Men’s grooming experts like myself spend so much time writing about how to get a perfectly smooth chin that it’s easy for us to forget that there are lots of men out there shaving their heads too. Whether you do it because you love the look, want to finally come to terms with your hair loss, or are simply bored during a global pandemic (too soon?), having a smooth scalp presents its own set of problems.
Luckily, however, looking after a shaved head is no more difficult than shaving your face. So here’s how to shave, de-shine and protect your scalp in five easy steps.
Before starting the shaving process, you need to prep your skin. Start by wetting your scalp with a little warm water, then apply a finger-sized amount of shaving cream to a shaving brush, lather, and generously coat your dome.
Alternatively, if you like to see where you’re shaving, apply a transparent shave oil like REN Tamanu High Glide Shaving Oil or shaving gel like Baxter of California Beard Line-Up Shave Gel to the palm of your hand, then rub between both hands and apply evenly over your scalp.
If you’re in the habit of letting what hair you have grow between shaves, it would be wise to invest in a hair clipper and trim it back to the shortest length possible prior to the above. This will make the whole shaved head process simpler and faster while also reducing the chance of nicks and cuts.
Take your chosen razor and, starting at the point just below your ear, begin shaving from front to back using long, sweeping strokes, placing each successive stroke next to the last to avoid missing any bits (imagine mowing a large lawn if it helps). You can use the hand you’re most comfortable, though many men prefer to use the left hand to shave the left half of the head and then swap hands once they reach the half way point.
Once complete, push the ears back to do behind them (using downwards strokes), then finish off by shaving around the nape and removing any stray neck hairs.
If you have curly hair – and are susceptible to ingrown hairs – always shave with the direction of hair growth and try to avoid too many passes with the razor for an irritation-free shaved head.
If you want to give your head the once over to check for hair you may have missed apply a little more shave prep, along with a little water, and go over your head with your fingertips – the cream and water combination will make it easier for you to feel for stray stubble. Then rinse your head thoroughly with cool water to remove all traces of your shaving prep.
If you do get any cuts, help them heal quick-time with a dab of Proraso Shave Cut Healing Gel, which is mildly astringent and antiseptic and perfect for treating nicks and cuts whether they’re on your chin or head.
As with your face, you can also give your scalp the once over with an aftershave balm like Muhle’s Aloe Vera After Shave Balm, to promote the skin’s natural healing process and reduce any irritation cased by the razor.
5. Protect and De-shine
With the top of the head a prime spot for skin cancers it pays to protect it on a daily basis with an SPF sunscreen. If you want to protect and prevent shine at the same time, though, why not treat your scalp to Anthony Day Cream SPF 30, a daily-use moisturiser with added SPF that does both?
If you’re going to be out in extreme heat, however, it’s worth upping the ante protection-wise by using a sunscreen-specific product like Aesop Protective Body Lotion SPF50, which offers fantastic protection against sun damage. Better still, grab yourself a hat and protect your head from sun exposure altogether, especially between the hours of 12-3pm when the sun is strongest.
Don’t forget that, as with the skin on the rest of your body, your shaved head benefits from regular exfoliation. So to keep your scalp healthy and happy remove dead skin cells once a week with a facial scrub.