How I Shave My Head and Why the Schick Xtreme 3 is the Best Tool for the Job
Spoiler Alert: I don’t have any hair on my head! I’m bald, OK? To be truthful, I’m naturally only partially bald, but there’s so little hair actually growing on my head that I feel better about myself if I just take it all off. I’m often asked how I shave my head (I’m a real hit at parties) and the short answer is this: I use the Schick Xtreme 3 razor in the shower. It’s so damn simple. (And no, this is not a paid endorsement. Oh how I wish it were, but it’s not. It’s simply the true story of how I achieve this glorious chrome dome.)
My Bald Backstory
Lots of men are shaving their heads these days. I’d like to think it was a trend started by yours truly, but that’s probably not even close to being true. But for many fellas, a thinning hairline is being dealt with by just removing all the hair. The ‘Bald Look’ is more popular than ever; I’ve been shaving my pathetically-thin hair off for about ten years now. Here’s a short history of my hair, and lack thereof.
For my entire young life, I always hated my hair. I hated getting it cut, I hated trying to comb it every morning, and I really hated how it looked. I was a kid without a go-to hairstyle. Looking at my school portraits in chronological order is a look back at years of one kid’s sad parade of dorky haircuts.
By the time I graduated high school and entered college, my hair had already started to thin. I figured all along that I was doomed to a life of thin or no hair, as almost every male on both sides of my family grew up to have some level of baldness. In theory I was OK with this, but when reality hits and the hair is thinning, pride and ego step in to try to save the day.
I tried various things: shampoo for thinning hair (which has never worked, and never will), and even Rogaine. But the Rogaine treatments were super expensive, and the odds of its success very small. At some point in my early twenties, I decided to leave it alone and let nature do what it was going to do anyway.
I thought things were going just fine until one day I was combing my hair in a basement bathroom that’s seldom used. It has a front mirror and a mirrored medicine cabinet with a door that opens. Positioned in just such a way, the mirrors allow one to see the back of one’s head. In my case, I got a rare glimpse of the back of my own head. And what I saw shocked me completely: COMBOVER.
The combover is a frequently-used attempt by men to use what little hair on their head that they do have to cover up the areas where hair no longer resides. You all know the look, and you all know the look isn’t pretty. But what I saw that day on the top and back of my head lead me to this awful truth: In many cases, when a man is using the combover technique, he doesn’t even know he’s doing it. I certainly didn’t know.
What’s happening is that men get into a routine with their personal body and hair care, and hairstyling is no exception. We all have in our mind’s eye an image of what our hair is supposed to look like. And we comb, brush, curl, whatever, our hair into that style. It’s automatic. But when the hair starts to thin, us balding men simply continue to style our hair as if nothing has changed. We continue on as if there’s the same amount of hair on our heads, even when there clearly isn’t. And in our mind’s eye, everything’s cool. But in the mirror of reality, things are not cool. Things are being combed over.
This shocking discovery led me to make some changes; at first, I cut my hair very short; a buzzcut if you will. And it looked better. Pretty darn good, actually. No more combovers, at least. Then my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the treatments led her to lose her hair.
Now, my beautiful mother is bald. My hair’s already very very short, so I though why don’t I just shave it all the way off as a way to show my solidarity to my mom’s cancer fight. So, that’s what I did. And you know what? It didn’t look bad. Not at all. It of course took some getting used to, but after a few days I realized something: I liked it. I liked it a lot. No combing. No more haircuts. No shampoo. No nuthin’!! Even better, I was getting compliments! I had never been complimented about anything going on from my neck up in my entire life! And now, I’m standing out. I’m turning heads. (I’m also exaggerating. Slightly.)
So now, back to my original point: How do I keep my head so damn smooth? As I said, it’s simple: the Schick Xtreme 3 disposable razor.
Why the Schick Xtreme 3?
What led me to this super-average, nothing-special disposable razor blade? Why this one over all others? It certainly because of Schick’s “poor spelling as marketing wizardry” spelling of the word EXTREME I mean XTREME. (There’s no E!! That’s how XTREME this razor is!!) Well, it started with my commitment to cheapness, led to some experimentation with other razors, then right back to where I started.
There are a million different razors for men’s shaving needs on the market. The prevailing trend seems to be the “more blades are better” approach. If 2 razor blades work well, then 6 should work three times better, right? In my experience, not exactly.
I’ve learned a few things about shaving my head…First, the scalp is relatively easy to shave. It’s a rather hard, uniform surface. Razors glide right over. However, there are a couple of glaring exceptions. If you’re a head shaver, you already know what I’m going to say. The two things you need to watch out for, and I mean really watch out for, are the ears, and the various nooks and crevices that are on everybody’s skull.
Most people are unaware of the valleys and cracks that are all over the human skull, because most people have a thick carpet of beautiful hair to hide everything. But bald men, especially bald men who help their baldness along with shaving, are all too aware of these razor hazards. It’s important to note that you’ll probably cut your head every once in awhile. I’ve got one particular notch in my skull that I seem to slice open about once a month. It’s the price I pay for never having to pay for a haircut again.
Here’s my head shaving routine, and why I think the Schick Xtreme 3 is the most useful razor for such endeavors…
I shave in the shower, where it’s nice and warm and the skull stubble (skubble?) is soft and razor-ready. It’s very helpful to have a shower mirror, especially when you’re a beginner, to see what you’re doing.
I don’t use shampoo when I shave the scalp, I simply rely on any kind of bar soap that produces a nice, rich lather. I get my head covered in a thick layer of suds, then start shaving.
I start around the ears, being very careful not to cut anything open. I bend my lobes forward to get behind them. You HAVE to be careful around the ears!
Next, I start at the back of the head, down near the bottom of my neck, and carefully shave forward up over the front of my head. Then I go back and repeat, moving from one side of my head to the other.
Then, I reverse the process, and shave from front to back…Using my fingers, I feel around my head for areas that I missed. It’s really easy to do. After I touch-up these areas, I feel around my whole head for any missed spots, then I rinse…and I’m done!!
But, you’re asking, WHAT ABOUT THE SCHICK XTREME 3??? Here’s my secret reason why I think it’s the best head-shaving razor around.
It all has to do with the two indented curves at the top of the razor’s handle. See them there in the picture? Those are the reason right there. You see, with these two little curved indentations, that little grip, it’s super easy, even without looking, to know which way the razor is pointed. I’ve gotten to the point with these razors that I don’t even need a mirror to shave my head. Just by using the Xtreme 3 and my fingers, I can very easily get everything shaved with very minimal cuts or nicks. And if that weren’t enough, the handle also has a nice little indentation on the bottom side of the handle towards the handle’s end for your thumb, which gives additional confidence in knowing that the razors are where they’re supposed to be.
You see, most other razors (disposable or those with permanent handles and replaceable blades) have rounded handles, or handles that otherwise don’t let you know which way the blades are facing. When you can’t tell the direction of the blades, it’s much easier to do damage in the form of those nicks and cuts.
With the Schick Xtreme 3 blades and their ingenious handles, I always know (again, without even looking) that when I put the blades down on my skin, they’re in the perfect position to shave away the hair and nothing else. When you’re shaving your head, there are large parts of the head that you can’t see, so any help getting the blades facing the right way is super helpful.
The Xtreme 3 razor is the only razor I’ll use to shave my head. In addition to the razor handle grip advantage, they’re also fairly affordable (men’s razors has a level of price markups that borders on extortion) at just over a buck a razor, and they’re widely available everywhere. (You can order an 8-pack for $10 from Amazon by clicking on the link below.) They’re also long-lasting. I’ve found that I can use them for a couple of weeks at least before I need to replace them. Value and performance. I guess those are the two words I would use to describe these wonders. The Xtreme 3 also features 3 blades, in case you haven’t figured that out already. You really don’t need anymore than that, trust me. Don’t fall for overzealous marketing!
I don’t shave my legs, but for the ladies out there, I think the Schick Xtreme 3 would also be a fine choice for leg shaving for the reason I mentioned above. (The handle grips and the price.)
By the way, I do realize that disposable razors aren’t the best thing for the planet. Lots of plastic gets wasted. But I’ve decided that performance and comfort and price are more important to me at this point than eco-friendliness. If I can find a better razor that treads more lightly than these Shicks, I’ll give them a try.
What about you? What razor works best for your head and/or body shaving needs? Is there something out there that’s better than my beloved Xtreme 3?? Let me know in the comments section and let’s compare notes!
SHAVE ON, MY FRIENDS. KEEP IT SMOOTH.