If you’re wondering whether to shave your head, you’ll want to be aware of all the potential downsides first.
I’m a big advocate of the bald look. Some people may find that a shaved head makes them feel self-conscious but I only ever feel more confident and empowered with a bald head.
While lots of people find that the good outweighs the bad, I can’t deny that there are some disadvantages of shaving your head.
Here are the main drawbacks to be aware of:
Disadvantages of shaving your head
Once you’ve committed to a shaved head, you’ve basically committed to a much more regular hair maintenance routine.
Sure, you don’t have to make the trip to the barber. But hair starts to grow back quickly, so you’ll need to shave regularly to keep it even.
If you still have hair but you’re choosing to shave your head bald, this is less of a problem. Depending how quickly your hair grows, you might get away with shaving every couple of weeks.
If, like me, you’re a fully-fledged baldie who is a little self-conscious about it, you’ll need to commit to more frequent upkeep.
I’m really confident in how I look with a freshly shaved head, but I hate people seeing the ‘horseshoe’ if I let my hair grow out.
I’ve lost all the hair on the top of my head and I’m currently sitting around a Norwood 6-7. Being bald on top with hair at the back and sides isn’t a look I enjoy.
Here’s how the back of my head normally looks:
As you can see, I shave my head clean to keep the hair as short as possible. If I didn’t, I’d be rocking the complete horseshoe.
So I commit to shaving my head every 2-3 days to keep an even tone on my head. If you’re using clippers to shave down to a close buzz cut, this is more convenient. However, I prefer the smoother finish of a wet shave.
The best approach here is to shave in the shower. You’re in there anyway, and the hot water softens up the pores.
Pores don’t open up with warmer temperatures and close with colder ones, that’s a myth. But warm water is a good way to encourage healing as it makes the skin loosen up so it’s easier to clean out the buildup of dirt.
This makes for a much easier shave.
You feel the cold
Oh boy do you feel the cold!
I’m writing this in December and there’s snow on the ground outside. It’s been a few weeks since I left the house without a hat!
A nice thick head of hair traps a lot of the head from your head. It’s like a lovely warm blanket sitting right on top of your scalp.
When you shave your head, you lose that natural layer of protection from the elements. It’s awesome in summer (although it’s really easy to get sunburn on a bald head), but in winter I really miss having hair to keep my head warm!
Hats are your friend here. All baldies should have a good selection of hats anyway, so check out this guide to the best hats for bald men.
Shaving cuts and razor burn
Shaving your head with a razor can be uncomfortable at the best of times. However, if you’re not careful, you can end up with a few cuts and nicks.
Any shaving cut is a pain, but the scalp seems to bleed like no other area of the body. Shaving the back of your head is tricky at first and I’ve lost plenty of blood on the way to perfecting the technique!
A styptic pencil is a handy tool to keep around. It works by hardening or coagulating the surface of a wound. This makes it the ideal addition to your toolset:
Clubman Woltra Nick Relief Styptic Pencils
- Stops bleeding quickly
- Works on minor nicks and deeper cuts
- No more TP squares!
General irritation is a problem for even the more experienced head shavers. Always exfoliate your head before wet shaving to remove dead skin and reduce friction.
This will soften the hair, and the clean surface will allow the blade to cut closer to the scalp.
A cloth is fine for this, but if you want to go the extra mile there are scrubs on the market that do a fine job. Bee Bald’s exfoliating pre-shave is probably the best on the market:
Bee Bald Scrub Exfoliating Pre-Shave
- Cleans and removes pore clogging dirt and oil
- Removes dry, flaky skin
- Conditions skin and lifts hair for a consistently superior shave
- Small amount goes a long way!
You can help avoid razor bumps on the back of your head, as well as general cuts and irritation, by choosing a good quality razor. Check out my recommendation for the best razor for shaving your head bald.
Even an electric head shaver or clippers can leave you with a rash if not properly maintained and cleaned, or if you have sensitive skin. Bacteria can build up on the blades and this can cause irritation or even infection.
Make sure you clean your electric shaver regularly and use a pre-shave lotion before shaving to protect your skin and reduce irritation.
Williams Lectric Electric Razor Pre-Shave
- Reduces friction and skin irritation
- Gives a closer, more comfortable shave
- With soothing green tea complex
If a shaving rash persists or becomes severe, consult a dermatologist or healthcare provider for treatment.
Whether you’re wet-shaving or using clippers, it’s important to keep your scalp healthy to avoid irritation from shaving.
This is why bald people still need to use shampoo to keep their scalps clean and free of dirt and oil buildup.
Just as important is a good moisturizer for your shaved head. This will help reduce dry skin which is uncomfortable and can cause irritation.
I always recommend Bee Bald Smooth Plus Daily Moisturizer with SPF30:
Bee Bald Smooth Plus Daily Moisturizer
- Protects from harmful UVA/UVB Rays
- Tones, hydrates and moisturizes skin
- Smooths fine lines, wrinkles and dry patches
- Helps reduce shine and control oily secretions
So keep your scalp clean, exfoliate and use a pre-shave lotion before shaving, and use moisturizer afterward to reduce irritation.
Other people’s reactions
Unfortunately, some people see a shaved head and associate it with some negative stereotypes and cultural statements.
Some people react negatively when they see a person with a shaved or bald head. It’s not just the occasional old lady crossing the street – some people associate baldness with cultures linked with violence and intimidation.
Neo-Naziism is the major one. Many Neo-Nazis will sport a shaved head because the movement has its roots in the skinhead subculture.
Neo-Nazis were formed as a group known as white power skinheads in the UK in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They then spread across Europe and North America into the 80s and 90s.
Of course, someone associating bald people with scary Nazis just needs to be reminded that most of us are lovely! (Bald people that is, not Nazis. Those guys are the worst.)
Attractiveness (for some!)
This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. Any guy shaving his head naturally worries about whether women like bald men.
Some do love it (for a few, it’s practically a kink). But unfortunately, there are women who do find baldness inherently unattractive.
When I first shaved my head I did meet women who just wouldn’t date a bald guy, which can be a knock to the confidence.
The important thing to remember is that attractiveness is about more than whether you have hair. Bald men can focus on things like skin tone, physique, and dressing well to be more physically attractive.
If you find you have a weird-shaped head, you’re going to be at a disadvantage, but your love life doesn’t need to end when you lose your hair. Hit the gym, get a tan, and keep up with the latest fashion tips for bald men to balance out what’s happening on top.
Finally, remember that while some women find bald men unattractive, most women find balding men unattractive. If you’re trying to cling to your hair when it’s clearly thinning, reach for the shaver right away.
After that, it’s all about attitude. Having the confidence to face the world just as bald and sexy as you are is something the majority of women find attractive.
No hiding your clumsiness!
Hitting your head is annoying at the best of times, but imagine being left with a scrape or bump for everyone to see…
There have been a couple of times when I’ve stood up too quickly or not been careful enough when climbing out from under a table and… bang.
The worst was when I scraped my scalp on the head of a screw underneath my desk at work. It was part of the cable management tray under the desk and it was a cross-head screw with very sharp edges.
Before I knew it, I’d ripped a 3-inch strip of skin right off my scalp. Ouch.
If I’d had hair, it would have just been a painful inconvenience, but for a week I had to explain what happened to everyone I saw. A bloody red line along your exposed scalp will attract plenty of staring, comments, and questions.
There’s no real solution to this other than to be careful. And if you can’t be careful, be a hat guy.
A shaved head can be a low-maintenance hairstyle that is easy to care for and requires minimal styling.
However, it can also be a significant change to a person’s appearance and may not be suitable for everyone.
Some people may find that a shaved head makes them feel self-conscious or uncomfortable, while others (like me) feel more confident and empowered with a bald head.
It’s a personal decision, but if you want to read the other side of the argument here are 13 benefits to shaving your head.
If you still need help deciding, here is my list of things to know before you shave your head. For a sneak preview before you take the plunge, this might help: What would I look like bald?
What did I miss? Are there any more disadvantages to shaving your head? Let me know in the comments below!