08-20-2012, 10:57 AM
#1
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I've finally been reading Leisure Guy's guide and found the he recommends using a hot towel before the shave, especially for those that suffer from ingrowns. I do have that issue so I'm wondering if others could comment on whether hot towels have helped them with it.

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 08-20-2012, 11:01 AM
#2
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
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I can't really comment on how it helps with ingrowns, YMMV here, someone else might answer. I found that hot towel does not help my pre-shave routine. Good face wash with glycerin soap and some pre-shave applied before the lather works fine for me, the extras are just the extras that take more time and don't improve anything.

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 08-20-2012, 11:07 AM
#3
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I'm not into the whole "pre-shave" routine...Of course, I take a warm/hot shower, but thats IT. No hot towels, no brush soaking, no pre-shave oils-nothing! Of course, YMMV.

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 08-20-2012, 11:24 AM
#4
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I use a hot towel on my neck, as I'm prone to ingrowns there. I've been doing so for years--since before I even started using a brush & DE razor--and it works well for me. I also think it feels refreshing, even in the summer. I'd say try it for a week and see if it improves your shave.

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 08-20-2012, 11:56 AM
#5
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when he speaks of hot towel, does he mean putting it in the microwave to warm it up or just running hot water over it?

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 08-20-2012, 12:02 PM
#6
  • xraygun
  • Active Member
  • Bainbridge Island
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The hot towel works pretty well for me. When I'm not too lazy to use it that is.. Does help with the lower neck. I just put a washcloth in the hot sink.

There was an antique copper towel warmer on ebay last year that was gas fired and simply awesome. Went for like $600 though...
And it was HUGE. I really thought I needed it for a moment there.Tongue

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 08-20-2012, 12:30 PM
#7
  • VTMAX
  • Banned
  • Woodstock, Vermont
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I find that saturating the beard area with as much hot water is sufficient as long as I bring the lather to the face fairly quickly afterwards.

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 08-20-2012, 02:39 PM
#8
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If I shower at night, I shave in the morning and use a hot towel, just running it under the hot water, then compress it on my face while the sink if filling, I would say I leave it on (reloading it with hot water) for a good 4 minutes, I find a noticable difference, the hairs seem to soften quite a bit just from the hot towel.

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 08-20-2012, 03:32 PM
#9
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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(08-20-2012, 11:56 AM)andrewjs18 Wrote: when he speaks of hot towel, does he mean putting it in the microwave to warm it up or just running hot water over it?

That is a good question Andrew. I am trying to remember years ago what the old fashion barbers did. I know they wrapped a hot towel around the customers face and neck. I think it was just hot. Remember no microwaves back then.

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 08-20-2012, 06:25 PM
#10
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When a barber shaves your face, he doesn't wash it. The hot towel is the best way to hydrate the hairs given the circumstances.

For those of us who shave ourselves, if we shower or wash our face beforehand, I see no advantage, other than luxury, to using the towel.

If your face dries before your lather is ready, you can always splash more hot water on.

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 08-20-2012, 08:00 PM
#11
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i did not get good results with a hot towel nor with hot water for some reason and i progressed to cold water shaving. It has been one of the best things that i have done, but YMMV.
i have to agree with Lee as i think the towel is a luxury more than a practicality. Hot shower or hot water should be fine.

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 08-20-2012, 08:31 PM
#12
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Wellllll,

I shower before bed and shave in the morning.

In the summer I dispense with the hot towel because I don't want more heat. I wet my face and take my time face lathering. I want to linger here because that's my face prep. I don't rush it. I get a BBS and no longer get ingrowns.

In the winter I use a hot towel (see the thread "My Perfect Shave Towel" or some such subject) not so much for the shave, but for me. When we have 5' of snow outside and the temperature is -20 it just feels so great! I wet my face and put some of my shave soap on my face- lather isn't required. I'll take the simmering kettle from off of the woodstove and use it to raise the temperature of my basin of water to >130°F (by feel- when it's too hot for my hand I know it's just right for my face). Then I take one of my perfect shave towels and soak it, wring it out slightly and cover my face and neck. I repeat that at least 3 times, more if I have a mind to. I don't know if it helps my shave- I get a BBS every time I've a mind to get one, which is every day I'm not testing something. But it sure does make me feel great, and that's what my shave is all about. Otherwise I'd use a cartridge and shave once every 3 or more days.

Does it help ingrowns? Well, 40 years ago I used to get them with cartridges when I would go ATG, so I stopped doing that and they more or less went away. Now I use much better products and shave WTG, and ATG and I haven't had a single ingrown. I think it's more because of the better products, and the way a blade razor works.

But if you need to link a hot towel to reduced ingrowns to try it, especially in the winter, go for it. I do it for the enjoyment of it (I think).

Lots of folks think they have ingrowns when it's actually something other. Are you certain they are ingrown hairs? They are exactly what the words mean. The hair grows under the skin. It doesn't correct itself in a day or even 2. They are painful, and until they get long enough to pluck out and above the skin line (it could take a week) they are a real PITA.

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 08-20-2012, 08:47 PM
#13
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I am in the "it's an extra thing" crowd. A good face wash does the job of getting the beard hydrated. It does feel good to use one though. I am also of the thinking that warm not real hot water is best for all steps of the shave.

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 08-21-2012, 03:15 AM
#14
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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I sometimes use a hot washcloth a couple of times after washing my face and I think that it helps a bit.
It's very likely that it's just some added hydration or even only just psychological.
Otherwise, I use warm to room temp. water for everything else.

It's easy enough and I like it so what the heck and if it gives me the "eye of the tiger" for my shave it's worth whatever extra few minutes it takes. Smile

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 08-21-2012, 04:09 AM
#15
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Hot water is all I use, no towel (or any pre shave products) for me.

Prior to dispensing with the carts and canned goo, in-growns were such a problem for me that I had to have surgery on my neck a couple of times to cut them out (after forming sebaceous cysts).

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 08-21-2012, 06:48 AM
#16
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Absolutely. I get a lot less of them since I started using a DE a couple of years ago.

(08-20-2012, 08:31 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Lots of folks think they have ingrowns when it's actually something other. Are you certain they are ingrown hairs?

Thanks everyone for the responses. I will definitely give it a try for a week or two and see what happens.

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 08-21-2012, 08:37 AM
#17
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Now maybe I'm just a politically incorrect old guy, but I sure wouldn't mind reclining in a nice soft barber chair, having a shapely young person of the female persuasion holding a hot towel on my face and neck for a little while....

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 08-21-2012, 09:10 AM
#18
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(08-21-2012, 08:37 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: Now maybe I'm just a politically incorrect old guy, but I sure wouldn't mind reclining in a nice soft barber chair, having a shapely young person of the female persuasion holding a hot towel on my face and neck for a little while....

I think you just said out loud what we're all thinking. Biggrin

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 08-21-2012, 10:16 AM
#19
  • gijames
  • Mile High Soldier
  • TN, USA
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I do the hot towel, unless I am doing an in-shower shave.

I haven't had much ingrown hair issues ever, but I would get slight bumps/razor burn irritation.

For me, I have noticed that washing face, prepping with a hot towel, then a shave oil (just a few drops, say 3-5, goes a long way!) has extremely helped my shaving experience (hardly any irritation)

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 08-21-2012, 01:32 PM
#20
  • vuk
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
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I used to get ingrowns when I first started shaving and my technique wasn't quite down yet, I did find that a hot towel helped out.
Anymore I don't use a hot towel unless I have more than a days growth.

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