One of the more optimistic beliefs about going bald is that less hair means less maintenance. This is true in some senses — a decidedly hairless noggin does mean less money and time spent on haircuts and styling. But unless you can live with a head carpeted with random hairs and skin flakes, you still need to put in some effort. Find out what that should consist of below.
You clicked on this article, so you should already know that even the baldest of the bald have to deal with random hairs here and there. Good thing we once had a lesson in dome shaving from Tyree Hicks, a dude who has shaved his own head more than 1,560 times and counting. Here’s a paraphrased version of his advice:
- Trim down the bulk with electric clippers.
- Take a hot shower, cleaning your head with soap and water.
- Apply either shave lather or shave butter to your whole scalp.
- Shave with a fresh razor, employing smooth, long strokes.
- Pay special attention to the area around the ears.
- Rinse away any loose hair and excess shaving cream.
- Run your hands over your head, and shave any fuzzy spots you find.
- Drape a hot, wet towel over your head for a few minutes to prevent ingrowns.
- Slap on a soothing post-shave cream.
Now you have a smooth dome piece! Sweet!
This is a big one: Bald people should still use shampoo and conditioner, as these products are just as much for the scalp as they are for the hair. Shampooing and conditioning, even a completely hairless head, can remove gunk and promote a healthier scalp — and if you have some stubble up there, these products can help reduce prickliness between shaves. Similarly, when your head feels extra gunked up, you can use a scalp scrub to remove any buildup. Moreover, the act of massaging these products into your scalp skin increases circulation and blood flow, which can improve both the look and feel of your skin (and it just plain feels good).
Having hair helps the scalp retain moisture, so bald dudes should lather their domes with a decent moisturizer once a day to prevent dryness and flakiness. Not only will this improve the look of your scalp, it should also reduce itchiness. Dermatologist Anthony Rossi also suggests using skin oils: “They moisturize well and give a good shine, too.”
Which brings us to a divisive topic among bald dudes: Shine. Sure, if you prefer a more polished appearance, go ahead and use those oils. But if you want to reduce the extent to which your head shines, you need to control the natural oils your scalp produces, which is where shampoo and scalp scrubs come in. Facial wipes are also useful for the occasional discreet wiping of the scalp. Meanwhile, avoid products that cause dryness, since they can encourage the production of more natural oils, and use a non-greasy moisturizer to keep your moisture levels up. Finally, shaving with the grain — in the same direction as the hair grows — can leave a small amount of stubble that can reduce shine.
I feel obligated to remind everyone of the dude who went viral when his scalp sunburn made him look like a literal alien.
To avoid terrible situations like this, Rossi says, “Guys forget about their head and the tops of their ears, so they really need to use SPF and wear a hat constantly.” He specifically recommends applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and then reapplying for every two hours spent in the sun. Not only will this help prevent skin cancer, but Rossi also says constant protection can reduce the appearance of brown spots and hyperpigmentation. “We see so many old guys that have so many spots on their scalps from years of being weathered and sun-beaten,” he says.
There you go, hairless peeps. If anything, remember, if you take care of your bald dome, your bald dome will take care of you.