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Thread: My Top 10 Shaving Videos on YouTube (with write-ups)

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    Default My Top 10 Shaving Videos on YouTube (with write-ups)

    Hello, everyone. I'm a newb here, but I wanted to share this list that I have posted on other non-shaving forums. Some of my explanations and tidbits are surely common knowledge to the posters here, so please forgive me for that; they weren't originally meant for this audience. Either way, I think you guys will like these. Enjoy!


    10. Barber's close shave


    Let's journey to England! Our first video features a young bloke getting his shave at a traditional looking English barber shop. Barbershop shaves are going to dominate this list, and this opening video demonstrates why: it's just a much better experience than a shave at home. The friendly barber begins by offering the guy a beer. This is a wonderful gesture that showcases both generosity and masculinity. An immediate kinship is built between barber and patron, and the patron can feel like a boss for stepping into this old school establishment, cuz Supercuts sure as hell won't give him a beer.

    Hot towels are first. As the barber says, hot towels are used to soften the hair and open the pores. It makes the beard much more manageable to shave and minimizes irritation. He applies a second hot towel after applying pre-shave oil (pre-shave oil is awesome btw; I recommend it to anyone). Some people actually apply a hot towel <i>after</i> lathering up. This allows the lather to really absorb into the skin and make it even softer/smoother (of course, lather is reapplied before the actual shave). He shaves the patron with a modern multi-bladed razor. After the shave, cream is applied, and then a cold towel. This makes sense if you think about it: hot towels at the start of the shave to open the pores, cold towels at the end to close them. Cold water also works. Some people even use an ice cube, believe it or not (believe it!). The barber finally applies some old fashioned stinging aftershave, helps the gent with his coat, and bids him a good day.

    This is a very relaxing video. The methodical pace and calming music immediately put me at ease. I bet some of you will feel the same way when watching it, and believe me, there's no shame in admitting it. Points off for not using a straight razor, but everything else here is solid.
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    9. Superlather in Seconds!


    Oh lord, I feel like I should apologize already. When I first thought up the idea of this list years ago, I wanted to include at least one proper demonstration of a shaving brush, shaving soap/cream, and the tandem’s ability to whip up lather simply incomparable to the foams and gels of today. However, most of YouTube’s “proper” lather videos (and you’ll be amazed how many there are) just didn’t cut it for me. They were either too long, too drab, or starred creepos who I feared would leap through the screen and start making weird sounds at the family parakeet. And so… I had to settle with this.

    Superlather in seconds! This is a very aptly named video in which the guy does everything in the book to create lather as quickly as possible. And does it all wrong. He showcases the brush, caressing the bristles as one would the hair of an impassioned lover. Not weird at all. He then dips the brush in a bowl of water and rinses out the excess… in another glass. Now hey, that’s fine; you’re supposed to shake out the excess, but why do it another glass? And then why LABEL that glass as “glass”? He’s using shaving cream. I prefer soap, but to each his own. However, he squeezes the cream directly on top of the brush, a practice I have never seen done before (it should be squeezed into the bowl). This maneuver backfires in spectacular fashion, as the cream hilariously falls off the brush as soon as the guy tries to do two things at once. He labels this mishap as “oops.” He then collects the cream with the same undeniable embarrassment in his soul as a father who has to speak to his son’s class about his career as an auditor right after Billy’s astronaut dad just talked.

    And then, he starts to make lather. With all the gusto and disregard for civility of a heavyset woman who just found the fried shrimp at a seafood buffet… he starts to make lather. He is a machine, dripping and slipping everywhere. There is no method to his madness. His only goal – for SOME reason – is speed. And he is fast. The video ends with him showing off the lather on his hand and then setting the brash on its handle only for it to immediately fall down.

    This vid must be a joke. There’s just no other possibility, and to its credit, it works. It’s just so damn ridiculous that I can’t help but laugh. That said, however, I sincerely do recommend shaving brushes and soaps/creams to anyone here who manually shaves. Brushes can be shockingly expensive, but you can get a perfectly decent one at Amazon for like $15. Basic soaps can be found in drug stores for like $2. It may take more time than your Gillette gels and Aerosol cans (unless you’re the dude in the video), but the difference in quality and experience is worth it. A proper lather done right is just better – thicker, richer, awesomer. Also, there’s a wonderful zen-like calmness you get (or at least I get) when taking the minute or two to build yourself a great lather. Spend a few bucks and try it. It’s good stuff.
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    8. Straight Razor Sharp Tests


    There’s nothing comical or extraordinary here, but it is the best video I’ve seen when it comes to testing the sharpness of a straight razor. The cameraman uses three tests: a pin test, a “wire edge” visual test, and the famous hair test.

    The video is of excellent quality, especially for YouTube. The guy uses a quality camera, a very bright light, and great angles to properly demonstrate the tests and make it easy for anyone to follow along with him and know exactly what he’s talking about.

    To me, this video underscores two main points:

    1. The “pride” associated with straight razor shaving. Even a hater must admit that this is a much more skillful, artistic endeavor than taking a Mach 3 or electric razor to the face. The old gentleman’s shave is a dying art, but there are a group of men around the world happy to preserve this tradition, and they are proud of it.

    2. The effort required for quality straight razor shaving. Yes, it looks cooler. Yes, if done properly, it can give you an incredible shave. Yes, it can save you lots of money in the long run. However, as the video clearly demonstrates, proper straight razor upkeep takes time and effort, and that’s one of the reasons I stick to a disposable straight.
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    7. Straight Razor Shave


    This is the only "at home" shaving video on the list, and rightfully so. It may in fact be the most popular at home straight razor vid across the internet. There's no dialogue here. There are no instructions. Not a single word is uttered in the video and no attempt at humor is made. This is just a man shaving and letting the whole world in on the experience.

    He ain't the best looking guy in the world, but I think that actually attributes to the video's popularity. He isn't the type of person you'd expect on YouTube - not a troll and not some kid fishing for views and compliments. This is a real man who, at a glance, you know could teach you something about life. And he looks so badass while shaving. He unveils his prized razor (made in ****ing 1885, which gives you an idea at the longevity of these finely crafted tools) and holds it close to the camera, proud. He then displays all the confidence and self-assuredness a man possibly could doing an action like "lathering up." He shaves deliberately, calmly, yet makes great time. Take note of the changed facial expression at 1:50. That's not to "stretch the skin for the lather." That's a defiant sneer of superiority, an intentional act of cockiness. This Danny Devito knows he's a boss, and by a super quick ruffling of his feathers, he lets the rest of the world know it too.

    The clip originally had the guy's radio as the background noise, but YouTube pulled it for copyright infringement (seriously?). He first replaced it with generic filler music, but he has since changed it again, this time to "Amazing Grace." I laughed hard when I first discovered this. It's just so ridiculous, but then, the beautiful song and the shaver's quiet confidence won me over. It's actually a great combination.

    How sweet the sound, indeed.

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    6. A Shave at the Waldorf Barbershop


    Look at the walls. Listen to the music. Check out the barber’s clothing. There is no debate here: the Waldorf in Dublin, Ireland is your grandfather’s barbershop, and that’s why this video makes the list.

    The classy barber, who is dressed in a tie and has probably been doing this longer than most of us have been alive, begins by lathering up the patron. It is only after lathering that he applies a hot towel. See, here’s the move I mentioned earlier: by applying the hot towel to a lathered face, the cream can be really worked into the skin and bristles, making them much softer and easier to shave. The master barber then applies a second coat of lather before beginning the shave. He shaves the patron with a traditional straight razor, a practice I’m assuming is quite rare, since most of the barbershop shaving videos I’ve seen show the barber using a disposable straight razor. The patron is completely relaxed and comfortable, the hallmark of a quality barber. The barber’s hands move confidently and methodically, a testament to his decades of expertise. The shave ends with some aftershave balm which is properly “slapped” on, and then some powder to dry the face and help remove the stray hairs (since they’ll stick to wet skin).

    What we see in this video is not only a quality shave at the hands of a master craftsman, but an old tradition alive and well. I’m not sure how many of those old-time barbershops exist in today’s world of modern hair salons, but I’m glad some places are keeping my grandpa’s ways alive. Long life and good business to the Waldorf!
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    Those are all winners. Love the write-ups! I want a Waldorf shave!!!! pure class.

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    5. Life in Iraq: Going to the barber


    Let’s journey to my country of birth! This video shows a young Marine Corps member getting a haircut and shave at the local barbershop in Iraq. While the country and barber may be Iraqi (actually, the barber may be Turkish), the shop itself is Turkish, and this is a big deal, as Turkish barbershops are serious ****ing business. The amiable barber (Ali!) is as friendly as can be, offering smiles, drinks, and magazines to the comfortable patron. This, in my opinion, is what all barbers should aim for. A good barber is not just offering a service, but an experience. He should be confident and charismatic, and there should never be a doubt in the patron’s mind that his money is well spent. Ali excels.

    Ali begins with a medium fade cut before moving on to the requested shave (younger, eh!). As a Turkish barber should, he uses a shaving brush and straight razor. Using his wealth of expertise (Turkish barbers typically apprentice for years), he shaves about 10 years off the patron’s face before uttering the words that really set this video apart and earn it the top 10 slot:

    “Fire too, eh sir?”

    This is one of the two facial hair grooming techniques I really wanted to show you guys because they are unheard of in the West: fire. Actually, fire grooming is unheard of practically anywhere outside Turkey, which is a shame because it looks so freakin dope. The barber douses a special cotton ball in a flammable liquid and lights it. He then uses this grooming tool of awesome and death on the patron’s ears and upper cheeks, singeing off the peach fuzz that’s too fine and out-of-the-way for any razor. Turkish barbers are serious about making a patron’s face as clean and smooth as possible, as Ali demonstrates.

    One shampoo later, and the young serviceman is sent on his way. I love the way they discuss the bill. A haircut, a shampoo, and a shave with fire. Grand total? Seven dollars. Just try getting all that for under $30 in the States. So what happens when you combine a fusion of cultures, a polite and knowledgeable patron, and a charismatic barber who uses fire? You get an awesome shave video, and #5 on this list.
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    4. Djerba Shave


    Our next entry takes us to the Djerba region of Tunisia, a place I’d love to visit for its white sand beaches, historic architecture, and badass mofo barbershops, the latter of which we see on display here.

    There are quite a few things about this video I really like. Firstly, I find myself (almost unwillingly) entertained by the fruity American patron and his fruity Arab cameraman/sidekick. The patron is here, taking this journey, getting this shave, and capturing it on film, in order to experience something new – something not easily found at home. Both he and his friend are clearly as impressed with the barber and his shop as the barber is unimpressed with them. As has been pointed out in the YouTube comments, it’s apparent that the barber is a stoic old-school cat and sniffed out the fruitiness of these two young metrosexuals immediately. And speaking of the barber, I really like him a lot. When you’ve amassed as much experience in the field as he undoubtedly has, it’s understandable that you’d develop a bit of an ego. Call it a showman’s swagger. This is expected, and some would say encouraged, among master barbers. Not this barber, however. He is quiet in his dealings and methodical in his work, choosing to let the final product do the talking. That final product is an incredibly close shave with no cuts and irritation. A master’s work. I also love the smoke break, as he knows the two youngsters would never say anything. What a boss.

    I want everyone to take particular note of two things in this video; they are, imo, the two cruxes of this clip:

    1. Check out 2:40. Remember “fire” from the last vid? Remember how I listed it as one of two hair grooming methods that I really wanted to show everyone? Here is the second method. It’s called “threading.” Threading is exactly what it sounds like – a practice by which one takes a long thread and twists/manipulates it in such a way as to remove hair. It’s a common practice throughout the Middle East and Arab world. In my youth, I saw it more commonly done among women who wanted to shape their eyebrows, but it can also be used to remove those fine peach-fuzz hairs that are either too small or awkwardly placed for a razor.

    2. Check out 2:00. Right there at 2:00. There he is. Any old-school barbershop patron knows exactly who I’m referring to. There’s the old man. The old man of the shop. He is there all day, every day. Perhaps he never leaves. He never gets a ****ing haircut. He just sits there, all day, every day, and just looks, perfectly content with his existence as The Old Man of the barbershop. My old Arabic-Armenian shop in Glendale had a few such men, always laughing, talking about the Lakers’ chances (this was back in the mid-90s when the Lakers sucked ass), and never getting haircuts. They are brothers of the robe, as much a fixture of the traditional establishment as the red and white cone outside, and any barbershop without its own old man is doing business without a central pillar of credibility.
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    3. Barbershop in India


    We’re winding down this list, and only now is it time to unveil what may be the crowned jewel of all internet shaving videos: Indian barbers. For their unique style, showmanship, and inherent beauty of their culture (evident even in simple shaving videos), Indian barbers have amassed a collection of YouTube videos rivaled only by the Turks.

    Our #3 video features an Indian barber, though it seems unspectacular on the surface. It is short and simple yet loaded with quality. Initially, the shop itself grabs your attention. It is old and rustic, a place that, while perhaps common in an older, poorer country like India, is a movie prop here in the States. I love this guy’s shop. The music also strikes a chord, largely because it’s not crudely edited into the video. This is natural music from within the clip itself, emanating either from inside the shop or outside on the busy streets. I’d like to believe it’s the latter, but that may be simply be whimsical thinking on my part. Either way, it’s very culturally appropriate, and it adds to the quality of the clip.

    The ambiance may be lovely, but the star is, once again, the barber. He is clearly a simple man. His clothes are plain, his hair is a mop, he is captivated with the camera, and he’s sporting a unibrow that would make him the butt of far too many jokes in the West. Yet despite that, he is a master with the comb, scissors, and razor – a man of far greater worth than a glance would tell you. Yes, one of Tolkein’s more famous lines rings true here: all that is gold does not glitter.

    The barber (lovingly dubbed “Unibrowman” by the YouTube commentators) begins by cutting the back of the patron’s hair. Check out how messy and untamed that mop looks at the start, and notice how much cleaner it gets at 0:12. Unimpeachably quality work. During and after the haircut comes the head massage, a practice Indian barbers have made famous. From what I’ve seen, all Indian barbers offer their own unique head massage, and I would love to sample one or three before I call it a life. Next is the threading. This barber certainly has his own style, as I believe it’s customary to do the threading after the shave, but a punk like me won’t dare question his order of operations.

    The shaving itself is very brief, only 15 or 20 seconds of the overall vid. However, the barber uses a straight razor and uses it very well. His look is one of confidence, but his strokes and manner of shaving reflect a care for his patron, one that ultimately produces a perfectly smooth, blemish-free face.

    The video ends with another face and head massage as the barber does a bit of showing off for the camera. He is obviously proud of his business and of the fact that these tourists consider him important enough to film, and really, why shouldn’t he be? This is his shop, his livelihood. It was probably his father’s before that, and probably his father’s even longer ago. Those worn, rickety wooden walls house within them tradition and craftsmanship that likely goes back longer than I’d care to guess. He should be proud, and the rest of us should be happy that places and servicemen like him still exist.
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    2. The Efe Traditional Turkish Shave
    Ah, The Old Turkish Shave. Video


    NOTE: I have included two links to the same video. The ebaums one above is the “true” version which uses the awesome original music track that the YouTube version had deleted. The YouTube link is only included to prove that this is indeed a YouTube shaving vid.

    As far as shaving videos go, this visit to a Turkish barbershop in London represents the Full Monty. Almost every technique and service associated with male facial grooming is demonstrated in this three minute clip. From the beard prep, to the shave, to the post-shave exercise in lavish relaxation, it’s all here, a complete celebration of liberated masculinity.

    The experience begins with a hot towel to help soften the bristles and open the pores. Take note at the way in which the hot towel is applied and folded over the face. I have seen many barbers apply many hot towels, and each of them have folded it the exact same way without fail. It is the best way and looks so damn ace, so make sure to emulate it if you ever want to treat yourself to a hot towel before shaving. A generous application of pre-shave oil also serves the purpose of softening the bristles as well as ensuring the blade passes more smoothly along the skin.

    Shaving cream is meticulously massaged into the skin using a quality brush, creating a rich lather. And then, it’s time for shaving. Like the last video, the actual shave is only part of the clip, not the focal point. However, what is presented is very good. The barber uses calm, careful strokes and manipulates the patron’s skin in such a way as to maximize closeness while minimizing irritation and the risk of cuts. Very good job.

    Fire(!!) is next, as the flaming cotton ball is dabbed across the patron’s ears and upper cheeks to singe off that peach fuzz. Threading serves the same purpose while also controlling any unwanted unibrow formation. The patron is clearly in some discomfort during the threading process; yes, it will likely always be the most painful part of a complete Turkish shave, but if you want ultimate closeness, sacrifices must be made. The patron’s face is washed and some soothing after shave cream is applied before the barber moves on to the final step of this exercise in lavishness: the massage.

    The patron’s neck, head, shoulders, back, and arms are all treated to a luxurious massage – and at one point by two barbers at once! It is the ultimate in relaxation, and one of the primary differences that, from everything I have seen, separate East and West barbershops (though this barbershop is located in London, it is clearly Eastern inspired and run). Just before finishing, a block of alum (potassium sulfate) is rubbed onto the patron’s face. This, like styptic pencils which are made from the same compounds, is used to prevent any nicks or irritation from bleeding or becoming red. In this case, I assume it was purely preventative.

    For running through the gamut of all that is shaving, this video is a worthy runner-up.

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