How to See How You Would Look With a Buzzed Head

By Ken Burnside

Haircuts are a highly personalized style choice, and one that can lead to a certain amount of buyer's remorse, after the fact. A short haircut, for men or women, can be a decision that you have to live with for months. Fortunately, a wide range of programs and websites will take a picture of you, and using "morphing" techniques popularized by Hollywood, adjust the image and give you a "try before you buy" chance before you let someone near your head with a pair of clippers.

Overall Procedure

Apps and services that preview how you'll look with a buzzed head merge a photo you provide with a stock library of head shots. These very simple apps combine your head shot with a shaved head, and do a color match from the pixels in your forehead. More effective services sample skin tones and lighting levels to get the contour of your face and try to predict the shape of your skull without your hair.

PC and Mac Programs

The earliest programs that did consumer-grade face alteration worked on a Mac or PC -- modern versions, such as Make Me Bald, have since been ported to iOS and Android. While a browser search reveals references to older software packages that do this, as of mid-2014, none are available for the Windows or Mac platform.

Web-Based Programs

Facial modification and hairline test-drive programs migrated from the PC to the Internet and the Web. Originally promoted by hair restoration websites (and still used by them), these sites, such as "Baldly Go" and "Living With Hairloss" (links in Resources) take a high resolution picture, and for a modest fee, return retouched images. These services provide a wider range of skin tone matching and can use facial features to more accurately size the bald overlay for the final image.

Mobile Apps

Several apps for both iOS and Android mobile devices work about as well as the PC and Mac-based programs. These include Make Me Bald, BaldBooth and ShaveMyHead. With these apps, you draw along your hairline with your fingertip, select a few options and the app will merge your face shot with its stock library of bald-headed or crew-cut overlays.