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.

wearing sunscreen on a bald head

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.

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.

sunglasses and bald head

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, which is the reason Alex Youmazzo has no hair. The model has been open about her condition and has done great work to raise awareness.

It’s also 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 an uneven bald head. 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 step-by-step guide to shaving your head with a razor.

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 around twice 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.

I use The Bald Brothers’ Smooth AF scrub to maintain my melon, and if you click the link below and use the code HAPPY20 at checkout, you’ll get 20% off:

Smooth AF Bald Head Exfoliate Scrub

The Bald Brothers

  • 20% off with code HAPPY20
  • Gently removes dirt & dead skin
  • Ideal pre-shave treatment
  • Doubles as scalp & face cleanser

I use Smooth AF 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 to a budget. You can read about them all in my buyer’s guide to bald head exfoliators.

Finally, 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 on your bald head 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 to anyone with a shaved head.

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, 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.

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.

My daily scalp care routine

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

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

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


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.


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.

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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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