The shaved head is a popular look right now, whether you are bald-by-choice or just playing with the cards nature dealt you, shaven is sexy. Now, we said shaven (as in totally shaven) – so if you still have that Friar Tuck halo or a receding hair line, just go ahead and take it all off! You will look considerably more confident, a man truly comfortable in and with his own skin.
Bald is Bold!
One of the most popular looks right now is the shaven head with the accent beard (or chic stubble or mustache or you get the picture). As we let our facial hair grow and shave our domes instead let us not forget that dermal care is extremely important for skin that is scraped threadbare with a razor daily (or as we recommend, every other day).
Whether you are rocking a beard with your shaved scalp or going the completely hair-free route this look is guaranteed to turn heads.
Take Care of Your Scalp
Appropriately, like all good looks, this one requires more upkeep than you might initially think. You may not have to fuss with that hair anymore but now in its place is an abundance of skin that must be properly taken care of. Shaving can be just as damaging to our scalp as it is to our face, so we need to treat it accordingly.
When we shave, we are basically scraping a layer of skin off with our stubble and this can be extremely harmful to our scalp if we don’t treat it. So, we have put together the end-all-be-all guide to scalp care for the shaved head.
How to Care for the Shaven Skull
Scalp care is not completely different from normal skin care,but there are some additional actions that we all want to take to make sure our dome is taken care of.
Shampoo and Condition that Bare Scalp!
We know it sounds strange but this is actually one of the most important steps you can take to ensure your scalp stays healthy looking and especially flake free. Shaving can dry out your skin at an abnormal rate, and most body soaps contain ingredients that will only dry out the skin more.
Why is plain ‘ol soap such a nightmarish product for your scalp, though? Soap has a different pH level and is usually formulated for tougher skin that won’t dry out as easily. It may contain ingredients like lye or strong fragrances that can irritate your scalp, and it may even make your scalp break out in a pimple fest. Since you probably don’t have enough to artfully arrange it over any spots or rashes (and even if you did, that’s definitely not a recommended choice), you should stick with the stuff that works for everyone.
When your scalp gets dried out from soap or just from the seasonal itchiness, you may notice flaking. Besides it being just another reason not to use soap on your scalp, it’s unattractive and uncomfortable.
You can reduce flakiness with the following steps:
• Moisturizing. Whether it’s a scalp crème or a conditioner, you’ll be a whole lot happier if you’ve got a clean, clear scalp.
• Address scalp problems as they arise, and use products that correspond to your scalp situation. If you have a scalp that’s slightly more oily or is prone to irritation, use shampoos formulated for oily scalps.
• Try an ingrown hair serum if you’re bald by choice. The one I’ve been directed to is by Princereigns, and while it may be marketed towards women, don’t be discouraged. It will improve shaving bumps and reduce dark marks, too.
• Pick a shampoo that is directed toward men’s scalp care (we LOVE Nioxin’s “System 2” Shampoo and Conditioner). These products will not only keep your scalp from excess dryness but are formulated to cleanse the scalp of dirt and oils while rinsing sebaceous glands out as well.
Give Your Head a PROPER Shave
Scalp care starts with a proper shave. If you are in the bathroom butchering your head no amount of post-shave care is going to repair the damages. Now that you have taken a shower, shampooed and conditioned we are ready to shave. And because we know how stubborn men can be we have provided you with an easy play-by-play for shaving your head.
- Always shave post-shower: this ensures your hairs are at their softest, and your pores are open, making the shaving process smooth and reducing the likelihood of razor bumps.
- Get a hand mirror: don’t go all cowboy on us, nobody can see the back of their head unaided – so get a hand mirror and use that to help you see in the bathroom mirror what exactly is going on back there. This might take a little coordination, but we have faith in you! This is important.
- Use a pre-shave oil: this is a great way to prepare your skin and stubble for a healthy close shave, just rub a small amount on your head as soon as you exit the shower. We recommend something with Tea Tree oil as a main ingredient.
- Apply a shave lather or shave soap: while those cans and gels are convenient there are better products for your skin (we recommend Pacific Shaving Company Natural Shaving Cream for the lather or Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Soap).
- Use that mirror: we already told you to buy one, now to emphasize its importance we are telling you to USE IT when shaving the backside of your skull. This is so imperative if you want to prevent razor bumps, nicks or outright gashes. You are not as omniscient as you think!
- Shave with the grain: when you are first starting to shave your head go WITH the grain, shave this way for a couple of weeks to gauge how your skin reacts before shaving at a 90-degree angle to the grain (we never recommend shaving completely AGAINST the grain, 90-degrees is the go-to slant for a close and clean shave).
- Cold water: once you are completely finished shaving splash cold water (and we mean as icy as you can stand) all over your head to wash away the excess shaving lather and close up those dome pores.
- Skin Care!
Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize!
We told you how shaving can dry out your scalp, and you already know how important it is to moisturize your face, so why should your head be any different? Post-shave is the perfect time to moisturize too, just make sure to choose something without alcohols that will burn and irritate (and dry out!) your scalp (we like the Bulldog Original Moisturiser).
Protect Your Head from Harmful UV Rays
Just as you protect the skin on your body from the sun’s rays you must protect the skin on your head. Think about it, your head is directly facing the sun, front and center – the same way your ears and the tops of your feet get more sunburned at the beach, the top of your head is more exposed and prone to UV damage. Protect it! We recommend using at least an SPF 30 on your head, even if you only use SPF 15 on your face because of this direct exposure.
Repair and Restore with a Night Cream
A night, while we sleep, our body is repairing itself from the exertions of the previous day. Muscle is rebuilding, brain waves are resetting and cells are healing – skin cells especially. It is important to use this natural process to our advantage and supplement our skins normal restorative function with a repairing night cream. This is the cherry on top of the ice cream Sunday that is our scalp care process (we suggest Burt’s Bees Skin Nourishment Night Cream). Only use a very small amount when applying any night cream over your whole scalp, these preparations are much thicker that your usual lotions, so a little goes a long way.Your scalp thanks you!
Another tip: make sure to change and wash your pillow cases weekly to keep them clean – you rest your bald head on them nightly, you don’t want to rest on dirt and oil.
Sport Your Bald Head Boldly!
Now that you have a perfectly shampooed, conditioned, shaven, moisturized and protected scalp wear it proudly! No matter why you have chosen to shave your head, if you wear it with confidence you will wear it well. Don’t cover it up with a hat or a scarf, don’t hide it at all – let it shine (literally)!
Product lines like Bald Guyz are designed specifically with your scalp in mind, so you can’t complain that it doesn’t look great because there are no products available. You’ve just got to do some hunting and testing to treat your scalp right.