The history of shaving

Audio: Medium

I could say that shaving has existed throughout the world and the earth. Whether made with seashells or the latest razor, all men with or without a beard love to take care of them. Today, my dear ones, it is about you and for you.

Photo source: IG- Adrian Rosu

During the Stone Age, I think it was very painful to catch the unwanted hair in a seashell and pull it to get rid of it. That is why I will come closer to our times, where is not that much pain in the care of the beard. From my documentation, I discovered that in Egypt, the best job was as a barber. Wealthy families had their own barber at their disposal at any time, which is the case even today. Amazing, isn’t it?

In the time of ancient Rome, it seems to me that men’s skin suffered a lot until the razor blade was invented. According to Philips, tweezers were used and then pumice stone. If you ask me, I think it’s a great torment. Then all kinds of essential oils and perfumes were used.
Fortunately, however, in the last two millennia, the beard has become a trend again, most likely inspired by the emperor Hadrian (Caesar Traianus Hadrianus).

Our good archaeologists, who are constantly digging to discover the history, brought to light Egyptian burial chambers, and circular bronze razors used for shaving in those times. As a short parenthesis, I would like to mention that the history of mankind, in any field, never ceases to amaze me. We have evolved so much even if today everything we have seems normal to us. It started from nothing and today we have the most non-invasive devices for body care.
And as we keep talking about human evolution, we arrive in the 1770s, in my beloved Paris, where Jean-Jacques Perret, anatomist, and cutler, published his first treatise on the art of shaving, a booklet containing all his observations on facial hair and its removal. Eight years before this brochure, he was also the one who invented the sharpest razor called Perret’s razor.

Photo source: Wikipedia

Living in a northern country, I can’t help but wonder how the Vikings were shaving. We have all seen those images of Vikings with all kinds of hairstyles and beards, but how did they maintain them? Did they have their own invention? Apart from their pride in being warriors and attracting women, they loved their beards very much. Although they are presented to us as bloody and warrior people, they were also peaceful people, taking care of business and building settlements. When it comes to their appearance, sources say they were very hygienic. Yes, at that time maybe no one took a bath every day, but they washed their faces and combed their hair and beard every morning. Here I want to mention that the comb was their beloved object.

Photo source:

And I think that being contemporary with the Roman empire, the Tang Dynasty, and the Anglo-Saxons, they had a place to be inspired by the style and at the same time to have access to any tools that would have been used in those times.

Coming back to the present, things are much more relaxed now. Technology has evolved amazingly and men no longer have to go through hardships to have a presentable beard and a flawless complexion. We have at hand professional salons, skilled barbers, and a lot of products for beards care.

Besides beautifying the beard, going to a barbershop is also a moment of socialization between men, exchanging opinions and why not even creating friendships. Such an old ritual still brings men together.

I thought that if we kept talking about make-up, the history of makeup, and its pioneers, it would be ideal to talk about the beauty rituals of men. If you found today’s article interesting, I’m waiting for you with your impressions in the comments section, as always. See you next Sunday with a new article at 1 pm Helsinki time. Have a beautiful Sunday!


Sources: Academia De Frizerie, Philips, Wikipedia.

One response to “The history of shaving”

  1. Interesting article about something I do every day and don’t think twice about.
    We know the Egyptians used razors because quite often in their art they depicted themselves as being bald headed, men and women. I think that was to minimize infestations of lice and fleas. And, interestingly, medieval barbers performed minor surgeries and blood letting in their shops…that’s why the symbol of barbers is a red and white pole coming from when they would drape their bloody bandages over a pole to dry.
    Interesting article….when I shave again I will remember the history of this activity.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

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