October 20, 2021
By: Louis Cheslaw, Ambar Padilla and David Notis
To the uninitiated, a bald head may seem far easier to maintain than a flowing mane. Bad hair days become a thing of the past. So does that morning mirror time spent trimming those edges. But once you (or fate) decide it’s time for Mr. Clean’s clean-shaven look, your scalp turns into the main event. That’s why several experts — among them barbers and dermatologists — tipped us off to this trick: Think of your caring for your bald head as steps in your skin-care routine rather than part of your hair-care habits.
The two biggest concerns with a bald head are dryness (which can be caused by lack of sun protection) and dandruff, according to our panel of experts — which also include groomers, an aesthetician, makeup artist, and trichologist. As the scalp gets exposed to direct sunlight, it becomes susceptible to sun damage and drying, explains cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green. Dryness can lead to dandruff. “You don’t need hair to get dandruff! Those without hair are actually at a more heightened risk for dandruff,” says celebrity cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank. For bald people of color in particular, either can result in discoloration and “light-colored patches,” warns Dr. Andrew Alexia, the director of the Skin of Color Center at Mount Sinai West. (Still, Alexis told us that skin color doesn’t change any treatment he recommends.)
Above all, our experts say it’s important to keep your bald head clean, moisturized, and protected from the sun, because any irritations will not only bother you, but also be visible to everyone else. Below, our experts share all the stuff they say is integral to keeping a bald head looking its best. To help you better find what you’re looking for, we’ve arranged the products in the order that the pros say you would use them in a daily routine.