There was a time when shaving was more than a dreary morning routine to be done half-awake, half-asleep, and without thought. Indeed, American white-collar business has made being shaved mostly a nuisance: something you have to do, not necessarily something you want to do. But this is a far cry from the perception of shaving that evolved in the 17th and 18th centuries, which became an art a way not only of expressing yourself, but a way of interacting with other people. Barbers provided what was essentially the only method of receiving a proper shave up until the Victorian era, when aristocrats started buying their own straight-razors and badger-hair brushes, even going so far as to bejewel or gild them in typical aristocratic style. Eventually, Gillette’s safety-razor gave way to the shaving apathy that has come to define most places in the world, but there is a steadily growing group of men who are attempting to resurrect the ancient art of the “wet shave” and renew men’s interest in barber shops. This article will attempt to convince to visit your local NYC barber, or one in your area, immediately to get the shaving experience of your life!
The Wet Shave
“The wet shave?” you might ask, presuming that all shaves involve wetness. But the wet shave refers to a particular practice and technique of shaving, involving the use of a straight-razor, shaving brush, and assorted pre-shave oils and naturally derived shaving lathers. When you go into a traditional barbershop, it is very likely the barber will not only offer classic men’s cuts, but also the classic wet shave. First, he will provide you with a regimen of hot towels, to loosen up your skin and help you to relax. Then, he will apply pre-shave oil to exfoliate your face, before lathering up his shaving brush with a delicious smelling shaving cream that he will apply in quick, circular motions over the face. Then, he will take a straight razor, and with the utmost precision make clean strokes, repeating the procedure two or three more times to make sure he has gotten every last hair. Finally, he will slap you with an aftershave lotion, another regimen of towels, and you will feel like you just had the best massage of your life.
You know, there is something to be said for classic, American male style. You know, Mad Men and all that. Especially now, when retro-looks are all the rage, and the “distinguished man” has become a desired look again, barbershops are gaining more traction than ever. Who wants to look like someone from the cast of Glee when they could look like Don Draper? Exactly, no one who is cool. And since you are cool, and have great style, you know that you should drop whatever you are doing and head to an NYC barber, or one in your area, and unleash the gentleman who has been sleeping dormant inside you. Plus, your romantic partner is certain to like it, too!