For many years shaving has been a necessity for people whether it be for aesthetics or for comfort. In prehistoric times early man would use sharks teeth, flint or shells to pull or scrape off their facial growth, however painful this must have been, It was almost second nature for them to want to rid their face of such hair.
This could have had a more practical advantage for say eating and comfort, or maybe even a change to their status. Perhaps it would have changed people’s behaviour toward that particular individual. In general it would have probably been so uncomfortable and itchy that they would just want to cut the hairs off their face by any means possible.
These shaving practices would result in bleeding or tearing of skin, this would cause scar tissue to form over time. When using shells as a tool for grooming they would tightly cup their hair between two small clam shells and then, with a pulling motion, rip it out in clumps. Like any pulling of hair this act would have been extremely painful.
With the use of flint as a rudimentary cutting instrument small pieces could be fashioned by sharpening down the sides of the flint. When sharp enough they could be used effectively to shave or cut the beard away.
In some circumstances even burning embers would be used to burn and thin out their beards. All these techniques would be painful but seemingly beneficial to them in the long run.
Eventually many centuries later the straight razor was born which would go on to be made of stainless steel, but sophisticated braun series 8 electric shaver would exist a century before hand in the Roman period.
In 330BC, inspired by the Egyptians, the Greeks and Romans would shave off the majority of their body hair as they felt it was unclean and barbaric to leave it to grow.
They would experiment with different materials braun series 8 electric shaver
Found copper and bronze to be the most robust although more durable metals would be used later, such as iron. Such metals were favoured over stone and glass.
Even though the ability and means to shave had been around for century’s regular day-to-day shaving was never commonplace until much later. It was when the straight razor was born that regular shaving became more accessible to the masses, and later with the safety razor even more so.
Because the straight razor was made out of varying strengths of metal they proved very popular, and if well maintained would last for many years. The popularity of the straight razor would fuel its use right up until the early 1950’s.
In 1875 the safety razor was invented that had a special guard that would protect the skin, and would only expose the edge of the blade against the surface of the skin when cutting. The safety razor was revolutionary and very successful.
It was around the 1950’s that more inexpensive material could be fashioned to create a cheaper disposable razor. This meant that not only could everyone afford them, it also introduced people to the concept of disposable products, products so cheap they could just be thrown away at the users wish.
Later Philips developed a safety razor that would have interchangeable blades, they would introduce the razor body itself at a relatively low price and provide a means of blade replacement. They introduced a business strategy called ‘Loss Leader,’ This meant selling the product at a loss, but then making money from follow up sales. They wouldn’t make any initial profit, but from the regular sales of replacement blades they would eventually ensure a steady cash flow.
This strategy is employed today on a whole range of products.
It was in 1928 that the first electric shaver was produced by one Jacob Schick. He wanted to find a way of shaving without using water. Effectively he wanted a dry shave system that could be used as a replacement to the conventional wet shave. His first responsibility was to produce a range of electric shavers for Remington.
There are two shaving systems on the market today: Rotary shavers, and Foil shavers, The latter is used by companies like Braun, Remington and Philips. The foil is a thin metal shield, no more than a few micrometres thick, that is specially perforated creating a matrix of holes along its surface, underneath of which the shaver blades are housed. As you press the foil against your face, hairs stick through the holes and are cut by the blades which are oscillating back and forth at 100 times per second. The thinner the foil and the faster the oscillations the better the cut.
The rotary shaver has two or three small circular blades that rotate at high speeds. It was Philips that first introduced this technology and it enabled the shaver to get very close cutting hairs off at skin level. The hairs are guided into the circular heads and then cut, the heads are usually positioned in a triangular formation for optimal performance. When using a rotary shaver it is best to move it gently in a circular motion across the face.
Electric shavers today use some of the most cutting edge technology: flexing blades, pulsing technology, double or triple foil systems, linear drive technology, but essentially they all do the same thing, so it’s a good thing to pick a shaver that best suits you. At the heart of it all shavers are pretty much the same when you open them up they mainly consist of a motor, a circuit board, blades, battery and a guard.