When worn with style and confidence, a clean shaved head can be a bold, powerful look for men. It’s also relatively low maintenance once you get the hang of it. And it’ll save you money on trips to the barber. But if you don’t use the right equipment and products, and stick to a regular scalp care regimen, you run the risk of nasty cuts, scars and razor burn. And while you might have the style to pull off the bald head, razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and scars aren’t a good look for anyone. Here’s a quick 7-Step guide to an irritation-free shave:
Step 1: Prep
If this is your first time shaving your head clean, or you’ve been letting it grow out for a while, you’re going to want to cut it down to size with clippers before you get to the razor. Make sure your clippers are nice and sharp and crop your hair down using the smallest guard comb (No.1 or 2 should be good). Depending on how long your hair is, you’re going to want to step down gradually. If you go in with the No.1 guard on a full head of longer hair, you’re going to rip your hair out and irritate your skin. So start with the longest guard possible and move down from there.
Just like with shaving your face, it’s much easier to shave your head after a steamy shower. Take a nice hot shower and wash your hair and scalp to get it clean of any oils.
Find a shaving cream that’s good for darker skin tones, preferably something that contains Green Tea. Green Tea is loaded with antioxidants that fight inflammation. This will go a long way in helping you avoid razor burn and skin irritation. Lather it up using your hands or a badger brush and work into your hair and scalp in a circular motion. You don’t want it to just sit on top of your hair so make sure it gets down into the scalp. Some people like to let the shaving cream sit for a few minutes before shaving to let it soften up the hair further.
Make sure you’ve got a sharp, clean razor with at least three blades. The skin on your head is very sensitive, so a dull razor will give you a head full of razor burn (not a good look). Where you start is up to you, but it’s a good idea to have a plan. Either start with the front/top, or start with the left or right side, and move on from there. It’s good to have a game plan going into it, so that you avoid having to go over the same spot twice. But whatever you do, don’t start with the back. The back of your head usually has the coarsest and thickest hair, so best to save that for last. While you’re shaving, don’t apply too much pressure, that will irritate your skin. Shave with the grain of your hair and let your razor do the work. You should also avoid pulling and stretching the skin, as this can cause razor bumps and ingrown hairs.
Once you’re done shaving, splash some water on your scalp and pat your head dry with a towel. Then find a non-abrasive, alcohol-free aftershave to soothe the scalp. Products that contain Black Tea and/or Glycolic Acid are a must if you’re worried about razor bumps and irritation. These are both natural astringents that will fight inflammation and razor burn while toning your skin and maintaining its natural pH balance.
Once you’ve toned and soothed your skin with a natural aftershave astringent, it’s time to moisturize. An antioxidant rich moisturizer with vitamin C will help keep your skin fresh and even, while boosting your body’s natural immune response to razor burn. Simply rub a small amount into your scalp, just as you would on your face.
Step 7: Establish Your Routine
It’s common to encounter some minor scalp irritation after shaving your head, especially if it’s the first time. To prevent irritating your skin, you might want to wait two or three days before shaving again. At least until you get a sense of how your scalp is responding to shaving. But in-between shaves, make sure you are still washing and moisturizing your scalp daily.
If you follow these tips and maintain a regular shaving regimen, you’ll be on your way to a fresh, clean and razor bump-free scalp in no time. Ready to get shaving? Browse our selection of natural-based shaving and skincare products to find the perfect items for your head (and everywhere else) shaving needs.