Reap the Benefits of Shaving Your Head
Deciding to sport a smoothly shaven scalp is not something to be taken lightly, but for many men, the bald look is really the only way to go.
Like many things in life, there are probably as many arguments against shaving your head as there are for it.
Still, while we probably wouldn’t recommend it for men with a full, thick head of hair, there’s no doubt that utilizing that head shaving razor to achieve the bald look can make some men seem much sexier, manlier or more powerful.
The infographic below helps sum up just some of the great benefits of shaving your head and why you may want to consider such a style.
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Pros and Cons of Shaving Your Head
As you can see, there are a number of reasons a man might shave his head—whether it’s due to hair loss or simply to look like a badass—but before you decide to do so, it’s important to be aware that no other style change is as dramatic as going for the bald look.
While it can make you look younger or hide the fact that you’re balding or greying, it can also make you look like a thug (although that probably depends more on the clothes you wear and how you carry yourself than anything else).
So, if you’re struggling with the decision of whether the bald look is right for you, we’ll look at all of the advantages and disadvantages associated with it.
Of course, it’s all a matter of personal choice at the end of the day, but at least after reading this you’ll be better prepared of what to expect should you decide to take the plunge.
Benefits of Shaving Your Head
As we said, there are actually quite a few benefits of shaving your head, although obviously not all of them will apply to every man. Some men look extra rugged or handsome with a shaved scalp, while it may cause others to suddenly feel more insecure. Just like wearing a beard or there are benefits to shaving your head for some men and only drawbacks for others. However, by weighing up the benefits of shaving your head against the negatives, you should be able to better judge whether or not you’re a good candidate.
- Hides Male Pattern Baldness or Receding Hairlines
One of the biggest fears many men have is losing their hair, as it’s a constant reminder that you’re not as young as you used to be. Still, while older men in their 40s, 50s or 60s are virtually expected to have some baldness, it is obviously a much more serious problem when it starts to occur in your early 20s and 30s. Of course, there are plenty of other methods men use to try to hide their baldness or regrow their hair—from combovers to Rogaine, special shampoos, pills or even hair transplants—the problem is that most of these either don’t work, are incredibly expensive or simply look ridiculous (that combover isn’t fooling anyone).
So, while you could spend your time and waste your money constantly worrying about your increasing baldness or you could man up, own it and make the decision to rock the bald look. It’s not only the cheapest and easiest way to go, but it can also help hide your baldness and make you look more masculine all in one stroke.
- Makes You Look Younger
This one really goes right along with hiding your baldness (although obviously much more for older men than for the younger generation), but there are definitely a lot of men who suddenly look ten years younger with a shaved head. This may also be due to the fact that both women and men tend to associate baldness with toughness and virility, but the truth is that one of the biggest benefits of shaving your head is making yourself look younger. If you don’t believe it, just give it a shot and we’re sure you’ll be surprised by how often you hear the compliment.
- No More Bad Haircuts or Bad Hair Days
Unless you’re one of those guys that spends an arm and a leg on professional salon styling, you’ve probably experienced your fair share of bad haircuts like the rest of us. Still, imagine a world where you never again have to even pay for a haircut, let alone have to worry about how it’s going to look. This is why many men see one of the best benefits of shaving your head is being able to take care of their own barbering. It’s cheaper, quicker and the only worry free DIY haircut around.
- Eliminates the Hassle of Washing and Styling
For pretty much all of your life, shampooing, combing and drying your hair has probably been a basic part of your daily routine and, like shaving your face or washing your clothes, just another one of life’s necessary evils that you’ve got to deal with. However, if you decide to shave your head, you can simplify your routine, as it’s a heck of a lot easier to wash and dry a shaved scalp that even a half a head of hair. While it’s not likely to change the way you got about your day, most men are quite surprised at how much time having a bald head can save them on the daily routine.
- May Boost Your Career
Think for second of all the bosses and executives you have met along the way, whether it be through the companies you worked for or mutual acquiantences. How many are bald? I performed this excercise and was astonished with the result of how many were bald. Well I dug into this and discovered there have been actual reputable psychological studies concluding people with shaved heads are perceived as more dominant, masculine, and better suited for leadership roles. Now I’m not saying you should expect to start receiving the fast track promotions to Partner or CEO the minute you shave your head, but the science does show it can help.
- There is a Lot of Cool and Powerful Bald People
As you saw in the infograhic above, there are some big name bald guys out there that have excelled in there profession, whether it be sports, entertainment, business, spirituality, or drug dealing ;). And that is only the tip of the iceberg! Check out this article in GQ that lists a 100 powerful and famous bald people. The point is, there is a lot of good company in the bald community and these men sport it with pride. So don’t be shy and flaunt your shaved head with mad swagger!
Drawbacks to Shaving Your Head
While there can be a number of benefits to shaving your head, there are obviously a few minor drawbacks as well.
- Hats Become a Necessity
If you enjoy wearing a baseball cap, cowboy hat or even something a bit more stylish, this probably won’t be a problem for you. However, if you don’t already have a selection of hats and caps, you’ll need to go out and get some. Basically, having a full head of hair helps protect your skin from both sun and cold. During the winter, hair acts as a hat, helping to insulate your head and keeping your warmer, while in the summer hair helps to prevent sunburn.
However, once you shave it all off, you’ll quickly find that your head suddenly gets super cold in the winter, making it necessary for you to cover it up with a beanie or stocking cap. Similarly—whether it’s a baseball cap, bucket hat or bandana—in the summer you’ll need to keep your head covered to prevent it from getting burned (although continuously slathering your scalp in sunscreen also works). Otherwise, you may learn a whole new meaning of the word pain should you get a bad sunburn on your sensitive scalp.
- Shaving Your Head Takes Time
While of one the benefits of shaving your head is not having to spend time shampooing and styling your head, you’ll still need to dedicate a bit of time each week to do the actual shaving. Still, for most men, it doesn’t take more than about 15 minutes two to three times per week (although this obviously depends on how fast your head grows and how ok you are with a bit of stubble on your scalp). However, if you’re new to the whole head shaving thing, it may take you a bit longer until you become more comfortable and confident in what you’re doing.
Unless you’re super concerned about showing any stubble, we probably wouldn’t recommend shaving your head more than every two or three days, as all you’re doing is increasing the chance of skin irritation, razor burn or ingrown hairs—all of which look much more unsightly than a bit of stubble. Of course, if you want to fully hide the fact that you’re balding, you may have no option but to shave every day, as any stubble can easily show off this fact. Still, no matter how often you shave, it’s important to use a high-quality razor to help prevent irritation. On the other hand, some men prefer to simply use an electric shaver on their scalp to avoid this problem altogether.
- Increases the Chances of Bumping Your Head or Breaking the Skin
Just like how hair protects your head against the sun, cold and the elements, hair also acts as a cushion or a pillow should you happen to bump your head. Although you may think you don’t have feeling in your hair, our brains actually use the minute sensations in the hair and scalp to warn us when we’re about to bump our heads. So much so in fact that most men find they suddenly bump their heads quite a bit more until their senses adjust to being hairless.
Still, it’s not just the increased risk of hitting your head on things that you’ve got to worry about, as having a head full of hair also helps to prevent extra damage when you bump your head. So without that added cushion, you’ll quickly find that those bumps often cause more damage, as shaving your head increases the chances of the skin breaking open whenever you do hit your head on things.
- Your Head Looks Lumpy
Probably one of the biggest fears many men have about shaving their head, and also one of the biggest complaints from those with a freshly shorn scalp, is self-consciousness about having a lumpy looking head. In truth though, no one has a perfectly round head and those lumps and bumps you suddenly see are perfectly normal and not nearly as noticeable as you may imagine. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a bald man and commented about how unshapely or lump his head looked? It just doesn’t happen. Just like no one is perfect, no head is either—so while you may think you have an abnormally shaped head, the only thing to do is get over it, as it’s highly likely that you’re the only one who will really notice such things.
Drawbacks v Benefits of Shaving Your Head: The Final Verdict
At the end of the day, there’s a huge portion of men who find that the benefits of shaving your head far outweigh the few minor drawbacks—and we would highly agree. Of course, if you’re truly concerned about baldness, you could turn to Rogaine or hair transplants to help you keep a full head of hair, but in our opinion, at a certain age these, things start to become silly. No one expects an older man to still sport a luscious scalp of hair, so why not own the baldness and make yourself the master of your own look by simply shaving your head.
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Ben Rose is the founder and senior editor at Prim&Prep, the definitive guide to male grooming. He is a wet shaving expert, body grooming aficionado, and skincare guru. His work has been featured on many other prominent men’s publications including AskMen, Men’s Health, and GQ.