Mr. Corey,

I’m tempted to switch to old school shaving, but have a question – would your methods/equipment change for a gentleman what shaves his head?

Charlie Bronson


Not being bald myself I can’t speak from experience, but feedback from some of my readers who do shave their heads seems to indicate that the bon temps definitely continue to roulet when you shave your head with an old-school safety razor.

Thing is, whether it’s your puss or your melon, you’re still swiping a blade across your skin. Like anything else, shaving your head old-school is like learning how to shave all over again. Most guys need a week or so to get to the point where they can get through a DE shave without a nick.

If I was balding I’d definitely chop it all off. Because if I’m going to be bald I want to be bald, son. None of that Gallagher crap with the party in back — when this glorious Michael Landonesque mane starts falling out in clumps because of all that 1st-gen Blackberry RF I soaked up back in the day, that’s it, issue me my Player’s Club card and get out of this bald, virile man’s way.

And no modern multi-blade razor, be it the Fusion, Mach3, Quattro, Sensor, whatever, gives me as close or as long-lasting a shave as a good DE. Forget those little hand-grip “headshavers” on the drugstore shelves that take multi-blade Gillette cartridges — nobody who uses those things is getting as close a shave as they should be.

Back in the day, when balding guys went Full Monty they had their barber do it with a straight razor, and that’s why these guys looked absolutely clean, I’m talking “Mr. Clean” clean, not with that faint skinhead “rough trade” stubble that all modern cartridge-fed “head shavers” leave behind. Unless you’re trying to rock that look, which is a personal choice and also a wrong one, because for the life of me I can’t understand why a guy would want to look like Michael Chiklis circa “The Commish.”

If you want to shave your head old-school, the same rules for face shaving apply up top. You need to soak your stubble in warm water for at least two minutes to waterlog the hair so it’ll slice through neatly like wet noodles. Use a high quality glycerin-based shaving cream or shaving soap, and of course a good shaving brush makes everything better. Short, careful strokes, not those ridiculous eyebrow-to-Adam’s-apple glides you see on the Gillette commercials.

If you’re shaving your head with a DE for the first time, I recommend laying down a protective layer of Jojoba oil to smooth the runway a bit for your first few forays. Five or six drops rubbed between your hands and spread over your skull should do it. A little Jojoba makes everything glide along just that much more smoothly, and it helps you get the hang of the much less forgiving nature of an old-school DE razor. When you’ve got your technique and touch down, you won’t need to use the Jojoba, although you may want to continue anyway as it’s really good for freshly-shaven skin and you may even find you won’t need to use moisturizer up on the dome anymore, as Jojoba does the job better and with less expense.