If you’ve never experienced the relaxing, almost sensual, pleasure of a professional shave treatment, you’re in for a treat. Women flock to spas and salons on a regular basis. Why shouldn’t guys be able to enjoy the same pampering?
I had resisted the idea for years, thinking that shaving was just something that you did quickly in the morning before you grabbed your coffee mug and headed out of the door to go to work. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a professional shave until my buddy started talking about it.
I decided to give it a try, and loved the experience, but there are a host of things I wish I’d known before I walked through the barbershop doors.
What happens during a professional shave?
The big difference in a professional hot shave is that the barber (or stylist in a unisex salon) removes your beard with a blade, not an electric razor or drug store safety razor, both of which can leave your skin dry and irritated. The first step is for him or her to apply a hot towel to the beard area. This not only feels fantastic but opens your pores and softens the skin. Then your face is lathered with shaving cream. (Most barbers, like Barber Surgeons Guild in West Hollywood, have their own recipe.)
Next comes the shave. While it may make you a little uncomfortable at first to have someone near your face and neck with a sharp blade, it is essential that you sit absolutely still during
this process. Believe me: you’ll quickly get used to it. Lastly, the barber will gently rub a moisturizer into your newly-shaved skin and apply yet another hot towel. The entire process takes around 10 to 15 minutes and you’ll leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Options and what they mean
In addition to the standard treatment, most shops will offer specialized creams and facial treatments for an additional charge. These include facial masks to reduce enlarged pores and eye creams to make the fine lines around your eyes less noticeable. Keep in mind that these, while nice, are not necessary for a good shave.
Cost and etiquette
The cost of a professional shave varies quite a bit depending on where you live and the type of barber or salon that you visit. The national average for this treatment is around $20 per shave. In addition, it is customary to tip the barber or stylist around $5 (or 20% of the cost) at the end of each appointment. Some people say not to tip the owner of a shop or salon. I tend to think that these people also deserve a tip for good service, but that’s up to you.
While getting a professional shave is not something I’d splurge on every week, it’s a wonderful way to feel refreshed after a long week or to get ready for a big event like a wedding or important business meeting. If you haven’t experienced a professional shave, you owe it to yourself and the woman in your life to spend an hour in the barber chair being pampered.