Shaving Tips for When You're Traveling: What to Do and What Not to Do
Summer is almost here, and after two years that we'll just call "atypical," most of us are ready to hit the road and explore the world again.
Whether your destination is a sandy beach with a love interest at your side, a camping trip with some other couples, or a bachelor party with your crew, most of us are REALLY ready to make it happen.
That said, many of us are out of practice! It's been a while since we've traveled, and we're out of our routine. We could use a refresher.
So here are some "do’s and don'ts” for summer travel to help you get the best shave you can. Some of them you may have heard before (and you probably already know you're going to read something about sunblock), but some you might not have thought about.
We'll start with something a lot of guys forget to do:
Make Sure Your Blade is Sharp Before You Go
Have you ever touched down at your sunny vacation spot, and on that first night, when you're getting yourself ready to go out, you find that your razor is dinged-up and dull?
It's the worst. Not only does an old razor give you a lousy shave, it can result in nicks and cuts and blood galore—not what you want for an exotic night out on the town.
That kind of thing happens all the time when you're at home, and it's not a big deal—you just grab a cartridge refill, and you're good to go. When you're out seeing the world, though, it's a different story—it can be difficult to find a replacement razor when you're in a far-off place.
So when you're packing, take an accounting of how new/old your HeadBlade razors are. How long these last is based on your hair type and how often you shave, but as a rule of thumb, HB4 blades and HB6 blades should be replaced after 6 to 10 uses. If you don't remember the last time you changed the cartridge, it's probably time for a new one. And if you do remember the last time you changed your cartridge, it makes sense to...
Have Replacements on the Ready
If you're taking a long weekend at a resort or something, you can probably get away with having a single razor. For a few days away, whatever you have on hand will probably be fine.
BUT, for longer trips—a summer internship abroad, a multi-month backpacking trip, or thru-hiking jaunt, you may need a fresh blade. Vacations come in plenty of shapes and sizes, and the closer your vacation veers into "adventure" territory, the more likely you'll need a designated-hitter razor.
With that in mind, there are two things we should mention:
If you're getting replacement blades, remember to get the right replacement blades for your HeadBlade model. You can check the product page to see which models need which types of razors, but generally it's pretty simple—the Moto and the ATX shavers all come with 4-blade HB4 models, and you can use any HeadBlade HB4 model as a replacement—and you can also use the 6-blade HB6 models on them. The Moto S4 and Lunar Eclipse come with HB6 models, and you should stick with HB6 razors for those.
If you can't get replacement blades for whatever reason, you can always reach for the item that all of us have used at one time or another: a hat! Throw one in your bag and you'll always have it in case you can't get a good shave. It's not ideal, but sometimes you have to roll with the punches when you're away from home.
Remember, though—while you should bring everything you need, you should keep in mind that...
You Don't Need to Pack Everything You Own
Traveling seems to reveal two types of people: those who somehow believe they need next to nothing to survive, and those who believe that literally anything can happen on vacation, and we must be prepared for any and all circumstances that could occur.
Perhaps that behavior is related to some understanding of the infinite possibilities of adventures / events / catastrophes that can happen while you're away, but... well, it's a bit much.
There are a few tweets we've come across that summarize this idea nicely:
ME PACKING FOR A 10-DAY TRIP: packs 30 outfits, just in case
ME AT HOME: Wears one t-shirt for 10 days
and this one, which is silly but relatable:
ME REGULARLY: *uses the same 3 things at home*
ME PACKING FOR VACATION: I wonder if I'll need 4 French horns or 5
When it comes to shaving, all you need is what you regularly use. Your HeadBlade, your shaving cream, and whatever else you use. Keep it simple!
In fact, you probably need less, and it can be a good idea to reduce the size of your containers when you're traveling. If you're going to be traveling for only a few days, why not take a sample of your shaving cream and put it in one of those little 1-ounce bottles? That way you'll be using less, but you also won't need to stow under the plan when you travel. Win-win!
(PS: You can find more travel tweets here).
There's actually a really great way to make more room when you're traveling, and that's to...
Double-Up on Grooming Gear When Packing
Unless you are traveling like an ancient pharaoh, with all your minions traveling in a line behind you carrying your gear, you usually want to travel light. Luggage space is limited, and it can be a pain to lug (ha) all that luggage around anyway.
One way to do that is to double-up whenever possible. There are all sorts of products that let you save space, and if you look around, you'll find soaps that double as shampoos, tubes of toothpaste that double as brushes, and even deodorants that smell like cologne.
Our favorite piece of double-up grooming gear, of course, is the HeadBlade ATX. It's designed both for the scalp, and it incorporates all the features that made the original HeadBlade a one-of-a-kind tool for shaving, while also allowing you to shave all the areas of your face, as well. You can easily and safely get a super-close shave, and the two-in-one design is great for travel (and home use, too!). Just don't forget to put your index finger in the finger rest, and remember that you don't need to use the wheels on the ATX when you're shaving your face, and you're good to go.
Don't Forget That Your Skin Has Travel Jitters
We're not talking about sunburns here—we'll get to that in a moment—we're talking about how traveling has a tendency to dry your skin out.
If you've ever wondered why your skin gets dry and achy when you travel, you're not alone. In fact, it's a pretty well-documented issue that air-travel does a number on your skin, and when you arrive in a new environment—and especially a hot and dry one, like you'll find at a lot of beaches—your skin can get a little antsy.
So why are we mentioning this? Because as you probably know, the skin on your head is fickle and delicate, and when it's dry and brittle, it can be REALLY difficult to shave—and even when you can manage to get a proper shave on dry skin, it can result in a lot of nicks and cuts.
So, to keep your skin in tip-top shape, you can 1) drink a lot of water; 2) keep away from alcohol (or not—you are on vacation, after all); and 3) moisturize appropriately.
That last one is the important one. The water is up to you, but HeadBlade can help out with moisturizing: we've got two varieties of HeadLube moisturizer designed specifically for guys who shave their heads, and you can opt for a matte finish (for those of you who like to keep things tight and dry), or a glossy finish (for those of you who like a little bit of sheen).
"Moisturize your skin" is great advice for when you're on vacation, but it should be one of your at-home activities as well! Scalp skin is moody, and it needs all the TLC you can give it.
Plan for Your Shave Even Though You're in the Middle of Paradise
When we're at home, our lives—even when they're a little chaotic—fall into a nice, normal routine, and we have some idea when we'll be able to shave our heads and look like our regular dapper selves. We can usually find time for a head-shave so that we look our best, in other words.
Part of the fun of vacation is that your daily routine flies out the window, and there's always something new and thrilling to do. Have you ever find yourself in an exotic spot with a bunch of friends, and you're excited to get out to breakfast (or brunch, for those of us who stay out too late), and then all of a sudden, you're at the beach, and then all of a sudden you're at happy hour, and then all of a sudden you're at a club, and then all of a sudden you're at the after-club... and then the cycle repeats the next day?
After a day or two with that kind of improvisational adventuring, it's not uncommon for us fully-shaved guys to look like we're letting ourselves go. The fully-shaved look we've all embraced is almost universally seen as attractive, but without maintenance, it can appear pretty sloppy—and that's not a great look for paradise.
So if you can, be firm about finding time to remove all the hair from your head. If you've got your routine down, it doesn't need to take long, and one of the most powerful features of the Moto and ATX models is that they make head-shaving really fast. Just remember to set some time aside, and you'll be looking your best in no time.
Don't Forget That the Sun Is Out to Get You
Yes, that sounds pretty dramatic, but it's true: while a little bit of exposure to the sun is fine, over-exposure to the sun can lead to severe burns and blisters (in the short term) to basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanomas (in the long-term). Perhaps we're re-stating the obvious here, but it's a reminder we all need as often as possible: cancer is deadly, and you don't want it.
And while a reminder like this might seem pedantic, for guys like us, it's really important—and more so of a threat than for other people: bald guys like us expose the tenderest, most vulnerable skin on our bodies to the sun, and without proper protection, it's almost like setting a countdown until you go for the physical and your doctor says, "Listen, son, I've got some bad news..."
So, again—our apologies for getting heavy. But if concerns about your health won't do it, perhaps we can appeal to your vanity: prolonged sun exposure can affect your looks, and can result in wrinkles, sagging/loose skin, dark spots, dilation of the blood vessels right under the epidermis, and skin yellowing. We know a lot of confident guys who can make any look work for them, but... those aren't good looks.
And, when you consider that it's really difficult—not to mention really painful!—to shave over a sunburn, you'll want to protect yourself.
So—and you probably know what's coming next...
Wear Sunscreen as Though Your Life Depended on It
Because... well, it does! Skin cancer has a great survival rate, but... why roll the dice when it only takes a minute or two to protect yourself?
Here's the rub (ha): you want to pick a sunblock that actually protects you. Those wimpy, greasy sun blocks that run all over the place and evaporate after five minutes are basically worthless. You want a sunblock that actually provides some protection, and that means a sunblock and SPF that actually protects you.
One last thing: for the guys who don't want to be "that guy at the beach rubbing suntan lotion onto his head," you can make it into an activity—have a significant other or romantic interest do it for you. You might be surprised at how into it people can get—because on some level, we all know letting somebody rub your bald head is a fun, flirty thing!
Enjoy Looking Great!
Look at you, out and about and looking fantastic! The world is a big place, and we should see as much of it as we can. Enjoy your travel, be safe, keep your wits about you, and you'll have a great time. Have fun, and happy adventuring!