There comes a time in every balding man’s life when he must accept that divorce proceedings between his hair and scalp have reached decree absolute. It’s time to remove what little hair is left, and move on.
It’s a big decision, but being bald needn’t hold a man back, nor affect his attractiveness – the inclusion of guys like Billy Zane, Jason Statham and Vin Diesel in numerous ‘sexiest men’ round-ups proves that. What’s more, a baby-soft bonce is incredibly low-maintenance, saving you a small fortune in styling products.
That doesn’t, however, mean no-maintenance. To keep your dome looking decent, you’ll want to ensure it’s smooth, shine-free and well-protected from sun damage. Here’s how to do it.
Be A Smooth Operator
Shaving your head isn’t that much different from shaving your face, chest or any other unmentionable parts you might want to keep smooth: you just need some good equipment, the right technique, and a little bit of patience.
Firstly, if it’s your first time and you still have some hair left, then use clippers to cut it to the shortest length possible before shaving – trimming before deploying your razor will save you unwittingly starring in your very own horror film later on.
Next, the shave. ‘Good’ equipment (in case you were wondering) is exactly the same stuff you use to shave your face, i.e. shaving cream, razor and aftershave balm. Although you might – considering how uneven the surface of the average scalp is – want to try a razor like Gillette’s Fusion Proshield with Flex Ball technology, which provides maximum glide and greater manoeuvrability and should, when wielded with a steady hand, get the job done in fewer strokes.
If you find a regular razor fiddly, though, you could try HeadBlade’s ATX All Terrain Scalp Razor – a nifty piece of kit that’s been specially designed for scalp-shaving and is shaped so you can hook a finger through its chassis for ease of use.
Finish off, as you would when shaving your face, with an aftershave balm to calm the skin and kick-start the healing process. Clinique For Men’s Post-Shave Soother is a good option as it’s fragrance-free, absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave behind a shiny residue.
Since nicks and cuts are highly visible on bald heads, it’s also worth having a styptic pencil to hand to instantly stop the bleeding and help seal any wounds.
Moisturise, But Stay Matte
In the same way the skin on your face needs moisturising to keep it in prime condition, the stuff on your head benefits from a little topical hydration, too. Any facial moisturiser will do, but HeadBlade’s HeadLube Moisturising Lotion is particularly good as it’s specially formulated for hairless heads.
It also has a matte finish to ensure your bonce isn’t bouncing light mirror ball-style.
Cut Dead Weight
Much like your face, your scalp needs ridding of dead skin, too. “A common problem is the build-up of sebum – the skin’s natural oil – and dead cells which can lead to blocked follicles,” says Stelios Nicolaou, Aveda Master Barber. “This can be avoided by cleansing and exfoliating the scalp, just like you would the skin.”
Nicolaou recommends applying a face or body scrub to the scalp twice weekly, using gentle circular motions, and making sure to cover all areas from the nape of the neck to the crown and behind the ears.
If that sounds too much like hard work, try a product like Aveda Invati Exfoliating Shampoo, which has been designed to cleanse the skin and exfoliate the scalp at the same time.
It might be tempting to consign your local barbers to history once your hair’s left the building but, according to Mark ‘The Shavedoctor’ Sproston, he’s still worth a visit.
“If you can, try and get your head professionally shaved at least once a month with a cut-throat razor as this will give you the closest shave you can get and, over time, the hair will grow back lighter, making shaving easier at home,” he says.
Have Your Scalp Scoped
“It is imperative to care for your scalp on a permanent basis, even after hair loss, because it can become imbalanced just like the skin on our face,” says Nicolaou. “Various elements like pollution, sun and even a sweaty gym session can create such imbalances, leading to a scalp that’s excessively oily, irritated or dry and flaky.”
If you want to know exactly how your scalp’s doing, Aveda’s free Healthy Hair Service is worth a look – it uses a series of diagnostic tools (including a camera that magnifies the surface of your skin by 600 per cent) to assess the health of your scalp.
Although primarily intended to enable clients to better care for their hair, it’s also a useful tool if you’re bald since it gives you an insight into your scalp oil levels, pore condition and hair density (if you have any remaining at the back and sides). Once the results are calibrated, the salon recommends products and treatments to help improve the condition of your scalp.
Protect Your Pate
Hair is nature’s shield against sun damage so, once you lose it, protecting your bonce should be top priority. “I see a lot of men with skin cancers on the top of their heads that could have been prevented with adequate protection,” says dermatologist Dr. Bav Shergill.
And that protection is particularly important given that – as a study published in Archives of Dermatology (now JAMA Dermatology) in 2008 found – skin cancers on the scalp tend to be more deadly than those elsewhere on the body, partly because we don’t spot them in time.
To protect your scalp in the summer, use a high factor matte sun cream like Dermalogica Oil-Free Matte SPF 30 or Menscience’s T102 SPF 30 Sunblock – or, if you’re planning on spending a day in the blistering heat, take no chances and cover up with a hat or cap.
For year-round protection against exposure to smaller amounts of sunlight, use a moisturiser that contains a sunscreen, such as Anthony Oil-Free Facial Lotion SPF 30.
Don’t Forget The Details
“If you have any remaining hair, it’s important to keep it short and tidy, and to clipper away any rogue hairs which are growing at the top of your scalp, too,” says male grooming expert and professional hairdresser Jason Shankey.
“It’s also vital to make sure that all of the hairs on your ears are neatly trimmed away, because ear hairs become very noticeable when there’s no hair on the head to focus on, especially when there’s a light source behind you!” You’ve been warned.
Categorically not OK with your baldness? Then you might want to think about scalp micropigmentation. A visual remedy for a totally smooth pate, it’s a reasonably straightforward procedure which involves having your scalp tattooed with tiny dots that give the appearance of just-emergent stubble. The colour of the ink can be matched to your hair’s natural colour and careful positioning can create the illusion of a natural-looking hairline.
A full head’s worth, offered by companies like HIS Hair Clinic, costs around £2,000-£3,000. Which is a significant investment but still works out cheaper than a hair transplant. And at least you won’t regret this one like the Metallica lyrics on your forearm.
His Hair Clinic
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