Going bald is one of the more scary times in a man’s life. You may even remember they day you found out you were one of the many man who will inevitably lose their hair. Whether it was hairs on your pillow in the morning, or hairs in the sink after styling your hair.
For me it was the latter. It was my 21st birthday. I had just finished putting gel (yep, gel) in my hair, ready to go out and celebrate when I was stopped dead in my tracks as I went to wash my hands. There was more hair on my hands to wash off than hair product! I managed to cling on for over a decade, but eventually, the time came to break out the clippers and do what every balding man should be doing: buzz it short, or buzz it off.
Like you, I was scared. Would I look worse? Would I still be able match with anyone on dating apps? Would I only be attractive to older women? Would people think I was in some way inferior to men with hair? Mean? Dumb? All of these thoughts went through my head, as they probably went through yours. Fortunately, almost none of these negatives came to fruition once I started buzzing my hair. Turns out, a shaved dome is a powerful, sexy look that many women really like and many men respect. Forget all the preconceptions you may have about your head shape, body type, or personality: there is no better look than for a balding man than a buzzed or completely shaved head.
Start with clippers
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably decided you need to do something about your hair. You probably know you need to shave it off. However, you’re still hesitant. You’re worried about the logistics, the hassle, the effort.
Fortunately, you can alleviate a lot of these worries if you start with clippers. With razor blades, you’re probably thinking: will it take too much time? Will it cost an arm and a leg? Will I cut myself? All valid questions, all avoidable by starting with clippers. Not sure what clippers to get? We reviewed the best 4 clippers on the market for balding men. Our personal favorite is the Wahl 5-Star Balding Clipper.
Using clippers offers multiple advantages over the good ole fashion razor blade:
- It’s easier and faster — A simple hand-held mirror and a couple minutes is all it takes to shave your head with clippers, day one. Guys who’ve been shaving their heads for years have got it down to five or so minutes with a regular razor, but it takes plenty of experience to get to that point.
- It’s safer — With a high quality clipper specially designed for shaving down to the skin or close, you can get a nearly skin-tight look even with a safety guard. (That’s part of why we love the Wahl Balding Clipper)
- It’s cheaper — If you take care of your clippers, they will last you for years. Compared to the cost of switching razor blades constantly, not to mention shaving cream, Clippers are a far more cost efficient way to keep your dome looking sleek.
- Shave before you shower — The best results with clippers come before a shower, not after. This makes it much easier to clean up after: just jump in the shower! Shaving your head with a razor is best done after the shower, which then means another round of tedious clean up.
Another great thing about starting with clippers is that they give you some more options if you haven’t fully progressed to “horseshoe only” (Norwood 6+ in proper hair loss terminology). If you’ve still got some hair in the front of your head, you can try clipping the sides down almost bald while keeping the top slightly longer: it gives an illusion that you shave your head ‘on purpose’ not ‘because you’re balding’. Keeping some color variation on the front of your head also helps frame your face.
Even if you’re mostly bald or fully bald, in conjunction with some facial hair, you can get away with keeping the areas with hair short, but not completely shaved. Celebs like Jason Statham pull this look off to great effect:
This look is pretty much impossible to get without using clippers.
Using clippers is easy: If you use a guard, before the shower, go over your head with them, check with a hand held mirror that you hit every spot, and touch up if necessary. It’s really that simple. We recommend showering afterwards to get rid of ‘sticky’ hairs.
If you aren’t using a guard, it may take a little bit more practice not to accidentally cut yourself. Be sure to use the clippers as you would with a guard (i.e. running smooth metal part that connects to the teeth parallel to your skin).
Lastly, make sure to take good care of your clippers by rinsing them after each use and oiling them after every couple uses.
I’m ready to go down to the skin
If you know that down to the skin is the way to go for you, that’s great. You’ve made the decision to own it, which in itself is hugely valuable. In that case, you’re going to need to get into a routine and put in the effort to learn how to shave your head quickly, efficiently, and safely.
Good lighting and a hand-held mirror a must to start, as well as, obviously, a quality razor blade. We like the second generation of the classic Mach3, the Mach3 Turbo, but feel free to use the blade your comfortable with for your face.
Unlike clippers, which are best used before showering, shave your head after the shower if you’re using a razor blade. At the very least, put your head under warm water in the sink for 30 seconds or so.
Then, apply shaving cream or soap (our preference is generally shaving cream) and run a pass with the grain and another pass against the grain.
Finally, check to make sure you hit every part of your head, rinse all the shaving cream and hair off (we recommend using cold water), and apply moisturizer and or aftershave if necessary.
There may be other options
If you’re here, you probably determined, like yours truly and millions of other men, that going short or bald is the best way to combat losing hair. We think for most men it is. However, it is no longer the only option. Medical options like Propecia and Rogaine do slow and even reverse hair loss, if you’ve caught it early enough. Hair transplants are improving every day, and for some men, a hair piece or hair system might could be an option. Fortunately, you don’t need any of these expensive options, because shaving your head will probably do the trick.
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