Most people tend to buy a razor every two weeks, and although the shaving can be a little tedious, it does not involve too much hassle. One should remember that shaving was not as easy as it is nowadays. Let’s study the how this invention can into being and its development over 100,000 years.
Before the concept of shaving came up, the only options were accepting the hairy look or being creative with it. Prehistoric cave paintings show that people use to shave with flint knives, clamshells, and even shark teeth. Historians haven’t been able to provide a clear answer to when did these crude elements make way for modern shaving.
Studies show that gold and copper razors date back to the 4th millennium BC. This is the time when it was used in India and Egypt. Archaeologists have found gold razors in the tombs of Pharaohs which provides this point. During this time, other cultures also adopted shaving and used sharpened up a volcanic obsidian glass to shave their beards.
There’s another story which states that Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, the Roman King introduced razors. Although this was introduced to his people during the 6th century BC, shaving became an activity a hundred years later.
In 4th century BC, conqueror Alexander the Great during the battle of Issus orders his men to shave. This was simply done so that the Persians could not grab hold of his men during melees. King Alexander’s men often used Novacila, which is a piece of iron having a sharpened edge for hair removal.
King Alexander’s technique seems quite the difference when historians study Julius Caesar’s shaving techniques. Julius Caesar, the popular Roman General, and Politician were known to use tweezers to pluck out facial hairs.
The designs of the safety razor date back to 1762, although safety razors didn’t catch on before 1680. William Henson created the hoe-shaped razor in 1847. King Camp Gillette combine the design of the hoe-shaped razor with his idea of having a double-edge razor in 1895. The output as was the popular safety razor that Gillette introduced to the public and made a fortune.
Although the idea was revolutionary, it had one drawback, the blades were not easy to make. Gillette had to spend another 6 years to find someone who can create disposable blades. And by 1906, Gillette was selling 300,000 units per year. This shows that how the shaving process has evolved over thousands of years. Check out the below infographic for more information on different types Of razors.
Infographic: What are the Different Types Of Razors and How are They Used