How To Get An Even Skin Tone On A Bald Head (Skin Discoloration)

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Scalp care can be tricky, especially for the bald man looking for that perfectly even skin tone on his scalp.

I know how annoying an uneven skin tone can be. Bald heads with skin discoloration can look unhealthy and even unhygienic, so I’ve always been conscious of any blemishes on my scalp.

I’ve spent 20 years shaving my head, and I’ve tried lots of grooming and shaving solutions to perfect my scalp care routine. In this guide, I’ll offer practical guidance on how to achieve a healthier-looking scalp with a more even coloration.

Follow this advice and your scalp will thank you for it, and you can be more confident in the appearance of your beautiful bald head.

Key Takeaways:

  • Routine Care: Regular cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing are important.
  • Sun Protection: Always use sunscreen to prevent discoloration and damage.
  • Diet and Hydration: A macronutrient-rich diet and constant hydration contribute to scalp health and appearance.

Scenario 1: You Already Have Some Scalp Discoloration

If you already have an uneven skin tone on your scalp, there are a couple of things you can do about it:

Consider using concealer

If you have scalp discoloration caused by blemishes like freckles, age spots, birthmarks, or other dark spots on your bald head, you could consider using concealer.

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

hims Blur Stick Concealer for Men

  • Erase acne, dark spots, razor burn
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free

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

See 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.

Addressing Specific Skin Issues

Addressing specific skin issues that contribute to uneven skin tone, a dermatologist can offer various treatments tailored to each condition:

  • Age Spots: Often caused by sun exposure, dermatologists may recommend topical treatments, laser therapy, or cryotherapy for fading these spots.
  • Scars: Dermatological treatments like silicone gel sheets, steroid injections, or laser therapy can help reduce scar visibility and improve skin texture.
  • Birthmarks: Depending on the type, treatment options may include laser therapy, medications, or in rare cases, surgery, to lighten or remove them.
  • Skin Cancer: Early detection and treatment are crucial. Treatment may involve surgical removal, radiation, or topical chemotherapy, depending on the cancer type and stage.
A small boy with his hair shaved short showing a birthmark on the back of his head
My son’s birthmark is very visible when his hair is shaved short

Scenario 2: You Want To Maintain Your Scalp To Avoid An Uneven Skin Tone

If you’re shaving your head and want to avoid scalp discoloration in the future, firstly, good on you for planning ahead.

Here’s the daily routine I stick to in order to keep an even skin tone on my head:

My daily scalp care routine

Morning shower: clean scalp with a bald head shampoo/head wash, moisturize afterward

Shave days: during a shower, cleanse, exfoliate, apply pre-shave oil, apply shaving cream, shave, apply moisturizer afterward

Sunny days: apply moisturizer with SPF or sunscreen before leaving the house, reapply as needed

Cleansing the Scalp Properly

Obviously, it’s important to keep your scalp clean. However, using a cleanser specifically formulated for the scalp makes sure the right balance of natural oils is preserved, avoiding dryness and irritation that can contribute to discoloration.

Recommended bald head cleanser

I use C3 Head Wash to maintain a healthy, hydrated scalp. Unlike regular shampoos that can strip the scalp of its natural oils and lead to dryness, C3 Head Wash is formulated to hydrate and preserve the scalp’s oil balance.

Using C3 Head Wash to clean my scalp
Using C3 Head Wash to clean my scalp

There are no harmful chemicals to irritate your skin or damage the environment, and it prevents dryness and maintains smoothness without causing irritation.

You can read my full C3 Head Wash review here, or get your hands on a bottle below:

C3 Head Wash

  • Prevents dry, flaky skin and/or oily skin
  • Hydrates and restores balance to skin
  • Sulfate and paraben-free
  • Safe for you and the environment
  • Certified cruelty-free, never tested on animals, vegan
  • Made in USA


Regular exfoliation removes dead skin cells, promoting an even skin tone and improving the effectiveness of shaving. 

Why Exfoliate?

  • Exfoliating ensures a closer shave by removing layers of dead skin
  • Reduces the likelihood of ingrown hairs, which can cause uneven skin tone and razor bumps on the back of the head and neck.
  • Helps prevent dullness and uneven shedding of skin, which can create skin discoloration.

How to exfoliate your head

Gently exfoliate daily with a wet cloth or use a specialist exfoliating scrub around twice per week to avoid over-scrubbing. This balance ensures you don’t irritate newer, more sensitive skin.

A bald man using a wet cloth to exfoliate his scalp
Using a cloth is OK, but a specialist scalp scrub is better

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

Use an exfoliating scrub

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

Dispensing HeadBlade HeadShed
HeadBlade HeadShed

You can get 10% off at the official site by using the code BaldandHappy:

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

You can read my full HeadShed review here, 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 my buyer’s guide to bald head exfoliators.

Get Rid of Shadow With Regular and Smooth Shaving

Sometimes the visibility of a 5 o’clock shadow is the only thing causing an uneven coloration on your scalp.

horseshoe hair back of head

Regular close shaving is vital in preventing the appearance of stubble on a bald head. Achieving a close shave involves using a sharp, high-quality razor and using the right shaving technique. It’s no wonder 69% of bald men prefer shaving with a razor to using an electric head shaver:

Survey results - Do you prefer to shave your head with a razor or electric head shaver?

How to shave your head bald

Shaving in the direction of hair growth will minimize skin irritation and ingrown hairs. However, if you still have a shadow, this won’t be enough to get an even coloration.

Shaving against the grain is more risky, especially if you have sensitive skin. But if your hair is thick enough that you’re still seeing stubble after you shave, this technique will help.

A bald man shaving his head against the grain using a razor
Shaving against the grain gets a much closer finish

Pre-shave preparation is crucial to avoid irritation. Softening the skin with warm water and using a hydrating shaving cream or gel can make the process smoother and more effective.

You can find a more detailed description of my head shaving technique in this article about how to shave your head with a razor

Recommended razors

I recommend the Leaf Razor for head shaving for lots of reasons.

First, it’s the world’s first multi-blade pivoting head safety razor, which means it flexes with the contours of your head and gives the smoothest shave with minimal passes.

Shaving the back of my head with the Leaf Razor
Shaving the back of my head with the Leaf Razor

This gives me what I’m looking for – complete smoothness without any stubble remaining. It means I have the best possible chance of an even coloration on my scalp. 

The Leaf Razor

  • Completely smooth shave
  • Minimizes irritation
  • 100% plastic free
  • 10% off sitewide with code HAPPY10

However, the Leaf Razor isn’t the cheapest option available. If you want to compare it to other models, check out my list of the best razors for shaving your head.

Moisturizing the Scalp

All this exfoliating and shaving strips your scalp of its natural moisture. After shaving, applying a soothing aftershave or moisturizer can help keep the skin hydrated and reduce the risk of razor burn. 

Bald head moisturizers
Some of the scalp moisturizers I’ve used

Without moisturizing, you’re likely to end up with a dry, flaky scalp. If this happens, 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.

Why Moisturize?

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

Moisturizers 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.

A bald man with a shiny bald head

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 to anyone with a shaved head.

Recommended moisturizer

I always recommend Bald Boss by The Bald Brothers as the best bald head moisturizer:

Bald Boss Moisturizer

The Bald Brothers

  • 20% off with code HAPPY20
  • Hydrates & soothes scalp
  • Prevents dryness/itchiness
  • Non-greasy
  • Smells amazing!

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.

Me and my Bald Boss Moisturizer
Me and my Bald Boss Moisturizer

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

Safe Tanning for Even Skin Tone

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 can also help to disguise any scalp discoloration, especially on pasty caucasian guys like myself.

wearing sunscreen on a bald head

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.

Avoiding 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.

Bald man in sunglasses on beach

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 aftersun lotion to make it go brown.

sunburn on a bald head

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 your time in the sun in one sitting, and always protect yourself by using appropriate sunblock.

These days I always start my vacation with regular applications of sunscreen with SPF30 due to my lighter skin tone, and then reduce this down to SPF15 when I get a little more tanned to stay safe while I get a nice, deep color.

Sun Bum Skin Care SPF 30 Daily Sunscreen Face Mist

  • Vegan and reef-friendly
  • UVA/UVB protection
  • Packed with Vitamin E

Remember – it’s not just your head that needs protection from the sun. Take care of your eyes by choosing shades from this list of the best sunglasses for bald men.

Diet and Hydration for Skin Health

What you put into your body determines how it performs, and a healthy scalp is no different. Diet and hydration are super-important for overall scalp health, and a healthy scalp will have a more even skin tone.

foods linked with DHT blocking properties

Firstly, there’s hydration. Yes, you can moisturize your scalp, but make sure you also drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated will make sure your skin cells stay plump, elastic, and healthy.

I always have a glass of water next to me while I’m working, and carry a water bottle when I’m out and about.

Diet is huge. Look for foods rich in the following:

MicronutrientFound in:How it helps:
Vitamin COranges, kiwis, bell peppersPromotes collagen production for skin elasticity; aids in healing and skin repair.
Vitamin EAlmonds, spinach, avocadosOffers antioxidant protection.
Omega-3 Fatty AcidsSalmon, walnuts, chia seedsReduces inflammation; supports skin health and helps prevent dryness and flakiness.
ZincPumpkin seeds, chickpeas, yogurtSupports skin healing and repair
Vitamin DFortified cereals, fatty fish, egg yolksCrucial for skin cell growth and repair; helps in preventing skin aging and damage.
SeleniumBrazil nuts, tuna, brown riceProtects against oxidative stress and damage; aids in skin elasticity and health.
Vitamin ASweet potatoes, carrots, kaleSupports skin cell turnover; essential for maintaining a healthy skin barrier.

On the flip side, avoid eating lots of processed foods and foods that are high in sugar. Both of these can trigger inflammatory skin conditions.

Alcohol and caffeine dehydrate the skin and scalp, so take it easy on both of these. Where possible, drink water instead!


How often should I exfoliate my bald head?

If you’re using mechanical exfoliation, like a wet cloth, you can exfoliate daily. However, for granular exfoliation with a scrub product, limit it to twice a week to prevent damage to your scalp.

Can I use body lotion to moisturize my bald head?

Body lotions often have fragrances and ingredients that may not be ideal for the sensitive skin of your scalp. Your best bet is to stick with a specialized bald head moisturizer for peace of mind.

Can I use face moisturizer on my bald head?

While some face moisturizers may work for your scalp, it’s best to use a product specifically designed for the scalp, which has different skin properties compared to your face.

Do I need to use sunscreen if I’m only going out for a few minutes?

Use sunscreen whenever your head is exposed to the sun, as damage can accumulate over time, even with short exposures. Using sunscreen whenever you’re outside is a good preventative measure.

How long should I stay in the sun to get a tan without damaging my skin?

The longer you stay in the sun, the higher the risk of skin damage and cancer. If you want to get a good tan, make sure you wear sunscreen and reapply regularly to reduce the risk of sunburn.

Will shaving more frequently help in achieving a more even skin tone?

Shaving can help create a more uniform appearance by removing stubble, but it won’t necessarily affect your skin tone. For that, you need a proper scalp care routine, including exfoliation and moisturizing.

Can I use regular soap to clean my bald head?

Using soap can strip your scalp of its natural oils and make it feel a lot more dry. It’s better to use a shampoo or a cleanser that’s specifically designed for bald heads.

Does diet and hydration affect skin tone on a bald head?

Diet and hydration contribute to overall skin health but have a limited direct impact on the skin tone of a bald head. A nutritious diet and sufficient water intake support skin moisture and health, but for specific skin tone improvements on a bald scalp, targeted skincare, and sun protection are more effective.


Achieving an even skin tone on a bald head centers around dedicated scalp care, a healthy diet, and sun protection.

A disciplined routine of cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing lays the groundwork, while diligent sun safety ensures long-term skin health. Be careful with tanning, and make sure you use sun protection to build up your tan slowly without risking damage.

Diet and hydration play supportive roles in maintaining the scalp’s condition and promoting evenness.

If you’re looking for more ways to achieve a bald glow-up, here’s a wider discussion of how to look good bald.

Have you noticed a difference in your scalp’s health with changes in your diet or skincare routine? Let me know in the comments below.

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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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