The Head Shave

Everyone knows this look. Michael Jordan made it famous in the 90’s. This style is exactly what it sounds like. The head will be shaved as close and smooth as possible. This is a perfect style for someone who has thinning hair or male pattern baldness. It is ideal for the low to no maintenance kind of guy.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
  • Identify the correct straight razor to use for a comfortable head shave
  • Understand the purpose of the hot towel application.
  • Understand the purpose of each of the pre-shave applications.
  • Demonstrate the four straight razor hand positions.
  • Understand the importance of shaving in the direction of the hair growth.
  • Demonstrate a head shave.
Step by Step Guide
  1. Trim down the hair to a 000 blade or shorter. The 000 blade on the detachable blade clipper works best. You can also use a 0000 or 00000 if you want to get it closer before shaving. Use the blade on skin technique and use very light pressure. Don’t go over it too many times. The skin should not be irritated before the shave is started.
  2. Wrap the head with 2 hot towels and let steam for 2 minutes. This will open the pores and soften the hair. When the towels are cooled down slightly press them into the skin for another 1-2 minutes. This will further soften the skin and the beard.
  3. Take off the towels and apply pre-shave oil liberally. When shaving, the natural oil in the skin is scraped away. The pre-shave oil will act as a protective barrier between the skin and the blade. It will also further soften the beard and lubricate the skin.
  4. Apply a moisturizing shaving cream. This will soften the beard, moisturize the skin, and help the blade glide across the skin much easier.
  5. Apply the hot lather over the top of the oil and the cream. This will keep the skin and shaving products warm, keep the beard soft, and keep the beard standing up for a smoother, closer shave.
  6. Take a center section on top and shave from the crown to the fore head. Wipe off a small section of shaving cream first and pull the skin with your thumb. This will stand the hair up allowing for a closer more comfortable shave. Make sure to shave with the grain of the hair growth.
  7. Take a few sections on either side of the center guide until you get to the round of the head. Always shave from the crown to the fore head.
  8. Starting at the round of the head stretch the skin with the opposite hand and shave in a downward direction toward the side burn area and the ear. As the razor moves away from the hand stretching the skin re-grip the skin closer to the razor. This will keep more tension on the skin making the hair stand up. The harder the skin is stretched the closer the shave. Pressing harder with the razor will only irritate or cut the skin.
  9. Shave around the ear. Pull the ear down with the thumb and stretch the skin with the pointer finger. Very gently shave the area in between the fingers.
  10. Move back up to the round of head and shave 1 panel or section at a time. Work your way around the head and opposite ear.
  11. Wet a towel with cool water and wrap the head to close the pores. Let stand for 30 seconds and blot excess shaving cream. Do not rub. This will irritate the skin.
  12. Apply an alcohol-free aftershave balm. Very gently massage into the skin with light pressure. Over doing it will cause irritation.
  13. Blot the excess moisturizer with a dry towel and fan the skin to cool off and further close the pores.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
  1. What is the first step to beginning a head shave?
  2. What is first applied to the head before shaving?
  3. What is the purpose of the hot towel application?
  4. What is applied to the head after the hot towels?
  5. What does the pre-shave oil do to the skin?
  6. What are two of the benefits of applying warm shaving cream over the pre-shave oil and moisturizing shaving cream?
  7. What is the correct direction to shave the hair at all times?
  8. What is the final post-shave application?

AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY
This is an excellent skill to have. It is a lot more professional than just running a trimmer over a client’s head. Make sure to practice and get used to using very light pressure and just gliding the blade over the head. That and stretching the skin tight is what will give a smooth comfortable shave. Remember that this service is supposed to be relaxing and feel good. Spend the extra time with the hot towels and massaging the moisturizers and creams into the head.

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