Admit it, one of the reasons you go to the barber for a shave—instead of doing it yourself at home—is because it feels so good. (way better than the hurried job you do before work.)
It’s like a facial and a close shave all in one. That hot towel application might be one of the best parts of the process, and it plays a major role in the quality of the shave, as well as the comfort of the client. (That’s you.)
So, what’s the point of that hot towel?
It opens the pores.
For the same reason you splash hot water on your face before shaving at home, this hot towel opens the pores. This is an integral part of a healthy, safe shave. Once the pores are open, it allows for more of the follicle to be exposed. This results in a closer shave, while reducing the possibility of razor burn. Think of it as a relaxer for the skin, preparing it for the sharp blade, instead of it staying firm, resistant, and rigid.
It softens the hair.
You also want to relax the hairs before a shave, and this process does exactly that. The razor cuts through relaxed, softer hair much more easily, and it results in far less drag. Opening the pores, you allow oil in the skin to work its way down the hair follicles, which further softens and nourishes them. (This is also why you sometimes apply a pre-shave oil before a shave, whereas a hot towel treatment can do the job for you if your hairs are short enough—which they should be. If not, trim them short first, then shave them off.)
Of course, you love that hot towel because it feels really good. We wrap it around your face and block out the world, leaving you alone to your thoughts (or, if you’re like us, is a start to a solid 1-minute nap). It also relaxes the skin and hair, and permeates the senses. It’s way better than the at-home splash of hot water.