Chrome that dome and stay nick-free, word to Mariah
You definitely want a good-quality shave cream, but rubbing in a little pre-shave oil before the real stuff goes on primes your scalp and softens the stubble. Think of it as pregaming for a better party.
Study the blade
Balding clippers are a no-risk way to try the look — and clippers in general are a necessity if it’s your first time — but for true closeness, opt for a multi-bladed safety razor. The more blades, the fewer the swipes, and the less chance for irritation. (A quality single blade might be better for your face, but when you’re dealing with that much more real estate, opt for efficiency.)
Keep things one-way
Those of the Caucasian persuasion rarely know the misery of razor bumps, so they can shave against the grain all day long. Black men are more prone to ingrown hairs, so getting too close can be a problem. Keep your shaving swipes strictly unidirectional and your future self will thank you. (Latinx fam with straighter hair, you’ve got a little more leeway here.)
Drop a balm on it
When you’re nice and smooth, lock in moisture and minimize irritation with an aftershave lotion. We’re not here to pump brands, but we can say this: Make sure whatever you use is alcohol-free, and contains botanicals that deliver both moisture (shea butter, jojoba oil) and astringent cooling (mint, tea tree oil).