Straight Razor Head Shave: The Best Way To Go Bald For St. Paddy’s Day
You might sometimes feel the sudden urge to shave your head, or perhaps you've always pictured yourself with one. A straight razor head shave will leave your crown as smooth as a baby's bottom, whether you are getting ready for St. Patrick's Day or drawing inspiration from a Vin Diesel movie.
When you go hair-free on the crown, you want it to look at its full glory. Using a straight razor to shave your head ensures a clean, smooth, nick-free shave. It is not for the weak-handed, so use our guide to straight razor grips to practice holding your razor properly.
Once comfortable using a straight razor, you can get close to every angle of your head for a clean, smooth shave. Here's how:
- St. Paddy’s Tradition: Shaving Your Head
- Best Razors For Shaving Head Aside From A Straight Razor
- Why A Straight Razor Head Shave Is The Best
- Straight Razor Shaving For Your Head
- Where to Find The Best Straight Razor For Shaving Your Head?
St. Paddy’s Tradition: Shaving Your Head
Shaving heads for St. Patrick's Day began in 1999 to help raise funds for children with cancer.
Enjoying the festivities of St. Patrick’s Day goes beyond indulging your inner leprechaun.1 This day could also be an excellent opportunity to give back to charity, but this time, by shaving off your hair to help raise funds for cancer research and treatment.
The modern-day tradition of going bald and shaving heads began in 1999 after three guys decided to go bare on the crown for St. Patrick’s Day, aiming to raise funds for kids battling cancer. Since then, men have participated in the event annually, establishing volunteer-driven initiatives such as the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.2
Worried about going hairless on your head? Don’t worry, it may take time, but it will certainly grow back, just don't shave every day. Plus, there are some benefits to shaving heads you will undoubtedly enjoy!
One perk would be boosting the public’s perception of your personality. According to research, people view bald men as more dominant, taller, and stronger than men with hair. So if you’re looking to build up your credibility, shaving your head is the way to go.3
Best Razors for Shaving Head Aside From A Straight Razor
So, before clearing the lawn, it would be wise to find the best razor to use—and there are not one but two shaving gears you need to get your hands on first.
A straight razor, followed by a safety razor and a pair of trustworthy barber's shears, are the best and most effective types of razor for shaving heads because of their blade size. Also, the single-edge blades of a straight razor make it easy to get a skin-level bevel. This gives a very close and smooth shave when used to shave hair off of heads, making straight razors ideal for this task.
However, do take note that you need to put your razor in your checked-in luggage when traveling with a straight razor.
Why A Straight Razor Head Shave Is The Best
Straight razors are the best choice for shaving the head because they are faster and more accurate than other grooming tools.
Here's why a straight razor head shave is the best:
- They provide a clean and close shave, allowing for less irritation or discomfort, which is especially important for head shaves due to the sensitive nature of skin on the scalp.
- Straight razor shaving is less likely to result in a clogged blade and more likely to result in a close shave in fewer passes. Multi-bladed razors shave in more passes and cut and trap the hair, whereas a straight razor may provide a clean blade in each pass. You only need to wipe it after each pass.
- Shaving with a straight razor gives a smoother, longer-lasting shave, which lasts up to two days because the single blade can get closer to the skin than a multi-blade razor. The closeness and precision of a straight razor head shave make stubble less noticeable, which makes it look like your hair grows more slowly.
Straight Razor Shaving For Your Head
Now that we’ve gotten that out, you’re ready to shave your head. But unless you’ve done this before, you might be worried about how to do it. After all, shaving your beard and hair on the head are two different things.
Nervous? Don’t worry. At Naked Armor, we will show you how to make yourself bald just in time for St. Paddy.
Here’s how to shave your head with the best razors:
Cut your hair down to a stubble
Use a sharp pair of barber's shears to cut your hair short. Even though regular scissors will work, it would be best to use Naked Armor's stainless steel scissors, which are barber-grade scissors made to cut and style hair correctly. If you want to, you can also use an electric razor. Just take away its guard, and it can cut more precisely.
Shaving a head full of hair is a waste of lather and an accident waiting to happen. Cutting it down to stubble makes shaving easier and more manageable and reduces the irritation.
Get into a hot shower to prep the hair
Hot water makes the hair softer and more pliable. The heat and moisture reduce the hair’s strength by 80%, making it easier to shave off. It also opens the pores, removing the dead skin and oil for a more comfortable shave.
Be careful not to go overboard with the heat, and remember to keep it short. Long, hot showers strip off the body’s natural oils, leaving the skin dry and prone to damage.5
Put some pre-shave oil on it
Pre-shave oil works to prepare your scalp and hair for shaving better. Rubbing a small amount of pre-shave oil into your scalp restores the skin’s natural moisture, which may have been stripped away by the hot shower.
It also serves as a protective barrier against the razor blade’s friction, and having less friction reduces the risk of post-shave skin irritation or razor burn.6 It also softens the hair while lifting it to make it easy for the razor to shave off.
Most pre-shave oils also contain Vitamin A and E essential oils, nourishing the hair and skin.7 If you don’t want to spend on pre-shave oil, you can always make one yourself.
Apply shaving lather on your scalp
After your scalp and skin have absorbed some of the pre-shave oil, the next step would be applying shaving lather on your scalp. You can use shaving cream, soap, or gel, whichever you have at home, or works best for your skin.
Make lather like you would whip cream. Take your shaving brush and swirl it on the shave soap to load the brush with soap. If you’re using our Noah’s Organic Shave Soap, which comes in a shave tin, you don’t need to whip it in a separate scuttle. Just build the lather straight from the tin can.
Apply it on your scalp generously. A good lather also functions as a buffer against blade friction, allowing the razor to slide easily while shaving. Coat your stubble thoroughly with it to help the hair stand up, allowing for a closer shave.
Here’s a tip from us: use warm lather, always. For that, you will need a scuttle, which will allow you to keep your lather warm for extended periods. This gives you an easier time when getting more lather from your soap.
Proper Shaving Technique
- Hold the razor at the correct angle and shave along the grain.
There’s a reason why we recommend straight and safety razors when shaving the head. Straight and safety razor blades are incredibly sharp, offering maximum contact with the skin, and you only need a single pass to get it right the first time.
If you haven’t tried straight razor shaving yet, ask someone skilled to do the shaving for you. Or, if you insist on doing it yourself, practice shaving on your chin first before attempting to shave your head.
Shaving experts recommend using a straight razor at a 30-degree angle.8 Any lower will tear the stubble; any higher will cut the skin.
If you are too on edge to use a straight razor because you do not have any experience shaving your head, you can also opt for a safety razor. It gives you the same close shave but with more familiarity as it resembles a bit of the modern favorite cartridge razors.
Shaving head with a safety razor
To shave your head with a safety razor, use small downward strokes and pull the skin in the opposite direction. Make sure to use light pressure to avoid accidentally cutting yourself. You can watch Nate Matthews’ technique using his favorite Parker Variant safety razor below:
For the best results, we recommend using a closed-comb safety razor. The safety bar above the edge and the tight ridges account for minimal blade exposure, therefore lessening the chances of bloody accidents.
Whether you shave with a straight or a safety razor, always shave along the grain or follow the hair growth direction. This technique makes shaving easier as the stubble offers the blade the least resistance.
By now, you should know the grain of your hair: the direction you comb your hair is the direction of the grain.
Shave lightly and slowly while holding the razor firmly, and use its weight to guide you in shaving off your hair. Start at the places you can see first, then shave the back of your head and behind your ears. Remember to use a hand mirror to see where the blade is going!
Rinse your head to wash off the lather
After shaving, rinse your head to wash off the remaining lather. Doing this step will also eliminate the stubble debris on your scalp. Using cold water is advisable as it will close off the pores.
Once you finish rinsing, pat your newly shaven head dry. You can wrap a cold towel on it to soothe the freshly naked scalp and reduce the risk of skin irritation.
Clean your tools
While your scalp is wrapped comfortably in a cold towel, rinse your straight razor with running tap water. Cleaning the blade after every shave keeps the blade sharper, last longer, and washes off any exfoliated skin cells or bacteria from the metal.
Wipe the blade dry with a clean towel and use a razor stand to dry your razor properly and thoroughly, especially if using a straight razor. Once dry, apply something like Naked Armor’s Beard to Blade Balm on the blades to prevent rust.
Apply an aftershave
Lastly, like your usual beard-shaving routine, you must apply an aftershave to your freshly mown scalp.
An aftershave provides additional protection to your head by rehydrating your skin.9 Some barbers will recommend a post-shave balm or lotion instead of the usual aftershave splash because they have a gentler consistency that is easier to apply on the skin.
Remember that the scalp is more sensitive than the rest of our skin, so avoid aftershaves with alcohol. They will dry up the scalp, and it won't look good. To keep it shiny and smooth, use an aftershave balm with natural oils like jojoba, argan, and witch hazel oil. These will nourish the scalp while protecting it from inflammation.
Safety razors and straight razors are best for shaving the head because their blades’ sharpness allows you to get a bald head as smooth as a baby’s bottom in just a single pass.
Where To Find The Best Straight Razor For Shaving Your Head
Naked Armor's Solomon Straight Razor is designed for all grooming needs, even shaving heads.
Naked Armor Straight Razors have a grind between a half-hollow and a full hollow—ideal for getting the perfect blade-to-skin ratio for shaving heads.
Whether you’re shaving to raise funds on St. Paddy’s Day or simply because you revel in the freedom of being hair-free, shaving your hair off isn’t difficult as long as you use the right high-quality tools.
Depending on where you live, state regulations prohibit barbers from using straight razors out of concern for the spread of infectious illnesses like hepatitis and HIV. Still, straight razor shaving for personal use is okay.
Here at Naked Armor, we’ve created world-class safety and straight razors that provide you with a luxurious, barber-like shaving experience while giving you the closest shave ever.
Our razors are made from Japanese steel and valuable wood, so not only do they last long, but they also acquire additional value over the years. They become valuable heirloom pieces you can pass on to your family’s generations.
Now, we are also home to the best and most-trusted safety razors from Parker. Shop the best razors for shaving heads below:
More Naked Armor reads:
How To Hold A Straight Razor
The Best Safety Razor For Beginners: Buyer's Guide
Straight Razor Blades: What Is Damascus Steel?
- E. Cavoto. When Is St. Patrick's Day in 2023? Here's How to Go Green, the Irish Way!. The Pioner Woman. https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/holidays-celebrations/a35203099/when-is-st-patricks-day/. January 26, 2023
- 5 Reasons to Shave Your Head on St. Patrick’s Day. St. Baldricks Foundation. https://www.stbaldricks.org/blog/post/5-reasons-to-shave-your-head-on-st-patricks-day. March 3, 2020
- B. Nelson. Good News, Guys: There’s a Huge Scientific Benefit to Being Bald! The Healthy. https://www.thehealthy.com/beauty/hair/benefits-of-being-bald/. July 7, 2017
- My razor blades seem to be clogging, how do I prevent this? We Care. https://wecare.shave.com/support/solutions/articles/5000524606-my-razor-blades-seem-to-be-clogging-how-do-i-prevent-this-. September 27, 2018
- E. Slawek. How to shower the right way, according to dermatologists. NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/pop-culture/how-take-shower-according-dermatologists-ncna740526. August 5, 2022
- A. Libers. What Is Razor Burn? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention. Everyday Health. https://www.everydayhealth.com/razor-burn/guide/. January 28, 2023
- 5 Vitamins for Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails. Haringtons. https://www.haringtons.com/5-vitamins-for-healthy-hair-skin-and-nails. July 22, 2021
- A. Hurly. How to Shave with a Straight Razor (and Not Suffer). GQ. https://www.gq.com/story/how-to-shave-with-a-straight-razor. March 9, 2017
- Mantic59. The Best Aftershave Balm For Men (+ Splash, Milk, Gel) For 2023 Revealed! Sharpologist. https://sharpologist.com/what-is-the-best-aftershave/. February 3, 2023
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