challenging. Here’s some advice to help you create a new look that can stand the test of time!
Getting Started – How to Shave Your Head
Let’s start with the basics; as there’s little point in taking steps to maintain your shaved head if you don’t do the job right in the first place.
If you’re approaching this with a relatively full (albeit thinning) head of hair, you must first look to trim away your excess locks using an electric shaver or clipper. We’d recommend cutting your hair as close to the scalp as possible at this stage, ideally using either a 3mm comb or the clipper’s bare blade.
From here, you should tread the following steps to ensure that you complete the best possible job and keep your scalp feeling smooth and painless!
Shave Your Scalp – Use An Electric Razor Where You Can
You have choices when shaving your newly trimmed scalp.
More specifically, you can use either an electric or wet shaver to remove the remaining follicles from your scalp, with the former arguably more suited to this sensitive task.
The reason for this is simple; and it has much to do with the uneven and often surprisingly lumpy nature of your scalp.
We’d wager that your head is far more uneven than you realise, and this will pose a challenge when attempting to glide a wet shaver across the surface of your scalp. This can definitely result in a number of small nicks and cuts, which may ultimately leave your head resembling an accident and emergency ward on a Friday evening.
Conversely, electric shavers are capable of navigating your scalp far more easily, primarily because they’re designed to roll up the skin and force individual hairs in a single direction before cutting them.
This ensures that a higher volume of hairs can be removed with a single, sweeping motion, negating the need to traverse the same area multiple times and risk damaging the skin.
Even on a fundamental level, electric razors are easier to navigate and use, so we’d definitely recommend investing in one before you shave your scalp.
However, if you do prefer to carry out a wet shave on your scalp, the most important thing is to ensure that you use a sharp blade. This sounds obvious, of course, but you cannot overlook the importance of this as it also reduces the risk of cuts and nicks.
Although debate continues to rage about whether to go against or with the grain when shaving your scalp, the latter is certainly a little easier on your skin and far less likely to trigger irritation or razor burn.
Interestingly, this also delivers the closest possible shave, which is ideal when shaving your head and looking to replicate a bold and iconic look.
Don’t Forget to Moisturise
No matter which method you use to shave your scalp, it’s important note that dry or sensitive skin rarely fares well when it’s regularly exposed to razor blades.
The best practice is to use a moisturising conditioner immediately before shaving your head, as this will ensure that your scalp is moist and less likely to be damaged by what can be a relatively stressful process.
Similarly, we’d recommend applying a natural shave butter to your scalp when shaving, just as you would if you were removing facial hair.
This will provide another level of moisturisation and protection, while utilising a natural product that’s alcohol free and formulated using essential oils such as cedarwood or lavender.
The Hot Towel – Compress and Stimulate Your Hair Follicles
Once the initial process is complete and you have a newly shorn scalp, it’s important to immediately soothe your skin and soften the remaining hair follicles.
To achieve this, we’d recommend applying a hot towel as a compress once you’ve cleaned away any residual conditioner or shave butter, as this works to minimise any potential inflammation and stimulate your hair follicles.
This has the added benefit of minimising the risk of ingrown hairs, which are common after shaving and can become incredibly painful over time.
Of course, we recognise that this may seem particularly time-consuming and something of an effort, but it’s definitely worthwhile given the positive impact that it has on your scalp and maintaining your new look.
Maintaining Your Shaved Head – The Key Considerations
This provides a neat segue into our main body of content, which will focus on how to maintain your newly shaved head over time.
We’ve outlined some of the best tips and techniques below, so be sure to follow these if you want to make the most of a smooth and striking scalp.
1. Get the Best Razor
To maintain a shaved scalp, you’ll need to follow the above process at least once or twice a week (we’ll have a little more on this below).
Much depends on the precise look that you’re going for, of course, but frequent shaving is necessary as even thinning hairs and follicles will continue to grow relatively quickly.
To achieve this successfully and without irritating or drying out your scalp, you’ll need to invest in the best possible razor for the job. Whether you intend to use an electric or wet shaver, it’s imperative that you utilise high quality products and fresh, sharp bladed every single time.
Fortunately, there are various products available in the current market, with Wahl’s Professional 5-Star Series Rechargeable Shaver one of the best electric razors on offer.
This has been specifically designed to deliver smooth and extra-close cuts, while it also boasts excellent battery life and is proven to be hypoallergenic.
The latter point is particularly important, as it makes the product ideal for sensitive skin and can help to keep your scalp smooth and moist even over the course of regular shaves.
If you decided to use a wet shaver, you could do far worse than invest in the Gillette Fusion5 ProGlide razor.
Although this hasn’t been designed especially for shaving scalps, it benefits from the brands patented ‘flexball’ technology that allows for superior flexibility and far greater ease of use.
Once again, this razor is ideal for carrying out really close cuts, while you can also buy the product with five new and durable blades to help you on your way.
Ultimately, the key is to compare the market for the products that are most suited to you, from the perspective of your preferences, desired aesthetic and precise skin type.
2. Keep it Clean and Moisturised at All Times
We’ve already spoken about the importance of using a moisturising shampoo and conditioner when shaving your scalp, but it’s also crucial that you continue to keep your head clean on a regular and recurring basis.
After all, natural oils and dirt will continue to build up on your scalp over time, whether hair is present or not. Hey, you can even continue to suffer from dandruff as a bald man, with this primarily caused by an overproduction of natural oils and a subsequently dry and inflamed scalp.
So, continue to use keep your scalp clean and moisturised in between shaving it and removing any new hairs, using the same types of specialise shampoo and conditioner that we’ve referenced previously.
You should definitely avoid using soap or body wash for this purpose, as while this may seem like a cost-effective and easier option, it may contain agents that actively damage sensitive skin on your head.
Once you’ve started to shave your head regularly, we’d also recommend that you continue to moisturise the scalp separately and on a daily basis.
The best (and most convenient) way to achieve this is by using a matte, natural or oil-free balm or moisturiser, and one that’s ideally free to abrasive components such as alcohol.
Make no mistake; ingredients of this nature will cause the overproduction of natural oils on your scalp, drying out your skin and making it prone to cracks and cuts over time.
A matte product will also help you to avoid that dreaded ‘shiny’ look, which is far from ideal and can become particularly problematic under bright lights.
We recommend the MANTL Age Defense Moisturiser – it’s rich but still lightweight, formulated especially for the face and scalp and absorbs quickly into your skin.
Ultimately, moisturising on a daily basis will keep your skin well-hydrated and minimise the risk of excessive dryness, preventing issues such as dandruff and reducing instances of itchiness and redness!
3. Be Sure to Use SPF Every Single Day (Yes, Even In Winter)
If you reside in the UK, we’d wager that the chances of you having sunscreen lingering at the back of your cupboard are slim to none.
However, this remains a must-have product all year round, and it’s arguably even more important if you happen to have a bald scalp. If you’re bald and you’ve ever experienced sunburn on your head, we’re confident that you’re currently nodding your head towards the screen in reluctant agreement!
A newly shorn scalp is definitely more susceptible to sunburn, with its innate sensitivity compounded further for the sudden removal of hair and the additional layer of natural protection that it provides.
UVA and UVB rays can affect your skin even when it’s cloudy, so it’s important that you make sure you apply sunscreen immediately after shaving your scalp.
In fact, we’d advise applying a product with a strong SPF (50+ is ideal) every morning after your daily shower, as this will prevent the sun from damaging your scalp in between each individual shave.
Of course, there’s an added benefit to this, as most SPF sunscreens also serve as moisturisers, and in some instances this may be enough to keep your skin hydrated on a daily basis.
Another reason we recommend applying sunscreen everyday is that it provides additional protection in the fight against a dry scalp and hyperpigmentation (which refers to patches of skin that may become darker due to sun exposure and the production of excess melanin).
It’s also worth investing in a hat to wear on sunnier days when you first shave your scalp. After all, this can be worn in instances where you have to spend extended periods of time out in the sun, and it should offer far greater peace of mind if you’re prone to sensitive skin.
How Often Should You Shave Your Head?
As we referenced earlier, you’ll probably have to shave your scalp at least once or twice a week if you want to maintain a clean and well-groomed look.
This should enable you to strike the ideal balance between protecting your scalp and avoiding looking like a hot mess, with the goal being to look good while shaving your head as infrequently as possible.
If you do want to shave frequently, just remember that you should definitely avoid shaving your scalp any more than three times a week. Daily shaving should also be avoided at all costs, as this provides your scalp very little time to recover and will most likely lead to skin issues even with frequent moisturising.
Within these parameters, you’ll need to find a frequency that suits you and your schedule, but the good news is that you can take proactive steps to maintain your shaved head effectively if you follow the grooming tips that we’ve referenced above.
These steps are all relatively simple too, so there’s no reason why your bold new look cannot remain vibrant and continue to stand the test of time!