In this category, I’d like to talk about shaving for men. This beauty routine is so deeply rooted in our daily lives that we forget its origins. We often imagine our distant ancestors as not being very careful about their hygiene, with thick and unkempt hair.
In reality, man has tried very early to domesticate his hair, and for various reasons.
Historically, the first tools dedicated to cutting hair date back to prehistoric times, but it is from the Egyptian era onwards that the practice of shaving really became widespread.
It was then a question of removing hair for sanitary reasons, in order to fight against various diseases while conforming to aesthetic codes already well anchored in the collective mind.
Shaving the beard was then a sign of belonging to a higher social class. However, the tools used remained rudimentary, closer to small copper hatchets than to the razor itself.
Over the course of civilizations and eras, the treatment reserved for facial and body hair changed completely.
For the Romans, being beardless was a sign of vigor and good health, while the Franks considered a full beard a symbol of virility.
Nowadays, many men shave their chest hair, and even other parts of the body, such as the back.
The straight razor (also known as a cabbage cutter) appeared in the 16th century and is still used today by some barbers.
Efficient but requiring a certain dexterity, it will give way to the famous safety razor, invented in 1880 and popularized by Gillette.
It is now possible to take care of one’s beard and body in general by oneself, as I do in front of my bathroom mirror.
The practice of shaving will become less and less restrictive with inventions such as :
These days, beard maintenance has become a personal matter. Trends come and go in a cyclical fashion, often initiated by magazines and other celebrities.
In the end, only the inevitable three-day beard has managed to maintain a constant popularity over the last decades. But beyond the face, it’s the whole body of the man that has become a hunting ground for unsightly hair.
It is no longer rare to see a man shaving his armpits, his chest or even his pubic hair, so much so that razor manufacturers now offer a whole range of products adapted to these new uses: razors for the body, for the hair, without wires, that can be used under water…