Polishing the dome
November 25, 2009 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Calling all bald men (and women, I guess): what products do you use on your head? I need gift ideas for bald boyfriend who complains of peeling after shave, and oil day-to-day.

He uses my face cream (Aveeno Positively Radiant) immediately after a shave, which helps with the initial dryness but makes his head overly oily. Even when it's oily, though, you can see flakes of white dry skin a few days after shaving. His hair grows back fairly quickly, which means he's shaving one a week or so. He uses normal shaving gel on his head, the same as what he uses for his face. He uses the same razor for both, a Mach 3

Are there any products specifically for bald men that will help with the initial dryness, or the daily oil, or both? Are there any products that can help with the stubble? Shaving creams specifically for a man's head? Razor recommendations?

He's been shaving it since August of 2008 if that matters at all.
posted by caveat to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Get an alum block and some cetaphil. Alum block, not powder or anything else and not a styptic pencil.

When he's done shaving his noggin, wet the block down and scrub the scalp gently with it. Gently. Keep it wet and go in big swirling motions, rewetting as needed. Blot dry, don't scrub with a towel. That's like sanding the head, don't do that. Once it's dry, apply cetaphil and let dry.
posted by boo_radley at 9:44 AM on November 25, 2009

I don't have specific recommendations, but there are many skincare gifts for bald guys (or "guyz") here and here. I've used the second one, not the first.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 9:47 AM on November 25, 2009

I'm a guy who shaves his head weekly and there's a couple things I'd recommend.

First, any of the Kiehl's products are absolutely awesome. They smell great and really keep me moisturized.

That said, I don't shave my head with a Mach 3. I use a nice barber's clippers at a zero setting which probably equals one or two days of stubble for your bf. I tried "bic-ing" it as it is called, but my head felt like plastic and it completely dried it out and irritated it. Some guys just have more sensitive heads (especially towards winter when it gets drier out).

Maybe probe and see if he'd be interested in switching to using clippers and get him a nice one? The benefits over bic-ing are huge. First, you don't have to pay for so many damn razors since your head is a lot of surface area and it uses a lot of blades quickly. Second, it takes a fraction of the time to shave...maybe 15 minutes max and then you hop in the shower. I still shave my face with a bic afterwards but I'll never go back to one for my head after using the clippers.

If you do go that route just make sure you get him one that has a very wide head or it'll take longer to shave.
posted by Elminster24 at 10:03 AM on November 25, 2009

As a bald man who has been shaving his own dome for over ten years, I must say that shaving once a week is not very often - at all.

I shave my own head at least every other day - often everyday. However, my natural hair color is black - so the stubble appears dark and heavy 16 to 24 hours after a safety razor shave.

I use witch hazel, retin-a, sunscreen, and occasionally a dab of Cornhuskers lotion on my noggin - but it sounds like your fella has a dandruff problem.

He either needs to shave his head more often (which may or may not help with the flaking) or start using Head & Shoulders (or something similar) as part of his wash routine if it is in fact dandruff.

Also, the flaking could be from too much sun exposure - a high spf sunscreen may "cure" the flaking.
posted by cinemafiend at 10:10 AM on November 25, 2009

Also, if he hasn't already done so, he should find a couple of good all-purpose hats. A nice wool hat, perhaps, with a lightweight straw something-or-other for the summer and a Tilley hat for expeditions or some such. Go to a decent hat store or old-time men's clothing store (extra points if it has a name like Heimie's Haberdashery) and they'll outfit him nattily but properly, so he doesn't look like one of those pretentious little fedora kids.

Just a warning, though: make sure the straw hat doesn't have a very open weave, or he'll be explaining those little red hexagons for weeks.
posted by Madamina at 10:19 AM on November 25, 2009

Three things.

One: The Art Of Shaving has simply amazing product. If you can stand the price, they're unparalleled in my experience. Using a badger brush to shave your head is a fantastically decadent way to start your day, and silly things like a rose water spritz are not to be underrated. (The safety razor, while great for the face, doesn't work so well for the head.) The aftershave is a wonderful moisturizer, and the shaving cream itself does great things. (For a great _shave_, close, non-irritating, the shave oil is a good way to go.)

Two: The Headblade. It looks completely ridiculous, and is a completely natural way to shave your head. I have an older model that uses a two-blade cartridge that can be picked up in a grocery store, but I hear good things about the ones that take Mach 3 blades. This will also end up cutting down the time required for a headshave once he gets used to it.

Three: Matte For Men complete headcare lotion. Moisturizer, sunscreen, mattifier. Keeps it from going dry, keeps it from getting burned, and cuts down significantly on the late-day sheen from oil production.

boo_radley's recommendations for a full head scrub with an alum block after shaving is spot-on, as is the towel technique.

(I've been shaving my head+face daily for years)
posted by rcs at 10:19 AM on November 25, 2009 [3 favorites]

Though I haven't yet used them myself, I've heard good things about the HeadBlade products. Not the razor, but the lotions, shaving cream, and whatnot. (I did try the headblade razor, but found it did a worse job of shaving my head than my trusty double-edge safety razor.)

I personally would like to try the (unfortunately-named) Headlube.
posted by namewithoutwords at 10:24 AM on November 25, 2009

You guys are giving me exactly what I need, thank you very much.
Any other recommendations are welcome. I am definitely checking out the Headblade + alum block.

Elminster24 or anyone else, any recommendations for clippers? I swear I saw an AskMe about clippers a few months ago, I'll try to sniff it out.
posted by caveat at 10:27 AM on November 25, 2009

Sharps has a balm for bald heads. I've never used this but I use a lot of other Sharps products and really like their stuff.
posted by cazoo at 10:36 AM on November 25, 2009

As someone who's very recently switched from using Wahl clippers (a fine brand, by the way) to using a Mach 3, I can offer an experience that's very different from Elminster24's. I greatly prefer "bic"ing my head to using the clippers because I can be assured of shaving every part of my head with the razor (because I can feel what's perfectly smooth and what isn't), whereas I always needed help with the clippers (because judging between differing lengths of short hair is harder than comparing smooth to non-smooth). Plus, on my head, pure baldness looks better than a few eighths of an inch. Finally, it takes me a lot less time to use the razor than it did the clippers. I'm sure everyone is different - just a data point for you to consider.

If you do get the clippers, I've had a $30 Wahl for over 5 years with absolutely no problems at all during that time.

I'm reading this with great interest and appreciate the comments and suggestions!
posted by cheapskatebay at 10:39 AM on November 25, 2009

Interesting counter-experience cheapskatebay. I'm curious as to your frequency of shaving with the razor because if he only shaves once a week and has substantial stubble, using a razor (instead of clippers) could be extremely agitating to his skin as the razor pulls on the longer hairs more than it does on shorter ones.

That is also a good point on the baldness look versus the stubble look. I'll reiterate that I go down to a zero which is a lot less than "a few eiths of an inch" and I have a receding hairline (probably a Norwood III on the baldness scale) and dark hair and it looks fine although my girlfriend does complain that I get too scruffy by the end of the week (mostly because I only shave my face once a week as well and it scratches her when we kiss). I guess I'm just personally too lazy to shave more than once a week. Lastly, I'm a little confused at how you missed spots when using the clippers...I run my hand over my head as I'm shaving with them and can very easily feel if parts are longer than others. If you're buzzing down to a zero it should be very easy to tell.

Ok, back to the OPs question...I use Conair clippers. It came with a ton of trimming attachments I never use and some lube and a cover for the blade which I'm wishing I had used religiously as my blade is starting to get a little old looking after several years and doesn't cut as well. Also, it gets really loud when I turn it a certain way but I think that's because it got really banged up when I traveled internationally with it and then tried to use it in a foreign outlet. Probably time for a new one. When I first got it though it was awesome and only like $40.

Instead of the oil tube they give, look at getting a spray lubricant and then after use it should be wiped down with a damp paper towel (or toilet paper or kleenex) and patted dry, and finally sprayed with the lubricant. This helps keep micro-oxidization at bay which is the main cause of dull razors.

But just a caution...most guys have a preference for how their hair looks and if he likes it slick bald, the clippers won't do it. They will give him a near-slick look but there will be a slight shadow. I personally prefer the shadow and think it makes me look better but you need to determine that before hand or he likely won't have much of a need for the clippers if he likes it slick.
posted by Elminster24 at 11:03 AM on November 25, 2009

If you're going to get clippers you need to get the Oster Classic 76. I know they are expensive but its the one all of the barbers use. Clips are sold seperately and by number. As someone else mentioned you'll most likely need a "0" clip. I use a 1.
posted by Busmick at 12:56 PM on November 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

This might be the clipper AskMe you are remembering.

The advice early on the page for the Oster 76 is spot-on; he will probably want one of the multiple-0 blades for the almost-bare look he prefers. I've owned a bunch of cheap clippers over the years, and the Oster Classic I now own is a thousand times better. It's more money up-front, but probably cheaper over time because it isn't crappy and you won't toss it after a year.
posted by Forktine at 2:35 PM on November 25, 2009

Just out of curiosity, does the Oster 76 cut skin easily? For example, I have some conair clippers as I mentioned and I usually run my fingers along on top of the blade as it is cutting my hair so I can feel whether I've missed any spots.

If I did it with the Oster would I slice my fingers open? Also, is it worth buying the 0000 blade?
posted by Elminster24 at 7:55 PM on November 25, 2009

Nthing Headblade as a regular user. They come standard with a triple blade now, which cuts down on the nicks and scrapes immensely. I use a Mach 3 for missed spots and also my face below the ears. Regular shaving cream for the head.

I have oily skin so dryness/flaky skin has never really been a problem, but three times a week (I work a regular work week, so it's Monday, Wednesday and Friday) shaving might cut down on that a lot, since he would effectively be exfoliating at that time.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:41 AM on December 2, 2009

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