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Hot Towel Shave: Benefits, Cost, and More

By Jason
January 12, 2024
6 minutes
Hot Towel Shave

Have you heard of a hot towel shave or do you wonder what that warm towel that some barbers apply on your face before shaving? Well, a hot shave towel is a traditional practice that is gaining popularity among men currently.

The reason is that it makes men feel like kings due to a luxurious experience. Also, there is much more to the benefits of the hot shave towel. So, let us find more information about it today.

Table of Contents:

Part 1: What is a Hot Towel Shave?

Hot towel shave is a service in shaving at a professional barber’s shop to relax your mind, soften the hair, and cleanse the skin before you get a shave. It is offered as a complimentary service at some shops while you have to pay for it at others.

Hot shave towels have been used since the old times and are popular in the current times as well. It is because the barbers use a straight blade for shaving instead of an electric razor. As a result, you get a close, comfortable, and irritation-free shaving.

Also, barbers use essential oils to relax the minds of their customers along with moisturizing their skins.

Part 2: Hot Towel Shave BenefitsHot Towel Shave Benefits

Hot towel shaves are popular among men for several reasons which are as follows.

A Relaxing Experience

The first and foremost thing that attracts men to hot towel shave is the relaxing experience that comes with it. The gentle and warm towel touching the face makes one calm.

Essential oils can also be used in hot towel shaving adding to the relaxing and premium experience.

Additionally, you do not need to take a shower before shaving with a hot towel shave which makes it more convenient.

Better  Circulation

Hot towel apply heat to the skin mildly without burning it. This heat dilates the blood vessels and stimulates the flow of blood through the vessels. In this way, circulation is improved.

Better circulation improves the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the hair and the skin. As a result, it makes shaving less irritating and more healing to the skin.

Better Cleansing of the Pores

Heat through the hot shave towels opens the pores of the skin by relaxing it. This opening of the pores helps in the easy removal of impurities, dirt, sweat, and skin slough entrapped in the skin. Furthermore, open pores also help in the gliding of the razor smoothly. Also, it is important to note that this opening of pores is just relaxation of the skin and it won’t make your face look textures.

Softens the Hair

Warm water from the hot towels absorbs into the hair strands. The hair expands and also becomes soft and smooth. As a result, the friction to the hair is greatly reduced and shaving becomes easier.

Not only does it make shaving faster and gentler on the skin but it also helps in the longevity of the blade.

Exfoliates the Skin Gently

Exfoliating with a physical agent can be harmful to the skin. In contrast, hot towels make it safe and effective as the pores are open. This technique helps in effortless removal of the dead skin cells from the skin.

Makes the Skin Smooth

Hot towels have similar effects on the skin as does the steam. This hydrates the skin deeply and improves the absorption of moisturizers into the skin. Consequently, the skin becomes soft and smooth.

Not to mention how hot shave towels make the complexion more pure and clean.

Part 3: How Much is a Hot Towel Shave?

The cost of a hot towel shave varies between $15 to $40 depending upon the following factors,

  • The grooming of your beard
  • Type of essential oil you want
  • Location and skills of the hot shaving expert
  • Location and fame of the salon

Furthermore, if you buy a hot shave towel for doing it at home, the price of one set varies from $10 to $50. And you have to get the essential oil, if you want, separately.

Part 4: How to Do a Hot Towel Shave at Home?How to Do a Hot Towel Shave at Home

Getting a regular hot towel shave at a barber might not be affordable and convenient. Therefore, let us learn to do it ourselves at home.

Stuff You Need

First of all, collect the supplies you need for a calming and luxurious hot towel shave experience at home. So, here is all the stuff you need for a seamless hot towel shave experience at home.

  • A pair of soft washcloths
  • The menthol in the form of Vicks
  • Any essential oil of your choice. Also, check the Best oils for dry skin
  • Hot water in a bowl, cattle, or directly from a facet
  • Microwave (optional)
  • Shaving cream
  • Razor
  • Cold water
  • Aftershave

While these ingredients might seem like a lot, you will have most of them already at home and you will also be using half of them for shaving anyway.

Step-By-Step Guide on How to Do a Hot Shave Towel at Home

Here is your step-by-step guide on getting a hot shave towel by yourself at home.

  • Get a clean washcloth or small towel that fits your face
  • Apply a few drops of your favorite essential oil (lavender, sandalwood, eucalyptus, or any you have at home)
  • Rub Vicks in the center of the towel if you prefer
  • Now it is time to make your dry towel both hot and wet
  • There are commonly three methods used for this purpose, hot water faucet, microwave, or hot water cattle. The purpose is to put hot water on the towel.
  • Now either wash the clothes under hot water from the tap or cattle or keep the towel in the microwave after washing it with plain water. Do this for 30-60 seconds so that the towel is fully wet.
  • Wait for a minute or two so that the temperature of the towel lowers and remove access water from it by wringing
  • Keep this towel on your beard area for a few minutes until the towel becomes cold
  • Repeat the process if the hair is not completely soft
  • Apply shaving cream, take a razor, shave the beard
  • Apply another hot towel on the shaved area for 2 to 4 minutes to promote healing and reduce irritation
  • Wash your face and beard with cold water
  • Apply aftershave or any lotion and you are done with a spa-like experience at home. Also, give beard balm vs. oil a read to groom your beard better.

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks for a better experience with a hot towel shave.

  • Never apply a scorching hot towel on your face. Rather wait for its temperature to be acceptable for your skin
  • Although not necessary, essential oils and menthol improve the experience greatly
  • Use the shower before and after shaving for optimal results

Part 5: How Long Does a Hot Towel Shave Take?

A hot towel shave at the barber’s shop takes around 30 minutes including the pre-shave towel, shaving, and post-shave care. If we talk about the duration of the towel alone, 2-5 minutes is more than enough because hair can absorb maximum water in 3 minutes.

Additionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute can be enough for the beginners. If you are doing the hot towel shave at home, it might take a little longer because of the preparation and lack of practice.

Factors Affecting the Duration

The duration of the hot towel shave depends upon the following factors

  • The number and type of ingredients such as essential oil you are using
  • Method of heating the towel
  • The length of your beard
  • Your practice or your barber’s expertise
  • Your preferred duration for the hot towel shave


Hot shave towels are hot water towels that are used to steam and soften the beard before shaving, exfoliate the skin gently, and promote healing after shaving. A few minutes of application of a hot towel turns an average shave into a luxurious one.

It is a commonly done practice at a barber’s shop. However, you can do it at home by yourself as well.

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