For those of you who know me, or have seen a photo of me, it’ll come as no surprise to find that I shave my head. And I’m not just talking grade 1 every now and then to avoid hassle, I mean I full on wet shave that bad boy with a razor (scary stuff, trust me).
I’ve been doing it for a while now and really it’s for three main reasons. Firstly, it reduces my hassle when getting ready. My hair was never that great when I had it, so it’s a joy to get out of the shower and my head already be dry. Secondly, when I first took the plunge, it seemed like there was a lot of focus on guy’s hair looking this way or that way and I decided to just do the exact opposite. I suppose it’s still the same now and there’s part of me that still likes being different, especially in a fashion environment. And lastly, I was losing my hair.
Yup, losing my hair. In my mid-twenties. What was up with that? Now there’s different degrees of balding – mine was simply thinner hair on top and a receding hairline, which made it difficult to do anything even resembling the latest hair trend. There are others out there who may have a particularly high hair line (the dreaded five finger width) or are fully down to just back and sides.
Either way, I’m here to tell you that if you are losing your hair, a bald head is always better than a balding head. I learned that from Michael Jordan, son.
To be honest, I could go into the scientific reasons as to why guys lose their hair but why bother? Most hair loss specialists can’t really agree on one particular reason, and I’ve always been sceptical of a pot-bellied scrawny armed dude telling me he’s losing his hair because he has an excess of Testosterone. If that was true, where are your muscles, lean waist and high sex drive mate?
The first step in tackling most issues in life is acceptance – understanding that it’s just how your body is and embracing it.
The next step is analysing what’s really going on. If your hair is just beginning to thin, the chances are you may not need to go the full monty like I have. If you ask your barber, I’m sure he’ll agree that simply a shorter, neater hair cut will do the trick [Read through Rob's superb articles in our hairstyle section, where he provides tips for men in such situations].
However, if you’re fighting a losing battle and parts of your hair have started to drift apart like continents in a sea of flesh, it’s time to cut your losses. Literally.
Before we start, here is a collection of famous men who have fully embraced their balding or rock a completely shaved head. From actors such as Bruce Willis, Jason Statham and Sir Patrick Stewart to artists such as Common and even high profile model Tyson Beckford (who isn’t even going bald), it just goes to show that a close shave can work for a variety of men – no matter body type, skin colour or any other excuse you may still be holding on to:
If you are going to start shaving your head then you need to get your hair as short as possible beforehand.
Get your hands on a pair of clippers that will allow you to shave your hair down to a minimum of grade 1. If you have particularly long hair, try a grade 4-5 first and then a grade 1, to make sure you get everything even and neat. If you can get it shorter to a 0.5 that would better, as the less hair the better the shave.
Take a deep breath and get shaving! My preferred method is a wet shave but I have tried electronic as well. If you are going to use an electric shaver then make sure it’s a good quality one and that you take your time with it. I suggest either Philips or Braun and small circular motions with the blades.
However, if you are going for a wet shave then make sure you have a fresh pair of blades. I recommend shaving your head while standing in the shower because the hot water will actually help open your pores making it easier to do.
Sure, it can take awhile to get used to but seriously, you know where your head is right? It shouldn’t be that hard to figure out. If it is however, then do it once out of the shower with a good quality shaving gel, going first with the grain and then against as you would with any other shaving routine. I tend to start with the top of my scalp and then do the back and sides.
Top Tip: Invest in one of the razor pits shown below – they sharpen your razor blades to remove dullness and grime, providing you with the perfect close shave every time and prolonging the effectiveness of your blades.
Once you’re done, wash with cold water and then apply a moisturiser. I actually find that aftersun from Piz Bruin works best for me, but many of the shaving products Duncan has recommended before will also work to calm the skin and reduce irritation.
Then, using a hand held mirror, check out your handy work looking for any rogue hairs or patches that may have been missed, while bearing in mind you will need to include your neck hair in this shaving routine too. Otherwise, you’ll just look weird.
I’d also say that, considering you now have no hair on your head, other areas of maintenance will have to begin too – such as nose, ear and eyebrow hair. With these now being your only source of hair, it will be much more noticeable if they aren’t trimmed and tamed. You can buy a nose and eyebrow trimmer for around £20 these days, and will work wonders in improving your appearance.
Finally, you are free to experiment with facial hair, but don’t use it as a crutch or to over-compensate. I would personally recommend becoming completely comfortable with your new appearance before starting to grow your beard out.
Perhaps one of the most common article requests we get here at FashionBeans is how to dress as a bald(ing) man. The reason we have never covered this before is because the answer is exactly the same as if you had hair! The fact that you are still conscious about having to dress around your shaved/bald head suggests that you haven’t fully accepted it yet – which, as Matt pointed out, is the very first step to getting a handle on your personal style.
For those of you who were hoping for a miracle technique – like wear a loud neckerchief and it will draw their eye-line down – you have come to the wrong place. There are no special tricks or illusions for working with a bald head, just embrace your body and dress how you want to dress, like these men prove below:
For those of you still not convinced about the advice above, take a look at Milan Vukmirovic. For those of you who haven’t heard of him, he has worked alongside Tom Ford at Gucci, been creative director at Jil Sander and Trussardi 1911, and a superb fashion photographer.
He also happens to be one of the most stylish men I have ever laid eyes on, one of the most papped men by street style photographers across the Globe and, you guessed it, going bald.
However, take a look at how this little fact doesn’t influence his personal style at all. He is almost chameleon like in his outfit choices, going from formal to smart-casual to on-trend with effortless ease.
Finally, note the importance of his attitude and demeanor – just by looking at these photos I can tell he has rock solid confidence and is completely comfortable with whatever he is wearing. Just goes to show how embracing your personal situation is just as important as the clothes you wear:
Inspired By Milan:
So there you have it guys, a little advice on what do to if you are going bald and have been considering shaving your head, from guy who’s been there before. Sure, you could try out medical treatments, and there’s even a product called Regaine that you can use, but that’s a rather expensive option compared to this one. You could instead put all that money towards clothing and developing your personal style.
Besides, nearly all these treatments always have a side effect that involves your junk – and when it comes to choosing between my junk and my hair, guess which one I’m picking?
And trust me on this one, once you have shaved it all off, you’ll be surprised at the freedom and confidence it will give you.
Why not tell what you think in the comments section below?