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How to shave your head with a razor and avoid bumps, cuts, and dryness

By Edited Aug 24, 2016 1 3

If you're reading this article and are contemplating actually shaving your head bald with a razor, you probably fall in to one of two categories:

1. You've never sported a chrome dome and you want to try it for the first time.

2. You've shaved your head before with an electric shaver, but you want to get the closest shave possible.

No matter which category you fall into, you may be trigger-shy because you have sensitive skin or curly hair and you're worried that you will get razor bumps or cuts. I too once had these concerns, but found a regimen that works very effectively. The following are some guidelines that you may want to consider if you ever decide to put your noggin on display.

Things You Will Need

-Shaving cream
-Moisturizing gel
-2 mirrors
-Electric shaver (optional)

Step 1

man shaving

The following steps outline a very conservative approach to shaving your head. Try these first, but as you get to know your scalp better, there are some steps that you may be able to get away with avoiding while still getting the desired results (a quick shave and no bumps or cuts).

Once you're ready to shave it all off, the first thing that you want to do is start with hair that is already relatively short, maybe within a day or two of a close shave with an electric razor. The shorter your hair already is, the cleaner your razor blade will be which allows you to make longer strokes, and you'll have a quicker shave. If you were in the first category above, you probably already have an Andis T-Outliner lying around, and if not, you should get one. This is what they use in the barbershops, and is a very worthy investment if you like to keep a low profile.

Step 2

If you decide to begin with a day or two of stubble, you should at least use the electric razor to get the closest shave possible on your neck and around your ears. These places, especially the neck, tend to be sensitive areas on most people's head, so you want to treat them delicately until you know how your scalp will react to a razor blade.

Step 3

Next, moisten your scalp and hair by either taking a quick 5 minute shower or by rinsing your head with water and gently massaging it with a wet cloth for a good 5 minutes. This is very important for those with curly hair because this will soften your hair, making it less likely to curl up and grow back into your skin in between your next shave, which can cause razor bumps.

Step 4

While your hair and scalp are still wet, lather up your head with a generous amount of shaving cream. You can use the same shaving cream that you use on your face, or you can use shaving cream that is specialized for shaving your head. I've had success with both, but prefer to use Head Slick Shave Cream.

Step 5

razor blade

Now you're all ready to shave your head. I've never gone high-tech with any of those 4-blade razor gimmicks or anything like that. I absolutely swear by the dispensable Bic Sensitive razors. They're cheap, and they get the job done. Otherwise, you may want to start with the same blade that you use on your face if you're more comfortable with that. You can get the closest shave by going against the grain, but if your head is sensitive, that could be an invitation for razor bumps. Trust me when I say that your shave will still be plenty close by going with the grain, so I would recommend shaving with the grain, either for starting out, or long-term even. Take strokes up to as long as the length from your forehead to your crown, and rinse the blade after each stroke. It's ok to use multiple strokes in one area, but you should try to minimize this as much as possible. Remember, you can avoid your neck and around your ears since you already shaved this area with an electric shaver. When it comes to shaving the back of your head, it works will if you can stand between 2 large mirrors that are facing each other. If nothing else, you can easily use your bathroom mirror along with a small hand mirror that you can hold in your non-shaving hand.

Step 6

When you're satisfied with your shave, either towel-off or rinse off your head, based on your preference. Next, you'll want take care of your scalp with some moisturizing gel. This will keep your skin from drying up, and can help produce a nice natural-looking shine. This is a case where I would avoid traditional after-shave and to seek out something specific for scalps. I know that Bald Guys makes a pretty good gel, but there could be other decent ones available too.

All done!

Now you can sit back and admire your newly shaven head. Anyone can shave their head, but the ultimate test is what happens in the next one to two days. Hopefully, you won't have gotten any razor bumps or overly dry skin. If you're satisfied with the results, feel free to shave your head as often as daily once you're used to it. Every-other-day is a pretty good frequency too, and most other people can hardly tell the difference in the look if you're one of those people that wants to spend as little time grooming as possible.

If you continue to use this method, you can consider eliminating certain steps to get the quickest shave possible. For example, if your neck or the area around your ears isn't sensitive, you can avoid shaving that area separately with an electric razor, and just shave your entire head with a razor blade. Also, you may discover that you can get away with just a quick rinsing of your head instead of taking a shower or using a wet cloth. Also, you may find out that you don't need to shave with the grain. In that case, you may want to follow a stroke pattern similar to that used by the man in the video from this other helpful article.

Tips & Warnings

If you've never worn your hair short, it's a good idea to gradually work your way down to a bald hairstyle. This allows your scalp some time to get a nice tan as it becomes exposed more; the last thing you want is a pale head that stands out. Also, you don't want to discover that you don't like the shape of your head or that you have dozens of unsightly moles that you never knew you had on the day that you shave all of your hair off. Lastly, the gradual route also alleviates the shock value from going from a full head of hair to a shaved head. Depending on your own personal preference (or that of a significant other), you may want to allow others a chance to get used to it as well.


Jan 1, 2010 12:51pm
Such a comprehensive guide. I think I shall give the advice a miss though lol. This hairstyle is very fashionable these days.
Jun 28, 2010 12:34am
very well done article with well explained and easy to understand instructions. A+!
Mar 17, 2011 12:35pm
For me, those disposable BIC razors really hurt my skin, but have had better luck with 4+ blade razors.
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