The Baxter Method Shave at Haberdash EDC

A Luxury Shave Featuring Baxter of California Products + Method

  • April 3, 2012 |
  • EDC

“We’ve had a casual relationship with Haberdash years prior to stocking Baxter of California and launching their apothecary segment,” says Michael Donovan, Sales Director for Baxter of California. “We’ve always been fans of the perspective Haberdash brings to the men’s market. The addition of the EDC door, for us, was a moment of, ‘OK, this totally makes sense.’ It’s just an ideal venue for Baxter of California.” Which leads us to our latest advancement in our weekly hot shaves at Haberdash EDC: the Baxter Method.

How did the evolution of the Baxter Method Shave at Haberdash come about?

“The whole concept of the shave at EDC has grown organically. MJ shared the development of how the antique barber chair was brought in, and how everything grew from there. And now, this cult following has been established. It’s been exciting to see it all unfold. It was really all born from MJ’s callout to our Baxter Finley shop here in Los Angeles. That’s where our approach and process to the gentlemen’s shave was born. It’s just all seamless, exporting the method from one premium barber shop to the next.”

Inside the Baxter Finley shop in Los Angeles

How does the Baxter Method Shave start?  ”We’ve formulated, designed, and now market a product called Hot Towel Solution. This product starts the shave and finishes the shave, and is used in between steps of the shave. When we were launching the Baxter Finley Barber and Shop, we were getting all of our barbers together and each had their own approach to ‘McGyvering’ what would be applied to the hot towels prior to putting them in the towel warmer. It was always some type of aromatherapy or some type of after shave splash, but it was always improvised.

“So, what we’ve come up with is a solution of menthol, rosemary, eucalyptus, camphor, aloe extract and spearmint—it’s applied to the hot towels and popped into the towel warmer. It’s used at the start of the shave to soften the whiskers and condition the skin, and it gives you this real sensory, herb-acious experience. You’ll here guys in the shop shouting, ‘I can’t believe I can breathe!’ It wakes you up, but not in a fire alarm way—it’s really good. It’s fortified with aloe extract and vitamins E, D, and A — so it’s actually quite beneficial for your skin. This is something that we don’t retail, we only supply to premium barber shops.”

Pre-shave steps?  ”The barber will mix an equal portion of Daily Face Wash and Facial Scrub, usually about a dime-sized amount. This is a two-pronged approach: it cleanses the skin and the beard, but it also lightly exfoliates the skin and acts as an effective pre-shave treatment. With the scrubbing action, the whiskers stand up a bit. The barber will then remove the scrub and face wash with a hot towel.”
“A lot of guys ask about this. A great cleanse and a light exfoliation prior to shaving really does the trick, without glopping a lot of oil on your face. There are some guys that swear by pre-shave oils and some that don’t. At this point we’re ambivalent about pre-shave oils, as our approach to a Baxter pre-shave is the Face Wash and Facial Scrub combo.”

What shave cream is used in the Baxter Method?  ”Once the Facial Scrub and wash have been removed with a hot towel, the barber moves on to a light but thorough application of our Super Close Shave Formula. I know a lot of barbers like to use hot lather as well, so a light application of the hot lather topped with a layer of the Super Close Shave Formula works. The two layers intermingle and work well together, so there’s no conflict there. To be quite honest, the hot lather is there mainly for the warmth. It’s not a very lubricating or conditioning. That’s where the Super Close Shave Formula comes in: the essential oils and emollients really soften the beard and condition the skin. The barber will then let that sit on the skin for about thirty seconds, and start the shave.”

Post-shave ritual?  ”After the shave is complete, another hot towel wipes off any remaining shave cream, and then we recommend another hot towel being left on for a conditioning, calming effect. When that’s taken off, the barber applies a icy, cold towel to tighten the pores and invigorate the skin, followed by a light application of After Shave Balm to calm and soothe the skin. It has a high concentration of aloe extract along with tea tree oil and other natural antiseptics.” “One quick side note: With summer coming up, our After Shave Balm actually makes an excellent after-sun treatment. If you’ve spent a little bit too much time by the pool or on the golf course, it’s quite cooling and very soothing to the skin. It’s a quick antidote for extra sun.”

“Following the After Shave, a light application of Oil Free Moisturizer can be applied all over the face. That’s our no fuss, matte finish, quick absorbing moisturizer. It’s for guys who think that they don’t need a moisturizer. First of all, you do. And second of all, you’re not going to get annoyed by using this everyday. It’s super straight forward – no fragrance. To wrap it up, we don’t like to dictate how a Master Barber does each little detail here and there, but this is our straightforward foundation of a gentlemen’s shave.”

Baxter Method shaves are available for $29.95, standard hot shaves for $14.95. By appointment at Haberdash EDC, every Saturday. Call 312-646-7870 to book an appointment. Pre-pay required. 24 hour cancellations acceptable for full refund, walk-ins are welcome but not guaranteed. 611 N. State St., Chicago

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