It’s 2018 and we’re happy to announce that bald is beautiful. Many guys are looking for the fresh, clean look of a shaved head, and our balding friends are gaining more confidence to take it all off instead of looking for cover-up solutions.
For bald or aspirationally-shaven gents, choosing the perfect electric shaver is essential in their quest to achieve the perfect shaved head.
We’re sure you’re wondering where to start, so we played out some of the most frequently asked questions in our (very smooth) head to make it simple for you.
Why Should I Shave My Head?
That’s a pretty personal question, and the answer truly depends on you and your own hair journey. There are myriad reasons why guys to go cue ball.
For starters, if you’re already balding, you may be interested in having a clean head that looks intentional rather than letting your hair slowly fade.
There’s nothing sad or unattractive about a bald head, so long as it’s groomed nicely. There are tons of sexy bald celebs proving that every day.
Sir Patrick Stewart looks great and the dude is 78 (side note, remind us to Google his skincare routine…).
Shaving your head can also help you control and eliminate dandruff if that’s a problem you experience.
While it may seem like shaving would be more likely to cause irritation, the exfoliation of the scalp by the shaver is actually healthy for your skin.
Plus, it eliminates the hairs that dandruff famously cling onto.
And finally, a simple explanation could be fashion. There are plenty of great bald looks, from bald and bearded, to 360 degrees of smooth.
And some people don’t like the texture or shape of their hair, so they’re happy to choose a handsome bald look.
Just ask Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who has been rocking a shiny head for years since he prefers it to his natural texture!
Difference Between Head and Face Shavers
To put it bluntly, an electric head shaver is a type of electric shaving device that is specially designed for shaving the hair on your head.
While many electric face shavers effectively serve both purposes, there is a slew of electric shavers on the market dedicated specifically to give you a close shave on your head without harming the sensitive skin on your scalp.
Benefits of Using an Electric Head Shaver
Well for starters, if you’re going for a clean, shaved-head look, you’re going to need to shave frequently to maintain it.
Since using an electric head shaver doesn’t require shaving cream, it is certainly easier than lathering up and using a regular razor every day or two.
And considering the advances in electric head shaver technology, you’ll be getting a closer shave, which could cut down on the number of times per week that you need to shave.
Furthermore, electric head shavers are relatively easy to clean and maintain. Not only does the tool itself come with a relatively straightforward cleaning process but many also have the added benefit of catching your stubble as you shave to limit the amount of bathroom sink cleanup.
Finally, a benefit that the whales will thank us for is the sheer reduction in the amount of waste produced by disposable razors.
Types of Electric Head Shavers
Before jumping right into a purchase, you must first figure out which type of electric shaver is best suited for your specific needs.
Typically you will find a head shaver that fits into one of two categories: rotary or foil.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to figure out which will suit your needs better.
More than likely, you have seen both options in stores but don’t know the true differences, so let’s break out the main points:
Electric Shaver Rotary Head
Rotary shavers are the ones with several circular, rotating heads. The different angles of the heads catch hairs that grow in different directions. This is perfect for you fellas with thick or coarse hair.
They also help you shave in a circular motion (in other words, great for contouring to the shape of your melon).
The main downside to this type of electric shaver is that it can cause irritation to your skin if you are more prone to sensitivity.
Also, if you want to maintain sharp edges for a neat beard, goatee, or sideburns, this shaver doesn’t give you as much line precision.
Electric Shaver Foil Head
Foil shavers are the ones that have a straight head with little tiny holes across the face, a.k.a., the foil. These holes work to gently draw hair into the foil to cut them, limiting the contact of the blade to your skin.
These shavers are able to cut close to the skin without causing irritation, so they are the ideal choice for guys with sensitive skin. And, as mentioned before, you can keep nice clean lines when shaving with a foil shaver.
Foil shavers typically come in options of three of four blades, with the four blade option giving you an even closer shave.
But of course, due to the straight nature of the blade, foil shavers just don’t hug all your curves and all your edges the way a rotary can.
Foil shavers are popular for face shaving or edge trimming, but rotaries definitely have the edge for full head shaving.
Features of the Best Electric Head Shavers
Like any electronic product, you want to check out the specs on your electric head shaver before adding to your cart.
Here are just a few things you should be considering when picking out your shaver:
Cord vs Cordless Shaver?
Does the shaver have a cord? If so, what length is the cord? A short cord will be a pain in the butt when navigating the space between your outlet and your mirror, so if you opt for a corded option, measure the length you need and make sure the cord gives you enough range.
Like most appliances in our lives, the market is moving towards cordless for maximum convenience.
Cordless options are always nice to take on the road, as well, since you never know if you’re going to have access to an outlet.
However, if it does have a battery, you should look into the life of the charge. Can it be used several times without charging, or will it basically live on its charging dock?
Again, if you’re on the road a lot, you’ll need to consider whether you want to lug your charger with you. In terms of the durability of the battery itself, you’ll need to understand if the batteries need to be changed often.
If so, is it easy and cost-effective to replace them?
Maintaining Your Shaver
Take some time to look into the maintenance routines required for each shaver you’re considering. We’re going to dive into that later but simply put, some electric head shavers are easier to maintain than others.
Since you should clean your razor after every or every-other use, this is an important feature to think about. Furthermore, you should consider the full lifespan of your shaver, including when and how you will need to replace the blades or heads.
If the maintenance process of a particular shaver seems too involved for you, you may want to look into a more straightforward and convenient option.
This seems like a no-brainer, but you’re going to have to keep your budget in mind and fully understand what you’re willing to invest into your head shaving experience.
There is a huge range of price points for shavers, from the most basic models coming in under $30, to the most advanced and sophisticated devices breaking $500.
Understanding the price of the shaver is not just as simple as looking at the sticker price at the store and online. Some shavers come with hidden costs for cartridge and blade replacements, batteries, and accessories.
Oftentimes the shavers with the best features have costly ancillaries. They could very well be worth every penny, but it’s all up to your budget and what you’re looking for.
Do your research. Read reviews. Make a spreadsheet. Have fun picking out your new shaver — you guys are going to be spending a lot of time together.
How to Shave with an Electric Head Shaver
Starting the process of shaving your head will depend on the current state of your hair. Is your hair already cut close – as in, less than a few millimeters close?
If not, you’re going to have to start by shearing off your longer locks with the shortest setting of a professional hair clipper. If you don’t, you’re just going to gum up the works with long hairs.
Electric head shavers are designed for trimming short hairs, not chopping off a full mane, so take care of this step first. You can do this at home, but if you’re not feeling confident about this step you can pay a quick visit to the barber chair.
Once any hair you may have is nice and short, there are several steps you can take to make the shaving process as comfortable and effective as possible.
A lot of experts recommend taking a nice hot shower first. This will open the pores so that blade can cut even closer to the base of the hair.
Use a moisturizing shampoo to make sure your scalp isn’t dry or irritated before you bring the blade to it; just make sure whatever product you use doesn’t leave a thick residue behind, which can clog up your shaver.
Shave with the grain of your hair, rather than against. In other words, you are moving your blade in the same direction that your hair grows.
It may feel faster and more effective to shave against the grain since this will cause the blade to lift up the hair and cut it at the base; however, this can cause razor burn, irritation, and follicle damage, so it’s best to heed caution and stick to the grain.
This obviously means you may have to change the direction you’re shaving in since hair comes out of the head at different angles, so be mindful of that.
Shave section by section. Start with a logical beginning point, such as one side, and gradually work your way over as you finish each patch.
Avoid the temptation to move on before finishing so that you get a nice, even shave on all parts of your head.
If you are one of our bald and bearded friends, make sure to trim your edges nicely and line up the side at an angle appropriate for your newly shaven head. You may need to use an electric stubble trimmer or beard trimmer to get your desired effect.
Check for spots you missed! You don’t want to leave the house with a gnarly patch of hair behind your ears or down the back of your neck.
You can purchase a handheld mirror (like they use in a barber shop) to get a nice view of the back of your head to make sure there’s nothing in any of the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.
Treat yo’self! Finish your shave with a nice soothing aftershave to disinfect, close pores, and cool the skin.
You might even consider getting a super classy alum block, which is like a magical stone that does all of those things when you wet it and rub it on your big beautiful bald head.
Plus, it’s pretty, and who said dudes can’t enjoy pretty rocks? Finally, don’t forget to use a nice moisturizing balm to prevent dryness.
A great choice is to find a moisturizer with SPF, since your noggin in now more vulnerable to harsh rays.
How to Clean an Electric Head Shaver
One of the many benefits of using an electric shaver is that it’s easy to clean. However, just because it’s easy to clean, doesn’t mean you should neglect this important step.
The buildup of hair, dirt, skin, and oil in the foils or head of your shaver can damage its ability to function properly in the long run. With regular cleaning, your shaver will last longer and cut better.
Ideally, you clean your electric head shaver after every use, but we get that everyone is busy, so if you’re in a rush one day don’t sweat it. Just make sure to take care of it every 2-3 shaves.
The steps of the process are pretty straightforward but can depend on what brand or model you’re using.
With many electric head shavers, running the head under the faucet helps flush out unwanted debris, but make sure you check to make sure your model is compatible with running water.
If you’re not sure, just do a quick google search of the make and model of your shaver to find a copy of the user manual.
Another method of cleaning your shaver is by gently – GENTLY – tapping the razor to shake out the buildup. But just because the surface level is clean, don’t forget to go deeper.
Release the blade heads (rotary) or cutting cassette (foil) of your shaver to get into the inner chamber, once again tapping to unlodge the particles.
Even though it may be tempting to get in there with a tiny brush or a Q-tip, most manufacturers say this is a no-no. Since the blades are so fine and sensitive, the pressure of any implement could damage or dent them.
The same goes for your fingers – avoid touching the blades and stick with running water or gentle taps to clean your tool.
In addition to your regular cleanings, an occasional deep clean is in order to make sure everything is running smoothly. Think of it as taking your car in for an oil change every 3000 miles.
Once every month or so (depending on how often you shave), you should take the time to fully take apart and wipe down every part of the shaver. You may be surprised to see what builds up behind the blades – and glad you took the time to clean it.
Before putting it all back together, let this piece fully air dry to avoid any water damage. Top it off with a touch of oil if one was provided with your shaving kit to keep your machine purring.
Now, we did say cleaning electric head shavers was easy, and we think the process is pretty straight-forward if you get it down to a routine.
However, some guys may still find this process a little fussy. If you’re the type of guy who doesn’t have time to fiddle with the shaver head every morning, we have good news for you: self-cleaning shavers.
Self-cleaning shavers come with a dock and replaceable cartridges of cleaning solution to take care of all that work for you.
How Often You Should Replace an Electric Shaver Head
While there’s a distinct difference in how long a disposable razor head will last versus and electric shaver head, the short answer is yes, you will need to replace them from time to time.
All blades dull after use, and it’s essential to the head-shaving process that your blade be sharp.
When you use your electric head shaver for the first time, you’ll notice the amazing feeling of the fresh, cool blade. As opposed to a cartridge shaver, this feeling will last for many, many uses before dulling.
However, there are a few tell tale signs of a dulling or damaged blade. For one thing, particularly with a foil shaver, if you’re starting to feel more friction with each shave, and the head actually feels like it’s heating up, that could be because the blades are wearing through the foil.
You’ll want to avoid letting that problem go too long, as the blades can wear through the protective foil and knick your skin. Ouch.
Also, if the hairs feel like they’re being tugged out of your head rather than sliced neatly, that’s a classic indicator that your blades are simply getting dull.
Also, if you note any visible damage like rust, dents, or blades wearing through the metal, you should move to replace your shaver head sooner rather than later to avoid causing injury.
If any of these symptoms appear, the diagnosis is an old head, and the prescription is to replace the blade or foil on your shaver.
Fortunately, well-maintained electric head shaver blades can be used 12-18 months depending on how often you shave or how thick and coarse your hair is.
Replacement heads and foils for your electric head shaver can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean you should let it go too long. It’s worth the investment to keep your shaver in the original state you bought it in to maintain the shave you’re looking for.
Do your best to buy the replacement designed specifically for your model. Some brands have options that can work between different models.
Let’s face it – sometimes you can game the system by choosing a head for a different model that may be cheaper or even higher-performance than the one specifically allocated to your model, but only go for that if you’ve done your research to ensure they are truly interchangeable.
Once you’ve bought your replacement, check your manufacturer’s guide for any specific instructions on how to remove and replace your blade heads or cutting foils. For some more general instructions, we’ve broken it down by type of razor:
Rotary shaver models usually require one of two methods for replacements. The most convenient and straightforward way is to pop off the entire head and replace it, intact.
If the brand and model of shaver you have has this as an option, you’re in luck. Unfortunately for the rest of you, the other method requires a bit more hands-on attention.
To start, there will be a release button on the front part of your shaver. This will open up and allow you to remove the head from the shaver entirely.
Once the head is removed, you’ll be able to access the cutters, and remove them but unscrewing the locking mechanisms.
Sometimes, the locking mechanism holds each cutter into place individually, while others have a combined locking system that holds all of the cutters in at the same joint.
Once the cutters are unscrewed, you can slide the replacement into their slots one by one. To make sure the cutter is getting installed in the proper direction, look for a groove in the replacement head.
This groove will point inward to the center of the head. If you’re installing the cutters correctly, you shouldn’t have to force or jam any pieces back into place; they should fit naturally and comfortably.
Then, just pop the head back onto the body and you’re back in business! This may sound like a lot of steps, but you’ll get the hang of it within a minute or two. Plus, who doesn’t love looking under the hood to see how everything really works?
Foil shaver heads are even easier to replace than those of rotary shavers. Newer models tend to include the shaving foil and the cutting blades in one piece, the cutting head cassette.
This cartridge can easily be released from the body and replaced with a new one. One of the reasons combining the foil and the cutter is standard practice is that in general, you want to replace the two parts at the same time since they typically experience wear and tear at a similar rate.
The exception to this is if something specifically happens to damage your foil and you believe your blades are still in good shape. Additionally, if you have an older shaver model, you may find that the foil and cutter are separate pieces.
Use the release button or gently pull to remove the foil (depending on the model), exposing the blades. Be careful not to cut yourself on these blades – what’s dull on your head hair may still be sharp on your fingers!
You can remove the blades by gripping the cutter block at its sides and pulling it off. Your new parts should fit back into place as easily as the old parts were removed.
Even though electric head shavers are extremely convenient and effective to use, some men still prefer other shaving tools, like a professional straight razor or shavette, a dual-edge safety razor, or a cartridge razor.
Head over to our list of recommendations for the best head razors for a full breakdown of your razing options, or you can check out our tips for choosing between safety razors vs cartridge razors.
So that’s it! Your basic startup handbook for using an electric head shaver to achieve the bald head of your dreams. Now that you’re ready to get started, check out our guide for choosing the best one.
Photos from: SimpleFoto / depositphotos.com, ia__64 / depositphotos.com, bossmoss / depositphotos.com, AsierRomeroCarballo / depositphotos.com, gosphotodesign / depositphotos.com, Lusoimages / depositphotos.com.
- Why Should I Shave My Head?
- Difference Between Head and Face Shavers
- Benefits of Using an Electric Head Shaver
- Types of Electric Head Shavers
- Features of the Best Electric Head Shavers
- How to Shave with an Electric Head Shaver
- How to Clean an Electric Head Shaver
- How Often You Should Replace an Electric Shaver Head