Shaving Equipment and Supplies

Achieving the perfect shave is an art form and a science. As with any art form or science to achieve excellence the proper equipment, supplies, and education are essential. Today’s consumer is also very well educated. The client coming to the barbershop or salon for a shave is treating himself to a luxury service and will not settle for anything but the best. You will need to give a close shave without any irritation in a comfortable and relaxed environment.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
  • Identify the supplies needed for providing a shave.
  • Understand the proper first aid in case of razor burn, nick, or minor cut.
  • Explain the products used to give a comfortable shave.
  • Explain the correct sanitary measures for dispensing shaving creams and lotions.
  • Identify and explain how to use a hot lather machine.
  • Identify and explain how to use a hot towel machine.
  • Understand the importance of having the highest quality barber chair.
SUPPLIES
  1. Terry towels will be used for the hot towel steam machine. They are much thicker than the barber towels and hold more moisture. This results in the towel maintaining the heat longer which is ideal for the beard preparation.
  2. Barber towel will be used for draping around the clients neck over the hair cloth. They will also be used for keeping your hands dry from the slippery oils and creams. When the proper stretch cannot be achieved because the face is too slippery the barber towel will assist in the stretch by placing it directly on the face for a better grip. (The terry towels can be used as a substitute)
  3. The straight razor is the tool use for the shave. Make sure to pick a razor that is extremely comfortable and feels like an extension of your hand. A razor that takes disposable blades is highly recommended for ease of use and sanitary purposes. A heavier razor tends to use sharper blades that last longer. This will require much less pressure during the shaving stroke and allow you to just glide the razor across the skin. The lighter less expensive razors aren’t as durable and the blades aren’t as sharp. These razors require more pressure during the shaving stroke and sometimes changing the blade halfway through the shave is necessary. Experiment with both to figure out what works best for you.
  4. Disposable blades will be used for the straight razor or safety razor. Buy the appropriate blades for the razor you choose and make sure to change the blade in between face shaves. If the razor is just being used for the sideburns and the back of the neck soak in barbercide in between uses. If using a safety razor (which is sometimes required for sensitive skin, skin with blemishes, or any difficult areas that can’t be shaved easily with the straight razor) have the appropriate blades available for the razor you choose.
  5. Sterilized “popsicle sticks” for dispensing creams out of any jars or tubs that contain creams that will be used. Do not place your fingers in any container. Always use the sticks for sanitary purposes.
  6. Septic powder for first aid. In case there is a small nick or cut septic powder will be needed to stop the bleeding. Put a rubber glove on and shake out septic powder onto a towel and apply to the skin with light pressure. This will clot the blood and stop the bleeding.
SHAVING OILS, CREAMS, AND MOISTURIZERS
  1. Pre-shave oil will be applied to the face lubricate the skin. The oil will help the razor glide smoothly across the skin and is the first step in preparing the face for the shave.
  2. A moisturizing shave cream containing mineral oils and shea butter will further lubricate and soften the skin and beard before shaving. The mineral oil serves the same purpose as the pre-shave oil. The shea butter is an anti-inflammatory which calms the skin from the irritation that shaving can cause.
  3. Liquid shaving soap mixes with water and goes into the hot lather machine. With the proper mixture as indicated in the directions make a thick cream. The heat from the cream is what keeps the skin warm, pores open, and beard standing up for a close comfortable shave.
  4. An alcohol-free after shave balm will be used to calm and moisturize the skin after the shave. Alcohol will burn the skin so make sure it is alcohol-free. Mineral oil, coco butter, and shea butter are excellent ingredients to look for in a good balm. The oil and coco butter will replenish the natural oils in the skin that the razor can shave. The shea butter is an anti-inflammatory which will have a natural calming or effect on the skin.
EQUIPMENT
  1. The hot lather machine is a must have. It will make your client feel like he did when he was growing when his father and/or grandfather brought him to get a haircut. There is no replacement for the sound of the machine and the feel of the hot lather. The hot lather is a necessary component of softening the beard and preparing the face for the shave. Mix one cap of liquid shaving soap and water in the machine and you are ready to go.
  2. The hot towel steam machine is where the towels are kept steaming hot for the shave. Make sure to get a good one that holds at least one dozen towels. These towels are also very good for applying to the clients face while he is lying back in the sink with a tea tree conditioning treatment. These towels can also be used for facials. Fold the terry towel into thirds for ease of wrapping around the face. Soak in water and wring out so there is just a little bit of water left in the towel and place in the machine.
  3. The barber chair with head rest. The client will be laying down for the shave so comfort is a priority. A heavy duty barber chair with an adjustable head rest is what is recommended. Check with your local distributor to go over all of the options.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
  1. What six supplies are needed for providing a shave?
  2. What are the four shaving products needed for providing a close comfortable shave?
  3. What is the purpose of the pre-shave oil?
  4. What are the benefits of a good aftershave balm?
  5. Why is hot lather needed for a shave?
  6. What does the hot towel machine do?
  7. What type of chair is needed for providing shaving services?

AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY
There is no substitute for having the proper supplies and equipment for providing first class shaves. The investment in the best equipment will pay for itself exponentially. Not only will the best supplies and equipment allow you to deliver the best service possible your customers will notice that you are investing in your business and yourself. This will show the amount of pride you take in the barbering profession.

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