Head shaving is not like mowing the lawn. You can’t just breeze over it with a razor and hope for the best. Taking your eye off the ball for a moment could mean the difference between looking bad-ass or like a badly-shaved ass. It needs care and patience like a bonsai tree. Think Buddha, brother.
Shaving your head is a big move, but well worth it when it’s done right. So, whether you fancy a new look or you’ve finally given in to grandfather time stealing your hair and you’ve plucked up the courage to stand in front of the mirror, razor in hand and about to jump.
Here’s how to do it and do it well.
If it’s your first time you’re bound to be nervous. Hear what other men thought the about shaving their head for the first time see: Thinking about shaving your head for the first time? It’s liberating.
Just the steps
We know you’re a busy man with lots of things to do. That’s why we’ve included a condensed version with just the steps.
- Trim. Got a bit of a shag going on? Then give it a quick trim with an electric razor. It’ll make your shave easier.
- Wash. Wash your head with warm water. This removes any dirt and bacteria, and softens your hair and skin.
- Foam-up. Apply some foaming shave gel for razor-ready-skin. It reduces the friction between the razor and skin. Giving you a more comfortable shave.
- Shave. Grip the razor lightly, and let it do the work. The blade is very sharp and you skin if very soft. You do the math.
- Feel your head. Learn the shape of your head. Egg? Melon? Peanut? Your head has its own contours, once you learn these shaving will be a breeze.
- Use you hand. Check for stubble with your free hand. You can’t see the back of your head and there’s a lot you can do by feel.
- Rinse. Give yourself a rinse with cold rinse water to close up your pores. It’ll keep out dirt and bacteria when you go out to face the day.
- Pat dry. Pat your head dry with a clean towel. Patting instead of rubbing reduces friction which can inflame your skin.
- Aftercare. Add some aftershave cream if you’re feeling fancy. Or sunscreen if the weather is good.
- And done. Now go out and show that thing off.
Still need more? Continue reading as we breakdown each stage in more detail.
How to shave your head
The key to most things is preparation, and shaving is no different. Whether you’re shaving for the first time or the fiftieth, get your tools in order, lay them out like you know what you’re doing and sooner or later you will. A perfect shave begins before you put razor to skin.
The first stage, depending on how much hair you’ve got sprouting out of your dome, is to take a trimmer to it. A hair or beard trimmer will take away a lot of the length. Cut it as close as you can with the trimmer. This will stop longer hairs from getting stuck in your razor. Spending half the time pulling hair out from between the blades is an exercise in frustration.
Soften your hair and skin
When you’ve got the length down to something more shaveable it’s time to prepare the skin. Every shave regardless of the body part (face, head, chest or balls) starts with washing with warm water.
This ticks a couple of boxes:
- Washing your head gets rid of any dirt or bacteria. If you don’t flush this bacteria out it will find its way into any nicks or cuts that might happen. The combo of dirt in a shaving nick, even a micro-cut, can give you razor burn. Or worse a rash. Freddy Krueger always skipped this step!
- Warm water causes your pores to open. Freeing more hair for the chop. Now it’s exposed you can cut it even closer. You want a close shave, right?
There’s a couple of ways you can do this. If you’re in a rush, just apply warm water and soap to your head. Or shave after you get out of the shower, by then the warm water and soap have already done the work. And finally, if you’re feeling romantic, wrap your handsome mush in a hot towel, just try not to doze off.
Looking after your skin is an important part of any shave. For more tips on giving your skin the best chance, our Skincare tips for men article has everything you need. From tips on face wash and cream to what foods to eat and even face exercises.
If your skin get irritated while shaving it could be that you’re cutting the hair too close. You can solve this by using colder water to wash – so your hair is less exposed. This will tell you if you’re getting too close. If you still get irritation we sell razors for sensitive and really sensitive skin. Get the shave you want without irritation.
Do you have tips to avoid shaving irritation? Let us know, we want to write an article about it and help other men.
Now that your head is clean and your pores are open it’s time to get into it. Applying shaving foam adds a layer of protection and lubrication to the shave. Which reduces the chance of shaving irritation.
You want to take a small amount of foaming shave gel in your hand. Not too much. Remember, it expands as you play with it. Work it up into a foam, and then massage it into your head in little circles.
Massaging the foam into your skin softens the skin and stands your hair on end, making it easier to cut.
Before you start, check your blade. Make sure it’s sharp and there’s no sign of rust on the edge. The best way to avoid your blade rusting or getting damaged is to store it so it’s not lying in any water. Our blades come with a suction cup to stick it to the mirror, but putting it in an empty glass will also do the trick.
A sharp blade is really important for a solid shave. Bluntness or damage to the blade can cause irritation while shaving. Blunt blades pull at the hair and don’t give a clean cut and damage or rust make it more likely you’ll cut yourself and irritate the skin.
If you’re unsure about the blade it’s best to replace it. Better a fresh blade than a red head.
Easy does it
Then it’s on to the shave. Here again there are a few things you can do to give your hair and skin the best chance possible.
- Grip the razor lightly and remember to take it slow. You don’t need to push too hard. There is a reason the phrase is “razor-sharp”, the blades don’t need a lot of force to do the trick. Gently let the razor follow the curves of your head.
- For the first pass go with the grain i.e. in the direction the hair grows.
- Learn the shape of your head. If you’ve got a particularly bumpy head you may need to shave it in a particular direction to get the best shave. This takes time and practice.
- You can do another pass against the grain, but this isn’t strictly necessary. It’s best to skip this step if you’ve got sensitive skin.
- Rinse the blade often. This stops it getting clogged up with hair, which will make the shave uncomfortable. Every couple of strokes dip it in the sink to get rid of any hair. Everyone has their own rhythm for this. You’ll find yours.
Your shave is going well. You’ve got a flow going and your grooving along to your favourite tune blasting from your waterproof Bluetooth speaker. You’re even using the razor to lip-sync along. Your new baldness giving you that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson confidence. You’re killing it.
Much like The Rock, it’s important to take a moment to take stock and be humble. Check yourself before you wreck yourself so to speak. In this case, checking your head to make sure you’re not missing hair. Your hand is your best tool for finding stubbly patches that you can’t see. Make sure you don’t miss anything.
And when you’re finished shaving, give your head a wash with warm water and one last check for stubble. If you find it when you’re out there’s nothing to be done. Take the time now to get it right. Everything looking and feeling good?
Once you’re happy with the shave, it’s time to wrap it up. You’ve done the hard work of getting your dome as smooth as possible, these are the finishing touches to put the cherry on top.
Firstly you want to rinse your head with cold water. You might be thinking you’ve already rinsed with warm water, why subject yourself to a cold splash? The answer: for the opposite reason that you used warm water at the beginning – to close those pores back up.
You’re about to head out into the world to show off your beautifully smooth head. The last thing you want is dirt or bacteria getting into your pores. Take the plunge and give it a liberal splash of cold water.
After that pat it dry with a clean towel. The towel should be clean for the same reason. You’ve just been running a blade over your head. Even if you didn’t give yourself a cut your skin gets lots of little abrasions which can be inflamed by bacteria. Patting your head reduces the amount of friction caused when drying. You’re taking every precaution to avoid a post shaving rash.
Not a required step but some men like to apply aftershave cream to their heads. If your head is particularly sensitive or if you just want to give your scalp the best possibility of looking its best add this to your routine.
A step that all men should think of is sunscreen. This is particularly important if it’s your first time shaving. Your skin won’t be used to the quantity of sun. And your head, being the closest body part to the sun and the most exposed, its going to take a hammering. Do yourself a favour and stick a bottle beside your sink and apply a bit every day.
Give your beautiful bald head a nickname and take it out to meet the world.
Let us know what you think.