Thursday, October 1, 2015

Shaving Is a Practice with Millenniums of History behind It

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.




Mankind has had hygiene regimens that include removing unwanted body hair for thousands of years. Throughout the centuries, removing facial hair has been linked to a person's standing in society, their religious beliefs, and the culture or government they belong to.

Ancient Egyptians were known for their cleanliness. They had a strict regimen of cleaning and shaving their bodies every single day. This included men, women, and children. The higher up in society a person was, the more likely it was that they would keep themselves shaved completely bare. This was due in part to the weather in Egypt. Egypt is hot, and the Nile River produced a lot of humidity. Having long hair and a long beard in these conditions would have been all but intolerable.

Long facial hair also made the spread of pests like lice easier. And since there was not the same medicine to treat these pests available in ancient Egypt as there is available today, keeping clean-shaven and going bald was the most hygienic option available. In fact, researchers have found that the ancient Egyptians viewed growing facial hair as a sign of neglecting one’s personal hygiene. A barber who would keep a person well shaved was a well-respected person in the community. They had a position in ancient Egypt that was comparable to other professional trades like being a doctor.

The idea of staying clean-shaven continued on with the Grecian Empire. In fact, it is reported that Alexander the Great ordered his men to keep themselves clean-shaven and to cut off their hair in order to prevent their enemies from having anything to grab onto during combat. Over time, the clean shaven appearance of the military found its way into socially acceptable fashion in the ancient Greek world. Ancient Greeks used a straightened raiser to keep themselves clean-shaven. It is very similar to the razor blades that are commonly used today.

As the Roman Empire came into power, the trend in shaving that was instituted by Alexander the Great centuries earlier quickly became part of Roman society. The richer a person was, the less body hair they sported.

Throughout the Middle Ages, the practice of shaving became less popular with the common people. However, following the split of the Catholic Church from the Eastern Orthodox Church in 1054 A.D., church leaders required that the clergy shave to distinguish themselves from the Jews and Muslims.

Today shaving is an integral part of Western society. In most circles, a clean-shaven man is seen as respectable and professional. In modern society, there are many apparatuses that are available to give men a clean and nick free shave.

21 comments:

Sandee said...

I love the clean shaven and neat haircuts. I'm not for all that hair. Not one bit.

Have a fabulous day. ☺

Masshole Mommy said...

I absolutely hate facial hair on guys. Clean shaven is so sexy.

Pat Hatt said...

Use my electric razor and zip it all off at my sea

Terri B said...

I prefer clean shaven men over gruffy rumply looking guys. Such an interesting read, I never knew when shaving came to be. I wish some of the red neck women I see at the kids ball games would shave under their arms because they make me *gag*. :)

Susan Kane said...

Oriental Trading Co. was/is the mainstay for teachers. There was such a range in goods, and seems to have upped its quality.
That little blonde Spartan is a doll!

bxcrochet said...

Wow I didn't know razors went that far back. I love my husband clean shaven too.

Michelle F.

valmg @ Mom Knows It All said...

I generally prefer a clean-shaven sideburns and chin. But, there are some men on whom a 5:00 shadow looks very attractive.

Elizabeth O. said...

I don't mind facial hair on men, if that's what they want, then why not. But of course clean shaven guys look really presentable.

kristi@ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com said...

Wow! Lots of really interesting information here! I learned something new!

Liz Mays said...

I had no idea there was such a rich history connected to shaving. The things you don't think about....

Housewife Eclectic said...

I actually like facial hair. My husband wears a goatee just because I like it!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosey - interesting history ... I knew about the use of wigs after the head was shaved in the Middle Ages - kept the fleas away (perhaps) ... Pepys wasn't too amused when his hadn't been cleaned!! I personally don't like facial hair .. but so interesting to read about shaving through the eras. Fascinating! Cheers Hilary

Jamie Sanders said...

I definitely prefer a clean shave too!

Samantha Pierce said...

My husband is really into shaving, it seems like an art when he shaves his face.

Emily, our house now a home said...

I never knew all of this history before about cleanliness and shaving. Interesting. My husband looks like a teenager if he does not have a little scruff on this face. So he keeps it neat but a small bit of shadow on his face. No one wants to look like they are robbing the cradle even though he is actually 3 years older then me.

Theresa Mahoney said...

That's really interesting information! I can see why they kept freshly shaved daily in Egypt. I wouldn't want all that extra hair making me more hot than I needed to be either!

Crystal said...

I would have guessed it was a more modern practice. It's interesting how much things change over the years in regard to what is considered desirable.

Lisa Rios said...

This is some great information altogether. I agree shaving is an integral part of Western society, but many have beards based on their faith or culture they belong to. I just love both shaven & unshaven face of my husband, so it depends on how you prefer.

Maggie King said...

I had no idea shaving had such a history! I do prefer clean shaven over beards any day!

Two Boys and a Hubby said...

I can't stand facial hair. I love my hubby's smooth face.

~ Noelle said...

depends on the face. lol, some i like with hair, others not so much!