Welcome to the world of smooth-domed studs. You’re about to officially join the ranks of Terry Crews and Bruce Willis, but before you become the ultimate bald badass, you must learn the art of head-shaving. Without the powers of the chrome-dome yet on your side, you may feel intimidated by shaving your noggin - worry not; we’re here to walk you down the freshly-paved road to attaining that sweet aerodynamic skull.
One of the biggest choices is what razor you’ll use. Those new to head-shaving may be tempted by the seemingly child-safe cartridge razor, but there are many hidden pitfalls of these modern marvels: irritation, razor burn, and super expensive blades. By comparison, the safety razor offers a closer, longer-lasting shave with much less irritation and drastically more affordable blades. They can be scary at first and require a little practice to master, but they’re far safer and easier to use than you think. Check out our handy head-shaving tips for the lowdown!
But which razor is right for head shaving? There are so many choices, and indeed some are better than others. These are the best razors for head shaving, as approved by my clean-skulled compatriots.
First, we must discuss two ways of holding the razor during the shave. Some folks grab it by the handle, which makes sense, considering what handles are for. This allows you to take advantage of a textured grip and is often preferred by those with large mitts. Some folks hold their razor a bit differently, right behind the head. This gives me more control in tight spots and makes following curves easier. Think about which might be right for you as you read through my top recommendations:
The Hoxton Knurled is our most popular razor for a reason. It carries a classic look and feel while being perfect for beginners. Everything about it is middle of the road: the weight, the handle length, and even the blade exposure. I’ll talk a lot about ‘aggressiveness’ in this article, and the term refers to how much of a gap there is between the razor edge and the safety guard. The aggressiveness on the Hoxton knurl is perfect for beginners and lifetime shavers alike, while the grippy handle gives you a little extra confidence when shaving those hard-to-reach places.
You want grippy? This guy is GRIPPY! The Merkur 23C is beloved by new shavers, leg-shavers, and in-shower shavers, all because of its super textured handle. The handle is narrow yet elegant and features a little cutaway under the head where you can tuck your fingertips for increased precision. Merkur razors tend to be a little more aggressive, so this guy is your friend if you’re shaving rough stubble. It comes in three sizes: small for increased maneuverability, medium for larger hands, and comically long. The extra length is a fun novelty but mostly just useful for reaching your ankles.
These Canadian-made aircraft aluminum safety razors from Henson are about as foolproof as you can get. They’re designed to minimize blade exposure while still offering a close shave. This allows for a phenomenal shave the very first time with less of a learning curve than other razors. The aluminum body is pleasantly lightweight and maneuverable and gives a more modern design to the razor, something lacking in the more familiar classic aesthetic commonly associated with safety razors. Their one shortcoming is that they tend not to shave tough hairs very well, but they are superb for finer hair and sensitive skin, something familiar to the average head shaver.
From another Canadian company, the Rockwell Model T harkens back to the classic Gillette adjustable design of the 1950s. The butterfly-style opening will trigger nostalgia for many Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers, and the adjustable dial allows for a fully customizable shave. The settings range from 1, similar to the ultra-mild Henson, to 6, comparable to the more aggressive Merkur. Personally, I like to mow down my stubble with a 5 or 6, then go back for a gentle cleanup pass on setting 2 or 3. The Rockwell is one of the heftier razors on this list, but the knurling on the handle keeps it easy to control.
For those who only want the best, the Feather AS-D2 Stainless is easily the best option out there. The body is fully stainless steel, making it way more sturdy than anything else on this list. The folks at Feather have expertly engineered this razor to handle their blazingly sharp blades. Usually a source of razor burn for many, the Feather Stainless sets these notorious blades at the ideal angle for a close, smooth shave without any of the aggressiveness they’re known for. This razor looks, feels, and handles like an F1 car and is easily one of the best I’ve ever shaved with.