Hey! Welcome to our review of the best head shaver for the 2017 festive season.
Here’s how we conduct a review
- Shave quality – does it get a nice close shave?
- Shave speed – does it take all day to get that nice close shave? We hope not!
- Build quality – is it rugged enough to handle your manly contours?
- Charge duration – does it last long, or will you be charging halfway through a shave?
- Versatility – dry shaving only, or can we take it in the shower?
- Maintainability – how much work do you need to do to make it work?
- Value – weighing the purchase price AND ongoing costs against its performance.
We assign each criteria a value from 1-10 to help you choose the best option for you. We’ve also assigned a color-code to each score:
Our usual caveat is that these are not scientific, qualitative measures – just because we use a number doesn’t mean it’s an exact measure! Please keep this in mind as you read the reviews.
Head shavers became a product category because of a handful of celebreties. Some mention Vin Diesel, others Bruce Willis. For our money the first man to make bald cool was Michael Jordan (hey kids, don’t know who we’re talking about? Check this out).
So read on as we take a look at this small but ever so important product category to find the best head shaver for you.
Bald Eagle Pro
Skull Shaver came out of nowhere and shook the world of bald dudes forever.
Here was a company started by a bald dude who actually went and made a product that was exactly right for head shaving.
The Bald Eagle Pro is the latest offering from Skull Shaver – is this another shaver to be excited about, or more of the same? Read on to find out.
You will experience a fast and smooth dry or wet shave, but it won’t be the closest shave you’ve ever had.
What’s true for electric shavers on the face is true for electric shavers on the scalp – they’re almost never as close as a blade. But using it every day for a few weeks your hair follicles and skin will adapt to allow extremely close shaves. Patience might be the key.
The Eagle Pro’s motor is powerful and the rotary cutters are excellent quality. The five individual shave heads automatically adjust to every curve of the scalp for a smooth shave and none of the “hair pulling” that can sometimes occur with other electric shavers.
For a company that’s built their product from the ground up with no technical history in this area, Bald Eagle have done an amazing job.
The first shave always takes the longest, but after that things speed up considerably. Most men can complete a shave in 5 minutes, once they’ve spent some time getting to know the Bald Eagle Pro.
This is great news since with the 90 minute charge time, you could theoretically get nearly three weeks’ shaving done. In practise, men report around 2 weeks of shaving time from one charge.
The Bald Eagle Pro feels strong and solid in the hand. The motor runs smoothly and reliably. Testers have described the sounds of the motor as ‘more refined’ than the original Skull Shaver.
In the few unfortunate cases where the shaver has broken or stopped working, users have been surprised by the customer service from Skull Shaver LLC – there’s generally a new Bald Eagle Pro in the mail straight away.
This shaver contains a lithium-ion rechargeable battery that provides up to 90 minutes of shaving after each full charge. 2 ½ hours are required for a full recharge. The unit includes a LED display to let you know how much battery charge you have left.
Given the shaving speed of this unit, most users will only need to charge it a few times per month. This will obviously depend on how often you shave, and whether you use it to shave your face as well. More on that in the next section.
The Bald Eagle Pro can be used for dry and wet shaving, but be aware that Skull Shaver limit their definition of ‘wet shaving’ to using shave foam. You absolutely can not use it in the shower or bathtub.
There’s even a caveat with that definition of wet shaving. It’s recommended that you only use shave foam, as shave gel can be very oily and sticky and can sometimes jam the delicate shaver heads.
Obviously one of the biggest selling points of the Bald Eagle Pro is the unique grip. It really does allow a number of different comfortable grips while shaving. Men have said that it’s the most comfortable shaver they’ve used on their head.
Of course it can shave your entire head, including your face, where it provides a very high quality, fast (all those shave heads!) shave.
The Bald Eagle Pro is easy to clean. The shave heads can be rinsed in warm water (some men prefer to put the shave heads in some warm, clean water and turn the unit on for a few seconds). The entire process should take less than a minute.
To see how this works, click here.
The shave heads can – and should – be replaced to maintain a high standard of shaving. Make sure that you can access the replacement heads before you consider purchasing the Bald Eagle Pro.
The Bald Eagle Pro offers excellent value – it’s a unique product on the market and is reasonably priced for a high-quality shaver.
Skull Shaver offers a full “money-back and satisfaction” guarantee on the Bald Eagle Pro, as well as their other products. This significantly reduces the risk of trying out this unique product.
Panasonic ES-LV95-S Arc5 Wet/Dry Shaver
We cover this shaver pretty comprehensively in our Top Ten Electric Shavers page. But of course it can also be used to shave your head. In fact, given the cost of this unit, many men insist that it shaves their head, and anything else with hair on it to get their money’s worth. Fortunately the Panasonic Arc5 is up to it.
We’ll take another look at it from the perspective of a head shaver.
As with the face, the Panasonic Arc5 provides a great shave on the head. It has 5 shave heads working away to give you a close shave and save you time with a fast shave – they cover a lot of territory!
The feature that helps the most with head shaving though is the flexible head. It has 25 degrees of front-back movement and 20 degrees of side movement. This really helps you maintain even, strong contact with your head as you shave, adding up to a nice, smooth scalp.
The motor is powerful and the blades are sharp – they plow through your scalp stubble with ease.
The different patterns on the flexible micro foil – designed to lift and cut all kinds of hair, but especially the hair that lies flat against your neck, is great at cutting the hair on your head smoothly and quickly.
What helps more than anything though, is the enormous shave head. The size of the shave head can be a disadvantage when shaving your face; it can be difficult to get around the nose and the corner of the jaw. On the scalp, it’s a blessing as it covers a lot of skin on each pass.
As we mentioned in our other review, the build is incredibly solid, but the ‘feel’ isn’t. Some users have been disappointed with the plastic look and feel of the shaver.
However, there’s nothing cheap about the reliability or performance of this shaver. It’s proven to be very dependable over time. Previous models, such as the LV81, performed reliably for years, and we don’t doubt that the LV95 Arc5 will do the same.
The lithium-ion battery fully charges in one hour, for 45 minutes of use. You’ll obviously be charging more often if you’re shaving both your head and face, but the charge performance is still very good given that it shaves so quickly.
The Arc5 includes a useful LCD that shows how much charge is left in the shaver so you’ll know when it’s time to charge it again.
Charging the shaver will be practically a non-issue if you opt to keep it in its charge cradle (assuming you have space on your bench for it!), since, if you do, it’ll always be charged when you need it.
Well, this review is all about the Panasonic Arc5´s versatility, since we’ve already reviewed it as a regular face shaver.
The greatest bonus as a head shaver is that you can use it in the shower, given that it supports dry and wet shaving. If you opt to shave in the shower (when your hair’s going to be at its softest and longest) you can get your face and head done and save some time.
As mentioned in our other review, the shaver’s great to travel with if you’re not taking the charging-cleaning base. Otherwise you better make some extra space in your bag for that base! Otherwise, it comes with a handy travel case and cap to protect the shave head.
Day to day maintenance is a cinch. The cleaning-charging base (like the name suggests) takes care of cleaning, charging, lubricating and drying the shaver automatically.
Longer term, you’ll need to replace the cleaning solution every couple of months or so, and the shaving head every 12-18 months. If you’re using the shaver for both your head and face, we think this will be closer to 12 than 18 months.
We’ve bumped up the value score considerably from our shaver-only review, since you’re reading this we assume you’ll be getting a lot extra value out of it for your head!
It’s still a very expensive shaver, but it’s also the highest quality shaver we’ve seen that you could use for your head, and justifies its high position in our review.
Philips Norelco 8900 Series 8000 (1280X/42)
Once again this is a very high quality shaver that men have also found to be a very good head shaver.
You can read our in-depth review in our Top 10 Best Shavers, but for now read on to see how the 8900 stacks up as a head shaver.
The 8900 electric shaver performs as well on the scalp as it does on the face, and with very little irritation.
The independent movement of the shave heads is great for head shaving as they float over the lumps, ridges and bumps we tend to find on our heads, maintaining good contact with the skin at all times.
The shaver is fast, but not quite as fast as it is on the face! This shaver isn’t as convenient to hold to your head as some others, and this can slow things down a little.
It’s still great to do a head shave with, and certainly beats a blade!
As we mentioned in our other review, there had been some manufacturing issues with this model that have since been resolved.
Today´s Norelco 8900 is a solid and dependable device, and feels like one too.
The motor is strong and drives the cutting head very well. As with other shavers of this type, the cutting heads will wear out after a while, and you’ll need a new one; then it performs like new again!
60 minutes of shave time from 60 minutes of charge – what more can we say? Even though this isn’t the absolutely fastest shaver out there, it’s still fast enough for you to get plenty of mileage out of a single charge.
Dry, with foam or gel, and in the shower, the Norelco 8900 will serve you well. It provides a great, smooth clean shave both on the face and the head as well. It terms of versatility, it’s hard to ask for more.
As mentioned in our other review, it’s very simple to clean this shaver with the provided ‘JetStream’ cleaning unit, but it’s not mandatory. The 8900 from Philips Norelco can be cleaned very well with just a tap, especially since it’s so easy to remove the shave head.
As always, the shave head will wear out over time. This will obviously happen even faster if you’re using it for both head and face shaving. The replacement head is cheap compared to the shaver itself, and easy to obtain.
Once again we bump the Value score up a bit from the original score we gave when evaluating the 8900 as a single-purpose shaver. If you’re considering this shaver for your head, you’re getting double value from it as a fantastic shaver for your face as well.
Just be aware of the ongoing costs – cleaning fluid if you decide to clean it with the JetStream cleaning base, and the eventual cost of a replacement head, but you’ll be looking at costs like this for any shaver of this calibre.
Philips Norelco Aquatec Shaver 4500 (AT830/46)
This is another shaver that we covered in our Top 10 Best Shavers section that’s found favour with our head-shaving brethren.
We know it performs well on the front of your head – now let’s see how it goes on top.
Philips Norelco have put a lot of work into making shaving heads that are great at lifting tiny stubble away from the skin to cut them, and this technology (“Super Lift & Cut”) also does a great job on your head.
We found earlier that the Shaver 4500 outperformed in shave quality for a shaver occupying the budget end of the spectrum, and it’s no different with your scalp.
This is a wet and dry shaver, and shave quality is improved even further with shave foam or gel.
The Philips Norelco Shaver 4500 has a strong motor and the shave head is the best among Philips Norelco’s line of fixed-head rotary shavers. This adds up to respectable, but not sterling shave times.
Since the head is fixed, it can be a little difficult to get the head flush against your skull. The individual shave heads have some travel which helps, but it´ll still be necessary sometimes to go over the same area few times, which will add up to increased shaving time.
As we noted in our other review, the shaver feels good in the hand. Not as good as a million dollars, but pretty good. It’s light and small, but doesn’t feel like a cheap piece of equipment.
In practice the shaver operates well and defects are rare. The shave head will wear out after around a year or so and need to be replaced, but this is normal.
The shaver gives 50 minutes of shaving from one hour of charging, which is close to standard. Note that the shaver does not support plugged in shaving, meaning it needs to be charged if you want a shave.
A three-minute charge provides enough power for a quick shave, but we doubt you’ll get your face and head done in time. Happily there’s a LED indicator to let you know when it’s about to run out of power and time to plug it in again.
Once again, any shaver that’s reviewed for two separate functions is going to score well on versatility.
The wet and dry option is fantastic for use in the shower to cut down on mess and save time, and it’s a convenient size for travel.
As we mentioned, the lack of cordless operation is disappointing, but having one unit you can reliably use for your face and head at this price point is a wonderful thing.
It doesn’t come with a cleaning unit, but you can clean it easily in the shower or under a running tap. Philips Norelco also provide a brush with the Aquatec Shaver 4500 so you can give it a sweep out. You should do this since it’ll help maintain the shaver’s cutting performance.
We mentioned it once, and we’ll say it again – we love that Philips Norelco provide replacement shaving heads for one of their more ‘budget’ models. The shave head should last 12 months, and with a new head will perform just like new again. Fantastic.
For a little shaver at the budget end of the market, it sure does a lot, and does it well. It doesn’t shave quite as well as the big boys or specialised head shavers, but for the money it definitely outperforms.
HeadBlade ATX All Terrain Head Razor
Having trouble deciding on an electric razor? Or maybe you’re not ready to make the leap from manual to electric?
Here’s an option that may serve you well in the interim – it’s designed specifically for head shaving but comes with the simplicity of a manual shave.
Read on to see if you think it’s right for you.
Shaves as close as a blade, because that’s what it is. It has four blades that do a great job of getting a very smooth and comfortable shave.
This model caused some consternation among HeadBlade fans since it moved the blade from the front to the back of the shaver (remember the howls of protest when rear-wheel-drive vehicles became front-wheel-drive? You get the picture).
The theory is that putting the blade at the back of the the little shave-buggy allows the blade to follow the natural contours of your cranium without gouging your scalp.
The HeadBlade ATX wins big here since it’s faster than a regular manual blade but still gives a very high quality shave.
The razor still isn’t as fast as an electric shaver that’s built specifically designed for head shaving, like the Bald Eagle Pro.
There’s not much to break here. The only moving parts are the blade adapter that holds the shaving cartridge, and the little wheels. Both seem quite reliable!
Otherwise the HeadBlade ATX is comfortable to hold and to maneuver around your head.
Some men don’t like the HeadBlade razors as much as their regular cartridge blades, and use the cartridge adapter to swap them out.
Men shave their face with this thing, but we can’t recommend it. It’s an awkward shape to drive around your face. Many women however have found that it performs admirably as a leg shaver!
It won’t go in your bathroom travel bag the way a regular disposable razor will, but compared to many electric shavers, it’s still quite packable.
For the shave quality the HeadBlade ATX provides, we think it provides excellent value.
It costs a little more than your regular non-disposable razor, but there’s no other razor like it for shaving your head, and we think the extra value justifies the cost.
Ongoing costs are minimal and are restricted to shaving cream and replacement blades.
All in all we think it’s an excellent choice if you’re sick of regular disposable razors and you’re not ready to take a plunge on an electric shaver.
Braun Series 7-799cc
If you’ve read our electric shaver reviews you’ll know that we’re a big fan of this shaver. It’s getting a bit long in the tooth now, but Braun haven’t really been able to outcompete their own model, even with the latest incarnation of this series, the Braun Series 9 9095cc.
Like we said in our original review, this is because Braun have done such a superb job with this shaver, there’s really nowhere else to go. What to do? Put a bigger motor in the Series 9, which now sounds like a lawnmower, and is brutal on 3-4 day old growth.
We still think the Series 7 is a winner. But how does it stack up against the other contenders when it comes to shaving a bald head?
Let’s find out.
So it does a great job of shaving your face. We gave it 9/10 for that. But what about your head?
This is where things get a little trickier. The hair on your head is generally a little softer than that on your face, so the Braun makes short work of that.
The problems begin – as with every other shaver that isn’t a Skull Shaver or Headblade – with holding the shaver securely while maintaining close contact between the shaving foil and your lovely head.
But even though it’s not designed for the top of your head, it does an excellent job there. This is in part because of the shaver’s excellent features, that include:
- 10,000 microsonic vibrations per minute. That’s basically a measure of cutting speed.
- The “ActiveLift” plate that lifts hair away from the skin.
- The pivoting shaving head that adapts to your contours.
- The ‘Personalization Modes’ you can use to set shaving power and speed.
Because this is such a solid cutter, shaving speed is good. The shaver rates speed-wise for shaving your face, and 90% of the head is faster to shave than your face (the skin tends to be less sensitive, and there are fewer tricky contours)
Of course, the tricky part that’ll slow you down is the bump on the back of your head (assuming you have one! My dad doesn’t). Because you can’t see it and it has a few odd contours, you’ll probably need a few passes here.
Don’t let it bother you, just keep running your fingers over the area and you’ll get there in the end.
Well, here there’s no difference at all between the face and head shaving aspects of this machine – it’s rock solid and lasts for years.
As with all shavers that do their job properly the the cutting components will wear out over time. It’s normal, and you’ll have to replace them periodically. Of course, if you’re shaving both your face AND head, this will happen more frequently. So the frequently quoted lifespan of 18 months for the cutting block will likely be reduced somewhat.
Just make sure you maintain it nicely, and it should last you a very long time indeed.
So this shaver is supposed to deliver 50 minute of shaving from an hour of charging. A big selling point for the Braun Series 7 is that even 5 minutes of charging should be enough for a quick shave. Well – not if you’re shaving your head!
I can only recommend you keep it in the charging station, and you’ll never have to worry about it not being charged. This is only going to become an issue if you’re travelling with it and don’t want to lug the charging station around with you.
The main point here is that it has a high-quality lithium-ion battery that will easily provide you with a face-plus-head shave off one complete charge.
So this review is all about versatility, since we’re talking about one maching for your entire head.
Since we’ve found that the shaver does a really great job on both your head and face, it deserves a great score for versatility.
This is of course also because you can use it in the shower and travel with it for a few days on one charge.
Since the Braun 7-799cc comes with a charging/cleaning base combo that provides an auto-clean function, maintenance is a breeze.
The auto-cleaner does an astonishingly good job, returning the shaver to a box-fresh level of cleanliness. It’ll look like it did the day you took it out of its box. This is incredibly rewarding after dealing with slightly greasy cheap shavers for years.
If you don’t want to use the auto-cleaner and save on cleaning fluid, you can just run it under the tap to clean it, which is perfectly adequate.
As we said earlier, some parts of shavers just run out. This is because there’s no getting away from your beard dulling sharp blades over time – that’s why disposable razors are disposable after all!
So if you want this shaver to last a lifetime, resign yourself to replacing the shaving block (that’s the blade assemby beneath the foil) every once in a while.
Well, it’s not a cheap shaver, not by any means. But if you’re using it for your face and scalp as well, then we believe it’s excellent value.
Look after the shaver well with regular cleaning and replacement of consumable parts, and after a couple years you’ll forget how much you paid for it and just be glad you own it.