Grooming

Why Don't You...Get a Wet Shave?

Are barber shops just spas for guys?

I hope so, because it would make women’s gift giving a whole lot easier.

Last week, I checked out the barber shop Decatur and Sons, housed inside Chelsea Market here in NYC. Because it takes me forever to grow a beard, I brought a male companion to test drive a wet shave from owner Thorin Decatur – a former Marine, third generation barber, and all-around smart, cool guy.

My willing guinea pig jumped at the opportunity to take a spin in Decatur & Sons’ old-fashioned barber chairs. He’d indulged in his first wet shave on a recent vacation and knew what a pleasure the experience would be.

The whole thing gave me major flashbacks to a few years ago, when, for a former beau’s birthday, I got him a spa day as a present. A full-body massage, and a facial.

I know. I KNOW.

What was I thinking? Does it help my defense to know that the facial was a “men’s facial” – described in the spa brochure as “Perfect for men who want to relax or combat the gritty NYC environment”? My man loved to relax! He could play video games for like, hours in one sitting. And he never worked out. Ever. So, I think you can see that he very, very much enjoyed relaxing.

And, he lived in NYC! Meaning he’d seen his fair share of grit. Which is why I was sure he’d love someone getting all up in his body biz, with “a deep pore cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, a face, neck, and shoulder massage, custom masque, and moisturizer.”

I was operating under the entirely false logic of “I would love to receive this as a gift, so I’m sure my boyfriend would too.” What can I say? I was young and dumb – inexperienced in the ways of Mars/Venus-type stuff. We walked up to the spa, and I said, “Here’s your gift! You get a spa day!”

His response? “Oh, umm, thanks..will you do it with me?”

Wait, what? I was not anticipating this. I still had to go pick up the balloons and cupcakes I was planning to surprise him with after his afternoon of pampering! (In retrospect, the idea of giving a guy an afternoon of ‘pampering’ probably should have set off my ‘he might not be so into this’ radar.)

“Erm, well, I can’t really afford two spa packages, babe.”

“Ill pay for yours.”

Wow, he really did not want to do this alone.

So my boyfriend ended up treating me to a spa package on his birthday, which basically nullified my present to him (because gift giving in relationships is nothing if not a competitive sport, right??), and I learned a valuable lesson about guys and spas. Namely, that they don’t go together. at all.

The introduction of the barber shop wet shave, then, has been a total game changer. I can treat a man in my life to a wet shave, and he may actually like it.

{wet shave mummy}

Have you ever tried one? It’s basically a facial except you don’t change into a fluffy robe, or drink water with a slice of lemon in it, and instead of a soothing Yanni-esque soundtrack, you get whatever’s on the radio. There’s a series of warm, fragrant towels placed all over your face, which I promise you is very soothing once you get over the visual of what you must look like (exhibit A, above). And oh yeah, you get your face shaved, too.

The benefits are plentiful: using a straight razor gets a super-smooth shave – not to mention makes you feel like a total Wild West badass – and going through the process of opening the pores with those hot towels means fewer bumps or razor burn.

TELL ME:

HOW DUMB WAS I TO TRY TO GIVE MY OLD BOYFRIEND A SPA DAY AS A PRESENT (AND NOT A PUNISHMENT!)? HAS A WELL-MEANING SIGNIFICANT OTHER EVER TREATED YOU TO A SALON OR SPA TREATMENT?

WHAT ABOUT THE WET SHAVE – HAVE YOU EVER HAD ONE? WOULD YOU TRY IT?