Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Important Small Shave

Some things which were already done back in '50s and '60s, should be done by every modern man of style and taste. Getting an old fashion shave by a barber with a "straight razor" is one of them.

As this is something I also always wanted to experience, because back in the day when I used to live in Belgium, my dad would go to a local barber and get his weekend started by getting a shave with the straight razor. 

So when I was browsing through a magazine, I read an article about an "old school" barber shop in Rotterdam, which also shaves, I was very interested. Now I know in some countries this is still regular practice, however here in the Netherlands it is quite rare to have a barbershop which also shaves.. 

The New York Barbershop
I discussed the article with my girlfriend, about how I wanted to get a shave and how nice and cool an old stylish Italian shave would be, however due to a busy schedule and us living in the vicinity of Amsterdam and the barbershop being in Rotterdam, it is was something which was quickly forgotten about. 

That is until my birthday was coming up. "So what do you give a man who already has anything for his birthday" is what my girlfriend thought. So ensuring a couple of day before my birthday that I didn't shave and was at home that afternoon, we made our way to the New York Barbershop in Rotterdam, to experience my first ever "Italian shave", which something really nice.

As we parked the car and walked towards the Hotel New York, in which the barbershop is located, we saw the shop in the basement of the Hotel. When walking down the stairs towards the shop we could hear music being played from an LP, giving that '50s feeling straight away.

As I am a huge fan of Aqua di Parma I was in heaven when I entered the shop and saw that they have almost every available Aqua di Parma product there is from shaving crèmes till the latest perfumes! They also have a site from which you can order all the products they also have in the store.

Being welcomed by one of the Barbers I was asked to take a seat for a moment as a couple of towels were placed in a warm bath to heat up. Once they were ready I took place in a barber chair which came straight from the 50's to my idea. I was put in a full recline position (something that KLM could learn from with their out dated "World" Business Class). The first part of the shave consists of receiving a damp warm towel being wrapped around the face with just your nose sticking out for breathing, this to warm up the skin and soften the facial hairs. 

In the mean while the barber puts on a water boiler to cook the water, which is used to wetten the shaving brush with and foam the shave cream. After removing the warm towels, my face was gently brushed full with shaving cream and then felt the sharp straight razor do its work! Which felt really nice to be honest and I could feel my skin transform from rough and hairy, back to nice soft and smooth. After the shaving was done they "seal" the skin by putting a cold towel (it came straight from the frig!) around the face in a similar fashion as the hot towels. After this I was good to go, starting my weekend with a baby-butt soft skin!

The barbershop also offers some packages including breakfast and such, this is something I am aiming the next time, I make a visit to the New York Barbershop, which is definitely going to happen.

My new shave set from New York Barbershop

Obvisouly I would not leave without receiving a wonderful gift my girlfriend a complete New York barbershop shaving set!

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