A hot towel shave is a time-honoured barber shop tradition that is just as popular today.
They offer a number of benefits, helping to remove dead skin cells, promote circulation, cleanse the pores and soothe the skin. Plus, they are relaxing and leave your client looking fresh and sharp!
With the traditional barber shop experiencing a rebirth in the past few years, now has never been a better time to perfect your hot towel shave technique…
Can Barbers Still Give Shaves During Covid-19?
It should be noted that shaves are considered a close contact service in the ‘highest risk zone’, which includes any facial treatment.
Face treatments were given the go-ahead to continue by the government in England from August 15th.
We have a blog on keeping clients as safe as possible in your salon or barber shop with some more advice.
Tips for Offering the Best Barber Shop Hot Towel Shave Service…
1. Shave against the grain or with it?
While shaving against the grain might get a closer cut, it can lead to painful bumps and ingrown hairs. Take a look at your clients beard and see if you can map out the hair direction so you’re prepared to go the right way.
2. Cleanse and exfoliate first
Before starting the shave, cleanse the skin to remove skin oils, dirt and debris. Something with a gentle exfoliation, such as Retinol Men’s Anti Aging Cleanser from our men’s skincare range will help keep the skin hydrated while clearing out the pores.
3. Use a hot towel facial steamer
The hot towel is the most important step during a wet shave! It can help reduce the force needed to cut the hair by up to 70%, preventing skin irritation and razor burn caused by friction.
Before applying it to your client’s face for a few minutes, consider applying some oil to the beard area first to help soften the hair and lubricate the skin. The Bluebeards Revenge Pre-Shave Oil features a blend of natural oils to help reduce irritation.
4. Use a professional barber shop shaving cream
While your hot towel softens the hair on your client’s face, prepare your shaving cream.
It’s important to use a professional barber shop pre-shave cream to ensure the skin is properly protected from the razor. They also tend to come with more luxurious scents, too, which adds to your client’s experience.
Poraso Pre and Post Shave Cream uses eucalyptus oil and menthol for a refreshing feel, while American Crew Moisturising Shave Cream uses a non-foaming formula which is great for sensitive skin. If you like to be able to see where you are shaving, etch TAPER Shapeup Shave Gel is clear and lightweight.
Dispense the amount you need into a clean bowl, and using a freshly disinfected shaving brush, mix it ready.
5. Invest in good quality cut throat razors
You won’t be able to give a top standard shave service unless your razor is sharp and well designed. For the ultimate vintage barber shop experience, use a straight razor – also known as a ‘cut throat razor’ – to get the closest shave.
Holding the razor at a 30-degree angle, be sure to follow the direction of hair growth across the face. Using the ‘3 Pass Method’, you can then shave across the hair, then against the direction of hair growth if needed.
Don’t forget to care for your razor properly, too. It will need to be honed after every few uses to ensure it stays sharp.
6. Post-shave aftercare
Your shave isn’t over yet!
The post-shave aftercare step is essential for leaving the skin both looking and feeling good.
Even the best shave can leave skin feeling tight and dry afterwards, so a soothing moisturiser is key. The Bluebeards Revenge Post Shave Balm is enriched with aloe vera and chamomile – leave it to soak under another hot towel to allow it to fully absorb into the skin.
Or, try applying one of BARBER PRO’s Post Shave Cooling Masks to reduce any signs of redness.
Finally, for a classic touch, add a splash of aftershave to the skin such as Wahl’s 5 Star Rum Aftershave. The spicy fragrance will leave skin feeling fresh and invigorated.
7. Clean your tools!
After every client, be sure to clean all of your tools properly.
Barber towels should only be used once before being washed, dried and stored away.
Your razors and brushes should be sanitised in hot soapy water before being submerged in disinfectant for the correct amount of time. You could also place them in a salon steriliser – find out more about the different types of salon sterilisers on our blog.
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Barber advice from the Salons Direct blog…