The Art of Shaving

A new year is under way and you are about to embark on new life—a life you want to look your best for. There is no better time for you and your groom to explore ways to be looking your best on the big day. From facials to food, everything you do over the next few months will reflect how you look when all eyes are on you. A great habit for your groom-to-be to take up now, is the art of a close shave. Once he finds his new favorite professional shaving experience, he’ll be hooked.

Gents Barber Spa is not your typical barbershop. Located in the heart of Chicago’s financial district, Gents Barber Spa sets itself apart with its unique Las Vegas-style ambiance reminiscent of the infamous Copa Club circa 1960. Gents Barber Spa offers exclusive membership advantages plus a 1,000 square foot lounge that includes a pool table, odds board, a fireplace and a full service bar. Gents Barber Spa’s true “boys club” feeling makes it the perfect place for your groom and his groomsmen to feel right at home while getting ready for the big day. We chatted with Greg Tony, owner of the Gents Barber Spa, about his advice on getting a fresh shave for your wedding day.

Be U Weddings: Why should a groom/groomsmen come in for a fresh shave?

Tony: Having a barber learn your face is key. Every mans face is different; thin, thick, sensitive and oily are just a few adjectives a barber will learn about your face when giving you a fresh shave.  The barber at Gents Barber Spa will address your type of skin and use certain techniques and products to make sure you feel your finest on your wedding day.

Be U Weddings: How does the barber shave differ from the at home shave?

Tony: Our barbers will tell you that 75% of a hot lather shave is in the prep. At home we tend to throw on cheap shaving cream, scrape it away with a disposable razor, rinse and go. Your typical at home shaving process takes only 3-5 minutes from start to finish. The Gents Barber Spa Hot Lather shave is a 35 minute service. It’s a process that involves softening the beard and prepping the skin. This process involves the use of hot towels, pre-shave oils, additional hot towels, and a hot lather. Once the barber feels the face is ready he takes his disposable straight razor (razors are only used once and then tossed) and begins the shave. He goes with the grain on the first shave. He then reapplies a hot lather and does a second shave going against the grain. The pre-shave oil/hot lather mix eliminates any friction that may be caused by the razor going across the skin. Once the barber feels the shave is complete he then applies a cold towel to close up your pores. The final step is applying an after-shave balm which will leave the skin smooth, cool and complete.

Be U Weddings: Do you have “Hot Shave” advice for our grooms?

Tony: The most important piece of advice is “don’t do anything for your ‘first time’ on your wedding day.” You should go to the same barber a few times (before your big day) and get a couple shaves before getting the hot lather shave on your wedding day. The best hot lather shave is going to be the third hot lather shave. Saving your first ever hot lather shave for your wedding day is not recommended. Before my wedding day (7 years ago), I’d get together with a couple of my groomsmen, we’d get a shave, have a few beers, go out and hit the town all under the excuse of “just making sure I looked my best on our wedding day.” Worked every time.

Be U Weddings Hot (shave) Deal!:Gents Barber Spa generally offers 10% off all groomsmen packages, but for our readers Tony will extend another 5%. Mention Be U Weddings when making your appointment for a total of 15% off.  Tony says to ask for the “PitBoss” one of the more popular services that includes a shampoo, haircut, hand detail, hot lather shave and shoe shine along with a complimentary beer or two. The service takes about an hour and costs $95.

State Street Barbers was named by Playboy Magazine as one of “America’s top 10 barbershops in 2010.” With several locations around Chicago each one will bring you back to another time; Hardwood floors, tin ceilings, classic decor offers the much sought after “old school barbershop” appeal and atmosphere.

Be U Weddings: Why should a groom/groomsmen come in for a fresh shave?

State Street Barbers: Grooms should get a fresh shave before their wedding to do something to pamper themselves before their big day. They have so much going on that this is a great way to relax and distress.

Be U Weddings: Do you have advice for grooms when considering a fresh shave?

State Street Barbers: The best advice is to test out a straight razor shave before the big day. Especially guys that normally only electric shave they might be overly sensitive. Try to come in a month or so ahead of time to test the waters so you’ll know what you are getting on the day of your wedding.

Be U Weddings: Do you have suggestions on gifts for the groomsmen?

State Street Barbers: You can get great gifts at The mini starter kit includes pre-shave oil, shaving cream, after shave and a mini shave brush. All great for traveling and for him to keep a great shaving regimen.

We hope your groom-to-be is inspired to try one of these unique shaving experiences. Stay tuned to Be U Weddings for more advice for the stylish Chicago groom.