Image from the Wisconsin Historical Society
At last! We’ve finally made it to the last day of the 30 Days to a Better Man Challenge. It’s been a tough 30 days. Hopefully, the tasks we came up with helped you stretch, grow, and become a better man. Today’s final task will both complete this process and reward your efforts during the past month. Today’s challenge is to get an old fashioned straight razor shave from a barber.
Why Get a Straight Razor Shave
It’s relaxing. The straight razor shave is the facial for manly men. The experience is definitely a treat. There’s nothing like a hot towel on your face or the manly fragrance of shaving cream to sap the stress right out of your body. The few times I’ve gotten a straight razor shave, I’ve fallen asleep because it’s so darn relaxing.
It’s manly. When you get a straight razor shave, you can almost feel the testosterone increasing in your body. It feels cool to be taking part in a ritual that thousands of men from history experienced. Plus, in a world where women are pretty much doing everything men are, a straight razor shave is one of the few activities that is still completely and exclusively male.
It’s dangerous. At least it feels that way. There’s nothing like letting another man hold a razor sharp piece of metal to your neck to remind you that you’re alive.
What to Expect from a Straight Razor Shave
Cost. The barbershops that I’ve been to charge $20 for a straight razor shave. Some places will be more and some places may be less. But $20 seems to be the going rate.
The process. The two places I’ve gotten a straight razor shave had a pretty similar process. Here’s how it typically goes. You’ll sit in a cool barber chair, and the barber will tilt it back. He’ll start off putting a nice hot towel around your face to soften up your whiskers. After the first hot towel, some barbers rub cleanser on your face to open up the pores and to make sure your face is nice and clean for a good shave. After that, another hot towel.
Next, they might put some conditioner on your whiskers to soften them up, followed by another hot towel.
Now it’s on to the shaving cream. Most barbers have their own secret recipe for shaving cream that has been passed down for generations. The shaving cream will come from a heated dispenser. It feels really nice on your face.
They’ll then take the razor to your face. Because of health codes, most barbers use disposable straight edge razors as opposed to traditional straight razors. Some men would argue that you’ll notice the difference. Honestly, I haven’t.
After a first pass with the razor, you’ll get another hot towel. Shaving cream is reapplied, and another pass is made.
When the barber is done removing your beard, he’ll give you a cold damp towel to close your pores and then splash on some manly smelling aftershave.
Bada bing! You just got a straight razor shave. You’ll walk out of the barbershop feeling rejuvenated, relaxed, and uber-manly.
Today’s Task: Get a Straight Razor Shave
Today’s task is to get a straight razor shave. Not all barbers do them. So you’ll have to call around to find one that does.
For our bearded brethren, have a professional trim and clean your beard up. I hear some barbers have some nice shampoos designed specifically for beards that smell particularly manly.