Erik's Guide to the new Head Shaver

Discussion in 'Head shaving' started by ChemErik, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. ChemErik

    ChemErik Mr. Personality

    As head shaving is really gaining in popularity and the number of head shavers here is growing, I thought I'd put together a basic guide for head shaving newbies.

    Should I shave my head?
    So, you're considering shaving your head. But will you regret it? What will it look like?

    Going totally smooth up top certainly isn't for everyone. Those of us who do shave our heads have a variety of reasons. Never having to worry about hat hair, not showing off that receding hair line, having more area to shave, etc.

    Many had serious concerns before that first shave also. How much time will it take? (I add 10 minutes a day to my shave) How will my head look shaved? What will other people think?

    Some things you many not have considered:
    • You'll need to wear hats and/or sunscreen more often. As cool as a shaved head feels, skin cancer isn't cool at all.
    • Your hair will keep growing, so you'll need to shave your head as often as you shave your face. For ladies and men with beards that's somewhere from every day to every 3 days depending on how clean shaven you feel you need to look.
    • Unless you have a fairly oily scalp, you need to moisturize you scalp.
    • Think about the shape of you scalp. Let's be honest, some people's heads look better shaved than others.
    • People are more accepting than ever of a shaved head, at least on men. I think similar acceptance is following for women. Since the most common reason for head shaving is a response to hair loss I expect a shaved head will always be more common on men.
    • You never have a bad hair day!
    • Your body cools much more efficiently when exercising.
    Only you can decide if shaving your head is right for you. Hopefully I've given you appropriate things to think about.

    Shaving the First Time
    So, you've decided to go through with shaving your head. Now, how do you do it?

    First, you wanT to get your hair as short as reasonably possible to start. The easiest way to do this is with a set of hair clippers. If you don't own one, you might be able to borrow one or you can go to a local barber shop and get it done. If clippers are not an option for some reason, a pair a hair cutting scissors can do the job, though less effectively and with more effort.

    Now that you have super short hair, your ready to shave. I recommend starting with a warm shower to soften the hair, but just splashing warm water on you head for a few minutes or using warm wet towels can work just as well.

    For lather, you can use whatever you use on your face or go for head slick. If you don't use a brush, I'd recommend you definitely go with the head slick rather than anything out of a can.

    For youR razor, I recommend you use something you're used to shaving with or a head blade. You're going to have to shave parts of you head without being able to see what you're doing, so it's not a time to learn how to use a new razor unless it's a fool-proof razor. The head blade is the most popular razor for head shaving. It's a cartridge razor with a handle that has wheels that roll along your head as you shave maintaining a proper angle and giving easy control. If you're used to using a DE that is fine also, though I'd recommend using a more mild set-up than you typically use on your face. The hair on your head is easier to cut and the scalp can be more sensitive on some. You can look at the setups women here are using to shave their legs – the same combinations seem to work well for head shaving. As an example, my personal favorite is a Fatboy on 3 or 4 (rather mild setting) with a Crystal Personna.

    Lather your head the same way you lather your face. I personally like head lathering (like face lathering) with a shaving brush and a shaving soap as it feels wonderful to me. This step is mostly personal preference so long as you get a good protective lather applied.

    When you get to the actual shaving you'll be looking at a one or two pass shave. For me I do one pass on the top where my hair is really thin and two passes on the sides and back. On areas where your hair is thin, you can do a single, ATG pass with no problems. Where hair is thicker, start with a WTG pass and follow-up going ATG. Fold down your ears while shaving around them and be careful – ears bleed easily. Also, remember to rinse your razor frequently.

    Post shave most people will want an aftershave. Advice here is similar to what you use on your face, though you might want a little more moisturizing on your head. If you are spending time outside and don't wear a hat, be sure to use sunscreen. Moisturizing facial sunscreens seem to work best.

    Other Resources
    Ask questions and read threads here at TSD!
    Brotherhood of Bald People – a group of people with bald heads both by choice and unwanted.
    Head Blade – Home of Headslick, Headblade, and related products.
    Sly Bald Guys - Forum with the motto "This is the place where bald guys rule!"

    Feel free to add your tips below.
    Mike Brown, priest2705 and Nick A like this.
  2. Dridecker

    Dridecker Sherlock

    Great informational write up Erik! :happy096
    Mike Brown likes this.
  3. Jamazar

    Jamazar Member

    Good Info!
  4. DesertTime

    DesertTime Well-Known Member

    Great post. Informative and well written.
    I never thought about head shaving before but you make it look interesting. Maybe it's something everyone should try?
  5. ChemErik

    ChemErik Mr. Personality

    Thanks to everyone for the nice comments.
    Dennis - not everyone, but for many of us it's a good option. If I had a nice full head of hair I don't think I would have shaved it, but I'd rather shave than to show a balding head, wear a tupee, or have hair restoration surgery. In fact, now that I've started I rather enjoy head shaving. It's a decision everyone makes for themselves.
    Mike Brown likes this.
  6. alabamalawyer

    alabamalawyer Member

    Nice write up. When my hair started getting noticeable thinner, I began cutting it closer and closer with clippers. When I finished up all the guard lengths, I switched to balding clippers and then a razor. My wife much prefers the shaved head look to what little hair I would have, if grown out.

    The note on sunscreen is an excellent reminder. Since I have been shaving my head, I daily use Jack Black's Double Duty Moisturizer on my head. It has an SPF 20 which is sufficient for me, as I work indoors. If you work outside you will probably need something with a higher SPF.
  7. ChemErik

    ChemErik Mr. Personality

    How heavy of a moisturizer is the Jack Black? I tend to be a bit oily, so look for light moisturizers and sunscreens and have a hard time finding good ones.
  8. Batmang

    Batmang New Member

    I agree that it's not for everyone. I was balding at top when I started using the clippers. I had been using the clippers with no attachments for years and used them once a week or so because I felt that it would be too much work to shave my head. Since I gave it a shot about a year ago I find that I enjoy it very much ( the feel of the brush and all...) and shave about every other day. It's not all that much work and it seems worth it to me. I tend to shave my head at night because it adds about 10 or 15 minutes to morning ritual and I get up early enough as it is.

    Good luck and have fun.
  9. alabamalawyer

    alabamalawyer Member

    It is the best I have tried. It is not too heavy, but it is a moisturizer so there is some weight. However, it absorbs quickly and doesn't have any of the "sunscreen" smell that most of them have. The scent is truly not noticeable.
  10. ChemErik

    ChemErik Mr. Personality

    Sounds like something I'll be trying. This time of year I wear a hat all the time, but come March I expect a few days warm enough I don't need one. I'll buy a bottle before then.
  11. Gambrinus

    Gambrinus Member

    Hey guys. I've been shaving my nug for about 7 years. LOVE it. I still rub my head constantly after I get done. Hopefully I will be trying out the Safety Razor world soon. Just wanted to add a website to check out.
    Look up Sly Bald Guys dot com (nospaces) I don't have enough posts to put up links. There are a few old school shavers on there too.
  12. ChemErik

    ChemErik Mr. Personality

    I'll add it to the OP. I did a quick look around and it looks like a decent site.
  13. oliveology

    oliveology New Member

    A very common problem in head shaving is when the cream/gel runs into your eyes.
    You have to carefully select a gel that wont irritate you eyes.
  14. ChemErik

    ChemErik Mr. Personality

    I've never had this issue using lathering creams or shave soaps. What cream / gel have you had this issue with?
  15. blugill

    blugill New Member

    I'm BBC (bald by choice) going on a couple years now, I had a full head of hair, but for the last 30 years wore it in a buzz cut. Had long hair till around 20 years old and just got tired of keeping up with it. As in ChemErik's posts, its not for everybody, but was a great choice for me. Using a HeadBlade in the shower or in front of the mirror is the way to go. HeadBlade is an awesome razor for head shaving. I would recommend shaving your head if you are at all thinking about it. A clean shaven head looks and feels great ! IMO. HeadBlade Sport + HeadSlick Shave Cream + Your brand of Witch Hazel + What ever else you wanna put on it = Head Shaving Perfection !
  16. m0j0j0eman

    m0j0j0eman Active Member

    Erik, I didn't see, but what razor do you use on your head?
  17. Dridecker

    Dridecker Sherlock

    :signs011: Although he might have changed it since his original post.
  18. ChemErik

    ChemErik Mr. Personality

    Fatboy is still my favorite.
  19. Nick A

    Nick A Active Member

    It's a good write up, but I'd never shave my head. Got a couple indentations on the back of my skull...
    GDCarrington likes this.
  20. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    Down in Texas we call those indentations, "Knuckle Bumps!"

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