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How to shave your head

Updated on May 5, 2012
A disposable razor works just fine for shaving your head
A disposable razor works just fine for shaving your head | Source

Shaving your head

The "shaved head" look seems to have grown in popularity in recent years. Numerous celebrities and athletes have sported the look and it has become more common. Many men who suffer from balding or receding hairlines now opt to shave their heads rather than trying to hide bald areas. For others, the shaved look is simply lower maintenance and easy to do by yourself at home, rather than paying someone else to cut your hair.

For whatever reason you may have to shave your head, I will discuss how to shave your head all the way with relative ease. The first time you ever attempt this, you may be nervous or apprehensive. The good thing is, other than nicking yourself, you can't mess up! It's not like you're going to cut too much hair off by mistake. So, read on to learn how to easily shave your head and ensure a smooth and painless cut.

Items needed

  • Razor - a disposable will work just fine for this
  • Shaving cream or soap
  • Mirror
  • Electric clippers (to cut longer hair down)
  • Scissors (if beginning with long hair)
  • Styptic stick (hopefully not necessaryl)
  • Post-shave lotion (optional)

Getting started

How to proceed will depend on what you are starting with. If you have hair longer than a couple inches long, you're likely going to need to take scissors to your hair and cut it down to get close to your head. Electric clippers are a good choice for preparing your hair to be shaved. Most electric clippers come with a variety of razor guards of various length. Start with a longer guard if necessary and work your way down closer to the scalp by going to shorter guard lengths. At this point, you can remove the guard from the electric clippers and use them directly on your head, being careful to not nick the skin. This will cut the hair very short and make it ready to be shaved. Shaving your head with a razor (not electric!) while showering is good for several reasons. Just like shaving your face, the heat from the water helps prepare your skin for a better shave. Cleaning up and maintaining a clean razor is simple in the shower as well. If you are a beginner, I recommend using a shower mirror so that you can see what you are doing. As you become more experienced and skilled, you may find that you no longer need to shave with a mirror.


If you're wondering how short your hair needs to be in order to shave it with a razor, my rule of thumb is that the hair should not be much longer than the longest length of facial hair you would shave. Don't expect to easily cut through long hair with a disposable razor. The shorter your hair is, the easier it will be to shave. For that reason, I always use guardless electric clippers to get as close to the scalp as I can before shaving.

After your hair is at a short and shave-able length, wet your head with hot water and lather shaving cream onto your head, getting good coverage. I suggest leaving the shaving cream on your head for a few minutes to let the hair soften up and prepare the skin to be shaved. Or, a pre-shave cream or oil could be used before applying the shaving cream. This allows the razor to glide easier through your hair and cut more efficiently.

Once you are ready to begin shaving, start at the top of your head and shave downwards "with the grain". Start on one side of your head and work your way around stroke by stroke, rinsing the razor as necessary. The top of your head should be shaved from the back towards the front, in the direction your hair grows. Fold your ears down to shave behind them, taking care to not nick yourself in the tight space. A mirror is useful so you can see what you are actually doing with the razor. Use the mirror to help determine if you have missed any spots. You can also slide your hands over your scalp to feel for any patches of missed hair. For an even closer shave, rinse your head off and apply shaving cream again on your entire scalp. This time, the process is reversed. Start from the bottom of your head and slowly and smoothly glide the razor upward. Run your fingers upwards along your scalp and you should easily be able to feel missed spots. The shaved areas will be very smooth without any stubble. Missed areas should be easy to locate. Continue until you can no longer feel any rough areas of stubble on your hair.


Hopefully you aren't a bloody mess after shaving your head. For minor nicks and cuts, a styptic stick is a great way to quickly stop the bleeding with only a minor sting to it. If you are prone to razor bumps or irritation, a post-shave lotion can be applied to calm your skin. There are also products available specifically for razor bumps. If you got a good clean cut, you may not need to apply anything to your skin.

Many men shave their heads daily or every other day. Though this seems like a hassle, having to shave your head so frequently, it makes shaving effortless. If your hair is short enough to begin with, all that is usually necessary is putting some shaving cream on and shaving. The other steps are cut out if you don't allow your hair to grow too long between shavings. You'll figure out a good schedule and routine that works for you and you will find that shaving your head is really easy and convenient.


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I've shaved my head a couple of times, and what I noticed is it just isn't as easy to do on your own as they make it look on TV.

      Useful hub.

    • onthegrind profile image

      onthegrind 4 years ago from Florida, United States

      Thanks for the feedback, Peter Geekie. I'm glad you found it useful. Good luck with whatever you decide!

    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 4 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear onthegrind,

      Thank you for this unusual but very useful article. From my "hippy" days in the 60s I never thought the day would come when I would consider shaving my head. It's only in the last few years I have shaved off my beard of 40 years. Perhaps it may take a few years off my age.

      Voted up , useful and interesting.

      Kind regards Peter