How To Give A Hot Towel Shave
Changing the face of barbering
The world of barbering is constantly expanding. Everyone is looking for new tips and tricks to drive bums into seats. And in the course of this people are modernising and reviving older practices that fell out of fashion. Such as the incredibly pleasurable hot towel shaving experience!
The classic face shave is cresting the wave of techniques that’s revitalising the modern barbershop. Although many men shave at home, getting the close, clean, practised shave that a barber can provide is a luxury that many clients will be more than willing to pay a little extra for.
Most men will agree that a good shave is up there with the finer things in life: aged scotch and a hand rolled Cuban, preferably all 3 at once in some nightmarish, difficult shave for a barber.
With practice and a small investment in a quality hot towel steamer, available through online or through any speciality tonsorial supplier, you can establish yourself as the go-to barber in town. For an extra-luxurious twist you could even incorporate scents or essential oils into the process. More on that later however. Let’s get right down to the bit you want to know: how to give the full experience!
How to perform a hot towel shave
Start the shave with a moist hot towel fresh from the steamer, applying it to your client’s face such that the nose is exposed to allow for free breathing. The steamed towel will open up the pores, soften the hair, and prepare the skin for shaving.
Depending on how long your client’s beard is, you may have to spend extra time prepping the beard to soften the hair and loosen the skin. If the beard needs extra preparation, you can work beard oil into the hair with your fingers and apply multiple hot towels to get the hair and skin as soft and pliable as possible.
After the skin and hair are ready to be shaved, you’ll lather the shaving cream or gel in a bowl with water and your fingers. You’ll then apply the lathered cream or gel over the client’s face. Using a straight razor or shavette, such as the new Dark Stag Kamisori Razor, you’ll shave the beard along the grain, moving the razor in the same direction the hair grows. This ensures the cleanest possible shave while minimising razor burn.
After the shave (making sure all the cut hair has been cleaned up) you’ll apply another hot towel. Remember, because of sanitary concerns, if you use a non-disposable razor, you’ll need to sanitise and disinfect it in-between each shave.
Some men go to a barbers looking for the classic experience. Maybe before a wedding or another big event in their life. Others have been visiting barbers for a shave for years as a standard part of their grooming routine.
There is however, a growing demographic: young men (and now YMCA is stuck in your head). Younger men are seeking out a professional shave to enjoy a luxury experience they simply can’t get at home.
Some barbers are meeting this expectation by adding essential oils and scents to their hot towels. Some of the most common options include:
- Tea Tree Oil
- Ylang Ylang
Many men prefer the scents of eucalyptus, sandalwood or tea tree oil as they offer a rich fragrance similar to many popular men’s aftershaves.
To give the proper effect, you apply the essential oil/scent while the towel is still dry (only a few drops mind, don’t want to blow their nose off) and then heat it in a towel steamer. When you apply it to your clients’ face, the essential oil will release a relaxing scent and actually soak into the skin, imparting the delightful fragrance of their choice.
And that’s it! An easy way to generate some extra traffic with a bit of investment. Thanks for reading, stay tuned for more regular tips and tricks!