How To Create a Barbershop Hot Towel at Home
by Brett McKay
Art of Manliness
One of the
best parts of a barbershop
straight razor shave are the copious amounts of hot towels the
barber presses on your face. It’s so stinking relaxing. There’s
also a practical reason for this classic ritual: the heat from the
towel softens up your beard so the barber can give you a nice, close,
it will be awhile before I experience the pleasure of a hot towel
shave at a barbershop again. My old barber retired and took with
him his amazing antique, gas-powered hot towel warmer! While I’m
looking for a new barber who offers hot towel shaves here in Tulsa,
I’ve decided to re-create the experience in the comforts of
my own home. It’s a great addition to my pre-shave routine
on mornings when I have a little extra time. Below I show you how
1: Get a Towel/Washcloth
need anything fancy. Any old bathroom hand towel or washcloth will
do. I prefer washcloths because they’re just the right size
for your face.
2: Pick Your Essential Oil
add essential oils to their towels before steaming them in order
to make the towels even more relaxing. Three traditional and relaxing
barbershop scents are lavender, eucalyptus, and sandalwood. You
can buy vials of essential oil at many health foods stores; prices
vary depending on the scent (sandalwood is crazy expensive).
For a eucalyptus-scented
hot towel that also packs the punch of invigorating menthol, you
can improvise (and save money) by using some Vicks VapoRub. A Vicks
hot towel not only softens up your beard and makes your skin feel
great, but it acts as an nasal decongestant when you’ve got
a cold. My sinuses cleared right up after applying my Vicks-imbued
hot towel to my face.
3: Apply Essential Oil to Dry Towel
oil you go with, apply it to your towel while it’s dry. If
you’re going with the cool, refreshing menthol experience
from the Vicks VapoRub, just spread a small, thin layer of the goop
around the center of your towel. You don’t need too much.
This stuff packs a powerful punch when heated up!
using an essential oil like lavender or sandalwood, just apply a
few drops on your washcloth, like so.
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© 2013 The Art of Manliness