Style & Beauty
Barber Shop Shave: Everything You Need to Know About the Hottest Grooming Trend
11/1/2016 4:06:59 PM

Razor burn, tiny cuts, ingrown hairs . . . men’s shaving is an often-overlooked pain point in many morning grooming rituals. Lately, scores of men have taken to combating shaving annoyances not by testing out the newest shaving technologies, but by embracing the shave of yesteryear and trying out hundred-year-old barbershop techniques.

Everyone from The New York Times to Esquire has been touting the benefits of the old-school safety razor. A safety razor, unlike the plastic models usually found in drug stores, is often made of metal and contains a detachable double-edged razor with two sharp sides. While they’re often more expensive than the disposable models, many men are finding a simpler shave much easier on the skin.

The reason a safety razor shave feels so much better, with less irritation, razor burn, and painful ingrown hairs, is because shaves have gotten a bit too close for comfort in recent years. Those drug store razors, which often come with upwards of five blades, are great at shearing facial hair. However, they’re also great at shaving off multiple layers of skin, according to dermatologists. It turns out we need those top layers to prevent ingrown hairs as well as to lock in moisture. Dry skin is much more prone to irritation and the harsh effects of heat and cold.

And while many may balk at the cost of a safety razor (high-end models can go for as much as $160) a more expensive razor could actually save men money in the long run. While the razors are costly, replacement blades only run a few dollars, so as long as users keep the razor itself clean and free of errant hairs, a good razor could last indefinitely.

As many men shift to throwback razors, they’re also tossing out all those cheap cans of chemical-packed shaving cream and replacing them with gentler stuff. Subscription plans like the Dollar Shave Club, which delivers monthly blades and grooming products right to users’ doors, include customizable butters, calming creams, and even cleansers to soothe skin before and after shaving.

With old-school shaving products, however, come new techniques. Many men, used to pressing hard on disposable razors for a close shave, can end up learning a painful lesson when shaving with safety razors. The key, according to experts, is to hold the razor at a 30-degree angle and shave with the hair, never against the grain. Don’t push it; let the blades gently do their work. Though the process may take a little longer, safety razor enthusiasts swear by the end result, saying it’s a much more soothing way to start the day.

Posted by: Emily Alford | Submit comment | Tell a friend


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