Paul, 38, from Jersey City, NJ, asks:
"What are the best techniques for shaving your head, and products to keep from drying out? Or peeling? How about lotions or sunscreens?"
Congratulations, Paul! Like Taye Diggs (pictured), Woody Harrelson, or Patrick Stewart, you've embraced your baldness -- and probably unleashed your bolder, sexier side. But men sans hair need to take care of their scalp as much as those with the wildest mane if they want to rock that naked scalp.
Let's start with shaving techniques.
For first-timers, I would not recommend trying to cut your own hair: Just like licking your elbow, it's close to impossible to do it yourself. You can trim the hair you have as close as possible to your scalp with clippers, and let your favorite barber (or your partner) do the finishing touches with a straight razor.
Razors specifically designed for bald heads are an appealing alternative, but you run the risk of missing a few spots (around the neck or behind your ears) and cutting yourself, so make sure you proceed with care.
Once you've got a beautiful, smooth scalp, it's important to keep it moisturized to avoid dryness and skin flakes.
Since you're more prone to dryness or dandruff, wash your scalp with a moisturizing shampoo. I find that Neutrogena's products work great against dandruff; and they're rather inexpensive. You could try the T/Sal Scalp Build-Up Shampoo ($4.99, 4.5 fl oz). You can also exfoliate your scalp one or twice a week with a scrub, such as Kiehl's Deep Micro-Exfoliationg Scalp Treatment ($20, 3.4oz), to get rid of dead skin cells and boost sebum production. You can follow the wash with a scalp toner (Duke Bald & Bold Scalp Serum, available at drugstores) to tighten the pores.
Once you're all clear, use a moisturizer with a minimum SPF 30 to both hydrate the skin and protect it from harmful UV rays. Brands like Bald Guyz, Matte For Men, or Bold For Men make products specifically designed for you, but I don't think there's any harm in using your regular SPF moisturizer. If you're particularly sensitive to sun exposure, wear a hat as much as possible, and apply an aloe vera lotion if you get burned.
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