Thursday, March 28, 2002

Instant refresher

One of my favorite things about having a shaved head has always been the way it feels. Some examples: I love the way it feels when a gentle breeze hits my scalp, the way water rolls over it in the shower, the way it warms up nicely on a sunny day.

I also like the way I can instantly refresh myself by splashing a bit of water on my head. This is something you can't do quite so easily if you have hair; the hair stays wet, whereas I can dry my scalp off quickly and easily.

For instance, I enjoy taking long walks in the city. It's not uncommon for me to walk for 2 hours to a mall or a library on a nice spring or summer day. The thing is, when I arrive, I'm often sweaty, which doesn't make for a comfortable stay at my chosen destination.

It's not a real problem, though, because a few minutes in a bathroom provides plenty of opportunity to wash my entire head (face, scalp, neck) and dry it off. Voila, instant comfort. No bathroom? That's not really a problem either, as long as I can get access to some water via a water fountain or even a water bottle.

Any time that I'm feeling over-heated, a quick splash of the wet stuff is all it takes to cool me down. Dipping a bandana in water and wearing it do-rag style works really well too. It's an any-time kind of deal, and I never have to worry about my hair looking matted or messy.

Friday, March 22, 2002

Wetting hair

When you are shaving your head, an important first step is getting your hair/stubble wet. Hair gets softer when it is wet. Soft hair is easier on the blade, tends to cut straight (which helps to avoid razor bumps), and provides for a more-comfortable shaving experience.

So how exactly should you go about getting your hair as wet as possible? I'm aware of three different ways.
The best way to ensure that your hair is as wet as possible is to take a shower. Get under that showerhead, soap up your head, and enjoy it. Some people choose to shave right there in the shower; others might dry off (except the scalp) and shave at the sink. Either way, your hair should be ready for shaving.

Another possibility is the 'wet towel' method. Soak a towel in hot/warm water, and wrap it around your head for a few minutes. It wouldn't hurt to splash some water on your head first. I've heard suggestions of between 3 and ten minutes for the length of time you should wear the towel; for most people, 3 minutes sounds about right for me. If you have trouble with razor bumps, do it for 5 or more minutes.

Finally, there's the method I use myself, whic consists of splashing warm/hot water onto my head for several minutes. I like to fill the sink halfway with warm water, then fill my cupped hands with water and 'rub' it into my scalp. After several minutes, I can usually tell when I'm ready to shave; the hair feels softer.

Any of these methods will probably work well for most people who shave their heads. People suffering from shaving problems, like razor bumps and razor burn, would probably benefit most from the shower method. I use the 'splash' method myself because it's quicker and I haven't had any problems with it thus far.