When I saw Hollie’s post about growing long hair, I thought it was a good idea to write about the “other side” of the story, as a person who maintains the shaved-head look. I aim for this to be a quick overview rather than detailed instructions. For this, I might use my wiki.
I started losing my hair when I was in my 20s. I went through a buzz-cut period, and when it was over, my curls never came back. It didn’t bother me too much; I was more comfortable with less hair to worry about anyway. No Rogaine for me.
Going to the barber stopped being a thing soon afterward. It didn’t make sense to go for a 10-minute 30-dollar buzz-cut I could do on my own. Over the years, I gained more practice and experience. Today I can shave my head with my eyes closed - literally - since I’m blind as a bat without my glasses which I need to take off for this.
Every morning I wash my face and head with chilled water. I focus on the eyes (gently, no rubbing) and then bring water up over my scalp. I do this about 2 - 3 times. Besides waking me up, it also washes away the natural skin oils on the scalp. Our scalp produces much more oil than the rest of the skin, one of the reasons a shaved head always looks so shiny.
When I leave my apartment, I always have a head covering: a beanie for the winter or a military/army cap style hat for the summer. A hoodie/coat with a head cover also works well. I take the head covering off to get some sun on my noggin, but only briefly. Usually for short walks of no more than 10 minutes.
Shaving is the main star of the show, isn’t it? I used a basic Remington trimmer for years but discovered a better alternative: a head shaver. I currently use a Pitbull Skull Shaver which I got as a gift, but it’s not the only one out there by any means.
Shaving takes me no more about 5 minutes with the Pitbull. The most important thing about head shavers (of similar models) is cleaning the shaving head. While not too complicated, this is a multi-step process I’d have to break down further at some point. Here’s a quick picture of the components set up in the sink:
The blades are the star-shaped parts at the bottom, with the guards laying upside down above. Once placed within the guards, the four razors go into the head’s front (upside down on the sink’s rim, next to the Skull shaver body), and are locked into place with the white plastic holder you can see next to the blades.
I clean the shaving head about twice a month. The blades cut the hair almost to dust, so I first open the head carefully over the toilet for the hair to fall down and then place the parts over a wet paper towel in the sink to catch the rest. I use pressurized canned air to clean the hairs in the groves. When I’m done and the head is assembled, I let the shaver run inside a shallow mixture of strong rubbing alcohol (over 90%) and water for about five minutes; this helps remove more hair and oil from the blades.
Cleaning the shaver like this allows me to use one shaving head for over 4 months. I shave my head twice to three times a week. With a price tag of $40 for a new shaving head, I give myself a haircut for a fraction of the price it would otherwise cost me at the barber.
Shower and soap
There’s this assumption that bald people don’t need to use shampoo because they have no hair. Not true. Most daily-usage shampoos (conditioners aside) are intended for scalps, not hair. I use shampoo (or Heads and shoulders when it’s dry). Sometimes face soap, which is gentler on the skin.
I shower after shaving my head to clean the hairs that are left, then shave the temples and above the ears with a razor. I also have a Nose/ear trimmer to finish off the pesky hairs above the ear, where using the razor is too dangerous. Don’t let the name of this trimmer make you uncomfortable. It’s very useful to catch hairs around your lips (if you have a mustache as I do) and eyebrows as well. It’s very affordable and worth every cent.
Sharing something as intimate as shaving on a blog feels somewhat odd. Even now, as I’m writing these words, I feel self-conscious. It’s important to share this information then as practice.
As well, there’s still baldness shaming going around. While this never bothered me and I always felt comfortable joking around, I know that for some, this is a sensitive issue. I hope this post helps somewhat.
Thanks for reading, and let me know if you’re interested in more details. I could expand on this process in my wiki.
✴️ Also on Micro.blog