When you walk into a barbershop and hear terms such as ‘cut throat’ and ‘close shave’ being tossed around, an unusual twang in your nerves suggests this could end badly for you. So we soothed the horror-movie thrill with a good cup of coffee and had a heart-to-heart with barber Viggo von Scheliha about what exactly a close shave entails and how his old-school Italian-style skills can be adapted for at-home grooming.
Trim down any long facial hair with an electric razor. Do not use a straight razor, as it causes ingrown hairs.
Use a pre-shave oil in order to soften the thick hair follicles. This is most commonly done after a shower so the skin is moist.
Apply a hot towel for between 30 seconds and a minute, depending on how strong your facial hair is. Remember: the softer the skin, the lesser the irritation.
Add a moisturising shaving cream into a cup. Swirl the cream around so that it collects on the shaving brush’s bristles. Apply a thick layer of shaving cream around your shaving area. Move in a circular motion so the hair follicles stand up.
Before you start to shave, check how well the hair follicles stand up on the face. Go with the grain when shaving and do so in sections (cheeks, chin
and neck). Change the blade halfway so that it’s as sharp as possible for a cleaner, smoother cut. Don’t use a safety razor for this type of shave.
After the first shave, rub moisturiser into the skin and simultaneously feel for any stubble. Place the hot towel on to your face again for another 30 seconds. Lather up your face with shaving cream and shave against the grain to catch the rest of the hair. Ensure side burns are equal on both sides of your face.
Apply the hot towel one more time and finish off with an aftershave. Take note of products that contain alcohol, as it can burn the skin. Apply cooling lotion to relax the skin and massage it into the shaved area.
Words: Alexandra Nagel | Photography: Kendall-Leigh Nash/HSMimages.co.za
Location: Barnet Fair, Harrington Street, Cape Town