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When in human history did men start shaving?

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
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I figure the first guys maybe wanted to be like women, or maybe they had other reasons, who knows? It's pretty popular now!

Of course, it just about had to wait until they'd developed quality steel and methods of working it finely. Wikipedia doesn't have more than a sentence or two on shaving. What culture first developed shaving and where and when did a significant portion of the male population start shaving?

- Muse, who just shaved this morning...
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
31,145
3,971
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Originally posted by: SLCentral
I dunno, but I just finished shaving and I fvcking hate it.
Maybe your could do it better. I almost always shave after taking a shower (softer whiskers), use a shaving gel (not too much) and a Gillette Good News (cheap at Costco). I don't hate shaving.
 

FoBoT

No Lifer
Apr 30, 2001
63,089
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fobot.com
it is all Gillettes fault, the marketing of shaving stuff to sell more of it

they created their own market for its own sake

i hate anti-beardites, beard wearer persecution is growing in the USA, it is disturbing
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
31,145
3,971
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Originally posted by: FoBoT
i hate anti-beardites, beard wearer persecution is growing in the USA, it is disturbing
It used to be a lot worse. In the 1950's in America you didn't see a lot of bearded men, at least mainstream. Beards are completely common now, in comparison.

What's interesting is the popularity of the not-shaved-for-a day-or-two (or more) look these days (well, the last 15+ years). On TV, in movies, in commercials, it's totally common. A few decades ago you did not see that. It's certainly trendy now.
 

nageov3t

Lifer
Feb 18, 2004
42,816
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couldn't have taken too long... beards are itchy as hell and can get pretty grody.

all it takes is one man to start cutting off the excess with a sharp stone which would eventually evolve into bronze knives, etc.
 

Canai

Diamond Member
Oct 4, 2006
8,016
1
0
I haven't shaved in a couple months. I just let it grow out for a week or so and buzz it back down. Shaving sucks.
 

azazyel

Diamond Member
Oct 6, 2000
5,871
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My guess is that some noble a long time ago couldn't grow a decent beard so he started shaving and because he was Royal, everyone tried to copy him.
 

Zolty

Diamond Member
Feb 7, 2005
3,603
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ancient greeks at least, probably further back, I don't recall seeing many Egyptian statues w/ full beards


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaving
Before the advent of razors, some humans removed hair using two shells to pull the hair out.[4] Later, around 3,000 BC, when copper tools were developed, humans developed copper razors. The idea of an aesthetic approach to personal hygiene may have begun at this time, though Egyptian priests may have practiced something similar to this earlier. Alexander the Great strongly promoted shaving during his reign in the 4th century BC.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,593
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I saw a show saying cavemen did it because they got sick of ice building up in their beards.
 

azazyel

Diamond Member
Oct 6, 2000
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When I was fishing in Alaska I grew a beard to keep the friggen jellyfish off my face.
 

Chryso

Diamond Member
Nov 23, 2004
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Thog reached into the fire to grab a hunk of roast mammoth and when he leaned back his beard had burned off.
All of the cave chicks started digging on him causing the hairless look to come into favor.
Later, someone found a way to remove the hair in a manner less painful than fire.
 

Gooberlx2

Lifer
May 4, 2001
15,381
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Remember not all ethnicities have to shave much. For the most part asians certainly don't grow nearly as much facial hair as my bavarian and russian ancestors. I grow facial hair like a damn yeti.

I dunno how reliable this site's info is, but here's the first hit on google searching "history of shaving".

FWIW: I wetshave with a DE Merkur futura, and some mug soap I got from walgreens. Beats the crap outta Gilette's and Shick's million blade cartridges, not to mention a lot cheaper for blades.
 

manowar821

Diamond Member
Mar 1, 2007
6,063
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At LEAST as far back as Egyptian culture.

I don't use razors, I use electric, and I don't smooth it out... The shadow looks better.
 

Demo24

Diamond Member
Aug 5, 2004
8,357
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I only have to shave a few times a week. Something between 2-3, depending on what I'm doing over the weekend, etc.
 

Born2bwire

Diamond Member
Oct 28, 2005
9,840
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Shaving satisfies two of man's basic needs. A shaven face is attractive to women and satisfies the primary male need. However, shaving itself started as a means of rating one's manhood. It is agreed upon that the measure of one's beard is a primary attribute in the measure of a man. Such qualities as density, coverage, and aesthetics are all apparent to the keen observer. What is harder to measure is the rate at which one grows a beard. It is for this purpose that shaving was evolved. The daily shaving ritual is a means by which you can ascertain the rate and quality of one's beard growth. A light colored shaving cream is used to act as a common background for the stubble. The contrast of the stubble against the used shaving scum is used as a metric to judge thickness, length, density, and strength of color. To this end, shaving was improved to allow for closer (increasing the apparent length of one's daily growth) and more consistent shaves. Eventually, the added attraction to the female gender overshadowed shaving's true beginnings and the art of soap scum judging has been lost to the past.
 

rudder

Lifer
Nov 9, 2000
19,434
84
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When the cavemans wife/girlfriend got tired of the itch and he found a rock sharp enough to shave it off.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,509
9,465
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At least 3,000 years ago by all accounts. Shaving is actually prohibited in the Bible (Leviticus 19:27).

Thorough history, it comes and goes in fashion depending on a variety of reasons. The Greeks and Romans tended to be clean shaven, probably for athleticism, but the Arabs and their ME neighbors would never shave for fear they be mistaken for a eunuch. 100 or so years ago, it was fashionable in western countries to have either a giant mustache OR a beard, but not both (can't make it look like you couldn't afford the barber). I'd say that Gillette can only be blamed for the post-war custom of anti-beardism (particularly in professional environments, but was this more a reflection of the military requiring shaving?), and that the more recent resurgence in beards represents a kind of my-job-doesn't-force-me-to-shave attitude of priviledge.
OTOH, my wife does force me to be clean shaven. Sigh...
 

DrPizza

Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
Administrator
Mar 5, 2001
49,606
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111
www.slatebrookfarm.com
Originally posted by: Muse
Originally posted by: FoBoT
What's interesting is the popularity of the not-shaved-for-a day-or-two (or more) look these days (well, the last 15+ years). On TV, in movies, in commercials, it's totally common. A few decades ago you did not see that. It's certainly trendy now.
Woot! I'm trendy! I thought I was just lazy on my days off.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,509
9,465
126
Originally posted by: Citrix
i have always wanted to know when did long hair on men become taboo?
Actually, long hair for men is coming back again. Look at all the high school aged boys these days. Looks like the damned 70s.
 

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