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9 Essential Steps to the Perfect Shave Service

Sarah Oglesby - June 9, 2017 Barbering and Men's Haircuts, Hairdressing tutorials

9 Essential Steps to the Perfect Shave Service

At MHD we know that your male clientele are catching onto the notion that they haven’t lived until they have experienced the pleasure of a traditional shave in a barbers chair. To help you grow your shaving service clientele into regular visits we’ve collaborated with Erika Vera of the New York Barbershop to provide you with the nine essential steps to providing the perfect shave service.

Step 1: Prepare your environment

Hygiene standards and concerns over compromising the health and safety of customers has been flooding the news of late.  This hasn’t gone unnoticed by your discerning male clientele and they want to be serviced in an establishment that takes health and safety seriously.

Step 1: Prepare your environment

Step 1: Prepare your environment

Effective sterilisation and sanitization of your workstation, tools and equipment before and after every service is crucial for preventing the spread of infections of the face and scalp such as herpes and folliculitis.

Step 2: Consult with your client

A thorough consultation is not just to confirm the result your client would like to achieve. Your consultation is the key to delivering an appropriate service that takes into consideration any contra-indications that may limit or prevent you from proceeding with the service all together.

Step 2: Consult with your client

Step 2: Consult with your client

Step 3: Pre-shave treatment

Before applying the shaving lather, a pre-shave product should be applied. Pre-shave products are essential for softening the beard hair and providing a lubrication layer.

Step 3: Pre-shave treatment

Step 3: Pre-shave treatment

Initially apply your pre-shave product with effleurage strokes to the neck. Then work the product over the chin, jaw, moustache and cheeks combining your effleurage and petrissage techniques.

Step 4: Apply the lather

Building a good lather is an essential part of your service. Lather protects the skin during your shaving service. It also ensures that the blade of your razor glides effortlessly over the surface of the skin without causing irritation or nicks. Applying your lather using a combination of horizontal strokes and circular motions effectively lifts the hairs from the skin.

Step 4: Apply the lather

Step 4: Apply the lather

Step 5: Soften the beard hair

Softening the beard hair with a hot towel is an essential step for a close comfortable shave. It is an extremely relaxing step of the shaving service and gently pressing the towel during this step provides comfort whilst releasing heat.

Step 5: Soften the beard hair

Step 5: Soften the beard hair

Step 6: The first pass

There are two parts to the shaving technique: the first pass and the second pass. The first pass removes the beard hair length. The second pass provides a closer shave and checks over the first pass for missed hairs.

During the shaving service, you will use a combination of forehand and back hand techniques in small light strokes.

Learn about the forehand shaving technique - 9 essential steps to the perfect shave service

Forehand shaving technique

Learn about the backhand shaving technique - 9 essential steps to the perfect shave service

Backhand shaving technique

You will create tension by stretching the skin with your free hand as your work.

Step 6: The first pass

Step 6: The first pass

During the first pass, begin in the sideburn area working in with the grain of beard growth. Shave across the chin. Then work down towards the neck. Next shave across the moustache and then across the chin. Finally shave along the jaw and down the neck.

Repeat this same process on the opposite side being mindful of body position, skin tension and the appropriate use of forehand and backhand techniques.

Repeat this same process on the opposite

Repeat this same process on the opposite

Finally shave across the upper lip.

Shaving across the upper lip

Shaving across the upper lip

Step 7: The second pass

During the second pass, shave against the grain of the beard hair to provide your closest shave result. Repeat step 4 – apply the lather and step 5 – soften the bead hair before commencing the second pass.

The second pass is worked in the same order with the same forehand and backhand techniques as the first pass. Stay mindful of skin tension, stroke size and sensitivity as you shave. Use the fingers of your free hand to lightly stroke the area shaved to assess the results as your work.

Step 7: The second pass

Step 7: The second pass

Step 8: The aftershave

Upon completion of your second pass, it’s time for step 8 of your ultimate shaving service. The aftershave! The step is ideal for further relaxing your client and completing the service by closing down the pores and calming the skin.

First apply a hot towel. Then massage in an aftershave balm using a combination of effleurage, petrissage and tapotement techniques.

Step 8: The aftershave

Step 8: The aftershave

Step 9: Refine the perimeter

Last but not least, complete your ultimate shaving service by refining the perimeter outlines of your client’s sideburns and haircut.

Step 9: Refine the perimeter

Step 9: Refine the perimeter

Follow these 9 ultimate steps to provide your clients with the perfect shave service that goes above and beyond the basic barbershop experience. Your male clients will be back for more on a regular basis!

Take your barbering skills to the next level on MHD, the World’s largest subscription-based website dedicated to hair education.

Not an MHD member yet? Whether you’re a stylist, a barber, a salon owner or hairdressing educator, our world-class education gives you a competitive advantage – supercharging your career, boosting salon profitability or improving results for every student.



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