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How To Maintain A Shaved Head

Taking the plunge to shave your head completely bald can be a massive undertaking for some men; it was for me.

However, there is a common misconception that once you shave your head, you don’t have to worry about doing anything.

Yes, just because you run a razor over your head doesn’t mean you get away from ever having to buy grooming products for the rest of your life.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news – but as one bald guy to another, it would be a massive disservice if I didn’t share some of the things I have learned along the way during my follicle-free journey.

Let’s tackle some of the things you need to be doing to maintain a shaved head:

The most important thing is to apply sunscreen

When completely bald, one thing that so many men often forget is that they no longer have the protection of their hair against damaging UVA/UVB rays of the sun.

Sure, you can wear a baseball cap or a sun hat with a 360-degree brim, but on the occasions where caps just can’t work, you need to lather on some sunscreen.

Go with a sunscreen that offers SPF 50 protection (guaranteed to block 98% of UVB rays).  

What type of sunscreen works best for bald heads?

I recently went to the skincare store right around the corner to pick up some grooming products and was told about this sunscreen, Supergoop, from the friendly staff.

At first, I was slightly hesitant given the price tag, $20 for a 2.4oz package, but I gave it a shot.

While the sunscreen is designed for face use, I was thrilled with the results for the top-of-head application as it’s much thinner.

As a bald man, this is my go-to stuff.

The thin consistency is easy to apply and leaves a natural, mild-shine finish.

Even if you haven’t shaved your head in a couple of days, you don’t have to worry about this sunscreen getting caught up in slightly longer hair.

Before you ask – no, I am not being paid by Supergoop to plug their product.  I just simply like it and use it daily.

Should you get a specially made razor for shaving your head?

Specially made head razors, such as the HeadBlade Moto (reviewed here), are designed for bald men who shave regularly.

These sorts of razors offer easy guidance and a user-friendly design suited for novice to expert users. If you are just learning to shave your head, then this type of razor is worth considering.

As I have been shaving my head for several years and have tried several shave systems on the market, my go-to razor remains the Gillette Fusion ProGlide (again, not a paid endorsement).

Sure, there are probably some men out there that just cringed based on this recommendation.

But seriously, if you are still reading, check this out:

Now, I know there are significantly cheaper razors out there, whether it’s a cartridge razor or  safety razor, where razor blades just cost pennies on the dollar, here’s why I am sold on the Gillette Fusion ProGlide: the FlexBall neck.

This mechanism in the razor head is the crème de la crème for bald head shaving.  Seriously, it’s a game-changer.

But why?

Well, the neck of this razor easily conforms to the contours of your skull.  This ensures that the razor head never lifts off the surface and gets close results with each pass.

Not only are the results on point, but there is very little chance (virtually zero) of you cutting your skin while shaving, even if you have repeatedly used the same razor head.

So, if you want comfortable and close results, consider this razor the next time you shave your head.

But what if you have sensitive skin?

While some men love to have their head shaved with a razor, others like to go with a pair of balding clippers instead.

Balding clippers are great for men who experience skin irritation when they shave.  Additionally, balding clippers can cut down to only a fraction of a millimeter.

But beyond the closeness that balding clippers can attain, they are also built for your head.

Why does this matter?

This means that they are comfortable compared to other electric systems.  So, if you are afraid of nicks, red marks, etc., it becomes a non-issue when using balding clippers.

The one notable drawback of balding clippers is that they perform best when you have someone else trim your head.  Trying to handle the clippers yourself can be tricky.

What about an electric shaver designed for head use?

Typically constructed out of four rotary-style heads (as opposed to foil), electric head shavers are easier to control and more efficient when compared to balding clippers.

But what you gain in efficiency, you may lose in comfort.

If you have thick or coarse hair on parts of your head that aren’t completely bald or thinning, then you will want to skip out on an electric head shaver.

The reason being is that when it comes to rotary-style electric razors, they cut in a circular motion.  And if you have coarse or thick hair and cut it down to the surface of your skin, it may cause some mild irritation.

Should you feel adventurous and have thin hair, then this device may be worth considering.

Your scalp is more likely to dry out when you are bald

When shaving daily, you are putting quite a bit of stress on your skin.  It’s important to remember that your skin is a living organ.

Therefore, what will often happen for many men is that their head’s surface will begin to dry out and cause some mild flaking (what appears as dandruff).

So, what can you do?

You should apply an aftershave balm immediately after you finish shaving.  Aftershave balm contains moisturizers that will help restore your skin’s natural moisture barrier and mitigate any flaking from occurring.

I found that the Nivea Post-Shave Balm (reviewed here) works fairly well.

Remember to avoid using an aftershave splash or lotion as they will often contain alcohol – which will sting and dry out your skin, ultimately worsening dry skin.

Face creams and lotions are a good substitute for aftershave balm.

Do you still need to use shampoo if you are bald?

No, not necessarily.  However, you should be washing your head just like any other part of your body when in the shower.

Consider using a natural body wash or bar soap that moisturizes the skin.  This will help to counteract any dry skin you may experience from regular shaving.

How do I make my head nice and shiny?

To make your head shiny, you can either buy a dedicated head lube or use a do-it-yourself solution.  For a DIY option, consider applying either baby oil or carrier oil (only a few drops are necessary).

If you want to lower the shine, use a hand towel and wipe it repeatedly over your head til satisfied with the results.

How do I get my head less shiny?

If you want to reduce the shine on your head, then consider applying an oil-free moisturizer.  This will provide a mattifying effect on your skin.  

Do know that even when you are bald, your skin still produces oil throughout the day.  To remove this oily shine, you will either need to wipe or wash your head.

The most important thing to remember is this:

Make moisturizing and sun protection a part of your daily routine.

Both of these will keep your head looking healthy for years to come.  If not taken seriously, neglect can lead to all sorts of skin-related issues.

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more.