Should I Shave my Head? 8 Pros & Cons you Need to be Aware of
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You were young, but now you are not. All those pictures you took in your teens and early twenties are nothing but throwbacks. Today when you run your fingers through your head, you are greeted by smooth skin. The hairline that was once your pride is slowly pulling back like it’s shy.
At this point, you might consider several options like hair loss treatment procedures. You probably get video ads on Facebook on this. Alternatively, you might opt for some clever hairstyling tricks like combing your hair sideways to cover the bald spot.
But if you are the bold type, you will probably decide to shave your head clean. And before you even ask, yes, many men are going down this route, and the results are surprisingly beautiful. Those who pair a bald shave with a full beard are even more irresistible to the ladies – talk about a great wingman.
To get great results, you have to do it right. Everything has to be perfect to look your best. Below is everything you need to know and be aware of when shaving your head.
1. Is Shaving my Head the Best Option?
This is a common question for men who are losing hair. Before anything else, we should stress that this is no cause for alarm. Hairless of a natural process and is most common in men. About 7 in 10 men experience hair loss.
Hair loss is a gradual process, and it happens to different extents. While you might work with what you have at the moment, a time is coming here shaving your head might be the only beat option for you and your loved ones.
2. When to Shave Your Head
So how do you know when it is time to shave? Simple; by using the Norwood Scale.
The Norwood Scale
We are not trying to complicate things for you. And no, this is not some complicate math. It’s merely a way to measure how far the baldness has gone. It is an idea by Dr James Hamilton. It was first mentioned in the 1950s, but it has undergone some massive improvements over the years including an update by Dr. O’Tar Norwood.
A High Number Equals Big Issues
This scale works by assigning a rating to the different stage of baldness. For instance, Type 2 on the Norwood hair loss describes minimal hair loss. With such hair loss, you might never have to think of shaving your head. On the other hand, with level one, then you are good to go – no need to think of shaving your head.
Norwood 3 means there is moderate hair loss. You might still pull off a good look, but some parts of your head will be noticeably better than some. At this point, it might be a good idea to go for a check-up to determine if it’s baldness.
But if it’s past this, then you should seriously consider getting hair loss treatment. But at level 5 of the Norwood scale, these treatments will count for nothing. Shaving your head will be the only future proof solution.
3. Benefits of Shaving Your Head
Losing hair is not funny. You are losing part of you and in some cases your identity. You will have to adjust to living life without hair. But the good news is that we live in an era where a bald look is considered stylish. Heck, more and more women are starting to have a thing for bald men with thick beards. Some of the famous bald men include Bruce Willis, Michael Jordan, Jason Statham, and LL Cool J. CBS. Yes, these are some of the hottest celebrities you know, right? And if you looked at their younger selves, you’ll be shocked to learn that they had a head full of hair.
With that said, there are some good reasons why you should shave your head. Though we admit, some may apply to you and some may not. All the same below are some benefits of shaving your head.
1. It Hides the Baldness
Male baldness is the number one reason why men are shaving their heads. It gets rid of the need to overcompensate for the baldness.
2. You Don’t Have to Groom
Your mornings are probably spent in front of the bathroom mirror, trying to look your best. And while you might have created a routine to allow for this, you’d rather do something else. Shaving your head will reduce the time you spend prepping to look good while still looking your best.
3. You Look Younger
Shaving your head will be like you jumped into a time machine and went a decade back in time. Let’s be honest; there’s nothing that makes you look old like white hair strands barely hanging on.
4. No bad Hair Days
Yes. This is the bad side of having hair. Even when you try to keep things intact. There are days your efforts will count for nought. Bad hair days are when your hair seems like it has a mind of its own and it is trying real hard to defy your ‘commands’ shaving your head will ensure you don’t have to deal with those little rebels ever again.
5. It is Super Comfortable
If you are the active type, you will appreciate having a clean head in the warmer seasons. It’s easier to control your temperatures with a clean-shaven head than with a head full of hair. For the cold seasons, you can always put on a cool hat and be on your way.
6. You Don’t Have to Wash or Style
This is related to the second point. If you don’t have hair, there’s no way you’ll find yourself shampooing, combing brushing or styling hair. It might not seem like a big plus but wait until you calculate the amount of time you save every day and the alternative activities you could indulge in. Washing your scalp will not take more than a minute. Moreover, it doesn’t need a specialized process.
7. You Will Look Confident
Losing hair indeed comes with a myriad of insecurities. These stem from the fact that hair is a huge part of what you identify with. As such, hair loss means you lose a part of your identity, and it takes time to reinvent yourself.
Luckily, once, you accept that baldness is kicking in, shaving your head will be liberating. Your friends will take some time to get used to your new look, but they too will join the bandwagon once you embrace the new look and wear it with confidence.
4. How do you Know if Shaving Your Head is the Right Step?
There are high chances that you will have a cleaner and a better look after you shave your head clean. However, what you might not have prepared for is the shape of your head. Yours might be a little lumpy or misshapen that you would like.
You should always consult your barber for a professional opinion on whether you should progress with the shave or not. If you don’t have the time for this (and since it’s not a life-threatening condition), you can always shave and see how you like the new look.
5. Pair a Shaved Head With Facial Hair
In this section, let’s assume you’ve taken a leap of faith and fell the hair. You also love the new look and think it’s better than the receding hairline that defined you for a long time.
But even with your new-found love for a clean scalp, it can look a little bland and lack in character. To give it a more dramatic and wow effect, you can grow your facial hair. There are many options you can explore. For instance, you could grow a mustache, a stubble, a full beard or a goatee. Though you cannot possibly go wrong with any of the above, full beards are the perfect complement to bald heads.
And the beauty of full beards is that they work with just about any head and face. And you don’t have to save your head to have a beautiful look. Receding hairlines also pop and stand out with full beards. But how is it that full beards are so perfect? Simple, they draw attention away from your bald head.
6. I am Sold on This, is There a Shaving Process?
Shaving your head is more like shaving your beards – you have three options including using a balding clipper, a head shaving razor or an electric head shaver. You might also want to check out our article How to Shave Your Head (like a pro).
Experts recommend that you shave your head after taking a hot shower. This is when your hair is softest. If it is your first time, you can wet your hair with a damp cloth and then use clippers to trim hair don’t to a stubble size. The idea clipper settings are 1 and 2.
The next step is applying shaving cream, or some shave oil to your scalp and give it some time to rest and soften the hair follicles more. Though you can choose any type of shaving oil or creams, bear in mind that menthol-base gels will close the pores and dry the skin.
Using Your Razor
The best razor to use is one which has three blades or more. That being said; Some (me included) prefer to use a safety razor. If you are hardcore you might even use one of the best straight razors, but I don’t recommend to do so. If you can get your hands on the HeadBlade, it’s even better. However, always remember to rinse it as you use it. Start by shaving the hair along the grain. As you do this, ensure you use slow gentle and even strokes. If you want to get a closer shave, you can go against the grain. However, bear in mind that you risk getting skin irritations and in-grown hairs.
If some parts are thicker than others, save them for last. This will allow the shaving cream to have softened the hair further.
Which parts have coarse and thick hair? Easy, the back of your head. When shaving this area, tilt your head to the side so that the skin is taut and easier to shave. If shaving with the grain causes you to miss some hairs, you should try shaving side to side.
Once You are Done
When you finish shaving splash some cool water on your scalp to close the spores. Later, pat your head dry. Apply an alcohol-free aftershave balm if your skin is sensitive. Moreover, this balm is great for moisturizing.
How About Clippers?
Using a pair of clippers has advantages over the razor. This includes no ingrown hairs and no irritations. The preparation process is also fast since you don’t need to use gels and creams. Moreover, it will leave an attractive stubble.
Balding clippers are designed for this special task. They shave close to the skin and have blades sharper than those of ordinary clippers. Once you are done, run your head through your heady to check for any corrections you might look into.
7. I’m not Ready for Hair Loss – What do I do?
The internet is full of hair loss treatments. Some are great, and some are not entirely legit. If your hair loss is in the early stages, you should consider hair loss treatments along with hair loss prevention shampoos.
According to hair experts, the sooner you start treatments as you move along the Norwood scale, the better the results. But even with all this, it’s important to note that hair loss has no cure. Below are some of the best treatments for hair loss.
It is also called Propecia and Proscar. Finasteride treatment helps to suppress dihydrotestosterone which is the hormone which shrinks hair follicles. The treatment consequently slows down or even halts hair loss. In some instances, it helps to grow back your hair.
Note: Propecia has had a bad reputation of causing some problems with the male organs, including erectile dysfunction. However, only a small percentage is known to have sustained these effects. You develop these side effects; you can always take steps to get rid of the symptoms.
It also goes by the name Rogaine. Like Propecia, Minoxidil is approved by the FDA as a hair loss treatment. This treatment started as a drug for high blood pressure. One of the side effects was hair growth on the body, including the head. Over time, some fine-tuning had been done to ae it one of the best hair loss treatment on the market.
The secret sauce to this drug is the fact that it stimulates hair follicles to grow. It does this by widening the blood vessels and supplying the cells with more nutrients, blood and oxygen. But unlike finasteride, it doesn’t inhibit DHT and doesn’t cause hair follicles to shrink.
This is an anti-fungal shampoo. It started as an anti-dandruff treatment. With time, ad courtesy of studies, ketoconazole, the active ingredient in the treatment, has helped to slow down or even prevent hair loss in men. Nizoral isn’t as powerful as minoxidil or finasteride, but the upside is that you can buy it ‘over the counter’ at Amazon.
Note: though these treatments work on some men, they are not foolproof. And regardless of the hair loss treatment you choose, you will experience some side effects because these drugs mess with your hormones. In the case of minoxidil, the results are temporary as they do not attend to the underlying hormonal problem causing the hair loss.
8. Why am I Losing Hair?
Good question. Its common knowledge that not all men experience hair loss. And even for those that do, by the use of the Norwood Scale, it’s evident that the hair loss is at different extents. So what causes the hair loss and the variation in hair loss.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a straight forward answer. But what all explanations have in common is that you are getting old and hair is falling off naturally.
Below are some factors that can help you determine why your hairline is receding faster than normal.
Male Pattern Baldness
All hair loss is classified under this category. The scientific name for this condition is androgenetic alopecia. And yes, it is serious. Generally, male pattern baldness is caused by:
Many doctors argue that it is all in the genetics. This means that if your father and grandfather had hair loss, you might experience it as well. The hair follicles have DNA borrowed from your parents.
Men who experience hair loss have dihydrotestosterone which is a hormone which shrinks hair follicles, causing hair to stop growing eventually.
As we age, hair growth slows down. This is only natural, and there is nothing out of the ordinary with this.
Regardless of why you are losing hair, and the treatment you choose to improve the situation or sow down the process, your best chance should be to shave your head. And if your head has a great shape, why should you wait a moment longer? Get your razor, clippers and fell the remaining hair for an epic look.