Reading time: 10 min.
Is a Shaved Head the Best Solution for Balding Men?

If you are one of the 85% of men who experience hair loss during their lifetime [1], a shaved head might seem like the simplest and most comfortable solution. It is one of the best hairstyles for men with thinning hair, as it exudes confidence and masculinity. There is nothing wrong with wanting to forever end your hair shedding woes by shaving it all clean off. And if your baldness is very advanced, it may be your best option. 

However, not every man enjoys sporting a shaved head and feeling forced into baldness can lead to anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. If you aren’t sure that shaving your head is the best course of action, you’ll be happy to know that, in many cases, there are quite a few possibilities to improve your look while getting to keep your hair.  

If you are experiencing mild to moderate balding, there are numerous hair growth treatments, therapies and styling options to help you improve your hair density and thickness. And even if you have a more advanced type of alopecia, you may still be a good candidate for a hair transplant. So be sure to get the recommendations of a trichologist before taking a razor to your scalp. And keep reading this article to learn more about:

  • When a shaved head may be the most suitable option for hair thinning
  • The advantages and disadvantages of a shaved head
  • How to hide bald spots without having to shave your head
  • The best ways to achieve hair growth
Table of Contents

When might a shaved head be your best option for baldness?

If you enjoy a clean-shaven scalp and this look works out well for you, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try it. However, if you have reservations about going fully bald, know there are some circumstances when it might be recommended (temporarily or permanently) over hair growth treatments. This is usually the case for men with moderate to advanced hair loss who are in one or more of the following situations:

  • Don’t respond to non-surgical hair growth treatments and don’t want a hair transplant
  • Don’t have enough hair in their donor area for good hair transplant results. 
  • Are experiencing a form of scarring alopecia that is not eligible for hair restoration surgery (although a hair transplant on scar tissue can sometimes be possible)
  • Have health conditions that prevent them from getting hair loss treatment and/or a hair transplant. 
  • Are taking medications that cause hair loss, which cannot be interrupted or replaced. 
  • Those unable or unwilling to wear hair systems or get a hair tattoo for men.
Man shaving his head

What are the pros and cons of shaving your head?

Every time you are faced with a big decision about your look, it is a good idea to make a list of potential advantages and disadvantages that may stem from it. When it comes to shaving your head, the main pros and cons are as follows:

  • It can be liberating to no longer have to worry about covering your bald spots
  • It can make you look younger, more rugged and more confident
  • It can remove the need for using hair products and spending time styling
  • It keeps your scalp cool in hot weather
  • It makes it easier to clean your scalp
  • Shaving your head is reversible, so you can always change your mind
  • Your scalp is more exposed to the elements (especially the sun).
  • It makes it easier for your scalp to get scratched, bruised, burned or irritated
  • Having to shave your head every few days to prevent regrowth can be tedious
  •  You can get a dry, itchy scalp from frequent shaving
  • A shaved head may not work well with your appearance, style or personality
Man with a shaved head and scalp problems

Will a shaved head resolve your scalp problems?

Some people resort to shaving their heads to get rid of common scalp problems, such as dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis. However, these are usually yeast infections on the scalp, so they may persist until treated, regardless of your hair status. Some conditions, such as head lice, can be successfully resolved by going fully bald. However, shaving your head frequently can also predispose you to certain forms of infection, such as acne or scalp folliculitis.

Whether your scalp is covered in hair or not, the best way to keep it healthy is to clean it regularly, along with any styling tools and accessories you may use. And, of course, to see a dermatologist or a trichologist whenever you notice symptoms such as itching, flaking, irritation, tenderness, or inflammation.    

The best tricks to hide thinning spots without shaving your head

Covering up a receding hairline or a bald spot on the crown is not always easy, but it can often be done, especially if your hair loss is mild to moderate. Here are some of the best ways to mask the problem areas on your scalp:

Man with the right hairstyle for thinning hair

Choose the right hairstyle 

If your hair loss is mild to moderate, how you style your hair can truly make a difference. A shaved head is not the only flattering haircut for men who are balding on top. Depending on the extent and location of your hair loss, you can try slicked-back styles, side-swept business cuts, faux-hawks,  pompadours, or a timeless buzz cut for a receding hairline. If you are experiencing frontal hair loss, a quiff or a male fringe are some of the best male styles for a receding hairline.  

Man getting scalp micropigmentation

Try scalp micropigmentation

If there are spots on your head where your hair is so thin you can see your scalp, you may benefit from micropigmentation. This procedure is performed by a licensed specialist who uses a high-speed tattoo machine to insert pigment microdots into your scalp [2].

They are placed in a pattern that imitates natural hair distribution. This procedure aims to reduce the contrast between the shade of your scalp and that of your hair, masking thinning areas. If scalp micropigmentation for women is not always worth it because they usually favour longer hairstyles, it can work great with popular short male hairstyles, such as buzzcuts. 

However, be aware that the tattooed areas will show if you ever decide to shave your head. It is also unlikely to benefit you if you have blond, copper or light-coloured hair, as it is difficult to match a pigment to your natural colour. So, you need to be absolutely committed to this procedure to avoid later SMP regrets

Man before and after wearing a hair system

Wear a high-quality hair system 

Hair systems are some of the most popular non-surgical hair restoration methods among the male population. That is because, unlike wigs, they are semi-permanent hair fixtures that, once installed, can be worn continuously for as long as 6 months without needing to be removed.

They can be made from real or synthetic hair and cover smaller or larger portions of your scalp, as needed. High-quality hair systems, made from natural hair and well matched to your strand type and colour can be practically indistinguishable from the real thing. However, lower-quality products may be more conspicuous.

Man using hair thickening spray

Use a hair-thickening spray

If your hair thinning is rather diffuse and not very advanced, a hair thickening spray can give your strands extra fullness. That is because it contains microfibers which attach themselves to your individual hairs, making them seem thicker and denser. There are also other products on the market that claim to have a similar effect, such as hair thickening shampoos, but they are usually not as effective in improving your appearance.  

Man accessorising with a beanie to hide balding spots

Accessorise creatively

If you have bald spots or thinning areas you want to conceal, headgear is your friend. Hats and caps are timeless male accessories and beanies have become increasingly trendy lately. If you are a sporting type, you can also wear headbands, while bandanas serve rockers and bikers particularly well. Keeping your head covered all the time can be challenging, especially on hot summer days, doing so can actually help prevent summer hair loss and dry, brittle hair that breaks easily. 

Proven ways to effectively curb hair loss and achieve regrowth

Hiding your excessive hair shedding is only a matter of appearance. However, if you are experiencing a condition such as male pattern baldness or alopecia areata, you may require treatment to stop its progression and achieve hair regrowth. This may include:

men using hair loss medication

Hair loss medications

Depending on your type of alopecia, there are some very effective hair-loss drugs you can try. Minoxidil is the most versatile, as it works by increasing blood flow to your hair follicles, nourishing them and helping them grow [3]. It can increase hair density in several conditions, including androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata, telogen effluvium and chemotherapy-induced hair loss

Finasteride [4] and Dutasteride [5] are potent medications that can treat pattern baldness by lowering the levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in your blood. And steroid creams (or, by case, steroid injections [6]) can help reduce inflammation in autoimmune conditions, where your white blood cells attack your hair follicles (e.g. alopecia areata, scalp psoriasis or discoid lupus). 

Be sure to consult a hair doctor or your GP before taking any medication. That is because while hair loss drugs are mostly safe, they can have unwanted side effects in some people. They can also interact with other medicines you may be taking or may be contraindicated for people with certain health conditions. That is why some drugs, such as Finasteride and Dutasteride, cannot be bought over the counter, requiring a prescription.

man getting hair growth therapy

Hair growth therapies

Some hair loss therapies, such as derma rolling for hair growth [7], or scalp massages [8] can be easily performed at home, as they only use small, easy-to-handle devices. Others, such as PRP hair treatments [9], must be performed in clinical settings by specially trained technicians. However, red light therapy for hair growth offers both these options: you can get this type of low-level laser therapy [10] in a hair clinic using medical-grade equipment, or you can purchase a laser hair growth cap to use at home.

Most of these therapies have proven efficacy against male and female pattern baldness, but they may also help with other kinds of hair loss, such as alopecia areata, traction alopecia or chronic telogen effluvium (however, more research is needed to confirm this).

Patience and consistency are key, as it can take several months of regular treatments to see significant results. If you’d like to increase your chances of a good outcome, you can combine some of these therapies and use hair loss medication alongside them (e.g. using Minoxidil and a derma roller together can enhance both their results [11]).

man getting a hair transplant

A hair transplant 

While there is no cure for baldness at this time, a natural-looking hair transplant is as close as you can get to one. That is because, unlike hair loss treatments and therapies that only work while you are actively using them, a hair transplant is permanent.

This simple and highly effective procedure involves harvesting healthy hair follicles from a part of your scalp with high density and reimplanting them in your balding spots. It is performed under local anaesthesia, so you won’t feel any pain. And it’s an outpatient surgery, so you can recover comfortably at home.

Hair restoration surgeries have become increasingly popular in the past years, as surgical technique has progressed. Whether you opt for a FUE or FUT procedure, the best hair clinics in the UK have a 97-100% success rate.

If you are interested in joining the ranks of numerous sportsmen, movie stars and other celebrities who got hair transplants, it is easy to do so. All you have to do is book a free hair transplant consultation with one of our world-renowned surgeons. They will let you know if you are eligible to get hair restoration surgery and walk you through the entire procedure, answering any questions you may have. 

Find out more about what you can do to restore your hair by checking out this list of hair growth products for men that actually work. Or, if you are looking for a more organic approach, you can also try some scientifically proven ways to grow thicker hair naturally

Man in doubt about shaving his head

So, should I shave my head or try to treat my hair loss?

Ultimately, you are the only one who can determine whether you would rather embrace your baldness or try to regrow your hair. But our experienced specialists can help you make an informed decision.

Keep in mind that you can always shave your head, but you may only have a set window of time in which treatment can be effective in growing it back. So, if you have doubts about shaving your head, it is best to address your hair loss from the first signs of hair thinning and balding to get the best chance at achieving regrowth.

Our top trichologists can determine the exact reason why your hair is falling out and recommend the best hair loss treatment for men. They can also be able to advise you regarding the benefits you could hope to obtain from hair growth treatment or whether you would make a good candidate for a hair transplant.

Is a Shaved Head the Best Solution for Balding Men?, Wimpole Clinic

The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

Book a consultation

Simply fill in your details in the form below and we'll get in touch with you shortly.