03. September 2005 · Comments Off on Noggin Bloggin’: How I Shave My Head · Categories: General Nonsense, Memoir

Okay, so I’ve been doing this headshaving thing for about two months now and have got it down to a method that works pretty well for me. Since I’m feeling a bit emotionally hungover from watching and reacting to the images and stories coming out of Katrina this week, I thought I’d share with you how I shave my head and do something more step-by-step and less, “ARGH this is just NUTS!!!”

First time only: Either go to the barber one last time and let them buzz you down as close as possible or purchase yourself a decent barber’s razor and let a friend do it. The BX carries a variety of brands and styles all for under $40.00. Gorgeous Daughter has herself a professional set by Wahl because she not only cuts her own hair but most of her friends’ also. If you’re going to be shaving bald all the time and you know that, you obviously don’t need these, but some folks only shave their heads with the barber’s shears and don’t finish up all the way to the slickity skin. Weird huh?

Shaving my head:

I shave in the shower now because it’s just so much easier. Even on days when I’m just shaving my face. I get a better shave all the way around thanks to the steam and cleanup is much easier.

I wash my head and face with a good aloe-vera based soap. I like Dial’s. I let the soap sit for at least a full minute to make sure all the little stubblies are good and wet…this is a good time to wash the rest of me…like my fuzzy white butt. (I know some of you would have missed it if I hadn’t mentioned it…you’re welcome.)


I lather up my face and head with a good shaving creme. One trick I picked up from surfing around is after I get my face and head all good and lathered up, only rinse off the hand that I’m going to use to shave with, I leave the other one full of leftover shaving creme.

I shave my face first so that the head gets a chance to get even wetter and slicker while the creme sets in. I shave my face pretty much the way I’ve always done, with the grain for one swipe, against the grain for the second, a couple of swipes sideways on my neck or I get bumps.

For my head though, I’ve found that shaving with the grain is mostly an exercise in scraping off shaving creme so I go against the grain, front to back, to the natural middle, and neck up to the natural middle. I go slowly and more importantly, smoothly, on my head being careful not to move the blade laterally, because the times I have nicked it I thought that I’d severed an artery. Scalp wounds bleed very freely especially in the shower. Most guys my age already know how to be careful not to slide the blade sideways on their face, I had to remember to think about this on my head. Once I get one pass all the way around I take that handful of creme that I left in my free hand and rub it around feeling for the “stripes” that I may have missed. I get those by once again going slowly and smoothly. I avoid the temptation to really pull out my ear and get the nubbies I can feel around it…all that does is cause razor burns or serious nicks. I have to be very careful on the back of my head because I have three of those very deep Sharpe` Dog wrinkles on the back of my neck. Once I’m done with the obvious stripes I run my cremed hand around one more time, making sure that I didn’t miss anything. I rinse and once again wash with the aloe vera soap which makes sure I get all the hairs off and adds a nice layer of moisture. Then I rinse, sometimes using very cold water to close the pores. That will change come winter I’m sure.

When I dry off I make sure I PAT or BLOT my head dry. Trying to rub a freshly shaved noggin with a towel feels like steel wool and causes unneccessary ugly blotchy red patches. When I moisturize, I use a good after shave LOTION. When I say lotion, I mean something with lanolin or more aloe vera and NO alcohol. My scalp is not my face, it has not been hardened by years of shaving and chemicals. Right after a shave it’s very sensitive to just about everything. A breeze will feel like a snowstorm and the sun feels like it’s right on top of me no matter what. If I want to use an astringent to close the pores I use Witch Hazel, it only stings a tiny bit, but I then add moisturizer when it dries. Even if I’m wearing a hat I’ll add a layer of sunscreen if I’m going to be out for longer than 15 minutes. The thought of a sunburned skull is bad enough.

About razors. There are a LOT of different razors on the market. I’ve used mostly Gillettes over the years but I recently switched over to Schick’s Extreme III because it doesn’t just pivot it flexes along the horizontal and basically wraps around any angles keeping more blade on my face and head. Not such a big deal on my face although my chin appreciates it, but it makes a huge difference in comfort on my noggin. The weird thing is that the disposable versions are actually cheaper than the blades by themselves and work just as well.

How often do I shave? I’m on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedule for shaving my head. That seems to work pretty well. I’ll shave again on the weekend only if we’re going somewhere or doing something special. I’ve tried every day, but that’s a bit too intense and causes more irritation. I’ve gone as long as three full days in between with no problems other than my scalp starts to itch like crazy.

So that’s basically how I do it. If you’ve ever thought about shaving your head for whatever reason and have any questions, ask. Ask a bald guy if you know one. Most bald by choice guys will happily and proudly tell you how they do theirs and honestly believe they’ve got the best method. The best method, the best shaving creme, the best razor is the one that works for you and your head. I’ve got a bullet head so I’ve got more angles on my noggin that my son-in-law’s which is almostly perfectly global. Seriously, you could tattoo the Western Hemisphere on the man’s head and it would look just right.

A note to all you guys who are doing drugs, rugs or plugs, to all the men who are still letting their barbers talk them into that combover or who still believe their barbers when they say, “That’s NOT a bald spot, it’s just naturally thin for your age.” If you ever wonder what us guys who have accepted the inevitable think of you who are fighting it, we’re laughing. Seriously, we find it funnier than hell. You may call me Uncle Fester or Cueball all ya want, but dude, when the wind catches your combover and it starts to fly…it just makes my whole day.

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