After finishing with my hair cut, the barber reclined my chair and inserted a head rest so I could lean back. He then wrapped my face for the first time in a hot, wet towel to raise the hair on my face. After some facial massage, the towel was removed and some warm shaving lather was applied. A second hot towel was used before another application of warm lather, and the shaving began with a straight razor.
The barber, demonstrating how much more of a craftsman he was than a mere cutter of hair, deftly shaved the fuzz from my face without a single cut, stretching out the skin where necessary and revisiting trouble spots until nearly everything was removed. Then he applied a tonic which smelled quite like Vick’s Vapo-Rub or some strong eucalyptus scent before using a third hot towel. When he removed the cloth he checked for and cleaned up any small misses and used a final hot towel to clean up my face. He finished with some after-shave and I tipped him well as I left for the day’s errands.
As I walked out into the cool Fall morning, my face felt fresh and comfortable, and is still smooth now. It’s a bit too costly to justify more than once-in-a-while, but it’s worth it every time.