Style | July 11, 2016 9:00 am

Ten Things to Know Before You Shave Your Head

Not buzz; SHAVE. Bic it. The full MJ.

I’ve been “shaving” (read: buzzing) my head for as long as I care to remember. Started losing my hair in my early to mid 20s, clung on desperately through a series of weird Mohawks, eventually said “F** it,” and threw in the hot towel.

I started with a 1-2, switched to a 1-1.5, then realized that was just a waste of everyone’s time and started asking for a 1 all over. Eventually, I graduated to doing it myself with a cordless adjustable electric, slowly working my way to the shortest setting over time. The less hair you have, the shorter you go. Them’s the rules. They’re the easiest, cheapest haircuts I’ve ever had. I can do it half-drunk in the dark too, if I have to.

But last week, I went somewhere I’d never gone before: I finally decided to double down and learn the difference between “shaving my head” and shaving my head. Like, full MJ status. No fuzz left behind. Chromed out like a ’57 Chevy.

Here’s what you need to know before you take a similar plunge.

  1. The tool is everything
    Full stop they are not paying me to say this, but I got a Philips Norelco electric OneBlade as a gift and though it’s meant for facial hair, it went through my head fuzz like mounted cavalry through a militia of blind farmers. Straight up, if you are shaving your head with anything other than one of these you should probably also start writing your Facebook status updates in Sanskrit, because apparently you are about making life harder than it needs to be for no reason.
  2. You’re gonna need an assistant
    At least at first. I’ve been buzzing my own head for several years and even with said Samurai tool I needed to bring my roommate in to make sure I was getting it right in the back. He was cool with it though, and I feel like after a few times, I’ll get comfortable tackling it solo.
  3. There will be strays
    Do yourself a favor and hit it, take a shower, and then come back to it. Again, I’m sure practice makes perfect, but on this first try you’re gonna need to do some touching up.
  4. It doesn’t actually look all that different
    Again, I’ve had a short buzz for a while, but I was pleasantly surprised at how not drastic the transition was. Unless you’re coming from a full head of hair, in which case A) You’re gonna feel like a cancer patient, and B) What the actual f*** are you doing shaving your head you’re slapping God in the face right now I hate you.
  5. That being said, get a tan
    I really have no reference point since this was my first time, but I feel like doing this on the heels of 4th of July weekend when I’ve got a solid Dwayne Johnson going rather than in the depths of December with a pale Nosferatu was definitely the call.
  6. It makes a beard look pretty cool
    Something about the tonsorial role reversal makes me feel younger, even though my beard is whiter than a Trump rally. This may just be me. Anyway, after a bit of experimenting, about midway down the ear looks right for the cutoff point. As natural as you could hope for, anyhow.
  7. Aftershave on a bald head feels amazing
    No explanation necessary.
  8. You’re gonna need sunscreen
    Pure conjecture at this point, but seems like common sense when your head feels like a baby’s ass.
  9. Your hairline is less of a hassle
    Taking off lock stock and the lot kinda makes that whole issue moot in a really pleasant way — instead of stressing over tectonic shift, you’ve just created a big shiny Pangaea.
  10.  Dont overthink it
    Just like any element of your appearance, you shouldn’t stress it too much. No one ever notices as much as you think they do, and your winning personality should carry you through regardless. Barring that, I’ve found buying a round or two never hurt.