While some people look for more of a matte finish, there are plenty who want to know how to get a shiny bald head.
These tend to be the people who have come to terms with their baldness and are ready to show off their dome to the world. If this is you, you’re in luck. Below is everything you need to know to make a bald head shine!
How to make your bald head shiny
To make your bald head shiny, you need to be doing a wet shave to make sure any stubble or vellus hairs are gone, which can’t usually be done with an electric shaver. Dry skin also looks dull, so you’ll need to moisturize to bring out a healthy shine.
Here’s a little more detail on each step:
This is essential to achieve a shiny bald head, which you can’t get if you’re only shaving with clippers, especially if there is some hair growth or stubble left on the top of your head.
Most electric shavers leave behind short ‘vellus hairs’ (named after the Greek word meaning ‘wooly’). Vellus hairs are often called ‘peach-fuzz’ as they feel like the surface of a peach. They’re thin, wispy hairs that are practically invisible but are enough to dampen the shine of a bald head.
You won’t have this issue with a wet shave. However, there are a few things you should know before you shave your head for the first time.
You’ll need your razor to be super sharp, and be sure to change the blades regularly. Even though the hair is soft, it damages the edge of the razor with every stroke, which means over time the razor becomes blunt.
A blunt razor not only won’t shave as closely and evenly, but it will leave you with razor bumps and red blotches on your head as the blade drags over the scalp rather than gliding smoothly.
Not only that but if your razor has had time to get blunt, it’s had time to get dirty, too. As explained by Diana Vilibert over at RedBook, “The longer you hold on to your old razor, the more bacteria, dead skin cells, shaving cream, and hair crops up in there.”
Definitely not the most hygienic way to look after your razor, or your scalp (unless of course, you like infections).
Here is my recommendation for the best razor for shaving your head.
Slow and steady
If you’re going to attract attention with some shine, you better make sure your head looks good. Razor bumps and shaving cuts aren’t the ideal features to accentuate, so prep well to make sure you come through unscathed.
I find shaving in the shower is automatically a better option because the warm water softens up the hair, which makes for a much easier shave.
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.
Make sure your head is clean, but use shampoo rather than soap or you’ll dry out your scalp and there’s every chance you’ll end up with flaky, dry skin like dandruff. Dry skin looks more dull and won’t give you the shiny finish you’re looking for, so soap is a no-go.
Read more: Do Bald People Use Shampoo?
C3 Head Wash is a good option – technically not a shampoo but a specialist face and scalp wash that’s hypoallergenic, so it claims not to irritate even the most sensitive skin.
When I wrote about the best shampoo for a bald head, C3 came out on top:
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
Before shaving, exfoliate your scalp to remove dead skin and reduce friction. Then take the razor and make sure your technique is smooth. Move against the grain for a closer shave, and take it slowly and carefully to avoid any nicks or scratches.
Most people advise shaving with the grain for less irritation, but I find that this doesn’t give as close a shave. Shaving against the grain pushes the hair upright and allows the blade to cut closer to the scalp, and as long as you’ve cleansed, exfoliated and used hot water to soften the hair, you shouldn’t experience too much irritation.
Most of the time when I have come out of the shower bleeding, it’s because I’ve tried to rush. This means I’m not as careful and I’ve ended up spending longer trying to stop the bleeding than I was trying to save by rushing the job. Remember, ‘less haste, more speed’.
Pay particular care when shaving around the ears, as this has been a problem for me, especially when using double-sided razors which make it easy to slice a cut into the skin where the ear meets the scalp.
Once your head is fully dry it’s time to replenish the natural moisture that shaving strips away. This will avoid any lingering irritation after the harsh shaving process.
Firstly, make sure your head is fully dry. Any remaining water will act as a barrier, preventing the moisturizer from properly soaking into your scalp. Use a specialist product for bald heads such as Bee Bald Smooth Plus 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
Read more: Best moisturizers for bald heads (2022)
Alternatively, you can use after-sun lotion or even baby oil as recommended in this video by Baldcafe:
If you’re not keen on moisturizer, you can use one of the many oils for a bald head as a more natural alternative.
You need to avoid dryness at all costs, as discussed above. This includes the effects of sunburn, so if you’re going to be outside make sure to get a decent layer of sunscreen to safely tan your bald head or you’ll end up with a red, sore scalp that will start to peel and flake in no time, ruining your shine.
Repeated sun exposure can also result in patches of discolored skin, which gives an uneven skin tone to a bald head.
Again, if you’re attracting attention to your head with a cool shine, it’s important to keep your scalp looking its best. Here’s a list of all the best products for bald heads to keep yours healthy and happy.
Are bald heads naturally shiny?
Bald heads have a natural shine to them as a result of the oils in the skin called sebum, which is there to stop a bald head from drying out. Too much makes a bald head look oily, so it’s important to properly care for a bald head.
When the scalp is covered with hair, sebum is less noticeable because it simply soaks into the hair. The longer the hair, the more surface area for the oil to spread over. With a bald head, there’s no hair to cover or soak up the oil, so a ‘dirty’ shine can be seen where it reflects the light.
Sebum is the body’s natural defense against dry skin, so removing it altogether without protecting the scalp isn’t a good idea. Only wash with shampoo every other day and use warm water and a washcloth to wipe away any excess oil, dirt, and dead skin the rest of the time.
Soap dries the skin but even when using shampoo, it’s important to moisturize afterward to maintain a healthy scalp. This is part of a maintenance routine that comes with the territory, but the work involved is one of very few disadvantages to shaving your head (there are plenty of benefits too, by the way).
The right product for you will depend on how dry your scalp is after shaving and/or washing, and how much of a shine you want to have.
Should bald heads be shiny?
Whether a bald head should be shiny is completely up to the individual. Some people think it looks great and they proudly display a healthy shine, while plenty of other bald people go to great lengths to achieve more of a matte look.
People who want less of a shine still need to take care of their scalp, but after moisturizing, they use a few tricks of the trade to dull the reflection. This includes using a tissue to remove any oil as it builds up through the day, and using specialist products that help stop the shine.
Can I wax my head instead?
If you get tired of shaving and consider a wax instead, I’d watch this first:
While it will give you a smoother finish by removing the hair from the follicle rather than cutting it at the surface, waxing can be incredibly painful.
This is because there are lots of nerve endings in your scalp, which makes it particularly sensitive. Pulling out one hair can be painful, let alone tearing at hundreds at once on such a delicate area.
There’s also hair removal cream which I tried once and won’t be using again. This involves a lasting and annoying irritation rather than real pain, but the results weren’t great and most of the hair just softened up rather than dissolving entirely.
Some bald people prefer more of a matte look. However, if like me you want the shine, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with letting your bald head be a reflection of your confidence (see what I did there?)
Get into a routine that involves properly washing, shaving, and maintaining your scalp, and in return, you’ll get a healthy glow rather than an oily sheen.
How do you keep your bald head shiny? Let me know in the comments below. For more tips on scalp care, here’s my complete guide to how to take care of a bald head.