A Razor’s Place in History

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mum's thoughts, personal hygiene, personal hygiene products
image by Tuomas_Lehtinen from freedigitalphotos.net

Humans have been finding ways to remove hair since the beginning of time, but many wonder how our modern day technique of shaving came to be. The story of how this modern ritual transformed over time from a necessity to a fashion statement is quite interesting.

Since the Beginning of Time

Neanderthal men are seen in cave paintings as beardless. It is believed that the first men’s razors date back to 30,000 B.C. Flint was most likely what they used as a blade. For women it was the year 4,000 B.C. before they were recorded as removing unwanted hair. They used barbaric methods such as arsenic. By 500 B.C. Roman women finally discovered easier ways to remove hair by using a primitive razor. The Egyptians were very obsessed with hair removal. They took off all body hair in order to reduce the spread of diseases and lice.

Modern Day Shaving

Today it is fashion that dictates how much hair we remove. The first example of this was in 1915. The May issue of Harper’s Bazaar had an ad showing a young girl in a sleeveless dress. She had her arms over her head, and everyone immediately noticed her hairless armpits. Before then women were wearing modest clothing that covered them completely. Now that the underarm area was being shown, girls began to worry about their armpit hair. Hemlines were also beginning to creep upwards. This made the leg’s more noticeable. A new problem was born. How do they remove this unwanted hair?

The Introduction of Razors

By 1922 people could buy razors in the Sears Roebuck Catalog. It was a time period where sheer, sleeveless fashions were also appearing in the popular catalog. It was no longer a question if women should shave; it was a part of a women’s daily routine. Men were also purchasing razors in order to keep up their appearance without a trip to the barber. A single blade razor was being sold in catalogs much like the ones we now purchase from retailers and online stores such as Classic C S Shaving.

The history of shaving includes both necessity and fashionable reasons as to why. Today men and women include shaving as part of their regular routine. Although this practice is unlikely to fade away, it is sure to continue to evolve as styles change.

Mum’s Two Cents

Luckily I am one of those people who only need occasional plucking in the armpits from time to time and regular trimming and shaving down south at least once or twice in a month {sorry, TMI!}. Thanks to my parents for the good genes as shaving can really be quite a tricky business. Some would need regular shaving in the legs and thighs just so they can wear shorts and skirts. It can be utterly painful and even expensive for some.

Needless to say, shaving essentials and razor has been so much a part of everyone’s lives much more than we realize. It is good to know the history and how this practice came to be.

What is your best shaving tip and why?

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