About the Author: Jason P. is a Dappered devotee, having curated the majority of his wardrobe through the site. He is an enthusiast of wool sweaters, chino pants, and affordable automatic watches. In his free time, you can find him at his boxing gym or antiquing with his wife.
Balding sucks. The moment your hair starts to thin, you know it. You begin to worry that everyone around you knows it too. I first started thinning out around age 23. I was standing in line at the grocery store, and the cashier made a comment along the lines of, “I started losing mine young, too,” as he pointed to my head.
Gradually, the issue worsened over the next four years through a combination of genetics and stress. I decided enough was enough.
Buzz, buzz, I took it all off.
First things first: It’s important you don’t stress yourself out over it. It’s just hair, and while it does play a weighty role in your overall style, there are remedies for it that are far cheaper than hair growth pills. Buzzing/shaving will save you a ton of money. You can forgo the bi-monthly barber shop trip AND the pills (and, the side effects that come with those pills).
As a significant bonus, you’ll eliminate the very source of unnecessary stress: the (thinning) hair itself.
Basically what you’re gonna look like. So, time to take it off.
So, embrace the bald. Some of Hollywood’s most notorious tough-guys rock the bald head. Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, even John Travolta (after what appeared to be many misguided attempts to avoid it) pulls it off now. Shaving your head can increase your tough-guy quotient. A shaved head says “I’m confident, and I don’t care what you say.” Measured confidence is attractive and powerful, and visually creates an aura of strength.
That being said, it can be daunting to look in the mirror and think about shaving it all off. Here are 5 tips and tricks I’ve learned that helped me start, and keep me confident that it’s the best style for me.
#1. It’s just hair. It will grow back if you hate it.
“All things regress to the mean” is a common phrase among statisticians. At least the ones I know. Unless you’re far down the path toward baldness (think George Costanza), your hair will grow back in a few weeks if you hate the shaved look. It isn’t permanent, at least not yet.
#2. Open those pores! Then close them.
This goes for shaving any part of your body, but a shave is best done post-hot-shower when the heat and steam have allowed your pores to open. Opening your pores allows for a closer, more relaxed shave (read: less irritation). Equally important is closing your pores afterward. Splash your head with cold water immediately after your shave and before using any post-shave balms. I like to hop back into the shower and take a quick cold rinse, or use a wet cold towel. This has the opposite effect: it closes your pores.
#3. Start with a tight buzz, not a baby-smooth shave.
Taking a razor straight to the dome for your first few times is ill-advised. There’s a lot of surface area that you need to shave by feel rather than by sight, leaving a lot of potential for nicks and cuts. I recommend using a corded trimmer without a guard to bring the hair down as close as you can without resorting to a razor and cream. This is still my preferred method, as it gives you a shaved, but not shiny bald look. If you decide later your prefer the Mr. Clean? (note, do not use magic erasers on your head, we’re just referring to his look here,) then you can shave it smooth.
#4. Equipment matters.
Mentioned above, I prefer a corded electric trimmer for my weekly shaves. It provides more consistent, stronger power than a battery-operated trimmer. It should come with a long enough cord that you can make it work with whatever outlets might be in your bathroom.
Taking care of the skin post-shave is just as important. Make sure to get yourself a good after-shave. Whatever you’re using for your face will work for your head. I recommend something WITHOUT alcohol and WITH moisturizer to keep the skin from drying up. My go-to is this balm from Nivea.
#5. Take your time, and make time.
Be the tortoise, not the hare when it comes to buzzing off your hair. This is a process involving blades either against, or very close to your skin. Take your time.
Because you’re going shaved, your hair growth (or lack thereof in certain spots) will be more noticeable. Make sure you’re shaving at least once a week to keep things tight and trim. I shoot for twice a week. Remember, even if you’re taking your time, this is a far quicker hair cut than any regularly scheduled barber visit. My process takes about 10 minutes in total.
And that’s it. You can do it! It isn’t rocket science, but it can be world-changing for your look if you commit.