December 27, 2022

Shaving is a regular part of life for just about every guy. Even those with a heavy beard need to shave some part of his face.

But sometimes shaving can feel like a chore. Or it can cause nicks, cuts, irritation or razor burn that can take days to settle down.

So, once in a while, why not let a professional barber handle it for you by giving you a hot towel shave? It can be an incredibly pampering experience that gives you a baby-smooth shave without any of the hassle.

A hot towel shave can make shaving a relaxing treat instead of a gruesome duty. So we’ll tell you about it so you can see if it’s for you. Maybe you’ll give one a whirl the next time you get a haircut. Or maybe you’ll convince a special someone to give you a gift card for one…

What Even is a Hot Towel Shave?

Each barber will have his/her own special techniques, products and wizardry designed to send you into  a state of luxurious ecstasy – but the basics of a hot towel shave remain the same.

First, you settle back in a very comfy barber’s chair and let yourself chill.

Then the barber will expertly wrap a hot, moist towel around your face. This feels truly awesome and it softens your face, follicles and beard hair for the shave. Before or after this stage, they may massage in some pre-shave oil to protect your face and make it easy for a razor to glide across without tugging.

The barber will mix up a lather of shave cream and apply it with a soft shaving brush.

Then it’s time for a slow, methodical shave with a super-clean and super-sharp razor, most likely a straight razor. The process takes time, especially to shave the entire face, so just lay back. A barber has to undergo extensive training and practice to become proficient at working the angle of the razor and moving across the contours of the face. It doesn’t hurt one bit. It actually feels really refreshing and easy.

After the shaving part is done, another hot towel may be applied to relax you more and help remove excess hairs and cream.

Some barbers will then apply a cold towel to close up the pores and leave you feeling invigorated.

Last, the barber will apply his/her specially chosen balm, aftershave or essential oils for the final smooth and sweet-smelling finish.

Tip: For best results, let your beard hair grow for several days minimum. You don’t need heavy beard growth, but 4 to 7 days worth will give the hair time to become thicker and longer, making it easier to achieve a clean and even shave.

Benefit 1 – It feels AMAZING

It’s nothing like shaving at the sink yourself. Seriously, a hot towel shave feels like a facial as well as a shave. Some guys get it done regularly just because they love feeling so awesome and pampered.

It’s so relaxing that many dudes fall asleep.

Benefit 2 – Softened Hairs, Easier Shave

When whiskers are dry and stiff, a razor snags and drags, resulting in a painful shave with more nicks and more irritation. 

The hot towel in close proximity to your face works differently than a hot shower. It supercharges the steaming and softening process on your whiskers, so the razor glides across your skin with no interference, no scraping and no tugging.

Benefit 3 – You Get Professional Beard Sculpting

If you have a beard, a hot towel shave from a pro barber means you get your beard shaped and sculpted with immaculate precision. After all, your barber isn’t just a skilled artist with your head hair alone.

Benefit 4 – Hot Towel Shaves Exfoliate Your Pores

Exfoliation involves removing dead skin cells to expose clean, soft, smooth skin and keep flakes, dirt and bacteria out of your pores.

A hot towel shave cleanses and relaxes your pores, thus exposing the hair follicles better so you get a closer, smoother shave with less drag from the razor. 

Exfoliated pores mean reduced blemishes and acne.

Benefit 5 – Protection

The effects of a great hot towel shave last a long time. It will protect your pores from infection, reduce the risk of ingrown hairs, remove dead skin cells, and leave your skin so much smoother to prevent skin damage from your own shaving later.

Benefit 6 – Moisturized Skin

The combo of the hot, moist towel plus the pre-shave oil plus the clean pores plus the lotion/oil applied after the shave results in silky, smooth moisturized skin. Your skin will look more alive and you’ll feel rejuvenated - like you’re five years younger.

BONUS – The Post-Shave Cold Towel

If you’re lucky, your barber will use another moist towel wrap at the end - but this one will be straight from the fridge. It’s invigorating and refreshing to close the pores, cool your skin and let the oils from the shave coat your skin lightly and evenly.

It’s so much better than splashing your face with cold water at the sink.

But… Remember your Beard Grooming

Just because you got your shaved skin feeling amazing doesn’t mean you can neglect regular beard grooming.

Quite the opposite. Once you’ve got clean pores and silky smooth, moisturized skin, you want to keep everything that way and prevent drying, flaking and beard acne. 

So… keep up your daily beard care routine of using a beard wash, applying beard oil, brushing properly and applying beard balm for extra shape and conditioning. 

And use the best beard products you can find. Your barber goes to the trouble of using the best products for your hot towel shave, so you should give your facial hair the same level of pampering daily.

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