Is It Time? Here’s When You Might Want To Shave Your Head

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I’ll be completely honest with you:

No man ever wants to shave their head.

No man ever says ‘great, I’m going bald, can’t wait to shave off my hair!

The only reason why I can say this is because I am a bald man (and have been) for several years.

But you see, here’s the deal:

For several years (i.e. a lot more than I would care to admit), I put off on shaving my head…

So check this out…

…I want to get personal for a minute (but not in a cheesy Oprah kinda way)…

I noticed that I started developing that classic sign of male pattern baldness at the age of 20…

…yes, before I could actually drink.

It sucked.

I hated applying Rogaine, but I hated the fact that I was balding even more so.

Needless to say, its something I have only come to terms with recently, and am now MUCH more comfortable than ever before with the fact of being bald.

Sure, there might be a few cheap jokes thrown my way, but honestly, I am completely fine with it.

But it’s for this reason, and knowing that so many other men also struggle with the same issue is why I wanted to write this article today…

…its not about me.

But for you…

So, it begs the question, especially if you came here in the first place:

When is the right time to shave your head if you are going bald?

Here’s our unfiltered guidance:

Shaving Your Head Is Largely A Personal Decision – Do It When The Time Is Right

No one can force you to take a pair of clippers or a razor to your head…

…no one.

Therefore, the decision to shave your head completely bald rests squarely on your shoulders.

However, if you are standing on this proverbial cliff peering off into the distance of a world of baldness, don’t fret.

We are here to guide you…not push you.

To elaborate on my own personal journey a bit more, I want to share this:

I didn’t shave my head immediately when I first started to go bald.

Instead, I visited the barbershop like every other man to get their hair cut.

But instead of getting a classic haircut, I asked for them to use just the clipper.

At first I would have them shave it to only a size #4 setting.

While this was a drastic step for me at the time, it was still enough hair for me to still feel like…

…well that I still had hair.

So, if you fast forward a few years and several dollars spent at the barbershop later, I found myself going shorter and shorter with the clippers.

First #3, then #2, and finally working down to a size #1.

Mind you, this took YEARS of progress, not months.

What I am trying to get across here is this:

I didn’t dive into the deep end going from a longer hair length down to a completely bald look…

…and I would suspect that many other men likely follow the same path as I did.

A mixture of denial and acceptance towards the balding journey.

But I will tell you this:

Once I decided to FINALLY take the plunge, it was unequivocally the best grooming decision I have ever done in my life.

Seriously, it was this ginormous weight that lifted off my shoulders.

I couldn’t believe how great I felt.

As a nerdy and somewhat overweight man, I actually felt like a badass once in my life.


It was amazing.

But, here’s the deal:

If you are reading this right now, not ready to take the plunge with the razor, that’s completely fine.

I wouldn’t expect anyone reading some random guy’s personal story on the internet to convince them.

Which leads me to this very core point:

Shave your head when the time is right for you.  Not because someone else told you or pressured you otherwise.

I will say that when you do finally take out the razor blade and lather up your head with shave cream that it will be nerve racking…

…and that’s completely normal!

But before you do take the first pass with the razor, you might want to read this:

before you shave your head

Proactive In Your Approach – Grow Facial Hair Or Accessorize

More often than not, men who are bald have increased testosterone levels.

This means that they usually can grow androgenic hair (body hair) without any worries.

In this body hair category is of course the classic beard.

Beards are awesome.

But they are even better when matched with a shaved head.

Think folks like Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, and even Patrick Stewart.

They all look completely awesome when pairing their shaven head looks with a bit of facial hair.

Now, I am not telling you that you need to grow out a yeard (beard for a year) or a full ZZ Top style beard.

I am just saying that even a medium or thick stubble will add great balance and a more manly look to your overall style.

So, try letting your beard grow for a few days before you take the razor to your scalp.

But what if you are a little light on beard growth?

Yes, some men draw the short straw when it comes to genetics.

Being bald AND unable to grow facial hair can be incredibly frustrating.

All too often I have heard men claim that this is their case and they are afraid they will look like an egg once they shave.

Not all is lost, here’s why:

A great way to get over this issue is to try and accessorize.

If you wear glasses, try upgrading (assuming you don’t own already) to a thicker rimmed pair.

Warby Parker is a great way to upgrade for very little money.

Secondly, a winter hat or beanie is also a quick fix to balance out your look that will also look great.

Bottom line is this:

Don’t let the lack of facial hair get in the way of shaving your head completely bald.

Not Ready To Shave Your Head Yet?  That’s Ok!

While there is no magic date or point in time when its best to shave your head when going bald, it is worth mentioning some alternatives at your disposal.

One of the most popular options out there, and one you are likely going to be familiar with is minoxidil:

Minoxidil – FDA Approved Treatment For Hair Loss

The active ingredient found in the popular over the counter hair loss solution, Rogaine, plenty of men have tried (myself included) or currently use this product regularly.

This FDA Approved option for hair loss will deliver varying results.

Some men report complete regrowth of hair while others have found very little in the way of results.

When applied twice daily, men may start to see regrowth in their hair around the 4-month mark.

What’s great though, is that Rogaine does actually offer a complete money-back guarantee.

So, if you want to try this option out with very little risk on your behalf it’s worth a try.

vitamin and mineral supplements

Finasteride – The Magic Pill?

Originally designed to treat an enlarged prostate in men, one of the side effects of finasteride was increased hair growth for men who were experiencing male pattern baldness…

…talk about a happy accident.

Unlike minoxidil that may take around 4 months before results are prominent, finasteride does take a couple of more months (6 months total), before men should expect to see any positive results.

Here’s the kicker:

Unlike minoxidil that works the area it has been applied to directly, finasteride will work for your entire scalp as it’s taken in pill form.

So not only will you usually see a reversal in the crown or widows peak, but you will also typically see a marked increase in volume.

Here was a thread over at the Subreddit /r/tressless that caught our attention.

As you can see, some men may experience positive results when taking finasteride regularly.

Micropigmentation For Men Who Shave Their Head Regularly

Even if you shave your head and get a baby butt smooth surface, you are still going to be able to see the base of your hair follicles.

This becomes especially pronounced after only a couple days worth of growth.

This means that not only will you see your hair, but you will also see the areas where your hair isn’t growing.

For some men who are a bit self-conscious about their hairline, even after shaving their hair completely off, may opt for micropigmentation.

Micropigmentation is essentially a tattoo on your head.

This will give you the appearance that you have a full head of hair even if you shave regularly.

Micropigmentation is also perfect for men who may have any scars on their scalp and want it to appear that there is hair growth on the scar tissue (as opposed to just having a bald mark instead).

Here’s the catch:

Should you ever decide to grow out your hair, the micropigmentation remains.

Therefore, if you really consider micropigmentation for your scalp, you will need to commit to shaving your head forever (which is understandably a big commitment for a lot of men).

Key Tools To Consider Before Shaving Your Head

While we largely spoke of using a razor blade to shave your head, it would be a disservice if we didn’t make mention of other popular tools that men often use to trim down their hair as well.

Should You Go With Balding Clippers Or Hair Clippers?

Whether you have kids and cut their hair regularly or by chance have hair clippers on hand, these can be used to cut down your hair significantly.

Now, if you really want to get the hair close to your scalp, forget the plastic guards that come stocked with the clippers, instead you will want to go straight to the metal.

Often featuring a length lever on the side of the clipper, you can fine tune the length that you want your hair to be.

But check this out:

With standard consumer based hair clippers, if used for a long time, they will start to get a bit overheated.

Therefore, you will want to try and practice efficiency when trimming your hair, or build in some breaks during the process.

Secondly, if you have someone else (i.e. wife or girlfriend) who can help you out, this will make the process go a lot more smoother and quicker.

Plus, they can make sure you don’t miss any embarrassing patches on the back of your head.

Now this goes for your standard hair clippers you find on the aisle in your local Walmart, but what about balding clippers?

Yes, there are actually clippers designed from the ground up for men who want to shave their head completely bald sans shave cream.

While not getting a razor close shave, balding clippers are the next best alternative.

Seriously, if you never tried out balding clippers, you might want to give them a consideration.

Balding clippers not only cut closer on your scalp, but will feature a wider head as well.

The increased head width on a pair of balding clippers will make the trim process significantly shorter.

This is especially great for men who trim their hair either daily or once every couple of days. It will no longer feel like a chore and such a huge time commitment.

pivot head on cartridge razors

Going With A Razor?  Adopt The Right Shave Routine From The Start

Now if you are going full force with a razor, here are a few things tidbits I want to share that I learned along the way:

Cartridge razors are king when it comes to shaving your head.

Don’t go with a disposable or safety razor.

Not only will these do a poor job at getting a close shave, but will more often than not leave your scalp irritated.

Personally, my favorite razor is the Gillette Fusion ProGlide.

While the 5 blades are a nice touch, what really makes this razor so great for shaving your head is the flexball in the neck of the razor.

It will EASILY conform to your scalp as you make the passes with the blade.

This will increase both comfort and speed when shaving your head.

Before you know it, you can get a complete shave of your scalp while taking your morning shower, just be sure to pick up a fogless mirror too!

brushless shave cream

Good Shave Cream Is Essential

To cut right too it, your scalp has WAY more surface area that your cheeks and neck.

Therefore, it’s going to take substantially more shave cream to complete the job.

While many men (and once myself) use a shave gel, we would recommend going with something a bit higher quality.

Not only will the razor blade work WAY better, but it will also ensure that your scalp feels much more comfortable post shave.

Even something as simple as Jack Black Beard Lube can work wonders for your head when compared to a canned cream.

Seriously gentlemen, if there is one thing you should invest in, its shave cream.

But here’s another reason why it’s so important:

Dandruff While Bald Is A Real Issue

If you shave your head daily, you may start experiencing dandruff.


Dandruff is a common issue among men who shave their head completely bald.

You have to remember, when you shave your head, you are literally dragging a razor across the surface of your skin.

When you do this, it not only removes hair, shave cream, and dead skin cells, but it also puts A LOT of stress on your skin.

Your skin NEEDS moisture.  Shaving regularly will dry out your skin.

Therefore, its both equally important to use a shave cream that is a natural emollient, like the one we mentioned above while also applying either a lotion or aftershave balm to your scalp after you are done shaving.

This will help to protect your skins moisture barrier and prevent any flaking of the skin.

Just Scratching The Surface

When it comes to whether or not you should shave your head due to balding, its solely a personal decision and one that you must make yourself.

While it might be easier to hide behind a taupe or some other hair system, we fully empower men to take on this issue and not let it bother them in the least.

After all, you may be surprised at the results on how well you feel about yourself once the weight of ‘going bald’ is lifted from your shoulders and is no longer an issue.

Whatever you do, just be prepared to hear the compliments from those around you!

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About Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.