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When you’re going for that bald look, nothing beats the close shave you’ll get with a safety razor. If you’ve tried shaving your head in the past, and ended up with uneven patches or razor bumps, this guide is for you. If you’ve never attempted to shave your head bald, this guide will save you from the struggle of trial and error.
For an unbeatably close shave, step away from your disposable razor and use this guide to learn how to shave your head like a pro.
First thing’s first – trim your hair short
Safety razors can handle longer hair than disposable and cartridge razors, but you’ll get the best shave by buzzing your hair with electric clippers first. If your hair is a lighter color and blends into your scalp, you might want to shave your head with a #1 guard rather than no guard. Leaving a little bit more hair on your head will make it easier for you to see where you’ve already shaved.
Set up a system or mirrors that allows you to see your whole head
If you’re lucky enough to have a mirrored medicine cabinet that you can manipulate to view your entire head while you shave, use it. If not, get a hand mirror so you can check out your head as you go.
You’ll need to shave a good portion of your head without looking, if you want to keep the skin pulled tight. Having a handheld mirror will help you check in on your progress all around. If you feel like you need to see your head the entire time, get a cheap mirror from a department store and mount it on the wall opposite from your main bathroom mirror. Otherwise, get a fogless mirror specifically made for shaving.
Take a hot shower
Just as you’d take a hot shower to prepare for shaving your face, a hot shower is essential for wet shaving your head.
Skip the body wash and wash your head with moisturizing soap. Body wash will dry out your skin, and you want your head and hair to retain as much moisture as possible. Soaps with glycerin are an excellent choice, since glycerin is a powerful humectant.
Use a hot towel
After your hot shower, place a hot towel on top of your head for a couple of minutes to keep your head warm while you dry off. You can get soak the towel in hot water from your shower and then wring it out.
Use pre-shave oil or butter
Regularly shaving your head can dry out your skin over time. If your scalp is dry or you have dandruff, pre-shave oil will help keep your head moisturized and give you a smoother shave. Take a couple drops of oil or a dab of butter, and rub it into your head after your shower.
Whip up some slick lather
When you’re shaving with a safety razor, it only makes sense to lather up with shaving soap. Shaving creams aren’t all bad, but there’s something fun about whipping up a good lather from shaving soap in a bowl.
If you usually lather up directly on the puck, consider using a scuttle for this particular task. You can get more volume in a bowl, and the more volume you get, the slicker your shave will be. When you lather directly on the puck, you’re constantly adding more soap, which makes it harder to get enough volume. Since the hair on your head is thicker than the hair on your face, you need significant volume to get a smooth shave.
Make more lather than usual
Shaving your head will require a larger quantity of lather than shaving your face. Swirl your brush around your shaving soap about 100 times to get enough soap on your brush. In your scuttle, or bowl, start whipping up that lather like whipped cream. Remember to add water slowly since you can’t remove it. Some people prefer to create the lather directly on their head. Try it – why not?
Once you’ve got a rich, creamy lather, it’s time to paint your head.
Paint your head with your lather
With your brush, work the lather onto your head, covering every hair you can from ear to ear and down the back of your neck.
Use a closed comb safety razor
The best safety razor to shave your head with is a closed comb safety razor. If you can use a razor with a shorter handle, that will help, too.
Choose a blade that works with your skin and hair type. Some blades are sharper than others, but not everyone needs the sharpest blade. Everyone’s skin and hair is different, so choose the blade that works best for you.
Once you’ve got your razor ready, it’s time to start shaving that head!
Shave the areas you can see
Start shaving the areas of your head that you can see. You’ll get a feel for what it’s like to shave head hair with a safety razor, and this will make the rest of the process easier.
Use short strokes to keep pressure consistent. If your blade seems to become dull, don’t increase the amount of pressure. Replace the blade instead.
Shave with the grain first
Like any good shave, start by shaving with the grain. Relather, and shave from another angle. Work across the grain from several directions before shaving against the grain.
If you really want to improve your head shaving skills, try shaving your face with the opposite hand. You’ll develop muscle memory, and the next time you shave your head, it will be easier.
Use a fresh blade for each shave
Unlike shaving your beard, using a safety razor to shave your head puts more wear and tear on a razor. You can get between 5-7 face shaves from a single razor, but use a fresh, clean blade each time you shave your head.
Take it slow and be patient
Learning to shave your head with a safety razor takes time and patience. Don’t rush it. Enjoy the experience, and don’t be surprised if people start rubbing your head for good luck!