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The Art of Shaving

The Art of ShavingSince the beginning of time men have struggled with hair on their faces and how to remove it. Various paintings on caves indicate that the Neanderthal man (the species to which modern humans fit in) during the Stone Age used methods to remove facial hair similar to methods we use today. For instance he would use a sharpened rock or by maneuverings two seashells to act as a pair of tweezers used to pluck. If you recall on televisions The Flintstones, Fred actually had what appeared to be an electric razor which was comprised of a clam with a bee inside of it! Archaeologists have also found that many parts of animals were used to shave such as shark’s teeth.

Some of the earliest shaving kit tools were made from a pointy stone set inside of a handle constructed of wood. Later on sharp copper and bronze devices were used particularly during the Middle Kingdom period (Egypt during the 12th and 13th Dynasties). Flint blades were used as early as 30,000BC, of which give off a very sharp border.

Many Roman men found the need to have a live in barber. If one did not live with them, they would make a trip into town to pay a visit to the barber who shaved their face with an iron novacila. This sharp device often caused bleeding nicks on faces. Despite the risk of getting cuts on the face, these early barber shops were frequented often because they were also gathering places to chat.

Egyptians began shaving their beards which was a custom borrowed from the Greeks and Romans about 330BC and some kept a barber at their home. Soon members of the upper class had individuals come to their homes to remove their facial hair (later these hair-cutters would become known as barbers). These barbers also removed the hair of the common people but would not go to their homes to do it.

Beards were often viewed as a sacred or godly look however Egyptians seemed to favor hairlessness so it was a sight to be valued. This culture thought that it was appropriate for only barbarians and animals to have hair. Facial hair was looked upon as being an unattractive sight and it also indicated that a person did not care about their appearance. Being without facial hair was achieved by using various cream agents that removed hair from the face or by using a pumice stone. Afterwards they massaged the skin with scented oils and creams.

With all the shaving and cutting utensils which we have today it is hard to imagine the great pains others took ages ago and the time involved to ensure a cleanly shaven face.


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