How-to: Pre-Shave Prep

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by Kyle, Nov 28, 2006.

    Kyle, you are a man truly dedicated to your art!

    I had one barber shop shave from a very old barber, about 15 or more years ago, and I think he followed the procedure you describe -- he definitely massaged something into my skin prior to the towel. Of course, I was in a comfy barber's char, which leads to one question -- what the heck do you do while the towel is draped over your face -- lie down? read the paper standing and facing upwards?? That's the part that keeps me from doing the towel thing...
  1. Great post Kyle. I can't wait to try this technique.
  2. im just without words excellent work by The Review King ! :yinyang:
  3. htownmmm

    htownmmm Moderator Emeritus

    Don't call it a comeback-he's been here for years.

    Excellent advice and research Kyle. :thumbup1:

  4. Great, I can't wait to try it! Do I need to use a clean towel each ttime? Or could I re-use one for a few days running?
  5. Kyle

    Kyle Moderator Emeritus

    Unfortunately, I've not found anything greatly entertaining to do during the towel-time. I do have a radio in the bathroom and listen to either music or news, but that is about it.

    I have been thinking lately about perhaps using a bigger towel and attempting to wrap it around my head (versus me just holding it in place) but haven't experimented with it at this point in time. If any of you gents happen to try this method before I do, please do post your results.

    I always use a clean towel as some time ago I went out and purchased several specifically for self pampering purposes. The only problem that I can see developing with frequent reuse would be if the towel didn't dry properly and began to develop mold/bacteria issues.
  6. castlecraver

    castlecraver Moderator Emeritus

    Interestingly, this is pretty much what I've been doing for awhile now (save the brush technique). I usually put some preshave on my fingers for the "massage into the beard" step and proceed as Kyle has noted. I don't know if it makes any appreciable difference, but I find my preshaves (the oils especially) kind of worthless any other way, so that's how I use them.
  7. I'd like to vouch for Kyle's prep routine! I personally like to prep with Proraso Pre cause of the cool tingly sensations.

    Also Gueron gave me great a hint about prepping my razor at the same time as the brush. Having to do with hygiene and what not!

    I think both work b/c I notice a remarkable reduction in irritation.
  8. A most informative post, Kyle. :thumbup1:

    Quick question... Are you using regular hand sized bath towels or have you tried towels specifically for barbers like Classicshaving sells? I have tried this with regular bath towels and found this just not to work well at all - they are made to dry, not steam my follicles apparently.

  9. Okay, not to be a total dolt here, but is the idea with the proraso preshave (which I love, but may have been using incorrectly) is that I use it in place of the first lathering in Kyle's process (yup Kyle, you own it now.) Basically you do a lathering with shave cream or an application of preshave, and then apply the hot towels? If this works, I'm going to name my next 3 kids Kyle.
  10. Kyle

    Kyle Moderator Emeritus

    I have not (yet) purchased or used a true barber's towel for this. I simply went to Bed Bath & Beyond, and grabbed up several hand towels and washcloths that seemed suitable for my purposes (I believe the brand is Claiborne).

    Actually, I don't find the Proraso Pre do be near as effective by itself. I like it and will use it prior to the lather and towel application, but the lather and hot towel are what really make this whole thing click.
  11. Thanks for the great information Kyle! When I was in University and worked out at the gym I used to go in for a good sauna at the end and took in a hot face towel to prep the beard for a good close shave. The technique you describe is a great and relaxing method. I also like using pre-shve oils and apply these before applying the towel to the face. Thanks again for a great piece of information! I do have one question you cited a barbershop textbook where did you come across that? Thanks again.

  12. Kyle

    Kyle Moderator Emeritus

    I honestly can't remember exactly where I found the barber's text (I collected a ridiculous amount of info). It was online in a scanned pdf format but the source escapes me. It could have been over at SRP as they have a fairly nice collection of resources there. As time permits, I'll try to relocate the source.
  13. Thanks Kyle - I have a tub of Taylor's avocado coming from QED today so your post is somewhat serendipitous.
  14. Kyle

    Your post typifies why I and, I have no doubt, so many folk have joined B&B and stuck around. Keep up the good work.

  15. Thanks again for the post, Kyle. I tried your method today. The only difference in my routine from yours was the addition of a pre-shave oil. Other than that, I followed your instructions to the letter. My shave was remarkably close, with little irritation. It was also a more luxurious routine than what I typically do, making it that much more enjoyable.

    I would say the biggest tip I got from your post was not washing my face with soap before the shave. There's no doubt that some useful body oils get stripped off my beard when I do this, hence the need for pre-shave oil. I will continue your ritual the rest of the week to see how it plays out in the long run. But if this morning was any indication, I think my shaving time is going to permanently increase another three minutes. :001_smile
  16. Good Afternoon Kyle,

    Thank you for posting this information. The depth of your research and ability to convey it in written form is quite impressive.

    I appreciate your willingness to share the benefits of your incurable obsession :biggrin:.
  17. letterk

    letterk Moderator Emeritus

    Kyle, might you be able to list some names of the different ingredients? i.e. some examples of surfactants, moisturizers, etc... This would aid while shopping for new items.
  18. Kyle

    Kyle Moderator Emeritus

    Excellent question. In the "Research" section under "Common Ingredients", you can see the ones used in Taylor's and Proraso's formulas. As these are two very good and very commonly used creams, this should be a decent start.

    I had planned on doing a follow up thread that will lay out exactly what you are asking for, however, it will take me some time to put it together. In the mean time, look at the ingredient list on some of your favorite creams. While most creams will share a lot of common ingredients, notice the different plant oils that are used and any ingredient that is uncommon to other formulas (may require a google search to determine what it is). This is a great way to start finding the exact ingredients that make a specific product a good performer for you.
  19. This is one of those threads that should be converted into an article here.

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