Barbershops are significant because professional groomers are taking care of your needs—they’re cutting your hair, styling your beard, and giving you the perfect shave. However, it can be a lengthy process because you have to book the appointment, drive to the location, and wait your turn (you know all too well how often shops face delays).
The first two things listed above will most likely require help unless you’re an expert. But for the last one—shaving—going to a barbershop isn’t necessary. In fact, you can still get that perfect shave without leaving your home, and we’ll tell you how.
Gather Your Tools
Shaving is a task that needs preparation and focus because you don’t want there to be any accidents throughout the process. So it’s best to have all of your tools ready beforehand to ensure you’re not interrupting the session with a lot of movement. Here are a few things you’ll need:
- A straight razor
- Exfoliating cream
- Pre-shave oil
- A hot towel
- Shaving bowel
Once you have these items, try to organize them in the order they’ll be used for better efficiency while shaving.
Break Out the Hot Towel
If you’ve ever gotten a shave at the barbershop, one of the first things they do is place a hot towel over your face. Its purpose is to relax your skin and open your pores, so there’s less irritation during shaving. Usually, barbers break out the tongs and take a towel out of a machine known as a “towel warmer.”
But if you don’t have one, you can place a towel under hot water or place a damp towel in the microwave for about 30 seconds. If you want to create a spa-like experience as some barbershops do, you can add a few drops of essential oils—like eucalyptus—to the towel. Afterward, place the towel on your skin for a few minutes until it starts cooling. Before taking it off, gently rub your skin with it to make your beard hair stand up.
If you’re pressed for time, you can also take a hot shower. The steam from the water will have the same effect as a hot towel, without the extra step.
Prepare Your Skin
After warming up your face, now it’s time to prep it for shaving. Before applying anything else:
- Use an exfoliating cream to remove any impurities from your skin
- Apply it in small circles and then rinse with warm water to keep your pores open; using cold water will close your pores and hinder your shave
- Apply pre-shave oil to lubricate your hair and enhance the straight razor glide during the shave
Once that’s done, next is creating a lather with your favorite shaving cream. Place a decent amount in the bowl with some water and mix until it has your preferred consistency. Then using your brush, apply the cream to your skin using small circular motions. It helps lift your hairs, making them easier to shave.
You may have seen people use their hands to apply shaving cream. But this isn’t the best method because your hands carry bacteria, and they won’t make it easier for the straight razor to do its job.
Once your beard resembles that of Santa Claus, it’s time to start shaving. For the barber-like experience, a straight razor will get the job done. But if you don’t think you have the steadiest hand, you can also use a safety razor. Regardless of the razor you choose, shaving is all about angles—the better the angle, the easier it is to get a good shave.
It’s best to hold the razor at a 30-degree angle to avoid cutting yourself. Once you have the perfect angle, slowly work the blade through the cream and pull your skin with your offhand. It increases skin tension so you can get a close shave. It would help if you shaved with the grain and used short strokes to limit the appearance of razor bumps and skin irritation.
Time to Clean
Now that you’ve finished shaving and have the baby-smooth feeling, your face will need some relief. It’s best to use a cold compress or a splash of cold water to close your pores and prevent further irritation.
Then you can apply some aftershave to help your skin feel fresh. Be sure to do so throughout the week to keep irritation at bay.
Get the Perfect Barbershop Shave With These Tips
Who said you need a barbershop to get the perfect shave? While it’s a great option, you may not have the time to attend an appointment. Instead, break out your straight razor and follow our tips above to give yourself the best shave possible without having to spend a dime.