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New member who head shaves

Hello, and well wishes to you all!

Since April 2017, I’ve been shaving my head, with lubricant-free disposable razors, and will be switching to a wet shaving/safety razor set-up. I was hesitant about posting an introduction because I haven’t actually started yet, but here goes. Following is where I'm at and where I'm headed ( :p ).

I have to navigate my shaving approach considering a few different neurological symptoms. Some of those symptoms rule out electric razors. I'd rather stay with my frustrating disposables than deal with cartridge razors. Additionally, reducing waste is important to me. From what I’ve seen, that leaves some form of wet shaving as my most viable alternative. I'm so grateful for the members who have shown that it can be possible for some with physical challenges. Considering my circumstances, I think I’ll be able to make it work safely and successfully. I’m also grateful to B&B on the whole for the incredible wealth of information and support!

Current Set-Up (what I’m switching away from)

Pre-Shave: usually none, just washing my scalp as usual with my shower soap (diluted Branch Basics “Concentrate”) and warm water (tried a few products; kept finding that skin was least irritated with and hair was most responsive to minimal tinkering), though every once in a while will need to exfoliate my scalp using the Boie “Face Scrubber”

Razor/Blade: Gillette “Good News Disposable Razors” without the lubricant strips (or knockoffs? haha)

Soap: none, just warm water (same reason as pre-shave)

Brush: none

After-Shave: washing the shaved hair off with shower soap, then sometimes using plain jojoba oil after

Frequency: 1x/1-4 weeks; if the hair is too long, I cut it with scissors first. I prefer the results of 1x/week, which I’m hoping to be able to keep up with using better-suited tools.

Strangely enough, I do get a very effective smooth shave with the technique I've settled on. No burns, cuts, bumps, or irritation. However, these disposables are not well-suited to my thick hair. It makes for a very long, frustrating, and exhausting shaving experience. Not being so extremely drained afterwards is a goal, haha.

Upcoming Set-Up

Pre-Shave: No plans to change this unless necessary. If needed, plain jojoba oil and/or more consistent use of the scrubber would be my first choices.

Razor/Blade: Either
  • DE – Merkur and Henson have some interesting models, but I still have more information and options to sort through
  • SE – OneBlade and Supply make my top contenders in this category
  • Cartridge-like/multi-blade – Leaf/Twig or Maxwell June
For now, haven’t decided on something yet; in the process of establishing which razor and then blade are best fits for my situation.

Soap: From my understanding, some sort of soap is required. I’m looking at either an unscented fragrance-free tubed cream (Pacific Shaving Company “Clean Shave Cream”), an unscented fragrance-free tallow soap, or an unscented fragrance-free vegan soap. I’ve curated my master lists for the latter two down to 4 tallow options and 5 vegan options. If it’s alright, I might post asking for particular comparisons between these specific options within the two categories.

Brush: Personally, I’d rather not use a brush, because of the extra steps it involves. I realize it’s a beloved part of the process, but I have limited capacity, so unfortunately, I sometimes have to make these types of choices. But, if it looks absolutely necessary for the soap option I like best, I'll go with a long-handled synthetic (I’ve seen the Razorock 400 mentioned – wondering what other options perform well, to compare).

After-Shave: No plans to change this unless necessary. If needed, more consistent use of plain jojoba oil would be my first choice.

Starting Plan: When I obtain a razor and blades, I'll load it with a taped up blade and practice my technique with that. I'll also learn how to lather well with a single soap option before I put an untaped blade to my skin, haha. Then, I’ll practice with a live blade on my body. Once I'm comfortable with all those, I'll dive into actually shaving my head with that set-up. Unless something significant surfaces, I do not intend to make software or hardware adjustments until I’m consistently shaving safely and effectively.

My primary criteria are safety to use as well as safety to maintain. My preferred values going into this, insofar as they do not compromise safety, are minimalism and consumer conscientiousness, where possible (to clarify: this is my own take that works for me personally, not meant or intended to be imposed on others or as judgment on what works best for anyone else). Unscented and fragrance-free (artificial and natural) are required, and I also need to avoid several personal kryptonite ingredients.

I’m here to learn from you all and am excited to make the switch :D I appreciate you and this community!

Best regards
 
Welcome to B&B.
I don't head shave so cannot offer you the best help you need. A once a weeks shave may require a razor with a reasonable blade gap and I would think an adjustable razor may be a good choice. A good lather made with soap and brush will give you the basis for a good shave. I would suggest electric clippers may be a good tool for reducing hair length ready for shaving.
Do you have a budget in mind for the shaving kit? Looks like you are located in the USA so there are many good online vendors to choose from.
 
I know the perfect razor: a Merkur open comb.

I use one for head-shaving sometimes every other day, sometimes with as much as a couple of weeks between shaves. It cuts longer growth just as well as short stubble. Mows right through it with very little clogging.

It's also a very mild razor and therefore easy to use.

I have the 985C travel version with a short two-piece handle. The 15C - longer handle - is probably easier to find. They all use the same head.

A sharp blade like the nacet works really well in a mild razor.

Plain soap-and-water can be slippery enough but it might dry out too quickly before you're finished a shave. A proper lather lasts a lot longer. That's where shaving soaps come in: they're designed to be nice and slick and to hold a lather.

But if you struggle to whip up a lather with a shaving brush, just stick with soap and water and keep reapplying if it dries out.
 
Welcome to B&B, have some great shaves!
Not a head shaver and there is some great information on head shaving from other members who have used a lot of products, enjoy.
 
Welcome to Badger & Blade, your home resource for everything shaving and beyond. 🙂

There are lots of resources here to help you on your journey. Hopefully, it can be quite educational for you. But the number one thing to remember when it comes to DE shaving, to have fun.

DE shaving is so fun for me, I feel like a kid again. Not many things can have that effect on me, but DE shaving does. 🙂
 
Welcome to B&B. Sounds like you have given this a lot of thought. As you get started be sure to post your experiences so others can share their similar experiences and advice. Don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t click immediately. Part of the insanity fun is finding the combination that works best for you.
When you get a chance head over to the Hall of Fame and tell us a little about yourself.
 
Welcome fellow head shaver. You don't have to have a brush for soaps even, it just makes it better. I shave my face and head daily, but I have no allergies or sensitivity issues. I didn't shave over the weekend due to spring cleaning, so I had a lot of stubble going into this morning. I used a Timeless Bronze open comb razor and it's smoooooth. Care and knowing how your hair grows are the two most important parts of shaving the noggin for me. Good luck! There's also a brotherhood of headshavers
 
Welcome aboard. I shaved the dome for many years with a cartridge before discovering a better way. The Henson was the first razor to get the back fringe baby bottom smooth. It was my go-to head shaver and is still one of my very favorites. The Leaf became my number 1 on the dome due to comfort and efficiency.

I have tried the Leaf Thorn, and it is very good. Old school Schick injectors are also great on the dome.

I tried the Merkur open comb early on and quickly passed it on due to it being a very mild razor that I could not get good results from. Everyone is different. Have fun on the journey.
 
Thank you everyone 😃 This feedback and your support are awesome. Do people tend to prefer reading responses to each post with separate posts, or all in one longer post? Here, I'm responding in one longer post:

A once a weeks shave may require a razor with a reasonable blade gap and I would think an adjustable razor may be a good choice. A good lather made with soap and brush will give you the basis for a good shave. I would suggest electric clippers may be a good tool for reducing hair length ready for shaving.
Do you have a budget in mind for the shaving kit?

Very helpful to consider! Trying to get an experiential grasp on what the different blade gaps, and other features, haha, mean has been tricky. I like the idea of adjustable, if for nothing else as a less cluttered way to get some kinesthetic knowledge of different settings. I wouldn't be tempted to change things all the time, so I'm not concerned about that pitfall. Unfortunately, electric clippers are also a no-go for me, for now, but I hope to be able to tolerate the pitches and vibrations of that buzzing at some point!

I don't have a set budget. For razors, I am up for paying a premium for one choice razor (very grateful for that), as long as it's a good enough match where I'm not making a lot of compromises with the product (example only: Rockwell T2 doesn't seem worth the $150 for me, but a $195 Above the Tie wouldn't be out of the question, if it happened to be an overall best fit for what I'm looking for). Looking at all my 'ideal' features in a razor, I doubt I'm going to find one that meets everything, so that's where the overall value of the product is more important to me. My list of final contender soaps ranges an average from roughly $0.10-$0.30/g, and I'm fine with any of those.

I know the perfect razor: a Merkur open comb.

Ahhh, this point of my research is one of my trickiest, thank you for bringing it up and for your insights! I've been conflicted about safety bar versus open comb. Instinct shies away from more blade exposure, but logically I see how that could be actually be safer, especially with head shaving, especially with longer hair growth (not needing to pre-cut my hair if I wait too long sounds amazing). I have a few general questions about this, but don't want to be repetitive. Are there any tricks to searching for head shaving related threads? I tried looking up variations of "head shaving" "open comb," but because of the part of the razor that's called "head," I struggle to find "head shaving" related posts.

But the number one thing to remember when it comes to DE shaving, to have fun.

Don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t click immediately. Part of the insanity fun is finding the combination that works best for you.

Really appreciate the reminders 😁 I am so excited the prospect of shaving my head transforming from something depleting into a time for meditative attentiveness -- to be able to ENJOY it! And, thanks for sharing the Hall of Fame link!

You don't have to have a brush for soaps even, it just makes it better.

🎉! In your experience, does this work even for the hard soap pucks? What soaps have you used without a brush? I realize I might need to go with a brush, but I would much rather see how it goes without one first. And thanks for the Head Shavers Check-In link!

The Leaf became my number 1 on the dome due to comfort and efficiency.

I have tried the Leaf Thorn, and it is very good.

This is great to know, thank you! I'm unsure of Leaf's best model for head shaving -- Leaf, Twig, or Thorn -- what is your experience with that? And, what differences do you find in the shaving experience between the DE and the Leaf models (especially regarding safety and forgiveness, haha)? Also, does loading your Henson require more or less dexterity than loading your Leaf?
 
Welcome aboard, fellow Chrome Dome!

I shave my head three times a week. Basic outfit: boar brush, homemade soap, and an expensive razor. :)

Your preference for particular razors will evolve, as will your preferences for various blades, soaps and other tools of the trade.

Starting with a Merkur is a solid choice, and there are other solid choices. Once you see the ups and downs of your first razor you'll know whether you want to adjust or if it's good to go.

You have some fun times coming!

O.H.
 
I've been conflicted about safety bar versus open comb. Instinct shies away from more blade exposure, but logically I see how that could be actually be safer, especially with head shaving, especially with longer hair growth (not needing to pre-cut my hair if I wait too long sounds amazing).

This is a very mild razor so you don't need to worry about blade exposure. It's not impossible to get a nick but as a rule it's quite hard to do with this model.
 
🎉! In your experience, does this work even for the hard soap pucks? What soaps have you used without a brush? I realize I might need to go with a brush, but I would much rather see how it goes without one first. And thanks for the Head Shavers Check-In link!
With a hard soap puck simply rub over the areas you want to shave and then use your hands to build a lather. It works just fine.
 
This is great to know, thank you! I'm unsure of Leaf's best model for head shaving -- Leaf, Twig, or Thorn -- what is your experience with that? And, what differences do you find in the shaving experience between the DE and the Leaf models (especially regarding safety and forgiveness, haha)? Also, does loading your Henson require more or less dexterity than loading your Leaf?
My strong preference is for more aggressive razor on the head, milder on the face; most people seem to prefer milder on the dome.

Henson medium is very easy to load. It is efficient enough to get the job done in two passes plus some pickups because of shaving blind on the back side. Very comfortable, very safe feeling.

I very much preferred the Thorn when I tried it and the Twig on a pass-around. Great efficiency, similar results to the Henson medium. It feels very much like a vintage Schick injector, which are much less expensive, and less prone to mechanical malfunction.

The Leaf takes a little more patience to load the blades, no doubt about that. The performance of the Leaf is where it shines. The pivoting head is great for following the curvature of your melon, and it makes for a MUCH shorter shave time. I shave both head and face during the same shave session, so I get plenty of "spa time" for the face shave, but sometimes it is nice to move a little quicker on the solar panel.
 
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