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Question for Clipper
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Pitch    Posted 10-28-2004 at 14:21:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
How come no body uses straight razors anymore? Used to be every once in a while I would like to get a barber shave. I loved the feeling of that razor. Can't get it done around here any more. Even when you get a haircut they use some kind of safety razor thing to clean up your neck and around the ears.

Clipper    Posted 10-28-2004 at 15:03:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
Couple of things led to the downfall of Barber's doing the facial shaves. First was the mid-60's and the long hair/beard craze which was started by them 4 mop-headed limeys from Liverpool. Second was the big Aids scare where the myth of being exposed to human blood from anyone who had the disease could pass it to you real quick. Third was the Insurance Companies who refused to cover the use of razors by Barbers under their regular business insurance policy. Barber's were required to get malpractice insurance (same kind as doctors/dentists get) to cover potential lawsuits if they transmitted the Aids virus to a customer by virtue of using the razor contaminated by the virus. Lastly it was the economic factor which dealt the final blow to the practice of facial shaves.
Now today we know that the Aids virus can't live outside the body.Transmittal of the virus by virtue of a contaminated razor is impossible. Also today most Barbering Schools don't teach use of the straight razor because the insurance premiums are prohibitive in costs. Other common factors to consider are that most men are inna hell of a hurry and are lucky to find time for a haircut never mind a shave as well. For the working Barber the economic factor really hits home. How much would you pay for a facial shave? Same price as the haircut? Prolly not! Why should I spend 15-20 minutes of my time shaving you for even half the price of a haircut??? Time is money to any Barber. The more customers I can do in any given day determines my register tally at days end.

For me personally I use the hot lather and straight razor on my customers. I shave around the ears and the entire neck/nape area. I don't charge extra for this but I know a few Barbers who do. The hot lather machines in my Shop cost over $200 a piece....I have 2 of them....I also have a total of 45 Solengren steel straight razors which costs bout $125 each. Sharpening/honing stones from Italy costs me another $300 but which will last me a lifetime. Simply put....I refuse to let this pleasurable part of Barbering die off in my Shop. I would like to do the facial shaves however my State Health Department has outlawed the hot towel machines needed for this service.

Sorry for the length of this post but you asked the question and I wanted you to see the entire picture regarding this. :^)

sharp chic    Posted 06-13-2006 at 17:53:55       [Reply]  [Send Email]
clipper man i'm a barber from ontario and it is hard to find many supplies for my shop unless they come from the beauty supply store. needless to say that there is just not the stuff i'm looking for. i have been searing for A HOT LATHER machine for quite some time. (and not one of those plastic pieces of sh...)if you have any idea as to where i can find one it would be great. i do shaves at my shop (not facial) for the very reasons you mentioned, glad there is someone else out there that get's it. As yourself i am self taught and my men love it
yours truley sharp chic

George in TX    Posted 10-28-2004 at 15:37:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
This is all very good news. I've thrown enough barbs at you that I'd never let you within elebenteen dozen feet of my throat with a straight razor. Nor a pair of scissors. I'm slow but I ain't stoopid.

But for a serious question, why would the health department outlaw the hot towel machines? I don't know anything about a hot towel machine but the very name implies a hot moist towel that is brought to a pretty high temperature. Near boiling? I say that as I remember those steaming hot towels from my youth (no not THAT long ago) and they were always steaming hot, making me believe they were near boiling temp.

I remember having many facial shaves in a barber shop. The experience was kinda' like a pleasureable facial massage. Now that I think of it I understand why women like a facial massage. I haven't had that done in years so I didn't know the practice was dying out.

Oh, just thought of something else. I remember the leather strops that hung from the side of the barber chairs. They were used, I think, to remove any "whiskers" from the blade and put on a final edge. Do you use those too?

PS: Yer still an old coot.

Pitch    Posted 10-28-2004 at 16:28:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks Clipper, I guess it is another one of those memories that I'll have to keep. Maybe I'll buy a razor and let the Missus learn to do it. Nah I'm dumb but not that dumb.

Yo Pitch....    Posted 10-28-2004 at 16:47:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
having yer wife learn to use the straight razor ain't a bad idea. Women tend to be over-cautious and that in itself makes em darn good at shaving!! Have her practice by using a inflated baloon....put shave cream on a small area of the balloon....and let her have at it.

If ya really want a good laugh cover the whole durn balloon wit shaving cream.....and don't get too close to her!!! :^)

Clipper :^)

Clipper    Posted 10-28-2004 at 16:24:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
The issue with the hot towel machines is sanitation and safety. My State Health Department caught Barbers using dirty towels in their machines. Health Code dictates that after use each towel will be washed/dried before going in the towel machine. Good Turkish towels are EXPENSIVE as heck....lotta Barbers only had a dozen of em or less. They were cheating on the washing/drying of the towels. They would just rinse em out and toss em back into the HT machine. Can't get more unsanitary than that!!! Lotta skin diseases can be transmitted that way from customer to customer.

On the safety side: If proper maintenance wasn't done the machines could overheat the towels to the point where either the Barber or the customer could get a nasty burn.

In my State the Health Department found it easier to outlaw the HT machines rather than send out more Inspectors to hammer the Barbers who were not in accordance with good sanitation procedures for their Shop.

On the leather strop....if you look at one you will notice it is actually 2 piece is leather and the second piece is heavy canvas. After working a straight razor on the stones the edge will contain tiny "spurs". Ya gotta get these off before ya use the razor or it will cut the heck out of the customer. The heavy canvas side of the strop will do this. The leather side of the strop is merely used to "polish" the edge and make it smooth. I have a leather strop that I use every was handed to me by an old Italian Barber (who himself had used it for over 60 years of Barbering) when he retired from the trade in 1994. :^)

Anything else ya need to know ya durn knock-kneed,hairless old goat?? If I gotta edjumacate ya I'm gonna charge ya a fee!!! Send me yer VISA card # and I'll handle de billing details. :^)

deadcarp    Posted 10-28-2004 at 16:34:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
hey now, fair play for freebies and i read the "open even now" sign. my question is this: in the 60s i had a russian barber with whom i'd debate everything. when he finished with my hair, he'd slip a gizmo with some springs over his hand and massage my head, starting at the back. when he got toward my face, he'd sorta work lightly around my cheeks til i sneezed. that meant he'd done enough. anybody still do that?

Clipper    Posted 10-28-2004 at 16:56:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yep....its called a hand massager. You can still buy them from the major Barber Supply houses. I don't know of any Barber in my area that still does that. I know the fancy Spa's do that for a hefty I'm thinkin the price is dependent upon how much clothing the lass has to take off to get the job done??? :^)

lamadon    Posted 10-28-2004 at 18:13:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey Clipper, where are you at I havent had a real shave since my barber retired, he was my grandfathers,fathers,mine and both my boys barber. he gave me and my boys our first haircuts and my first shave before my Jr.prom with a straight razor and he had this great aftershave lotion, dont know what it was called but it had a picture of a crown on the front and it smelt great. he used it on every customer cause he,like you always shaved the ears and neck. And letting my wife any where near my head and neck with a razor would be flirting with disaster ifin ya know what i meen LOL LOL. but i sure wish i could find a real barber close to where I live. heck I would drive an hour and pay real good money for a real shave, bsides a real shave would be a haircut for me anyway cause I got more hair in my ears than on my head LOL LOL

Clipper    Posted 10-28-2004 at 18:19:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'm in Connecticut.....altho I don't do the facial shaves in my Shop I do use the razor on myself. When I went through Barbering School they wuzn't teaching razor use. I taught myself how to use the razor.There is nothing out there that will beat a straight razor shave.
As for that tonic you mentioned I'm betting it was either Bay Rum or Eau de Quinnine....both are great and I use them both in my Shop as well. :^)

lamadon    Posted 10-28-2004 at 18:26:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
yea i think it was bay rum, several christmasas ago I think it was the year before he passed away he gave me his last bottle of the stuff,and by the way where can I get it now cause I just love it and I would sure like to get some.

Clipper    Posted 10-28-2004 at 18:29:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ping me yer snail-mail addy and I'll send ya a bottle of Bay Rum and a bottle of Quinnine as well.

My e-mail addy is:

:^) No charge of course!

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