The Guy’s Grooming Guide: 11 Tips for Shaving Your Head for the Very First Time
Embrace the clean-shaven look
Shaving your head for the first time in the face of thinning hair or a balding scalp? Read this!
Shaving your head for the first time. Look and feel your best doing it.
Style Girlfriend reader Zeke asks:
I’m 28 with hardly any hair left on top, and when I see an awesome outfit on your site (or elsewhere), I often find myself saying, “That looks great… but I’m going bald.”
That may just sound like insecurity talking, but I guess I’m just unsure whether things like glasses, hats, facial hair, or even general style are accentuating the fact that my hair is going.
Are there any guidelines out there for how a bald guy can adapt his style, or should the rules for someone like me be just the same as any other guy? Thanks!
First of all, we salute you. Hanging on to a few strands of hair is rarely a great look. It takes confidence to truly commit to a hair-free head, and I’ll share some tips on shaving your head for the first time below. Thankfully, you’re in good company. A few very sexy action movie stars rocking clean domes come immediately to mind, like Bruce Willis and Jason Statham.
Now, when I first saw this question, I thought about how many Zeke’s must be out there.
Guys who have the same question but are too embarrassed or ashamed to ask it at all. Because I bet a lot of guys wonder what a woman’s attitude is towards a bald or balding guy – especially one in the prime of his dating years. Whether it’s the first thing we notice. Whether it, hmm, shall we say...impedes attraction. If it’s the first thing we tell our girlfriends when describing you. “He’s nice, but…he’s bald.”
Well good news. It’s not. It doesn’t. And it isn’t.
Without drawing total equivalency, because I don’t assume to know what it must feel like to be a young guy who’s lost his hair, but please know that us ladies get waylaid by insecurities, too.
All the time.
If I looked at women’s fashion magazines and told myself I couldn’t pull a look off because I wasn’t as thin or tall as the model, well…I’d be spending a lot less on clothes, because I’d be walking around naked constantly.
More good news: The style rules are the same for bald guys as for anyone else.
Do you think The Rock wears neutrals on top so as not to draw attention to his dome? No chance. He wears whatever the hell he wants because he’s The Rock and can do no wrong.
Since we’re among friends here, I’m going to level with you. And I’m trying not to worry about coming off as superficial because Style Girlfriend is all about the value of putting effort into your appearance, so I’d say the ship has sailed on sometimes coming off superficial – is that if you’re going to embrace a bald head, make sure you’re fit and dressed well.
That’s right. If you are bald and in shape and wearing a killer outfit, a woman will look at you and see YOU. If you are bald with bad posture and dressed like you’re trying to hide, a woman is more likely to look at you and see a guy who appears to have given up. But if you’re here, you’re as far from giving up as…some athlete who doesn’t give up. I don’t know, guys. Sports aren’t really my thing.
Another don’t: Don’t try to distract from your glistening dome by going obnoxiously flashy with your look.
No rhinestone studded shirts, no crushed velvet blazers, no peacock-feathered fedoras.
Really, no peacocking in general, guys. And that goes for every guy, not just the bald ones! That just means, go with what we’ve been saying here at SG all along. Dark rinse, straight leg jeans. Nice shoes instead of sneakers you mow the lawn in. Skipping sandals in general. Buying clothes that fit your frame closely – that don’t squeeze your figure, or, alternately, that hang loosely off your frame.
As for your own dome, Zeke…we say shave it!
That’s right, own it! You don’t have to buzz it totally bald necessarily, but keep it close as you feel comfortable with. Don’t hide it under hats unless that’s 1) the only way you feel comfortable and/or 2) your job allows for constant hat wearing. Kenny Chesney, for example can get away with wearing some kind of hat over his totally bare head all the time because, well, he’s a rock star.
That occupation, of course, is not quite the norm (such a tough economy these days and all, you know). As such, it’s probably in your interest to figure out a way to come to peace with your pate because, unless you’re about to go on a stadium tour, the omnipresent ten gallon hat is probably not a viable option.
Hopefully, knowing that this woman doesn’t mind helps. At least a little.
If you’re ready for shaving your head for the first time, learn how to make the most out of this game-changing leap.
Below, 11 tips for shaving your head for the first time
1. Shave post-shower.
Advances in blade technology have helped smooth the way for your shave, but you still want to help things along where you can. Your hair will be at its softest after you step out of the shower, meaning you’ll need to use less pressure to get the job done—lessening the chance of razor burn and noticeable cuts.
2. Use a shave gel (not cream)
The right shave gel offers a make-or-break moment: Choose well, and you’ll reduce your chances for razor burn and improve the quality of your shave. A clear, unscented shave gel will feel best for sensitive skin and allow you to see where you’re headed.
3. Get a good view.
Make sure you’re working in good lighting with mirrors aplenty. A knick on your face doesn’t feel great, and it’s not any better on the top of your dome.
4. Shave in the direction your hair grows
A basic grooming tenet that plenty of people (including us ladies!) forget: always shave in the direction hair grows—not against it, even though that sometimes feels particularly satisfying.
Going against the natural order of things can lead to razor burn.
5. Develop a shaving schedule
Even short hairs on your head block sunlight. For the pale-skinned among you, you will want to avoid shaving the day after getting a lot of sun. Otherwise you’re looking at a tan neck and a spectacularly pale scalp.
6. Invest in moisturizer with SPF, or a separate sunscreen
A good moisturizer is a key part of beating dry skin on your scalp. Shaving your head for the first time means you have a whole new region to keep safe from the sun.
And protecting yourself from UV rays is important all over your body. Look for a product that does double-duty, for one-and-done hydration and skin protection, like this one from CeraVe.
7. You still need to wash your hair
You might have thought you were done with shampoo and conditioner. Not so fast. These products are specifically formulated to be more moisturizing for your scalp than standard soap, which can be drying.
Meaning? Shampoo every time you shower, and condition at least 2-3 times a week, following with a pre-shave gel to prep the skin before your big shave. We know it seems weird, but trust us.
8. Keep your scalp extra-hydrated in extra-dry weather
Argan or tea tree oil can offer extra-moisturizing properties during dry, inclement weather. Basically all winter long.
9. Treat dryness fast
Slipped up and feeling the burn anyway? Razor burn on the scalp can be painful for up to a week. Whatever you do, don’t scratch. That can lead to infection and even more headache.
Instead, treat razor burn with a topical hydrocortisone, and don’t shave again until your skin is no longer irritated.
10. Use Sunscreen.
Every morning. Scalp, ears, neck, face. Look for a scalp-specific sunblock, which is formulated not to run into your eyes, which can be annoying.
11. Hold your (shaved) head high.
Once you’ve committed to shaving your head for the first time, own it! Don’t hide your light under a bushel—or in this case, a fedora or baseball cap.
At least, not all the time.
Remember those action heroes we talked about before? They always get the girl in the end, so channel their movie star confidence with pride!