Do Bald People Use Shampoo? (Updated 2024)

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Last updated: March 2023

People with hair often wonder whether bald people use shampoo, and lots of bald people don’t actually know whether they should be using it or not.

The answer is yes, bald people should be using shampoo. However, it’s important to understand why so you can choose the correct one.

I’ve been shaving my head for nearly 20 years since I lost my hair in my early 20s. I’ve been through phases of using only water and washing with soap before settling into a proper maintenance routine, which definitely includes shampoo.

In this article, I’ll tell you why I’ll never stop using shampoo on my bald head, and explain the science behind why it’s important (and why soap isn’t an adequate substitute).

Do bald people use shampoo?

Bald people use shampoo to maintain the cleanliness and health of their scalp. Although many people believe that having a bald head is low maintenance, it’s important to understand that a clean and healthy scalp is essential for overall scalp health and appearance.

One of the key ways to maintain a clean and healthy scalp is by using shampoo. Shampoo is designed to clean the scalp and hair of oils, dirt, and dead skin cells.

This is especially important for us as bald people. Our scalps are more exposed and can be more susceptible to environmental factors such as UV rays, wind, and pollutants.

Of course, if you’re bald on top but keep some length in the hair at the back and sides, that hair will need to be shampooed to keep it clean.

Why do bald people need to use shampoo?

Bald people need to use shampoo because the whole body needs to be cleaned, including the scalp. Shampoo is simply the best product for the job, because soap dries out the skin and contains harsh chemicals, while water alone rarely cleans well enough.

A dirty scalp can look dull and unhealthy, feel greasy, and even develop an unpleasant smell. The scalp is home to sebaceous glands that produce sebum, which is an oil that helps to keep the scalp and hair moisturized. However, too much sebum can lead to a buildup of oil and dirt, which can clog pores and lead to skin irritation.

Shampoo is designed to clean the scalp and hair of oils, dirt, and dead skin cells. By using shampoo or a specialist bald head wash, people with a bald head can:

  • Maintain a healthy balance of oil production on their scalp
  • Prevent the buildup of dirt and oil
  • Keep their scalp looking and feeling clean and healthy.

Some people may be fine just washing their scalp with water, but for the healthiest scalp, using shampoo or a specialist head wash is recommended.

Head wash products
A selection of the head wash products I’ve tried and tested

Using a specialized product, exfoliating your bald head before a shave, and using a specialist bald head moisturizer afterward can keep your head looking healthy, with a great shine.

If your scalp is dirty or dry, it will look dull and unhealthy.

Shampoo is for the scalp, and conditioner is for the hair – right?

It’s a common myth that shampoo is only for the scalp, and conditioner is for the hair.

While shampoo is designed to clean the scalp and hair, conditioner is designed to hydrate and protect the hair. However, it’s important to note that both shampoo and conditioner can be used on the scalp to clean and hydrate it.

If you have a dry or itchy bald scalp, using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner can help to soothe and hydrate your dome.

What kind of shampoo do bald people use?

Bald people tend to use a variety of shampoos, including regular shampoos or specialist bald head washes. Regular shampoos can be just as effective on a bald scalp as they are on a head with hair. However, some individuals with sensitive scalps use a gentler, sulfate-free shampoo.

For a long time, I used whatever shampoo was available in the shower. Usually, that was my wife’s fancy shampoo for colored hair (don’t tell her) or my kids’, which is more sensitive.

However, I found that my scalp was dry after using these shampoos and I relied on moisturizer to rehydrate the skin.

That’s when I found out about sulfates, which are a common ingredient in shampoos that act as a foaming agent, but also have a drying, dehydrating effect.

Now I know that if you’re still using regular shampoo for your bald head, there are certain things to look for:

What to look for in a bald head shampoo

Find a shampoo that:

  • Regulates the production of oils to keep the scalp looking and smelling clean
  • Moisturizes to prevent a dry, flaky scalp
  • Doesn’t contain sulfates (dry the scalp)
  • Doesn’t contain parabens (irritate sensitive scalps)

For those who prefer a specialized bald head wash, there are products available that are specifically formulated to cleanse and care for a bald scalp.

These products often contain ingredients like salicylic acid, which helps to exfoliate the scalp and remove any buildup of dead skin cells. They may also contain moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera or tea tree oil, which help to keep the scalp hydrated and prevent dryness and flakiness.

Some of these shampoos are also designed to soothe the skin and prevent itching or flaking, which can be common issues for individuals with a bald scalp.

When I wrote about the best shampoos for bald heads, there was one clear winner:

C3 Head Wash

  • Designed precisely for face and scalp
  • Prevents dry, flaky skin and/or oily skin
  • Hydrates and restores balance to skin
  • Sulfate and paraben-free

C3 stands for Comprehensive Cranium Care. The company design their product range to provide specialist bald head care without harmful chemicals.

C3 Head Wash
My very own bottle of C3 Head Wash

As a result, their head wash not only cleans effectively, but it does so without drying out the skin, unlike regular shampoo which strips away the natural oils and leaves your scalp dehydrated.

Unlike many regular shampoos, it doesn’t contain sulfates and it’s paraben-free, which is great for your health and great for the environment, too.

C3 Head Wash
C3 Head Wash, proudly displayed in my shower

Why don’t bald people just use soap?

Using soap on your scalp is not recommended. Soap can be too harsh for the scalp, leading to dryness and other issues.

Soap has a different pH level than the scalp, which can disrupt the natural balance of the scalp and cause dandruff and other issues. Shampoo is specifically designed for the scalp and is formulated to maintain a healthy pH balance, making it a better choice for cleaning your scalp.

Wait… bald people can get dandruff?

That’s right. The main cause of dandruff is a type of yeast that naturally lives on the scalp. This yeast thrives in warm and moist conditions, and when the scalp becomes too oily, the yeast can grow out of control and cause dandruff.

Bald people are slightly less susceptible to dandruff as those with hair, as the temperature on a hairless head is cooler. However, skin on the scalp is still present, and the same factors that can cause dandruff in people with hair can cause it in bald people as well.

To prevent dandruff, it’s important to maintain a healthy scalp. This includes washing your scalp regularly with a gentle shampoo that contains ingredients to control the yeast growth, such as tea tree oil, salicylic acid, or selenium sulfide.

Additionally, you can use an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo if you have persistent dandruff. It’s important to remember that everyone’s scalp is different, and it may take some trial and error to find the right shampoo that works for you.

Do bald people need to exfoliate?

Exfoliating the scalp can also be beneficial for individuals with a bald head. Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and prevent the buildup of oil and dirt.

Bald head exfoliators
Bald head exfoliators

This leads to a more healthy-looking scalp with a great shine. You can use a cloth, or for a deeper cleanse, use a specialist bald head scrub.

I use HeadBlade’s HeadShed scrub to maintain my melon:

HeadBlade HeadShed Exfoliating Scrub

  • Prepares for Smooth Shaving
  • Removes Dirt, Oil, Dead Skin
  • Prevents Razor Clogging
  • Gentle Yet Effective
  • Easy, Comfortable Use
  • 10% off with code BaldandHappy

I use HeadShed because it’s a great all-round scrub, but there are other options. For example, there are more suitable products if you have sensitive skin, or if you’re working on a budget. You can read about them all in this post breaking down the top 5 best bald head exfoliators.

I exfoliate before every shave to get rid of any dead skin cells that will prevent my razor from getting as close as possible. This helps avoid ingrown hairs, one of the main causes of razor bumps on the back of the head.

I also make sure I use the best razor for head shaving to ensure a close shave.

Can bald men use women’s shampoo?

It is a common belief that men and women have different hair and scalp needs, and that the formulas in shampoos and conditioners are formulated to cater to these differences. 

Some people prefer to use unisex products that can be used by both men and women, while others may choose to use specific products designed for their gender. However, the truth is that hair and scalp type, and not gender, determines the best type of shampoo or conditioner for you.

If, like me, a bald man finds that his wife’s or kids’ shampoo works well for him, he can certainly continue using it. However, it’s important to consider the type of hair and scalp he has, and what his bald head skin care needs are.

It’s important to look at the ingredients of your shampoo and consider what type of hair and scalp you have. If you have a dry or sensitive scalp, you may want to choose a gentle, moisturizing formula. If you have an oily scalp, you may want to choose a formula that helps control oil production.

In summary, it is not a good or bad idea to use women’s shampoo, as long as it works well for your hair and scalp type. The most important factor to consider is the ingredients and how they cater to your hair and scalp needs.

Can you use body wash to clean a bald head?

Some argue that body wash can be effective in cleansing the scalp and removing dirt and oil. However, it’s important to note that body wash is formulated differently than shampoo and may not be as gentle on the scalp.

Body wash is designed for the skin on the rest of the body, which is not as sensitive as the skin on the scalp. Using a body wash on the scalp can lead to over-drying and stripping the scalp of its natural oils, just like soap.

This can result in a dry, itchy, and uncomfortable scalp, which can even lead to flaking and dandruff. Furthermore, body wash typically has a higher pH level than shampoo, which can disrupt the delicate balance of the scalp and lead to irritation.

Additionally, body wash is not specifically formulated to address the needs of the scalp, such as removing that nasty build-up of oil and dirt. Shampoo is designed specifically for the scalp and hair and contains ingredients that help to nourish, protect and clean it.

So while using body wash on the scalp may seem convenient, it’s not recommended. When I’ve used body wash I’ve experienced that dryness afterward and found myself reaching for the moisturizer more regularly afterward.

How often should I shampoo my bald head?

How often you should shampoo your bald head depends on a few factors, including the climate you live in, your daily activities, and the type of product you use. As a general guideline, most people can shampoo their heads every other day without any problems.

This is exactly what I do, and it helps to keep my scalp clean and prevent the buildup of oil, dirt, and dead skin cells.

However, if you live in a hot and humid climate, you may need to shampoo your head more frequently, as sweat and oil can accumulate more quickly. If you live in a dry climate, you can shampoo less frequently.


Lots of people assume that bald men don’t use shampoo and instead just use soap or face wash, but this can lead to a dry scalp and flaking skin due to the dehydrating properties of soap.

Instead, bald men should be washing their scalp daily to remove dead skin and, as a minimum, using shampoo to maintain the oil in the scalp.

It’s always best to use the right tools for the job, so consider using a specialist head and scalp wash like C3 Head Wash, and always use a suitable moisturizer afterward to avoid that awful dryness after washing.

C3 Head Wash

  • Designed precisely for face and scalp
  • Non-comedogenic and hypo-allergenic fragrance-free formula
  • pH balanced to support healthy skin on the face and scalp

Looking for more ways to care for your scalp? C3 Head Wash is also featured in this list of the best products for bald heads.

PS: Thinking of shaving your head? Get your free guide below and make the decision a little easier…

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This post was written by Matt:

I've been shaving my head for nearly 20 years. I'm here to share that experience, good and bad, help you embrace your hair loss, and live your best bald life.

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