Ever wondered how shaving was done before the razors were invented? Today, we have several options like trimmers, 3 blade razors, 5 blade razors, etc. Even in early times, people used to have some amount of facial hair and there must be a method to clean it off. Read on to know about how it was done before!
Before discussing about the topic, let us first understand what is meaning of word “Shave”. The dictionary describes shaving as removing the beard or other body hair, or cutting at the surface of the skin or removing growth of hair or with a razor or shaver or to cut or scrape away the surface off with a sharp-edged tool. It is being estimated that a man spends 3000 hours in his lifetime removing 25,000 facial hairs, which are as hard as copper wires of the same diameter. With spreading of shaving throughout the world, unshaven men of societies became known as “barbarians” meaning the “unbarbered”. The practice of women shaving legs and underarms developed much later.
The man has been shaving since Prehistoric Times. In fact shaving has a history as old as Stone Age, around 100,000BC, when Neanderthal man first started pulling hair from his body. Cave paintings have shown that early man discovered ways to remove hair from his face that are still being used today in modified form. In the beginning he simply plucked the hair out using seashells like tweezers. It was the early Egyptian men and women who have really established shaving and hair removal practice as regular part of daily grooming. The Egyptians had a personal obsession with body hygiene. The Greek historian Herodotus (485-425BC) commented that the Egyptians bathed several times a day and “set cleanliness above seemliness”.
Obsidian stone or stone razors were also used to shave. Obsidian stone is formed when the Felsic Lava cools down with minimum crystal growth. Obsidian stones were also used for surgical purposes because it’s brittle and has very sharp edges. Even today, some people prefer doing it the old way. It’s highly dangerous and requires practice to shave with this sharp stone!
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