How to Shave Your Head Completely SmoothWritten by Advice Team on March 20, 2017
There are many reasons why men might choose to shave their head; fashion, lifestyle, experimentation or to mask a naturally balding crown. According to studies, men with a fully shaved head appear tougher, stronger, taller and more authoritative than their glossy haired counterparts, so what are you waiting for - now’s the time to embrace your bald!
How to Shave Your Head Completely Smooth
Ask anyone who’s ever done it, they will tell you that shaving your head completely smooth isn’t quite as easy as it might first appear. It’s difficult to reach much of the area that you’re shaving, you can’t see what you’re doing and the spherical shape of your head makes it difficult to work with. Therefore, it takes time and experience to do a good job, but be patient and take your time and you will get there! Here's our comprehensive guide to achieving a great head shave and maintaining a perfectly naked dome.
Getting Started Shaving Your Head
Before you reach for your razor or shaver make sure your hair is a workable length - stubble at most. Any longer than a few millimetres will clog the razor and will cause drag and pull. If your hair is longer than this use a set of electric clippers designed specifically for the head, such as the Babyliss Smooth Glide or Philips Do-It-Yourself Hair Clipper first, to reduce the hair to a manageable length. Both of these clippers will take hair as short as 0.5mm which is the ideal starting point for a perfectly clean shave.
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The Babyliss Smooth Glide includes a dual blade cutting system for multi-directional self-hair cutting and an ergonomic handle designed to fit into the palm of the hand for ease of use even across the back of the head.
The Philips Do-It-Yourself Hair Clipper boasts a 180 rotating head, providing you with total control over the clippers angle, so you can turn the head to reach even the most difficult areas with ease.
Head Shaving Tools
Choosing the right head shaving tool for you is extremely important since you’ll be doing it quite often. As with everything in life, the tool you choose is a matter of personal preference but whichever route you choose to go down, the number-one thing to remember is to go slowly and work methodically. By going slow and not jumping all over the place, you have the best chance of achieving a great result, all over.
Clippers Clippers are normally reserved for cropping rather than balding but there are a handful of clippers on the market that have been specifically designed for removing hair right down to the scalp. If you’re looking for a hair clipper to achieve an (almost) completely bald head shave, look no further than the Wahl Balding Professional Hair Clipper.
Featuring zero overlap surgical blades which are not found in regular clippers, Wahl Balding Clippers basically cut as close as you can to the scalp without cutting the skin. They also benefit from a powerful V5000 oscillating armature motor that is twice the speed of pivot motor clippers - that’s pretty powerful! The Wahl Balding Hair Clipper stands apart as a specialist device, able to deliver as close to a smooth, stubble free cut as you will find.
For a more multi-purpose clipper and something you may recognise from your barbers, check out the Wahl Classic Super Taper. This can be used without a comb for a close finish or with depending on requirements.
For something on more of a budget, check out surprisingly capable and well liked the Remington ColourCut.
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Electric Shavers Electric shavers are more convenient, safer and comfortable to use than a razor. Although some men would argue that you can’t get as close a shave, with some careful prep and informed decisions, a quality electric shaver will get pretty close performance-wise and will satisfy most men.
Shaving your head is different to shaving your face - not only is the size and shape completely different, you can’t always see what you’re doing and you have to reach behind your head in a pretty awkward position. Taking into account these differences, the best choice of shaver will be able to cover large areas of surface and conform to the spherical shape of the head.
Generally speaking, most electric shavers can be used to shave your head even though they’re not specifically designed for it. Therefore don’t discount using your current shaver or looking for a versatile model that can be successfully used for both your face and head.
Like with shaving your face, the choice of foil or rotary depends entirely on your individual choice. For a great head shave you want to be focusing more on capability and technical spec than anything else. That doesn’t necessarily mean top of the range but it must have a fast motor, plenty of power and multiple cutting heads that can move independently and easily conform to the surface that’s being shaved. Here’s our top two:
Benefitting from a 4 blade cutting system that forms a large shaving head, ideal for covering large areas, and a 14000 RPM motor speed, the Panasonic ES-LV65 Arc5 is a top of the range electric shaver and is one of our best-sellers. Packed with high-performance technology, you'll achieve the most comfortable, closest and smoothest of shaves every time.
A rotary shaver has the advantage of using circular motions when shaving, thus covering larger areas in less time. The Philips Series 3000 Dry Electric Shaver is a great option. Boasting a combination of the Flex & Float system with CloseCut blades, it is reasonably priced, has contour-following capabilities and three cutting heads that adjust to the contour of skin for a comfortable and smooth shave.
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If you are using a cartridge razor (as opposed to a double edged safety razor, cut throat or straight razor), then pick one with three to five blades and a flexible head, for closeness and safety. The more blades the less need there is to go over any area more than once which will help prevent irritation, and the flexible head will move and flex to the contours of your head. Just like when you shave your face always use sharp blades and adopt a proper pre-shave routine.
We recommend using a quality pre-shave oil such as King of Shaves Alpha Oil to create a protective barrier between the blade and the skin. This will help the razor to glide smoothly and evenly and will keep your head hydrated and moisturised.
If you have particularly sensitive skin or are susceptible to razor burn follow up with a shaving gel or cream for an additional layer of protection and extra comfort. Simply warm it up in your palms and apply evenly, working it into the scalp.
It’s very important to shave with the grain of your hair, as you would on your face, which reduces drag and prevents painful ingrown hairs. The skin on the head is naturally taut but gently move your head around and pull the skin tight, especially around the ears and back of the neck to avoid unnecessary grooves and creases.
Once you have completed the shave rinse your face with clean, cold water as it closes the pores, and pat your head dry with a soft towel. If you have given yourself a nick treat it with an alum block to stop the bleeding and help heal the skin and finish with an alcohol-free aftershave balm or cream to rehydrate and condition your skin.
As with all forms of shaving, there is sometimes slight irritation post shave. This is normally an indication that you passed the blade over your scalp too many times, or that you were pressing too hard, so go a little bit easier next time.
How Often to Shave Your Head
How often you have your head depends on how fast your hair grows and how ok you are with a bit of stubble on your scalp. Unless you’re super concerned about showing any stubble, we wouldn’t recommend shaving your head more than every two or three days, as you will increase the chance of skin irritation, razor burn and ingrown hairs.
Basically, you should treat your bald head exactly the same as you would your face. Use a facial wash to keep the skin clean and conditioned and follow up with a moisturiser designed for the face such as King of Shavers SuperShield to protect and nourish.
If you are new to being bald-by-choice remember that a freshly shaved scalp is especially vulnerable to sunburn, cancer, age spots, and wrinkling. Wear sunscreen or a hat if you’re going to be in the sun for any length of time as sunburn to the scalp can be very painful.
When maintained properly, a cleanly shaved head can look great, not to mention the coolness factor and the practical side of things, so give it a go! Not convinced? Check out our 5 top benefits of shaving your head.