| BRIAN WEARS | Al Bazar double-breasted blazer, shirt, and tie | LOCATION | The Art of Shaving Barber Spa, 2151 Broadway, New York, NY | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo
I lead a very busy life. Even when I’ve got time off I’m always thinking, “What’s coming up? What’s next? And what do I need to be doing to be ready for it?” It’s just who I am and how I work. Depending on the day, it can be a curse or a gift. Holidays are always a very busy time as well. And if you’re like me you’ll spend a good portion of your waking moments running around, shopping, meeting friends, going to parties, and just generally thinking about everything and everyone except yourself. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, however, it’s that it’s extremely important to take a personal time out – to disconnect, collect your thoughts, and take a deep breath before plunging back into life.
To be completely honest – and those who know me best will attest to this – disconnecting is one of the hardest things for me to do. In the modern world, I think many of us can relate. Put the phone down and step away from the computer! It’s interesting – and refreshing – to see the resurgence in popularity of activities and pursuits that harken back to a simpler, if not more refined and elegant, time.
Think about the recent explosion of menswear. The craft cocktail revolution. Mustaches! And events like the Jazz Age Lawn Party. They’re all welcome escapes from contemporary matters and I was lucky enough to be treated to one of my own recently – namely, a traditional straight razor shave – at The Art of Shaving barber spa in New York City, where I got to relax and kick my feet up. Literally.
| THE PERFECT SHAVE | The Art of Shaving’s trademarked wet shaving system consists of four elements: prepare, lather, shave, and moisturize.
A traditional straight razor shave is not just about the shave, it’s about the experience. There’s nothing like the process and detail that goes into a traditional barber shave. It is truly an art. And a skilled barber can transform what we generally consider a routine into a ritual.
| EASY DOES IT | A good barber will listen to you and understand your needs. My skin is fairly sensitive my barber John gave me a close shave with a light touch, using a combination of pre-shave oil, shaving cream, and after-shave balm.
Whether at home or a traditional barber, a perfect shaving ritual consists of four basic elements. First, you need to prepare your skin. At The Art of Shaving barber spa, that consists of a series of hot towels and a pre-shave oil, to both soften the beard hair and make it more supple. Next, lather up. Then shave. Two passes – one with the grain, the other against. Finally, moisturize. An important aspect of skincare, and even more important after shaving.
Getting a traditional straight razor shave is a commitment to relaxation and an investment in yourself. It leaves you feeling good, looking good, and ready for whatever the rest of your day – or night – may bring.
Thanks for reading.
He Spoke Style