Should I Shave My Head For Cycling: 3 Reasons & More

The pros and cons of shaving your head for cycling: A detailed guide with tips for skin protection

Shaving your head is a bold move that works for many cyclists. A clean-shaven head is a classic look that can enhance your appearance. If you still have some hair, it may need maintenance to keep you looking your best.

Shaving your head for cycling can be beneficial as it reduces the risk of follicular infections, makes massages easier and more effective, and allows for better sun protection with sunscreen. Consider these factors before deciding based on your preferences and needs for cycling performance and maintenance.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the aerodynamic benefits of a clean-shaven head for cycling, its impact on comfort and cooling during intense rides, maintenance tips, helmet choices, and essential skin protection strategies.

Key Takeaways

  • Shaving your head can improve aerodynamics and performance for cyclists.
  • A shaved head creates a smoother surface, reducing wind resistance and improving speed.
  • Myriad studies and expert opinions suggest a shaved head can give cyclists an edge during races.
  • Maintaining a shaved head is practical and low maintenance for cyclists, especially those who travel often.
  • Shaved heads may encounter helmet compatibility challenges, including discomfort, improper fit, and sunburn risk.
  • Helmet liners, adjustable helmets, and bandanas or caps can mitigate discomfort for cyclists with shaved heads.
  • Cyclists with shaved heads need to apply sunscreen regularly, ideally water-resistant and with an SPF of 30 or higher, to protect their scalp from sunburn, skin damage, and skin cancer.
  • Cyclists can protect their scalp by avoiding peak sun hours and seeking shade when possible.

Should I Shave My Head For Cycling: A Detailed Guide

A detailed guide to shaving my head for cycling

Cyclists analyze every part of their body for speed and performance impact. One trending topic is whether a shaved head can boost aerodynamics. Let’s dive into our detailed guide on the aerodynamic advantages, expert opinions, and practicality of maintaining a shaved head as a cyclist. Learn how this simple information can enhance your performance on the road.

Aerodynamic Advantages of a Shaved Head for Cycling

Cyclists always look for ways to improve their speed and performance. One exciting idea is shaving your head. But how does this help? Let’s break it down.

Wind Resistance and Shaving Your Head

When you cycle, wind resistance slows you down. Any part of your body that catches the wind creates drag, which is the force that pushes against you. Hair can add to this drag.

  • Smoother Surface: A shaved head offers a softer surface with less wind resistance.
  • Improved Speed: With less drag, you can maintain higher speeds with less effort.

Expert Opinions and Studies

Experts and studies have examined how shaving your head can make a difference. Here’s what they found:

  • Aerodynamic Studies: Research shows that even minor changes in drag can affect your speed. Cyclists who shave their heads may experience less drag, allowing them to go faster.
  • Expert Opinions: Many cycling professionals agree that reducing drag helps improve performance. Some even suggest a shaved head might give you a slight edge during races.

While shaving your head might seem like a slight change, it can make a noticeable difference in reducing wind resistance and improving your cycling performance.

Maintenance and Practicality of a Shaved Head for Cyclists

Cyclists, persistent travelers, often look for easy ways to care for themselves. One option is shaving your head. Let’s see why this might be a good idea.

Benefits of Low Maintenance

Shaving your head has several advantages:

  • Easy Care: No shampoo, conditioner, or hair products are needed. Just a quick shave now and then.
  • TimeSaving: Save time in the morning with no hair to style.
  • Less Baggage: You won’t need to pack hair products or a hairdryer when traveling.

Comparison: Shaved Head vs. Other Haircuts

When cycling, different haircuts require different levels of care. Here’s how a shaved head compares:

  • Short Haircuts: Short haircuts need regular trims to stay neat. This means more trips to the barber.
  • Long Hair: Long hair requires washing, drying, and styling, which can be time-consuming and cumbersome when on the road.
  • Shaved Head: A shaved head is simple. You can easily maintain it yourself with a razor or electric shaver, making it perfect for cyclists always on the go.

A shaved head is low maintenance and practical for travelers and cyclists, saving time and simplifying grooming needs.

Helmet Compatibility for Cyclists with Shaved Heads

Shaved head helmet compatibility

Shaving your head can have its downsides, especially when wearing a helmet. Here are some things to think about.

Challenges of Wearing Helmets with a Shaved Head

Wearing a helmet with a shaved head can be tricky. Here are some common problems:

  • Discomfort: A shaved head sometimes feels uncomfortable under a helmet, as no hair can cushion the contact points.
  • Helmet Fit: Without hair, your helmet might fit differently. It could feel loose or too tight.
  • Sunburn Risk: Your scalp is more exposed to the sun, increasing the risk of sunburn.

Recommendations for Comfort and Protection

To deal with these issues, here are some tips:

  • Helmet Liners: Use padded liners inside your helmet to make it more comfortable.
  • Adjustable Helmets: Choose helmets with adjustable straps and padding to ensure a snug fit.
  • Use Bandanas or Caps: Wearing a lightweight cap or bandana under your helmet can add comfort and protect your scalp from the sun.

Cyclists with Shaved Heads: Skin Protection Strategies

Shaving your head can expose your scalp to the sun, making skin protection important. Here’s why and how you should protect your shaved head.

Importance of Sunscreen

Sunscreen is crucial for cyclists with shaved heads. Here’s why:

  • Prevent Sunburn: Without hair, your scalp is directly exposed to the sun, making it more likely to burn.
  • Reduce Skin Damage: Prolonged sun exposure leads to skin cancer and damages the skin.
  • Maintain Comfort: A sunburnt scalp can be painful, affecting your cycling experience.

Tips on Choosing and Applying Sunscreen

Sunscreen Choosing and Applying Tips

To keep your scalp safe, follow these tips:

  • Choose SPF 30 or Higher: Use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 for effective protection.
  • Water-Resistant Formula: Pick a water-resistant sunscreen to ensure it stays on even when you sweat.
  • Broad-Spectrum Protection: Ensure your sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Apply Generously: Use a good amount of sunscreen and apply it evenly across your scalp.
  • Reapply Often: Reapply every two hours or more if you are sweating heavily.

Additional Protection Tips

Besides sunscreen, consider these additional strategies:

  • Avoid Peak Sun Hours: Cycle early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the strongest sun rays.
  • Seek Shade When Possible: Take breaks in shaded areas to give your scalp a rest from the sun.


We’ve spent a fair amount of time exploring why some cyclists are considering or already have considering adieu to their hair. From aerodynamic benefits to sweat management, easy maintenance, and helmet compatibility, there’s a fair bit to consider.

But remember, while the science behind aerodynamics is interesting, your choice to shave your head or not is personal and should consider your comfort, lifestyle, and skincare requirements. Ultimately, cycling is about more than just speed. It’s about enjoying the ride, shaved head or not!


Indeed, removing leg hair offers benefits beyond just donning aero socks. While less crucial than an aero jersey for many individuals, at 30kph, the savings are around five to six watts, not merely fractions of a watt. This advantage only grows as your speed increases.

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