If you've ever wanted to treat a guy to a straight razor shave (that's trust right there), follow along with Lilly Benitez from Dallas' Blade Craft Barber Academy, who shows you how, step by step.
The boutique school in Deep Ellum trains students in the art of the straight razor shave, along with other barbery skills. According to Benitez, the most important part of the process is the first one: prepping the skin with a hot towel.
Once the pores are open, apply an exfoliating scrub to remove any dead skin cells. Wash off any residue, then follow with a facial cleanser and — you guessed it — another hot towel.
"The purpose of the second hot towel is that it helps to simulate having gotten out of the shower, so the beard is soft, the pores are open, and it just makes for an easier shave," Benitez says.
There's one more step before picking up the razor and that's the pre-shave oil, which helps to create a barrier between the blade and the skin.
The temperature of the lather, as well as how it's applied, is key. Using hot water to mix the lather and dabbing it with the brush, then swirling on the skin, makes for a richer lather.
Though it might be tempting to scrape against the grain, Benitez stresses the importance of moving in the direction in which the hair grows to reduce irritation. Be extra cautious around the chin, mouth, and nose, as those smaller areas can be tricky.
Here's a tip you may not know: After removing all the lather, apply a cold compress or cool towel to close the pores and help the shave last longer. Finish off with an after-shave balm, and he's smooth and set.
Watch the video for the full instructions.