How to Care for a Shaved Head: 6 Tips from the Pros

by Emily Kilpatrick, St. Baldrick's Foundation
April 4, 2017

Being bald means thinking about hair (or scalp) care in a whole new light. Fortunately, taking care of a shaved head is easy with these six tips.


Every year, tens of thousands of men, women, and kids shave their heads for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. They do it for one reason: to cure cancer.

Learn more about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation >

Whether you’ve recently shaved or you’ve been sporting the no-hair look for years, do you know the best bald head care practices? Neither did we, so we turned to the men and women who have helped more people go bald than anyone else we know: our St. Baldrick’s barbers.

Hair care professionals from across the U.S. answered our call for advice, and they gave us some great tips! Here’s what our barbers had to say:

1. Don’t ditch the shampoo and conditioner

Those tiny hairs on your head may be hard to see, but they still need some love! Oils and dirt can build up on a bald scalp, so be sure to use a dab of shampoo when you shower and follow up with a moisturizing conditioner to keep that head flake-free. And while soap or body wash may seem like an easy option, they can have a drying effect. It’s best to stick with products made for hair.


2. Shield your scalp from the sun

There are many benefits of shaving your head, but sun protection is not one of them! This was our barbers’ most frequently-given advice, and it’s an important one to remember. Amber from the KelliPaul Salon in Peachtree City, Georgia, sums it up: “Bald and burnt isn’t fun!”

Hair keeps your head warm and protected. Now that you have less insulation on top, you might find yourself paying more attention to the weather report. On chilly days, cover up with a beanie. And when the sun is out, throw on some sunscreen or a hat for your shaved head.

Even on cloudy days, spending time outdoors can leave you with a scorched scalp, so don’t skimp on the sunscreen for your head, ears, and neck.


3. Keep hydrated and moisturize

Especially during the dry winter months, or if your head gets a little too much sun, your scalp can become dry and rough. Get hydrated by drinking plenty of water and using a sensitive-skin moisturizer on your head.

Going from long hair to a bald head is a major adjustment for your skin! Develop a routine to help protect your head from the elements.


4. Try a scalp massage

Some people say that rubbing a bald head brings good luck. That may or may not be true, but our barbers let us know that stimulating your scalp promotes good blood flow and encourages healthy hair growth.

Not only are these massages a great bald head treatment, but your hair follicles will also thank you later! Hair grows faster with a happy scalp.

Check out these five tips for growing out your hair >

Here’s how to do it: Starting with all 10 fingertips on your head, apply gentle pressure and move your fingers around your scalp, working from your forehead, to the crown of your head, and down to your neck. It’s easy to do on your own — or you could try convincing a loved one that rubbing your bald head will bring them good fortune.


5. Tell ‘em why you shaved

Walking around with your newly-shorn head, you’re bound to get some questions. Be ready with some good answers! Let people know that you shaved your head with St. Baldrick’s to raise money for children’s cancer research. Pediatric cancer is the number one disease killer of our children, and researchers need better funding to find cures.

“If shaving my head can help find a cure to childhood cancer, that’s an opportunity I can’t pass up,” first-time shavee Hannah Lampinen said after facing the clippers.

Learn more about childhood cancer >

Get more ideas from this infographic, and let people know that they can still donate on your fundraising page at StBaldricks.org.


6. Hold your head high

You shaved your head to help kids with cancer, and that’s something to be proud of! So throw your shoulders back and take the advice of Kristen Hagan from Wild HairZ Salon in Louisville, Kentucky: “Rock it proud!”

Many of our shavees say that shaving their head gave them a boost of confidence, and we think that’s great. In fact, we want to see your bald head! Share your shave on YouTube or post a photo of your bald self with the hashtag #baldselfie to join in the fun on Twitter or Instagram.


Still asking yourself “should I shave my head?” There’s no better way to find out then diving in head first. Sign up to be a shavee and help fund lifesaving childhood cancer research.

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