I was very excited for my traditional men's shave at Aidan Gill. One of my friends told me how amazing his experience was, and I also had read & heard quite a bit about the experience.
The shave starts out just as I had expected - i was led to an old school barbers chair, and a series of what must have been four hot towels were placed on my face, along with various shave lotions to help prepare my skin for the impending shave. Sitting there under a hot towel is a very calming experience. My only comment / feedback would be that I would have loved for my barber guy/shaver to tell me what he was adding to my skin, and to also walk me through the process. As a "tourist", was curious...I am sure other regulars dont want to be bothered, but its worth asking since I am sure plenty of people are like me.
I then was given a shave with the grain. Followed by more hot towels, more lotion, then given another shave, this time against the grain. More towels and lotions and at least two more shaves until there was not a single remnant of stubble on my face. My skin felt like a baby's bottom. Super smooth, but it was a little stingy. My barber/shaver said that my shave would last maybe 3 days.
While at the time my skin looked and felt great, I still had an underlying bit of discomfort as I don;t normally shave against the grain. Later that evening my skin was burning and over the next few days my skin actually broke out and was quite irritable. I think it was probably down to the fact that I have sensitive skin, and that I had actually shaved the morning that I went into Aidan Gill for my early evening shave. When I go in next time, I will ask them not to shave against the grain, and to account for my sensitive skin.
To help with my razor bumps and irritation, I had to use Neosporin to help cool my skin and heal the bumps and breakout/irritation, sensitivity and dry skin. I am fully recovered, but at least now I know the limits of my skin to a super close shave.
Overall, a great experience, and topped off with a Guinness beer after my shave which was nice. If you do have sensitive skin, just make sure to ask your stylist or shaver how to minimise irritation post-shave.