Even before the invention of the razor, our male faces grew hair whether there was a way to clean it up or not. As neanderthals 100,000 years ago there is evidence of using sea shells to clean up our wooly beards, and later, around 30,000 B.C. there is evidence that flint knives were used to provide a “clean shave”. The term “clean” wasn’t so much because it left the face smooth like glass but rather because the beard was no longer at risk of being a home for fleas and lice, clean.
As razors evolved the single blade became the sharpest and almost deadliest way to reveal that chin beneath the bush. Blokes paid a regular visit to the barbershop and had an expert take care of it. It was termed a “cutthroat razor” for a reason, not something you handled yourself.
Enter the year 1901 and King Gillette shows up with the safety razor which changes the grooming world forever, suddenly we can all shave and do it ourselves. The safety razor took a replaceable blade, generally had a sexy, strong, metal handle and still needed to be handled with care. Over time the razors have evolved more and more, more blades added, the grip improved and contoured, some even have a battery to add tiny pulsations to the process, heck some even lubricate the skin themselves and now the razors pivot and angle themselves to suit every curve in the face, we’ve come a long way from sea shells!
As we all come of age to have our first shave, the first time is always a memorable one. Growing up our body and face changes quite a bit, eventually we have a haze or a fuzz above the lip or even on the chin, as much as you admire it, you know it needs to go. Whether it is a parent who first teaches you, a sibling, friend of just YouTube, the first shave is a real experience. You’re adding shaving cream, aftershave balm and a razor to your toiletries kit. That first razor though will be a memorable one. Some kids know their first razor as one of mums spare leg razors and others such as myself remember the Mach 3. Looking back through time it is incredible to see how much they have continued to change, someone having their first shave today is having a much easier, safer, closer experience than the guy using a model from the early 1900’s.
What is certain for sure is that the experience is still and always will be memorable, it’s the day your face is revealed through the beginning of puberty, the first step of feeling like a real adult. Everyday from then onward a shave is what keeps us looking our best, feeling our best and bringing back that memory from our first time.