How To Get An Even Skin Tone On A Bald Head

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It’s easy to make a bald head look good, but an uneven skin tone on your scalp is something most baldies want to avoid.

Instead, there are several ways to get an even skin tone on your bald head.

It may just be the contrast between stubble and bald patch, or the lack of a good scalp care routine that is causing the uneven coloration. If that’s the case, it’s easy to fix.

Other people have more permanent and difficult challenges, like sun damage and even skin cancer.

This article addresses all these causes and more to give you the best chance of achieving the most consistent skin tone on your scalp.

7 ways to get an even skin tone on a bald head

There are seven steps you can take to get a more even skin tone on your bald head:

Get a tan

Bald heads automatically look better with a tan.

If you have pale skin and no hair, it can leave you looking washed out, tired, and even ill. 

But a tanned head will also help to disguise any uneven coloration on your scalp.

Think about your sofa. A white sofa shows up any little stains or spills in a really obvious way. But a brown sofa hides all manner of sins.

It’s the same with your head. If you have any freckles or birthmarks, for example, they’ll blend in much more if you have a more tanned complexion. Check out this article for more tips on how to look good bald.

Avoid sun damage

Obviously, you should always tan safely by eliminating your exposure to sunlight and wearing sunscreen.

Sun damage can cause blemishes on your skin, and your scalp is especially vulnerable as it’s the closest part of your body to the sun. It’s basically a solar panel, without the advantage of giving you more energy.

If you expose your scalp to the sun too much, the damage can be permanent. Not only that, but the dangers go beyond aesthetic annoyances.

Bald heads are at risk of skin cancer from prolonged and unprotected exposure, so invest in a good sunscreen.

I used to make the mistake of skipping the sunscreen in pursuit of a good tan. I’d basically let my head burn and apply after sun to make it go brown.

Looking back, this is the stupidest thing I could have done. Having read more into safely tanning a bald head, I always use sunscreen now and just let my scalp tan gradually.

Firstly, the tan lasts longer because your skin peels much more after you burn. What I was doing was chasing short-term wins, only for my ill-gotten tan to disappear as my scalp flaked away.

More worryingly, I was risking more long-term effects that would have looked much worse anyway. Sun damage isn’t a great look on a bald head, let alone the increased risk of skin cancer.

Don’t do what I did. Tan safely by limiting the time you spend in the sun in one sitting, and always protect yourself by using appropriate sunblock.

Get the closest shave possible

One of the problems with Male Pattern Baldness is that your hair doesn’t all go at once. If it did, there would be very little maintenance required!

Instead, we get patches of baldness that change the further along the Norwood scale we go:

Norwood scale

If you think you might be starting to lose your hair, compare your hairline to these Norwood 2 examples.

Very few people lose ALL their hair unless they’re suffering from alopecia. It’s been speculated this is why Jacob Batalon is bald. The actor, who plays Ned in the Spider-Man movies, wears a wig on screen but fully shaves his head for public appearances.

Instead, we baldies have to put up with the ‘horseshoe’.

This is when the top of our head goes completely bald, leaving hair around the sides and back of our head.

This leaves a dark shadow in the shape of a horseshoe, which contrasts with the tone of the bald areas of our heads.

It’s not a flattering look unless you want to look like a monk. So shaving as closely as possible helps minimize this contrast in color.

I first noticed how bad mine looked when I was in a menswear store. There were mirrors all around the fitting room, so I had a great view of the back of my head.

I hadn’t realized how much of a contrast there was between the hair that was left and the completely bald area on top. It came as a bit of a shock and I’ve made sure to shave more regularly ever since.

I wet-shave my head every 2-3 days, and on the third day, I’m always looking forward to shaving the sides of my head to avoid that uneven look. This frequent maintenance is one of the main disadvantages of shaving your head, but it’s a small price to pay (plus, there are plenty of benefits, too).

If I ever get lazy and go to a fourth day without shaving, you can guarantee it’s because I’m not leaving the house!

Shaving the dark stubble down as closely as possible helps achieve a more even look, especially if your scalp is tanned.

Trust me, the wet shave with a real razor is the way to go. There isn’t an electric shaver on the planet that gets as close, unfortunately.

Here is my recommendation for the best razor for shaving your head bald.

Exfoliate regularly

Exfoliating your bald head removes a layer of dead skin cells that affect the evenness of your scalp’s color in two different ways.

Firstly, dead skin has a dull, dirty appearance. It also doesn’t shed evenly all over your scalp, so you’ll have subtle differences in tone all over your head if you don’t keep on top of it.

However, the main way that dead skin causes an uneven skin tone relates to shaving. If you have a layer of dead skin on your head, your razor can’t shave as closely because part of the hair sits beneath this layer.

A layer of dead skin also makes you more likely to end up with ingrown hairs, one of the causes of razor bumps on the back of the head. Dead skin also clogs up your razor blade, making your shave less effective.

By exfoliating regularly, this layer of dead skin is out of the way. Not only will your shave be closer, but your head will have more of a healthy glow than a dull, lifeless appearance.

If you’re just exfoliating mechanically, for example with a wet cloth in the shower, you can gently exfoliate daily. If you’re using granular exfoliation like a specialist exfoliating scrub, reduce the frequency to 2-3 times per week.

This will make sure you don’t damage the scalp by scrubbing at newer, more sensitive skin. It takes time for dead skin cells to build up on your scalp, so there’s no need to vigorously scrub away at your bald head on a daily basis.

In this comprehensive guide, you can find out everything you need to know about exfoliating your bald head.

Moisturize daily

All this exfoliating and shaving strips your scalp of its natural moisture. Without moisturizing, you’re likely to end up with a dry, flaky scalp.

A flaky scalp is an uneven scalp. Your head will have noticeable differences in color, even if the actual flakes aren’t as obvious without them being contrasted against dark strands of hair.

Always keep your bald head clean by using shampoo instead of soap, and apply a good moisturizer or bald head lotion. This will reduce dry skin and keep your scalp healthy.

Moisturizers are one of the most important products for bald men. They increase the moisture content of the stratum corneum of the skin, which acts as a barrier to trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). This is the process of water vapor evaporating from the skin.

Using moisturizer on a bald head adds additional moisture to the scalp. This helps the stratum corneum to reduce that feeling of dryness that will be familiar

I’ve previously recommended Bee Bald Smooth Plus Daily Moisturizer With SPF30 as the best bald head moisturizer:

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

After a lot of trial and error with other products, I use this specialist men’s scalp moisturizer every day and can’t recommend it enough. 

It soaks in right away and immediately eases that uncomfortable dryness after showering or shaving. It’s non-greasy and even smells great.

If you’re looking for a natural alternative to moisturizer, here’s a list of the best oils for a bald head.

Consider using concealer

If you have an uneven skin tone caused by blemishes like freckles, age spots, or birthmarks, you could consider using concealer.

Some men won’t be comfortable using makeup, but those that do swear by it. If it helps, there are concealer products specifically made for men, like the Hims stick concealer:

It’s probably one for special occasions rather than everyday use, but if you’re self-conscious about scalp discoloration, this could be the solution for you.

Consult a dermatologist

If you have any concerns at all about unsightly blemishes on your scalp, it’s a good idea to see a dermatologist.

You can’t be too careful, especially when it comes to discoloration that you suspect might be caused by sun damage.

In the U.S. over 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day, but the survival rate for melanoma is 99% when diagnosed early (source).

Your dermatologist may not be concerned about any raised or discolored areas from a health point of view. However, they may be able to advise on how to achieve a more even skin tone on your bald head.

A dermatologist will be ideally qualified to diagnose the cause of any blemishes or areas of uneven pigmentation. Diagnosis is the first step to finding a proper solution, so always consult an expert if you’re concerned, or just need some advice.

What causes an uneven skin tone on a bald head?

Causes of uneven skin color on a bald head include the following:

Sun damage

As discussed above, this can be serious. Always use sunblock, and consult your doctor if you’re concerned about raised or discolored spots on your scalp.

Age spots

Age spots are more common in older people but are actually caused by factors other than simply aging.

Also known as liver spots, they can be caused by a range of things, from vitamin E deficiency to stress.

Male Pattern Baldness

MPB is the most obvious cause of uneven coloration on a bald head. It’s the contrast between stubble where hair still grows and the areas of your head that are fully bald.


Many of us are surprised to find scars from long-forgotten bumps and injuries when we first shave our heads.

Most scars fade over time, but if you’ve found one on your freshly-shaved head that you forgot about a long time ago, chances are that’s as good as it’s going to get. Concealer is an option if you’re particularly self-conscious.


My son has a birthmark on the back of his head which we only discovered when he decided he wanted a skin fade haircut.

If he goes as bald as his old man, it’s unlikely to be something that bothers him due to the position of the birthmark on his head.

A nice, deep tan is the best way to disguise these, but as ever, make sure to tan safely. Limit exposure to the sun to short, regular intervals and always use sunblock to avoid burning.

Skin cancer

Being in the sun for long periods of time increases your risk of skin cancer exponentially. Bald men are especially at risk as their heads are directly facing the sun.

Skin cancer is not only life-threatening, but it’s also unsightly. It can look like a red sore or flesh-colored bump, and is very obvious with no hair to hide it.

Obviously, your first priority should be your health rather than your appearance, so always see a doctor if you’re worried about any patches of discoloration on your scalp.


Hopefully, this article helps you achieve a more even skin tone on your bald head.

The easiest way for most people to achieve this is to get into a good routine of cleaning with shampoo, exfoliating, wet shaving, and moisturizing.

The most dangerous contributing factor to uneven skin tone is sun damage. So while a good tan is recommended for an even-looking skin tone, don’t underestimate the need for sun safety for your bald head.

Always limit your exposure to direct sun, and use sunscreen to protect your scalp while tanning.

All the above should leave you with a beautiful, even color on your bald head.

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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