The Best Way for a Hot Towel and Wet Razor Shave

We approached London-based shaving and grooming experts, Carter and Bond to find out the best way to perform a hot towel wet shave. This is a shaving experience we have personally enjoyed and highly recommend. The following tips and wet shave process is an invaluable resource for barbers and shavers alike.

  1. Scrub
    Baxter of California Facial Scrub (created from food grade Almond Oil it smells good enough to eat) is applied to the face along with the creamy Baxter Daily Facial Wash.  When combined the result is a gentle but highly effective exfoliating cleanser that rids the face of impurities whilst helping to soften stubble, making it easier to shave.  Using this cleansing cocktail the Barber carries out a facial massage for two to three minutes.
  2. Hot towel
    The first hot towel is then applied.  Both hot and cold towels are lightly scented with Agua de Colonia, the classic citrus scent from Madrid’s oldest fragrance house.  The effect of heat and moisture of the hot towel serves to open the pores and further soften the beard as well as to relax the client.  After approximately a minute the hot towel is removed and the Barber carefully cleanses the face of residue scrub and cleanser.
  3. Pre-shave
    The incredible Proraso Pre Shave Cream is then applied to the face and gently massaged into the beard.  This magical cream, first launched in 1926 and made with Eucalyptus and Menthol, acts as a shave ‘undercoat’ to assist in razor glide whilst reducing the chance of nicks and cuts.  The invigorating effect on both the skin and the senses is highly refreshing.

    Man receiving a hot towel shave by a barber

    Man receiving a hot towel shave by a barber

  4. Lather up
    The Barber then generates a profuse lather in the old fashioned manner using shaving cream, brush, piping hot water and a shaving mug.  The lather is then liberally applied to the beard area and vigorously worked in with the brush so that the hairs are thoroughly coated.  The Barber actually combines two shaving creams: Proraso shave cream for its rich lather and Baxter of California for its creaminess and hydrating qualities.
  5. Razor
    The Barber then goes to work with an open razor or a shavette getting closer than you might have thought possible (but holding back where there are signs of skin sensitivity).  If the skin allows, the barber will re-lather and carry out a second shave going against the grain.  In our opinion, the comfort of the shave is every bit as important as the closeness – this is a pampering experience to be enjoyed – so the Barber will tailor the shave to the customer’s skin.  The more often a client visits and the better he gets to know his face, the closer the shave he will be able to give.
  6. Mask
    Baxter of California Clay Mask is then applied to the freshly shave faced.  This cooling and soothing mask is first worked into the face in another stimulating facial massage before being left in place for several minutes to draw out impurities.  Another hot towel is then applied before being used to clean away the mask.  Baxter of California Herbal Mint Toner, a mild and refreshing astringent, is then wiped over the face with cotton wool as the final facial cleansing step.
  7. Aftershave
    Baxter of California Under Eye Complex is now applied to the eye area.  A (very) cold towel is then applied briskly to the face to close the pores and wake the client up from his nap!  This is then followed by Baxter’s After Shave Balm which continues the cooling and soothing process whilst also restoring much-needed hydration to the face.  If the customer has very dry skin and the After Shave Balm is quickly absorbed then Baxter’s Oil Free Moisturiser may also be applied to give longer lasting hydration.

Most barbers and grooming salons will use the products they are most comfortable with.  For this article, Carter & Bond chose products based on their effectiveness to give a close shave.