There are few things more luxurious than a hot towel shave. Not only is it incredibly relaxing, but it’s also one of the most effective ways to get a close, smooth shave. If you’ve never had a hot towel shave before, don’t worry, it’s easy to do at home. Just follow these simple steps!
Why Use a Hot Towel?
Hot towels used for shaving help the razor glide with less friction, while also exfoliating the skin and reducing ingrown hairs. The hot towel will allow you to get a closer shave and get that smooth skin you’re looking for.
That’s because your hair comes out of little holes called pores. These pores contract under cold temperatures which makes it harder to shave. When exposed to heat, these pores open up and the hairs become more prominent.
Due to this, applying heat to your face will always produce a better shave. The moisture of the towel will also work to soften the hair and your skin, making it easier to shave. If you’re in a barber’s chair, there is an added benefit of the towel being incredibly relaxing.
Even with regular shaving, it’s always a good idea to splash warm water on your face but a hot towel is a more effective method. Now we know why it’s done, let’s see all the tools you need to get started.
Gathering Your Supplies
To get the perfect hot towel shave, you’ll need the following supplies: a razor, shaving cream, a bowl of hot water, and a towel. Fill the bowl with hot water and soak the towel in it. Some barber shops will use a towel warmer but soaking them in hot water is fine.
As for the type of razor and shaving cream you use, that will often come down to personal preference and experience. Many barbers will use a straight razor but they are hard to master. It’s a great skill to have but you can play it safe with your regular shaver.
It’s a similar story with shaving cream. An expert may say you should whip up a lather with a shaving brush. For home use, regular shaving cream or gel will be just fine. Here we want to focus on the process without talking too much about which products to use.
Step by Step Guide For The Perfect Hot Towel Shave
Wring out the excess water and wrap the towel around your head or the person you’re shaving. The towel should be damp but without any drips, and it should be warm but not hot. You can test it on your forearm as a temperature check before it’s applied to the face.
To lock in the heat and moisture, it’s a good idea to fold it over once and press it next to the chin and mouth, leaving the nose clear. You can then press the ends of the towel up on the side of the face. The towel only needs to be on the face for a minute or two.
The next step is just to apply shaving cream to the face and neck. Cover all areas that need to be shaved. You’ll want to dry your hands once you’ve applied the cream so make sure you’ve covered all the areas you need before you get started.
Use a sharp razor to shave your face in the direction of hair growth. Going against the grain of your hair will often provide a closer shave but is much more likely to cause skin irritation. The sharp razor and hot towel will give you a close shave, even with the grain.
For the closest (and still comfortable) shave, there is a technique you can use. Once you’ve gone with the grain, you can then shave across the grain and then against it. By the time you go against the grain, the hair is already very short which minimizes irritation. The perfect shave takes patience and gentle strokes.
By the time you’ve finished your shave, that hot towel you used at the start will most likely have gone cold. Waft it in the air to make it cooler and then apply it to the face. This will close the pores back up to prevent them from getting clogged.
Pat the face down with a clean and dry towel and the process is complete. You’ll have finished a relaxing and close shave.
Common Hot Towel Shave Mistakes
There are a few mistakes that people often make when trying to get a hot towel shave. Here are the most common ones:
- Not using enough shaving cream. Shaving cream helps to protect your skin and provides a lubricant for the razor. Make sure to use enough cream to cover the entire area you’re shaving.
- Using a dull razor. A sharp razor is key for a close, smooth shave. If you’re using a dull razor, you’re more likely to end up with cuts and nicks.
- Not rinsing your face with cold water after shaving or using a cold towel. Rinsing with cold water helps to close your pores and soothe your skin.
- Not patting your face dry with a clean towel. Patting your face dry ensures that you don’t leave any moisture on your skin, which can lead to irritation.
- Using a red hot towel. The towel should feel comfortable on the face. Despite the name ‘hot towel shave’ you shouldn’t make it too hot. A nice warm towel will get the job done perfectly.
I hope this article has helped you learn how to get the perfect hot towel shave. There are few things more luxurious than a hot towel shave, and now that you know how they work, I encourage you to try one out for yourself.
Remember to follow all the steps carefully and take your time. A hot towel shave is designed to give you a relaxing and close shave, so be patient and enjoy the experience. It’s hard to master but after a few attempts, you’ll get the perfect hot towel shave.