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Benefits Of A Hot Towel Shave

Lots of guys think that the benefits of a hot towel shave are simple – “It feels good!” But there are even more skin and shaving advantages to look forward to. So if you’re not a hot towel fan already, let’s convert you to the cause.

What Is A Hot Towel Shave?

During a hot towel shave, you or your barber will put a nice steamy washcloth underneath your chin. He might even drape it over your face and let it sit for a few minutes before he gets down to business.

You might think that it’s just something nice that your barber likes to do for you. After all, it adds to the luxury of the whole shaving experience.

But there are tons of during- and after-shave benefits of using a hot towel.

Benefits Of A Hot Towel Shave

  1. A Hot Towel Opens Up Your Pores For A Close Shave

Warm water is great at relaxing your skin and allowing your pores to expand. In turn, your razor blade can get closer to the root of each hair. 

And to double dip – the hot water can help you unclog pores. So you’re getting a clean shave and a clean face! It’s one of the best ways to help prevent 5 o’clock shadow from rolling in at the end of the day.

  1. You’ll Have Soft Skin And Hair After A Hot Towel Shave

Warm water softens your skin. Plus, with the nice tight shave that a hot towel offers, you’ll have stubble-free buttery skin once you’re done. Some guys say their hair even grows back softer than it was before.

You can get the same benefits using a hot towel before you shave your head, not just your jaw.

  1. Hot Towels Are Calming

A hot towel really hits the spot after a long day. It’s a stress-relieving tactic. And that’s valuable – you really shouldn’t put a blade near your face when you’ve had a hard day.

Life HACK: If you’re teaching your kid how to shave, give them the whole hot towel experience. It’ll calm their nerves, especially for little guys who are scared to get a blade so close to their face.

On those days when you just don’t have time for a hot towel shave, DON’T WORRY! Just turn up the heat on your shower, then shave right after you get out. The steam and hot water will help create the same hot towel effect.

How Long Does A Hot Towel Shave Take?

Add about 3 minutes to your normal shaving routine – that’s approximately how long a hot towel shave will take for you.

Most of that time comes from just sitting with the hot towel on your face before you shave (1-2 minutes), and working around the hot towel while you shave. Lots of guys like to leave it under their chin as they shave so that the steam keeps their skin warm. One mistake to avoid – a hot towel is not a substitute for using shaving cream.

If you go to the barber for a hot towel shave, expect him to take 15-30 minutes, depending on what kind of hair and beard services you order.

Does A Hot Towel Help With Shaving?

A hot towel won’t necessarily make shaving easier, but it will make your normal shaving routine more successful. So in that sense, a hot towel does help with shaving.

You’ll cut closer to the root of your hair, so you can go slightly longer before you need to shave again. And the warm water will clean and soften your skin, so you’ll come out of the shave looking better than you did before.

I’d certainly call that helpful.

(A hot towel paired with the best pre-shave face washes makes for a killer power couple.)

Are Hot Towel Shaves Worth It?

Hot towel shaves are 100000% worth it when you have 3 extra minutes to spare. 

The whole point of shaving is to get soft, even skin. Throwing a hot towel into your routine supports that goal – you’ll get a cleaner, more relaxing shave.

And really, you deserve it. Take the time to give your skin some TLC, and it’ll love you back.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.