Top Tips to Care for a Bald Head
Bald is beautiful!
Well yes, there is no doubt that it can be, however you do need to look after your bald head properly to keep it at its beautiful best.
After all, just because your scalp is bare, it doesn't mean that you are immune from dry, flaky skin, sunburn, irritation or ingrown hairs, all of which are not so attractive!
Here I have outlined some helpful hints and tips so that you can keep your crown looking at its best.
Tools for the Job
Razor or Electric Shaver?
Obviously the first thing to decide is what you are going to shave your head with; are you a fan of a wet shave with a razor or using an electric shaver?
There are a variety of good, efficient electric shavers available on the market today, and there is no doubt that they offer speed and convenience, whilst requiring little in the way of technique to use.
There are shavers, such as the Skull Shaver Bald Eagle (pictured right), that are specifically designed for shaving the head.
However, if you wish to purchase one, multi-purpose device for shaving the face and the head, we would highly recommend the Panasonic ES-LA63-S Arc4 shaver.
If you opt for the electric shave, make sure that the device you buy is suitable for head shaving and has a very flexible shaver head.
This is key because the closer the blades follow the contours of your head, the more efficient it is and the less need there will be for going over the same area multiple times.
The less passes necessary to complete your shave, the less irritation you are likely to experience.
Some electric shavers can be used wet, with or without shaving creams and foams, particularly useful for the sensitive scalp.
There is no doubt that ultimately, although top notch electric shavers nowadays can be almost as close, you will get the closest possible shave using a manual razor.
Again, I would recommend that you choose one with a flexible head for all the reasons given above.
The HeadBlade ATX All Terrain head razor is specifically designed for the job, with its blades set at the correct angle for the best shave, so long as you keep the wheels against the scalp.
Whatever you choose, you must ensure that the blades are good and sharp to minimize irritation and follow the procedure for shaving your head with a razor, outlined further on.
Our roundup of best shavers for a bald head offers helpful advice and some product recommendations for both electric and manual shavers.
I would always recommend using a pre-shave oil when shaving, especially for sensitive skin, but particularly for the scalp.
When you shave with a razor, as the blade travels across your skin it removes the top layer along with the hair it is shaving.
A good pre-shave oil will help the smooth glide of the razor and give a barrier between blade and skin to minimize the risk of razor burn.
Shaving Soap or Cream
Although the use of your normal soap may seem a quick and economic option, bear in mind that soaps specifically designed to give a good lather for shaving will be less likely to cause dry, flaky skin.
A good quality, moisturizing shaving cream will aid the razor glide and help keep the skin soft and hydrated.
This may seem obvious, but before you start do make sure that, as well as a well-lit bathroom wall mirror, you have a hand mirror so that you can see the back of your head.
It may feel a bit awkward at first, but with a bit of practice it will make life easier -without being able to see it is so easy to miss bits, which is not a great look!
Once you have fully mastered the art of shaving your head, you will probably be able to do away with the hand mirror and just use your hands to feel for missed bits.
I would advise you to steer clear of aftershave lotions with high alcohol content as it will dry the skin.
Ideally, you should opt for an aftershave balm, which contains essential oils to act as an antiseptic but without the dehydrating properties of alcohol-based lotions.
- Hair Length - make sure your hair is down to a very short stubble. If you are shaving your head for the first time, it is best to use a decent pair of hair clippers on their shortest setting to get it ready.
- Exfoliate - regular exfoliation maintains a healthy scalp, prevents dead skin cells and oil build-up and reduces the risk of ingrown hairs and bumps/pimples
- Shower First - it is a good idea to shave your head after you have had a hot shower. This will soften the hair and open the pores, making it easier to shave. Alternatively you could wrap a hot, damp towel around your head to achieve a similar result.
How to Shave Your Head with a Razor
It is a good idea to first use a pre-shave oil if you have sensitive skin, or are shaving your head for the first time, just to give a bit more protection and glide.
With practice you will find the best method to suit you, but for first timers we would suggest the following:
- Start with your head wet, and apply a shaving cream, gel or whatever your preference, lathering up well.
- Begin with the sides and work towards the top, gliding the blade slowly and evenly in the direction of hair growth, pulling your ears down out of the way with your spare hand.
- Be aware that the hair on the head can grow in various different directions, so try to work it out in advance and follow direction of hair growth as much as possible.
- Once you have done the sides, then progress to the top and finally the back, taking your time and rinsing your razor frequently (every 2 - 3 passes).
- When you get to the back of your neck, make sure to put your head well forward to stretch the skin.
- Do not exert pressure but allow the blades to glide smoothly and easily across the skin.
- When you have finished, wash your head with warm water to get rid of surplus shaving creams and oils, and then cold water to close the pores.
- Dry with a towel by patting gently and not rubbing.
- Finally apply a gentle, non-alcohol based aftershave balm.
It is best to only shave in the direction of hair growth to reduce the risk of ingrown hairs and irritation, however shaving against hair growth will produce the closest shave.
We would recommend that if you cannot get the closeness you want, instead of shaving "against the grain" you first try shaving at 90 degrees across the head (i.e. sideways).
Once you have shaved your head regularly for a few weeks and your scalp has got used to the procedure, you can experiment with the method to find the best way for you.
Day to Day Care
The skin on your head benefits from exfoliation in the same way as the skin on your face and body.
Regular exfoliation stops the build up of dead skin cells and oils and leaves the skin clean and smooth so that the razor can glide smoothly across the head, as close as possible to the base of the hair.
This also helps to minimise ingrown hairs, a common side effect of shaving, by clearing the pores of debris to allow hair to grow out freely.
Exfoliating before shaving helps to soften the skin and hair, for a more close, even shave.
The easiest way to exfoliate your scalp is to use a scrub such as Bee Bald Scrub for head and face.
You may think that because you have no hair on your head, you can do away with shampoo.
My advice is think again! As previously mentioned, using a general soap can be drying to the skin and particularly the delicate scalp area.
Shampoos are specially formulated to not only clean the hair but also to look after your scalp and so, although you will need only a small dab to wash your pate, it is a good idea to continue to use your usual shampoo.
If you are sporting a beard to compliment your bald head, as is so on-trend at the moment, you can use the same product that you are using to keep that clean.
It is really important that you do not skip the moisturizer.
It is very easy for a bald scalp to become dry and scaly, so along with regular exfoliation you need to use a good moisturizing cream, especially after shaving.
If your preference is for a shiny look, there are products specially made to enhance the shine, such as HeadBlade HeadLube Glossy Moisture Lotion.
Alternatively, if you prefer a matt look you could try Bee Bald Smooth Plus Daily Moisturizer, which also offers the benefit of SPF 30 Sunscreen.
Now that your head no longer has the protection of a nice thick layer of hair, it will need your help to stay healthy.
The most obvious is protection from the sun. A good, strong suncream is an essential requirement - even when it is cloudy the top of your head is completely exposed to its rays.
Whilst you're at it, don't forget the back of your neck and tops of your ears are also very vulnerable to sunburn.
Even the best suncream is going to struggle in very strong, daytime sunlight, and so we would strongly recommend that you buy a good sunhat, ideally with a bit of a brim to cover the tops of those ears.
Conversely, you are also going to feel the cold much more keenly, especially when you first shave your head, and so a warm, woolly hat, scarf or hood is ideal.
So, to summarize the key points to caring properly for your bald head:
- Whatever you shave with, ensure the blades are very sharp
- Exfoliate scalp regularly
- Use pre-shave oil for sensitive skin
- Use shaving lubricant i.e. cream, gel etc.
- Shave after a shower or use a hot towel or cloth
- Shave in the direction of hair growth
- Clean and rinse with cold water and pat dry
- Use a moisturizing aftershave balm
- Wash with shampoo
- Keep scalp moisturized
- Protect your head from sun and cold