Maybe you’ve decided to update your look as the weather warms, and spring starts to showcase the sun. Or perhaps you’re already thinning and just want to be done with it already and think that you’ll look better going bald than with a little cap of wispy hair taunting you at the top of your head.
Whatever your reason, shaving your head is both easy and quick so long as you go about it the right way. It doesn’t need to be an hours-long ordeal with a lot of steps and equipment. Instead, all it requires are a few common hair-cutting tools and some smart planning.
The fastest way to shave your head is with electric clippers, followed by a razor.
Combining these two tools lets you cut your long hair down to a buzzcut style in just minutes, while one of our recommended razors is capable of smoothing your scalp in a similar amount of time with the help of some hot water and shaving cream. Want to know the details and some quick tricks? Keep reading below for a detailed breakdown of all the steps for how to shave your head quickly.
Our Recommended Kit for Shaving Your Head Fast
Wahl Lithium Ion Cordless Rechargeable Hair Clippers
Use these to get down to a buzz cut in no time flat.
HeadBlade ATX Razor
Follow up with this razor for a smooth cut-free shave.
Decide Your Length
The first thing you need to do is decide what length you’re actually going for. Are you trying to go completely bald, and make your heads as shiny and smooth as Professor X? Or are you just trying to get a really close buzz cut like something out of the military’s boot camps? Basically, deciding what you want beforehand is going to speed up the process because you’ll spend less time in the mirror thinking about what might look good and more time actually shaving your head.
If you’re not sure what look to go for, don’t worry. There are websites and magazines with pictures of bald or near-bald men for you to take inspiration from. Find a template or picture that you like and try to imagine what you’d look like with that level of a shave. The good news, of course, is that even if you mess up for this first time and shave completely, your hair will grow back soon enough.
One thing to keep in mind that a lot of guys neglect is facial hair. Some men look good with a bald head and a full beard, while other men can’t pull that combination off. If you already have facial hair, you need to decide ahead of time if you’re going to keep the beard or mustache or if you’re also going to shave that off for a totally hairless face (except for the eyebrows, of course!).
Another thing to consider is that we’ll first be removing the thicker parts of your hair before we go for a full shave. If you discover that a buzzcut works for you, you can always stop right there and not have to continue the process. It’s just always a good idea to have a general picture in mind before you begin.
The Fastest Way to Shave Your Head
Now that you have your look in mind, it’s time to shave. We already mentioned that clippers are by far the fastest method of getting the majority of your hair off your head and onto the ground. But wait! There’s a small difference if you have long or shaggy hair that we’ll need to deal with first.
If you have longer hair, take scissors beforehand and start cutting. Since it’s all going to come off anyway, you don’t need to worry about making it look good or even. Simply start cutting off large chunks of hair and try to get all of the longest parts possible. What we’re doing here is removing a lot of the heavier hair pieces that your clippers will have difficulty with one their guards are removed.
Since you’re not trying to make your hair look good with the scissors, this step should only take you a few minutes at most.
Once the longest parts of your hair have been cut away with scissors, it’s time to use the clippers. Clippers are one of the best ways to shave your head. You’ll need any normal, wall plug-in or wireless clipper tool, many of which you can find on Amazon. Most of the time you see people using clippers with guards; remove yours. You want your clipper blades to be as short and small as possible since that will translate to the closest shave you can get. If you just want a buzzcut like a member of the armed forces, you can still use the closest setting possible without a guard.
Once you've removed the guard, start dragging the clippers back across your head. We recommend starting from the front, near your forehead, and moving backward. This will cause the clippers to cut against your hair, making the cut shorter and removing more hair at one time. All you need to do is move the clippers back in that direction in straight lines over the top of your head. You should see your scalp become visible from the very first line.
If you’re done with the top of your head, move onto the sides. The same principle applies here; use your fingers if necessary to find the way that your hair naturally wants to lean, and cut against that direction. This is an integral part of cutting your hair that we’ll return to later in the guide, so remember it.
Once the sides are done, do the sideburns and around the ears. You’ll want to eliminate these sections in particular because you’ll look strange with only a little hair near your ears and nothing on your head. Obviously, depending on your length you’ll want to blend everything in together if you’re not going for a totally-bald head.
The actual blending or length of your hair is up to you but go carefully with this part and don’t overcut. You’re going for speed, here, but not sloppiness. It’s also possible to cut yourself with the bare blades of clippers if you’re hurrying along, and a scab at the top of your head is an injury that everyone will guess the origin of.
Altogether, the clipper section should also only take a few minutes, meaning that from start to finish this process should have been very quick. If you wanted a buzzcut, you’re basically done! Go take a shower to clean off and remember to pick up all of your hair that fell on the floor. If you want a bald head, there’s one more critical step, and there are a few ways to do it.
Want to go Smoother?
So, you want the top of your head to be as smooth as the skin of a baby? There are two ways to accomplish this, although both use hot water and a razor.
First of all, make sure that the razor you’re going to take to your scalp is clean and washed. You want the blade to be sharp and ready instead of rusted or dull. Either of those conditions might result in you having to explain the cuts that are atop your head to anyone who sees them. You can also invest in a safety razor, which is a blade that has a guard line to better protect your skin against cuts.
Either way, just make sure that you have a good razor for the job. Once you have your razor, you’ll want to heat and wet the skin atop your head. This is because skin that has been exposed to warm water will have its pores opened up, letting hair extend more freely. This lets you then cut hair closer to its root, which will translate into a longer time of smooth skin before you have to shave again.
You can get this heat and water from one obvious way: the shower. If you have a large mirror, you can even do the shaving itself in the shower, although you should be careful to check that the mirror is big enough to see your entire head. Check out our recommended shower mirrors that will get the job done perfectly. The shower is a great place to carry out this part of the process since any hair will be dumped down the drain. There’s minimal cleanup involved.
Even if you’re not going to shave in the shower, you should still wash your scalp thoroughly to remove dead skin, oil, and debris beforehand. This will make the shaving easier anyway.
If you shave outside the shower, you should wet and heat your head with a warm washcloth right before you shave. You should also heat the razor blades in hot water from the sink. Apply shaving cream to your head in the shower or outside to protect your skin from getting cut. Don’t ignore the shaving cream part because that takes a little bit of time; it’ll make your actual razor work a lot faster, smoother, and safer. There’s nothing to lose.
Once your skin is ready and a good shaving cream has been applied, take your razor and perform the same kinds of motions you practiced as when you used the clippers. Go against your hair, so start from your forehead side to the back. This method will also stop shaving cream from falling into your eyes as your razor completes its lines.
Move your razor in an organized grid. Make sure to get around corners and the curved areas of your head in wide, sweeping arcs. Once you think you’re done, just use your fingers to feel around your head and cut any hair that still remains. Altogether, showering and shaving should only take about 10-20 minutes from start to finish.
With all of these steps combined, the fastest way to shave your head should measure up to about a half hour. In that time, you can go from having a full head of hair to being as bald and shiny as Captain Picard. This time needs to be extended, obviously, if you have long hair and need to spend some time with scissors beforehand.
Either way, it’s not a very large investment of time. If the length of the operation is all that’s stopping you from taking the plunge, don’t worry! It’ll be done before you know it. And even if you decide that bald isn’t your look, it’s not too bad. Your hair will grow back!