When rocking the clean-shaven bald look, men today have a lot of options at their disposal.
In this review and guide, we not only look at some of the best head shavers of 2021, but also go over the various features that you should be on the lookout for when deciding on the right head shaver for you. As well, we will have a few tips you should follow in order to get the most from your new head shaver.
Let’s get started.
What to Know When Buying a Head Shaver
When deciding the best head shaver for you, it’s important to be aware of all the possible features that might come with the popular products.
Here we identified eight key shaver features that will help you in finding the perfect one to meet your needs:
1. Electric vs. Manual
When shaving your head, you have two main categories – electric shavers and manual razors. Here’s a quick look at how each of them differs from one another:
- Electric Head Shavers
Available in either corded or cordless varieties, electric shavers are great for a variety of reasons. Most notably is that they work well for those with sensitive skin/scalps, make for a cleaner shaving process, and will significantly reduce the chance of an ingrown hair from happening.
Electric head shavers come in two main variants – foil and rotary.
- Foil – Electric foil head shavers are shaped like a rectangular block and cut your hair in an oscillating (back-and-forth) manner. This variety of the electric head shaver can cut hair much closer to the skin. One of the major drawbacks to this shaver head type is that it may have a tough time around tighter contours or natural bumps on your head – ultimately requiring more time to make additional passes.
- Rotary – Found in most electric head shavers, the rotary head is shaped in circles and cuts hair in a rotary or circular motion (much like a weed whacker). This smaller cutting head can easily navigate the contours of your head making for a much more efficient shave. Unlike the foil head, the rotary head can’t cut nearly as close to the skin – requiring more frequent shaves of the head if you want to maintain a bald look.
Electric head shavers carry with them many additional benefits as you will see in just a minute.
- Manual Razors
Whether you are using a disposable or a fancy cartridge razor, manual razors will cut the hair on your head to the lowest possible length.
While you may be susceptible to skin irritation or surface cuts, the manual razor is great for those men who desire a completely bald look that is absent of any hair.
As you already know, using a manual razor to shave your head will take significantly longer when compared to an electric head shaver, while also requiring complementary supplies (i.e. shave cream) and a bathroom or shower to catch the excess clippings.
The manual razor is preferred by those men who are either watching their budget closely, don’t have sensitive skin, or those who want to have a close shave every time on their head.
2. Corded vs. Cordless
When evaluating a variety of electric head shavers, you will find that they will be either corded or cordless. While the obvious difference between these two varieties is of course their portability (or lack thereof), we wanted to share with you a bit more about these two electric head shaver variants that are important.
Battery Powered (Cordless) – Electric head shavers relying on battery power, while effective, aren’t nearly as powerful as a corded head shaver.
Beyond cutting strength, the battery powered head shavers’ biggest advantage is portability. Whether you are traveling overseas or to the gym, you will rarely ever have to charge your shaver, as many of the shavers we reviewed offer generous charge times.
This will be helpful as you won’t have to worry about voltage differences (a common problem with corded head shavers) when traveling internationally.
Secondly, with a cordless head shaver, you can easily stand in your tub or shower (more on this in a minute) and cut your hair. This makes cleanup much easier than if you were using a corded head shaver.
Corded Head Shavers – This variety of head shavers provides both a strong and consistent flow of power.
Whether you are looking to cut through thick hair or are searching for a head shaver to use in a professional setting, corded head shavers may be a better pick for you.
Since they can’t be used in a wet environment (i.e. with shave cream or in the shower) due to the risk of being electrocuted, they will require much more effort when it comes to clean up – a deal breaker for many, especially if you plan on shaving your head every few days.
3. Number of Blades / Shaver Heads
As you may have seen in your preliminary research, electric head shavers can come equipped with a variety of blades or shave heads.
The increased number of blades or shave heads will equate to more points of contact on the skin.
This translates to a shave that will be quicker, more uniform, and more comfortable.
However, there are some drawbacks here to note. Most men find that the increased number of shave heads increases the chance of one of them becoming faulty or breaking during use – which may lead to a less than effective shave experience.
Secondly, the greater the number of heads, the larger the device. This makes for shaving small areas or tight contours a bit trickier.
Head shavers able to be used in a wet environment or are marketed as being waterproof, can provide significant advantages in both the shaving process itself, as well as cleanup.
Waterproof head shavers can be taken with you into the shower and used in tandem with shave cream.
This allows for a much more consistent shave of your head while also providing significant comfort.
In addition to a better shave, waterproof head shavers can be rinsed off under the water during cleanup. This is much easier and quicker than if you were to use a stiff bristle brush to manually clean out the razor.
5. Cutting Length
Unlike balding clippers, electric head shavers offer very little variance when it comes to cutting length. You either want your head completely bald or you don’t.
While this might not be a deal breaker for you, it is worth mentioning, especially if you plan on changing your hair style every now and again.
6. Battery Technology
Battery technology has evolved significantly in recent years with recent advancements now being utilized in electric head shavers.
However, remnants of older battery technology are still prevalent in many of the cheaper options out there.
When looking at cordless electric head shavers, you will find that they often rely on either a Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) or Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) battery.
When comparing the battery types, be aware of this:
- NiMH batteries take a very long time to charge (typically around 8 hours) and will only have a run time of about 45 minutes (depending on the size of the battery). NiMH batteries found in electric head shavers are often much cheaper (less than $50).
- Li-Ion batteries only take about an hour to charge and will have a run time of about 90 minutes. They can generate a charge in only a few minutes, giving you enough power to get through a morning shave (great if you are in a hurry). Li-Ion batteries are often priced much higher.
Our recommendation here is that you go with a Li-Ion battery. The fast charge and long run times are great if you travel frequently or never want to be stuck halfway through shaving your head and having the battery run out.
Beyond functioning as an electric head shaver, some companies bundle some unique attachments that can serve a variety of purposes.
During our research we came across companies that offered attachments that were capable of the following:
- Nose & Ear Hair Trimming
- Face Scrub Bristles
- Cleansing Brush
While the scope of our review rested squarely on the functions and effectiveness of the electric head shaver itself, utilizing these additional attachments may be beneficial for some men reading this.
As you begin to review the variety of head shavers available to purchase, you will find that the price can vary significantly from one brand to another.
Based on our research, we found that the best head shavers can range from about $30 to $100.
Naturally the prices vary depending on several factors – many of which have been covered thus far (i.e. cordless, shaver heads included, waterproof, etc.).
The 5 Best Head Shavers (Manual & Electric) of 2021 Reviewed
1. Best Overall: Skull Shaver Pitbull Electric Head Shaver
Originally introduced in 2012, the Skull Shaver was one of the original pioneers of electric head shaving.
This U.S. veteran owned company has repeatedly made many of the “best of” lists across prominent men’s media publications due to its unique design and effective results.
This shaver has it all:
- 4 Rotary Heads – Provides comprehensive coverage of your entire head and face, making for a close and predictable shave.
- Lithium Ion Battery – 2.5-hour charge time that allows for 90 minutes of shave time.
- Wet & Dry Shaving – While not fully waterproof, the Pitbull shaver carries an IPX5 rating allowing it to be safely taken into the shower with you.
- Great Warranty Coverage – Unlike many of the unknown brands popping up, Skull Shaver stands by their product and offers a one month money-back guarantee and a 12-month warranty from defects (source).
- LED Display – On the grip, you can see clearly how much battery power remains – giving you peace of mind so you never get stuck with a half-shaved head again.
Killer features aside, what many men really loved about the skull shaver was the grip.
With the ability to get a firm hold on the chunky handle, you will have complete control over the shaving process. This will help to ensure that you cover all your head with the 5 rotary heads throughout the entire process.
But where this grip also becomes important is if you want to shave your face as well.
Unlike so many head shavers that can only be used for shaving your head, the skull shaver is an adequate substitute to your standard rotary shaver.
The high-powered stainless-steel cutting heads should have no problem making their way through thick and coarse facial hair.
- A perfect and compact head shaver that provides results
- U. S. veteran owned company
- Works in both a wet and dry environment
What You Need To Know
2. Closest Cut: Wahl Professional Head Shaver
While it is true that cartridge or disposable razors will offer one of the closest shaves out there, the next best alternative (for closeness) would be this Wahl foil shaver.
Relying on a double foil head, this shaver can cut the hairs on your head to skin level – giving you a smooth finish to your scalp that so many men crave.
While this shaver many find its home in professional barbershops, there is no reason why you can’t use it for personal use so long as you are willing to make a few compromises.
With just a single on-off switch, this electric shaver only has one speed and one function. While many may see this as a disadvantage as it doesn’t work with attachments, have LCD displays, etc., we think just the contrary.
With a simple design, there is less that will break over the course of its life – giving it a much longer predicted life span.
If there are any major drawbacks to this razor, it would be with the battery.
Unlike many modern shavers available, this shaver by Wahl relies on a NI-CAD battery. Like Ni-MH, NI-CAD takes a long time to fully charge (about 8 to 9 hours).
Given that the body of this shaver doesn’t have an LCD display to indicate the power level, you may be left stranded in the middle of a shave with a dead battery.
However, not all is lost.
This electric shaver can work while plugged in – so always make sure you bring the AC adapter with you while traveling.
Another drawback would be the inability to shave in a wet environment. With no waterproof or wet resistance rating, you will be restricted to only using this shaver in dry conditions.
- Closest shave you can get with an electric head shaver
- Replacement foil and attachment blades available (sold separately)
- Provides professional results
- Has some significant compromises
What You Need To Know
3. Best Manual Razor: Gillette Cartridge Razor For Head Shaving
One of the best manual razors for head shaving a man can own would be the Gillette Fusion5 ProGlide.
While some may scoff at the price of refills for modern cartridge razors (more on this in a minute), there is no denying that Gillette hit all the marks perfectly with the Fusion5.
The most notable piece of mechanical technology used in this cartridge razor is the FlexBall neck.
Unlike most cartridge razors that allow the head to pivot up and down, this unique FlexBall neck also allows for the razor head to move side-to-side (or left-to-right).
Why is this important?
When shaving the natural contours of your head, this unique range of motion ensures that the blades are always conforming to the surface of your skin which equates to a more consistent and better shave.
When compared to all other modern cartridge razors that are made today – the FlexBall technology is a game-changer for bald men.
Beyond providing a consistent shave to your head, the Fusion5 is also much more versatile when compared to other shavers and razors to make our list.
Of course, this cartridge razor was intended to shave your facial hair, but it can also be used on your chest, legs, or pubic area.
If there is any downside to this razor it would be, of course, the long-term cost of ownership, when compared to others on our list.
Unlike the electric shavers that can go quite a bit of time before needing their rotary head replaced, the cartridge razor will need to be changed out about once every month (give or take, depending on thickness of hair, frequency of use, etc.).
But when you compare this to some of the popular shave clubs such as Harry’s or Dollar Shave Club, it isn’t that poorly priced (and in many instances, this cartridge razor by Gillette is cheaper).
- Close and consistent shave for your entire head
- Most versatile razor on our list
- Shave head requires regular replacement
What You Need To Know
4. Most Affordable Head Shaver: HeadBlade Moto
Whether you played with Hot Wheels as a kid or have a passion for ATVs, chances are that you are going to like the HeadBlade Moto.
Designed specifically for head shaving, this unique razor wraps to the natural contours of your head in order to provide a terrific shave.
There are a few things about this razor blade for head shaving that we really liked.
- Firm Control – With a large rubber grip on the top side of the body, you can keep the razor pressed directly against your skin even if your hands are slick with shave cream.
- Up/Down & Side to Side – With the full range of motion on the head of the razor blade itself, this cartridge razor will remain close to your skin no matter how rounded the curves may be.
- This allows for less passes of the blade – which increases overall shave comfort.
- Universal Blade Fitting – Unlike other cartridge razors that replace the blade fitting between their models, you can easily choose between the four blade or six blade razor heads.
- Whether you have sensitive skin or a tight budget, you have a couple of options – which is welcomed.
- Color Variety – Whether you want a HeadBlade for different situations (i.e. one for gym and one for home) or you simply want to have a bit of fun – HeadBlade makes their razor in 7 different colors including Fire Department Red, Blaze, Midnight, and more.
Other Men’s Reviews
- When looking through the reviews of this razor in both forums and product listing pages, they have been overwhelmingly positive. Men particularly loved the consistency of the results along with the lower price of refills (when compared to other modern cartridge razors).
- Given that this is a product designed specifically for head shaving, HeadBlade has put together a great lineup of complementary products that are worth checking out. This includes the following:
- HeadShed – To remove dead skin from the scalp before shaving
- HeadSlick – A shave cream designed specifically for your head
- ClearHead – Aftershave balm to provide essential post-shave relief
- HeadLube – Moisturizer to ensure that your scalp always looks its very best
- When purchased in bulk, the cost of ownership for the HeadBlade isn’t a bad deal. When doing the math, a three pack of the HB4 blades (12 blades total) equates to about $3 per blade.
- If you are using this just on your head (and assuming you don’t have a full head of hair), you should be able to comfortably make each blade last you about a month with regular use.
- This equates to the cost of use roughly around $35 for an entire year – significantly cheaper than some of the other head razors that we reviewed.
Read the full review here.
- Low cost of ownership
- Designed specifically for head shaving
- Supporting line of complementary products for better results
- Can be used elsewhere on body, but best for head only
What You Need To Know
5. Best Adjustable: ConairMan Professional Even Cut Head Trimmer
Just about every head shaver that we reviewed in this guide was designed to only cut your hair to one length – to skin (or near skin) level.
But for those men who aren’t ready to commit to the fully bald look or simply want a bit of choice in their next hair trimmer, then there is no better option currently available right now than the ConairMan Professional Even Cut Head Trimmer.
Here’s a few of the important features that stood out when reviewing this unique device:
- 4 Different Cutting Lengths – When using this trimmer, you can cut your hair to 0.5” or shorter.
- This raised cutting length avoids the use of a razor or rotary shaver on your head – reducing any chance of skin irritation from occurring (an important consideration for men with sensitive skin)
- Corded or Cordless Operation – While the charge time on this device is extremely long (16 hours to full charge), it can also be operated while plugged in – ensuring you don’t get stuck halfway through your hair cut.
- Stainless Steel Blades – Unlike carbon steel, the sharp stainless-steel blades on this trimmer will naturally resist rust or corrosion, making it a device that should last you for years.
- Efficient & Quick Operation – Using this trimmer is easy and straightforward.
- Simply place it on your head, run it back and forth over your scalp for the initial cut.
- Then go over in a clockwise and counterclockwise direction to ensure all hairs are cut
- Completed in a Few Minutes – Given the larger cutting head size, you can easily get all your hair cut in only a few minutes of use.
- 120V / 240V Compatibility – Whether you are traveling overseas or simply want the versatility, this trimmer will have no problem getting a charge when traveling abroad.
- Blade Oil Must be Used – Given that this is a rotary shaver that has scissor-like blades, you must use the included blade oil every time you cut your hair. It will make for better results and a device that remains sharp much longer.
- Dry Operation Only – Unlike other wet or waterproof head shavers we reviewed, this is a dry only operation device. Bringing it into the shower with you will ruin it. In addition, cleaning requires the use of a stiff-bristled brush.
So, if you have severely sensitive skin or don’t like the thought of a razor touching the surface of your skin, or you simply want to carry a bit of extra hair on your head without having to visit the barbershop – then this little device makes perfect sense.
- Offers 5 different length settings
- Great for men with sensitive scalps
- Works internationally
What You Need To Know
How to Use a Head Shaver
When it comes to getting the best results when using a head shaver or razor, we wanted to put together this quick seven-step guide that you can follow along with at home (or come back to as a reference) once you have your new shaver in hand.
1. Trim Down to Size
Before you use an electric head shaver or manual razor, you are going to want to trim down the hair to about 0.5” or less in length.
While balding clippers or head trimmers are great devices to use for this – you don’t need to get too fancy as you will be fully cutting off all the hair in a minute.
This is just to help in preventing the razor blade or shaver from clogging up when passing over dense patchy areas of your scalp.
2. Pre-Shave Oil (Manual Shaving Only)
If you plan on taking a manual razor across your head, you may want to consider the use of a pre-shave oil.
This unique shaving oil helps to provide a layer of lubrication between the skin and shaving cream.
Increasing shaving comfort, it is an indispensable shaving product for men who suffer from skin irritation or skin sensitivity when using a manual razor.
3. Apply a Generous Amount of Shave Cream (Wet Shavers & Manual Razors Only)
Shave cream helps to provide both lubrication and insulation for both your skin and hair.
This vital shaving product is critical in not only getting better results, but also in providing a much more comfortable shaving experience.
When applying shave cream to your head, you are going to want to make sure that you get all areas around your scalp.
While a shave brush may be a better tool, as it provides a nice gentle exfoliation to your skin to loosen any dead skin cells or pollutants, your hands will be good enough here as well.
If while shaving your head you need to make multiple passes with the shaver or razor, make sure that you reapply shave cream to the entire area needed to be reworked.
It is important to note that shaving creams can vary wildly in their uses, however, if you are looking to upgrade your shaving cream for your head, we invite you to check out this article where we outline some of the best shaving creams reviewed.
4. Work in Sections for Better Results
Whether working with an electric head shaver or manual razor on your scalp, we find it best to work in sections.
This not only makes it easier to notice any missed areas, but it will also make the entire shaving process a bit quicker as you are not jumping from place to place all over your head while shaving.
We like to recommend here that you split your scalp into four quadrants:
- Top/Front Left (from crown to brow)
- Top/Front Right (from crown to brow)
- Back Left (from neck to crown)
- Back Right (from neck to crown)
5. Use Your Hand as a Guide
Particularly when shaving the back of your head or are doing this in the shower, your hand can act as a terrific guide when cutting your hair.
After you have worked each of the quadrants listed above, simply guide your non-shaving hand over the areas and feel for any raised hairs.
6. Second Mirror or Phone for a Visual Inspection
After you have passed the touch test of using your hand as a guide, if you have a second vanity mirror available, you can use this to see common trouble spots most men miss (lower neck and behind the ears).
Should you not have a mirror, some men like to get their phone and make use of the wide-angle lens that most of them come equipped with.
To do this, just do the following:
- Set a timer for a couple of seconds
- Hold the phone behind your head (use your bathroom mirror as a guide)
- Take the picture and review the results
7. Aftershave Balm for Moisture and Nourishment
When shaving your head with a manual razor, it is important that you moisturize your skin immediately after.
Unlike traditional aftershave splashes and lotions that often contain alcohol that will dry out your skin as well as sting, modern aftershave balms do just the opposite – nourish and moisturize skin through natural ingredients while not stinging at all.
This is a great way to prevent any bald dandruff from occurring due to overly dried skin and to also tone the complexion of your scalp.
It’s a small step, but one that will make your head look even better.
If you don’t own an aftershave balm already, be sure to check out our reviews of the best aftershaves.
Common Questions Men Had About Head Shavers
I have a sensitive scalp; which shaver will be best for me?
We found that the best shaver for men with sensitive scalps, would in fact be balding clippers.
Balding clippers are unique from your traditional rotary head shaver or manual razor.
The most notable difference is that their length setting can be adjustable in order to cut the hair just a fraction above the surface of your skin.
For those men with sensitive scalps, when using balding clippers along with a plastic attachment comb, there will be no blade ever touching your skin.
This little bit of difference will have a measurable impact on comfort.
What is the best way to clean an electric head shaver?
We found that the best way to clean an electric head shaver is by simply rinsing it under water.
While many blade cleaner sprays are available to purchase, running water throughout the head of a head shaver should be able to fully rinse out any clipping remnants that were collected during shaving.
For those head shavers that are corded or simply can’t be used with water, then a simple stiff bristle brush should do the trick in knocking most of the hair out.
We would recommend that you do this over a trash can instead of a sink, as too much hair may clog your pipes.
Just a Quick Note on Blade Cleaner Sprays
Blade cleaner sprays, such as Andis Cool Care, are designed for professional barbers. These sprays are designed to act as a coolant, disinfectant, lubricant, cleaner, and rust preventative.
If you decide to purchase a head shaver with rotary blades (rather than an oscillating trimmer head found in hair clippers), the impact on the cleanup won’t be significant.
How often should I replace the rotary heads on my shaver?
Replacement of the blades on your head shaver will vary depending on the type of razor and frequency of use. Most manufacturer user guides will specify how often you will need to change the blades. However, generally you will want to replace the blades about once every 12 months.
Is cordless better than corded?
Cordless head shavers offer significant advantages over corded head shavers as they offer greater range of movement, portability, and in many cases, can be used in the shower.
However, there is no denying that corded head shavers are often much more powerful and can be effective at trimming through both coarse and thick hair.
Of course, if you plan on traveling internationally and want to bring your electric head shaver with you, you will want to ensure that it is compatible with other voltage sources.
Are there any other tools I might need?
When shaving your head, the supporting tools or supplies necessary will depend on the type of head shaver that you own.
For electric head shavers, you will need very few additional supplies, with all of them being optional. Some men who use electric head shavers may elect to use pre-shave oil and shaving cream in order to reduce any irritation from occurring.
Manual razors will of course require a plethora of supplies which include the following:
- Pre-shave oil
- Shave cream
- Aftershave balm
- Secondary mirror
Head Shavers vs. Balding Clippers vs. Hair Trimmers vs. Manual Razors
As you research all the different grooming tools available to purchase, you might be wondering just how a head shaver differs from balding clippers, hair clippers, and manual razors.
Here we wanted to quickly note some of their key differences from one another:
Head shavers are made to cut hair down to the surface level (as we saw in our reviews, there may be some exceptions to this). Usually relying on rotary cutting blades, this type of shaver is more of a all-or-nothing device.
Head shavers are a viable alternative to manual razors as they don’t require shave creams in order to get a close cut on the hair.
Found often in professional barbershops, balding clippers will be the closest alternative to the head shaver.
Able to cut the hair to just a fraction above the surface (about 0.2mm), balding clippers feature powerful motors (typically electromagnetic motors) and are used for a variety of purposes, including both bald head cutting and subtle fades.
Given that balding clippers rely on a demanding electromagnetic motor, most (not all) are corded – greatly restricting their portability and versatility (cannot be used in the shower or wet environments).
If you have thick, densely packed, or coarse hair, balding clippers should have no problem cutting through your hair.
In addition to their robust power, balding clippers, like hair trimmers, can usually be used with plastic attachment combs which allows them to be used to achieve varying hair lengths.
An indispensable tool for the professional barber and home beautician, hair trimmers are great for simply cutting hair at a variety of levels.
Usually including several attachment combs (10+), hair trimmers are designed for achieving many different hair styles.
Like balding trimmers, hair trimmers often are corded since they rely on a much stronger motor to power the blades.
This of course limits its versatility and how long it takes for cleanup (i.e. you can’t typically rinse hair trimmer heads under water to clean).
Where hair trimmers are starkly different from head shavers is how close they can cut.
Unlike head shavers that can cut down to skin level thanks to their rotary heads, head trimmers can only cut down to about 0.5mm above the surface of the skin.
This results in more frequent trimmings of the hair, especially if you want to achieve that classic bald look.
Manual razors are a terrific alternative to the head shaver as it provides the shortest cutting length possible. Thanks to advancements in technology over the past couple of decades, razor companies can now provide closer cuts of the hair – known as the hysteresis effect.
Here’s a great video by Gillette explaining how the hysteresis effect works.
Number of blades and length of hair cut aside, manual razors offer the ultimate when it comes to portability.
Able to be tossed into your favorite gym bag or dopp kit, they can be used without the reliance on power – a great advantage if you are always on the go.
Of course, manual razors do require some extra maintenance as the blades and shave cream need to be replaced often.
Beyond ownership costs, manual razors can also be a versatile tool depending on your other grooming habits.
If you shave your face or body regularly, you can easily use one blade for everything.
Our Criteria for Choosing the Best Head Shaver
Finding the best head shaver of 2021 was tough. There were lots of options and the markets are quickly flooding with cheap imitations.
After cutting through much of the fluff, we think that our list above has identified some worthy candidates for your consideration.
When considering the top head shavers, we looked at a variety of categories including its portability, waterproofing, achievable cutting lengths, battery technology, attachments, and of course, the price point.
We are confident that all the options above provide one of the best rounded out lists of head shavers currently available, and we think you should find some perfect options for your needs.