Everyone has a unique way of shaving their face, and shaving with a safety razor is no exception. Whether with a brush, bowl, and mug or just the good old fashion barber shave, we can all agree that a good shave is necessary, even when shaving your head.
However, doing a head shave can be tricky. A regular shaving routine is slightly less intimidating since you have a mirror that gives you a front-on perspective on the situation. Shaving your head, however, requires more confidence. You must be sure you’re removing every hair evenly and without causing unnecessary irritation to your scalp.
For most men, a perfect head shave means a tight stubble-free shave as smooth as a baby’s bottom. However, how do you shave your head with a safety razor and achieve such greatness? We will let you know.
Just as every cut on your face is different, so are the ones on your head. How you prep your face before you shave, is different from when you prep your head. So, if you’re planning on doing this the first time, here’s a step-by-step guide to shaving your head with a safety razor.
When you’re preparing to shave your head, it’s easy to forget that every man’s skull is different. Also are the mannerisms of a person wielding a razor. After all, two heads aren’t always the same shape and size. For any close shave, you must prep with knowledge and precision from your face to your head.
Therefore, preparing your skin for shaving is vital to get the best results. You take a blade to your head every time you shave, so preparation is critical if you want smooth skin without razor bumps or redness afterward.
Cut It Down to Size
You don’t have to go crazy with a straight razor and become a barber. When you intend to use a safety razor, you should start buzzing your hair down if you have long hair.
Beginners make the mistake of leaving their hair long and getting away with it. However, that hair will clog your razor, making it harder to shave consistently (or at all). Therefore, you can’t do a perfect head shave with the risk of cutting yourself or irritating your skin further.
If you slightly trim your hair and think that the hair is still long, then chances are you will end up with some stubble and probably have to take more time with a razor.
We recommend using clippers because taking off small amounts of length is the way to go. The more you trim down your hair, the less likely you will develop razor burns or ingrown hairs.
Shower With Warm Water First
In our experience, the best way to shave is to wet your face and hair before you begin. Then, you can shave against the direction of growth in one stroke. If you don’t wet your hair, you will need to slide your razor over your skin, trying to pick up all the hairs in one go. This way, you might end up with cuts and irritation.
Therefore, taking a hot shower before you shave is the quickest, most comfortable, and most efficient way to get in the mood for a morning shave. Believe it or not, it can help you achieve a smoother shave.
To make the process smoother, you can use a high glycerine-based soap to wash your head and face.
Oil up Your Scalp
The purpose of pre-shave oil is to soften the hair while providing a protective layer that allows the razor to glide across your skin easily. This is not an optional step in the wet shaving process; you should use it every time.
Two or three drops of shaving oil will keep your scalp from further drying due to lathering. While purchasing a good shaving oil, you should only opt for a pre-shave oil that is non-comedogenic, meaning it will not clog your pores. There are options in the market that can help you with dandruff and dry scalp problems.
The Perfect Lather
Before you pick up your safety razor and start shaving your head, you need to lather your head perfectly. We divided the process of forming a slick lather into three simple steps, which you can achieve with a shaving soap or cream. On that note, you don’t need to apply canned gels, foams, and brushless creams.
Load up Soap Lather
Although brush choice does not affect the results critically, you need to choose a larger-sized brush for enjoyable and easier shaving. A brush with a size of 28-30 mm knot in your desired boar or synthetic badger will do the job.
Recently, synthetic badgers have made significant strides, and shaving enthusiasts take them as the best badger brushes available. Before using a synthetic or boar brush, you should wet it and load it on the soap surface. You can go about 100 swirls for a perfect soap lather.
While at it, you might notice a mess with the soap, but the soap will load well in your brush. However, when using a cream, you can add an almond-size dollop to your shaving bowl and then wet your brush and load it there.
Whip It Well
Making soap lather is similar to making whipped cream. You should add enough air volume to the lather as per its capacity. When you notice tiny bubbles in the soap, the lather is ready. Also, a healthy sheen is a sign that your soap lather is well hydrated.
Add water slowly while making the lather to save yourself from the trouble of taking away the extra water. Then, swirl your brush in the bowl and develop a healthy and fluffy lather. If not, you can skip this part and paint it right on your head and face.
Cover It On
Instead of gently stroking the brush on your head and face, you should not be afraid of working the brush on your skin. By doing so, you will not only further enhance the lather but also the hair will stand up. Also, using a brush on your skin will exfoliate the dead skin cell on your scalp.
Most importantly, you must cover your scalp and skin nicely and thoroughly. When you finish the first pass, you can place your brush in a scuttle or a bowl for the second pass. That will save the lather for another use. Now, you are geared up to choose your weapon.
Select Your Weapon
The combination of razor and blade you choose is more or less related to having a nick-free head shave.
The Razor Head
We recommend you choose a safety razor head having a head geometry with a milder side. While most beginners might be tempted to use a slant razor, we don’t suggest it. It would be better if you pick a guard bar razor. Overall, you should stick with a mild razor and select a blade suitable for your skin.
The Razor Handle
It will help if you opt for a razor with a shorter handle because it will be easy to grip while you maneuver your head. We prefer a razor handle with a little heft because heavy handles enable you to use the razor skillfully.
The Razor Blade
Do you ever wonder why your head-shave results are not as close as your face-shave? Well, the answer is in the blades. Your head has more hair, and it’s tougher to cut out, so you need a bit of a sharper blade to get a closer shave.
Choosing a safety razor blade can be confusing. There are many kinds of razors available – not only from different companies but even models within a company.
We recommend double-edge safety razors, which cost just a few dollars. On top of being more convenient, they get a much closer shave and are less likely to irritate your skin.
You can find double edge blades at many online stores. Although you can shave your face five-six times with a blade, doing so is difficult for a head shave. Shaving your head with a blade wears it out much more quickly than repeated face shaving.
After all these preparations, you are now ready to shave your head.
Here are some tips for getting a smooth and shiny bald head.
Start With the Points Clear to You
You must get all the nooks and crannies when cleaning up your head. You can get all the obvious parts while holding a mirror. If you are worried about the hard part of your skull, the back side, you can do it afterward.
You already know how painful and awkward it can be to try a new razor or blade with missing patches of hair. So proceed with the extra time to get rid of the excess hair and ensure you don’t miss any spots.
Don’t Hesitate to Use Your Other Hand
You must ensure that you are using your other hand to stretch your skin. Doing so will help you tactilely feel for areas of your head that need more shaving.
Reduce the Stubble Slowly
It is best to work across the grain when shaving your head for the first pass. If you go against the grain, you’ll have a rough time with your skin being much more sensitive when you shave.
However, you can shave against the grain; that is much easier. You can do this if you have a specific area you need to remove hair from.
To understand what I mean by “with the grain,” you must know a little about how hair grows. Hair grows from its follicle in the opposite direction of your skin.
Soothe Your Scalp
Just as your face needs to be calmed after a shave, your scalp needs to be soothed too. Why? Well — if you shave, then you understand this — it’s all about shaving with a razor and creating the perfect treatment afterwards. Not everyone knows how to do this perfectly, however, which ends up causing some pretty bad skin rashes.
For this, rinse the shaved area with cold water, so the pores are closed, and the skin becomes tight.
Later on, you can apply alcohol-free post-shave products. A great aftershave balm will soothe your skin, preventing it from burns. Furthermore, it will also neutralize any bacteria that might attack your scalp. Notably, you can use a natural antibacterial ingredient like witch hazel or tea tree oil.
Having a clean shave is very important, but getting a smooth shave isn’t always easy. You may get bits and pieces of missed stubble that gross you out. It can happen to anyone, even the best-looking men in Hollywood.
Shaving is like cooking; you won’t get it right the first time. It will take a few attempts to get the right technique and skill level, and that’s okay.
To get as close and avoid cuts, you should take special care to prevent ingrown hairs. This means using sharp razors or blades, avoiding pulling the razor across the skin, and ensuring that you are careful in other areas, such as regularly moisturizing and ensuring the area is clean.
We hope this article has helped you to save yourself from nicks and cuts. Finally, be careful with the choice of razors and blades, and do not forget to post-care your perfectly shaved head.