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Shaved Your Head and Still Dandruff? Here’s How to Treat It

When I shaved my head a few years ago, I thought dandruff would be a thing of the past.

Boy, I was wrong.

Over shaving or improper skincare of your scalp can lead to dry, flaky skin that appears like dandruff.  Below we’ll look at a few ways on how you can resolve this issue.

What causes dandruff for bald men?

One of the most common reasons for developing dandruff or dry skin is over-shaving.

Shaving is a stressful event for your skin.  When you shave repeatedly, you are effectively doing a deep physical exfoliation every time.

When shaving daily, the moisture in your skin never has a chance to recover.  With time, the skin will begin to peel and ultimately flake, giving the appearance of dandruff.

Then how often should you shave your head?

Most men only shave their head once every few days.  It’s important to give your skin some time to recover.

But what if dandruff is still occurring?

If you are taking time between shaving your head, consider booking an appointment with your family physician or dermatologist. They can evaluate whether you may have a skin-related ailment such as psoriasis.

If this is the case, then it must be adequately treated.

What should I do to prevent dandruff when using a razor?

There are a few options at your disposal in trying to prevent dandruff from occurring.  This includes the following:

  • Razor Blade Count: Cartridge razors with more blades provide closer results due to hysteresis, also known as lift-and-cut.  Consider shaving your head with a cartridge razor that has three or fewer blades.
  • Blade Sharpness: Changing your razor blades is essential.  We found that most cartridge razors can only withstand anywhere between six and 20 shaves before needing to be replaced.
  • Aftershave Balm: A balm will add moisture back to your skin.  This will help prevent dry skin while also relieving any irritation caused by shaving.
  • Don’t Push So Hard: When shaving your head, try not to push too hard against your skin with the razor.  This causes a much more aggressive cut, which may be the reason for dandruff.

What about alternate shaving methods?

The razor isn’t the only way to remove hair from your scalp.  Here are a few other options to consider:

  • Hair Clippers or Balding Clippers: These will cut your hair to only a fraction above the surface.  It’s physically impossible for your skin to dry out when using these tools.  However, they do require someone else to use to get good results.
  • Electric Head Shaver: A relatively new invention, electric head shavers rely on a rotary cutter to remove hair.  Able to be used by yourself, they can provide close and relatively smooth results.  However, men with coarse or thick hair may find them uncomfortable.
  • Hair Removal Cream: A depilatory cream will dissolve the hair, leaving silky smooth results.  However, men with sensitive skin may develop a rash.  Be sure to patch test before applying to your entire head.

What if your flaking skin is seasonal?

If you only notice dandruff during the summer months, then perhaps you are just experiencing mild sunburns. You should be applying sunscreen to your scalp daily; in all seasons.  

Regular sunscreen application will prevent sun damage, sun spots, and potential skin problems later in life.

As a last resort, try making changes or incorporating these into your daily routine

If you are still experiencing dry, flaky skin after following the advice above, consider making these changes:

  • Pre-shave Oil: This is a moisturizer and lubricant that is added to your skin before shaving.  It helps soften the hair while making the skin more supple.
  • Better Shave Cream: Some shaving creams just simply don’t work well for some men.  Consider using rich, moisturizing-focused shaving creams. 
  • Re-Evaluate Technique: You may want to relearn a few shaving techniques.  There are plenty of videos on YouTube that demonstrate a few different ways you can shave your head.

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. When Adam isn't working, he enjoys spending time with his two little kids who keep him both on his toes and young at heart.

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