In this guide, we'll explore the nuances of using different razors - safety, cartridge, and electric - and provide tips for a smooth, irritation-free shave. From essential pre-shave preparation to choosing the right tool for your needs, and aftercare, we're here to ensure your head-shaving journey is as seamless as your new look.
Now, let's dive into how to shave your head:
Choose Your Weapon
Before shaving your head, you'll need to choose a tool or "weapon" to shave your head bald. Each type of shaver offers unique benefits and challenges.
Here’s a quick guide to help you choose between a Safety Razor, a Cartridge (or Disposable) Razor, and an Electric Shaver.
1. Safety Razor
Pros: It offers a close shave, is cost-effective over the long term, and is environmentally friendly due to less waste.
Cons: Steeper learning curve, higher risk of nicks and cuts, and requires more time and care.
Best For: Those seeking a traditional shaving experience and who are willing to invest time in learning the technique.
2. Cartridge (or Disposable) Razor
Pros: Easy to use, widely available, and less risky in terms of cuts.
Cons: More expensive over time, can irritate, and contribute to more waste.
Best For: Beginners or those who prioritize a closer shave without the risk of deep cuts.
3. Electric Shaver
Pros: Quick and convenient, safer with less risk of cuts, and versatile for different hair lengths.
Cons: It can be expensive upfront, may not provide as close a shave, and requires charging or batteries.
Best For: Those who value speed and convenience or have sensitive skin. For a detailed comparison of Foil vs. Rotary shavers, check out our article here.
To read more about Electric vs. Manual shavers, read our article about it here.
An electric shaver is my weapon of choice, as it offers speed, convenience, and safety. Check out our top choices for the best electric head shavers here.
Now that you've chosen your shaver, let's move on to the next step:
Every how-to-shave-your-head guide should include a pre-shave routine. Our scalp skin is one of our body's more sensitive areas, so preparation before a close shaved head is essential.
When I first got my Freebird FlexSeries, I got so excited to try it and didn't bother with a pre-shave routine. I thought my old dry-shaving routine would work, but I was wrong.
Since the FlexSeries gave me a closer shave than my hair clipper, I discovered I had sensitive areas in my neck. This was the first time I got a razor rash; it was my fault for not doing a pre-shave routine.
A pre-shave routine is pretty straightforward, regardless of your razor type.
Let's begin our pre-shave routine by washing our hair with warm water to soften it and open our pores. This makes shaving smoother, lessens irritation, and prevents razor rash.
2. Lather Up
Next, we apply shaving cream or shaving gel to our heads and create a thick lather. Spread the shave cream or shaving gel evenly across your entire head and ensure all areas are covered. I learned from my first experience with razor burn, and I told myself I wouldn't want that to happen again.
I use coconut oil and lather with coconut soap before I shave, and I haven't experienced razor burn since.
Freebird has a shaving gel designed for bald heads that you can try out.
3. Trim Your Hair
Don't shave immediately with your electric razor if you've grown your hair longer than 1/8 inch. You'll miss spots, dull your blade, and clog them up with hair.
Trim your long hair with an electric clipper and try to keep your hair as short as possible for a more effortless shave.
4. Choose the Right Electric Shaver
Shaving Your Head
Now that we've done our pre-shave routine, we get to the exciting part of how to shave your head:
Shaving your head.
Let's look at the steps you must take using the various razors we've discussed:
With a Safety Razor
Use New Blades every time. Use a new or sharpened blade with your safety razor every time you shave your head. A sharp razor is crucial to shaving the right way.
Hold the Safety Razor Correctly. Hold your safety razor with your dominant hand at a 45-degree angle to your head.
Start Shaving. Using smooth strokes, begin shaving from the center of your head downwards, following your hair growth. Use your free hand to support the skin and keep it from moving. Use two fingers, place them on your temple, and tug down gently when shaving around your ear to keep your skin taut. When shaving the back of your head, tucking your chin to your chest will make it easier and give you a better shave.
Rinse often. After every pass, rinse your safety razor with warm water to remove hair clippings and excess shaving cream or gel.
Shave against the grain (Optional). Shaving opposite your hair growth gives you a closer shave but increases the risk of razor burn, razor bumps, and scalp irritation. Proceed with caution.
Clean and Dry your Razor. Once done, rinse and dry your safety razor and store it in a dry and ventilated area.
With a Cartridge Razor
Check for Dull Blades. Before you shave your head bald, use new and sharp blades.
Hold Your Cartridge Razor Correctly. Use your dominant hand to grip your cartridge or disposable razor firmly but not too tight. Keep your razor at a 30-degree angle to your skin.
Shave with the grain. Begin shaving toward your hair growth using light and steady strokes. Applying too much pressure is unnecessary; just let the blades glide smoothly. Shaving against the grain will give you a closer shave but make you more prone to razor rash, bumps, and skin irritation. Fold your ears as you make a pass to avoid getting cuts.
Rinse the blades. Run your blades through water every few strokes to remove the built-up gel, cream, hair, and dead skin.
Check for missed spots. If you missed some spots, re-apply shaving cream or gel and make a pass again.
With an Electric Shaver
Start Shaving. Shave your head using circular motions if you're using rotary shavers or in one straight direction using a foil shaver. Shave in the direction of your hair growth, starting from the front and going to the back of your head. Remember, shaving against the grain may cause skin irritation.
Take Your Time. Use slow and gentle strokes while shaving, allowing the sharp blades to do their job. Avoid slight pressure, especially if you have a sensitive scalp.
Wash blades after numerous passes. After numerous passes, wash blades with cool water to remove hair clippings, excess cream, and gel.
Check for missed spots. Run your hand along your smooth dome and check for missed spots. You won't get all hair on the first pass. Make a second pass on missed areas until you get an even shave.
If you prefer to dry shave, you can still use an electric shaver, but never dry shave your bald head with a safety razor or cartridge shaver. You can pull off a dry shave with an electric shaver if you don't have sensitive skin like me. If you also have an older model electric shaver, it may not be waterproof, so you have no choice but to do a dry shave.
No matter which shaver you choose, our post-shave aftercare is similar for shaved heads.
Shower or clean the shaved area with cool or cold water to close your pores, and remove excess hair, shaving gel, or cream. Towel dry once you're done.
In the quest for a smooth shaved head, choosing the right razor matters. Whether you choose a safety razor, cartridge, or electric shaver, we hope our guide helps you in your head-shaving journey.
Whatever razor you use, remember to prepare, use the proper technique, and do aftercare to achieve the best irritation-free shave possible.