Why do we shave?

Even outside of advertisements, Shaving makes us feel good.

Shaving, one of the few rituals that indifferently spans across religions, races, and genders! Although you must already know, I feel the need to define it: Shaving is the removal of exposed hair using a razor (sometimes along with shaving cream). Needless to say, we were probably quite intrigued the first time

As you can see from the below picture, the typical shaver advertising pose doesn’t seem to have changed!

Electric shavers have been around for longer than you may think!

We wielded that blade and used it to improve ourselves, but did we ever pause to consider how much we actually knew about it?

How does it work?

When shaving, we run a very sharp metal blade just over our skin-at a very flat angle to avoid peeling ourselves-to remove the tops of each shaft of hair growing out of our body at that point. Some people prefer to use Shaving Cream or another Lubricating product for a more comfortable shave and, to add to this, the shaving companies seem to invent a new “closer shave razor” every 2 weeks! The use of ‘Aftershave’ is also quite common because it can contain anything from Antiseptics to Numbing Agents to moisturizers!

What is the purpose of hair?
Why do we do it?

Hair, yet another trait to remind us of evolution. If you have been to the zoo (or the Television) recently, you would have noticed that the majority of our ‘close relatives’ are covered in

Electric shavers have been around for longer than you may think!
hair, head to toe! This is because hair has the ability to regulate body temperature quite efficiently by

means of erectile tissue in the roots. This allows it to ‘erect’ in cold weather, trapping air to insulate heat and raise skin temperature. The opposite happens in hot weather, the tissue relaxes, flattening the hair to trap a minimal

As you can see from the above picture, the typical shaver advertising pose doesn’t seem to have changed!

amount of hair, allowing our sweat to evaporate and cool our bodies. Thermoregulation aside, hair is also designed to trap Hormones in sweat to (as disturbing as it may seem) and separate adults from children, all to attract a mate!

I apologize if it took me too many words to reach the actual question at hand. I am also sorry to inform you that it will take me a few more words to answer it, as to understand the reasons, we must understand the origins! It has been speculated that Ancient civilizations were shaving as early as 4000 B.C.Straight razors were dominant for many years, and continue to be used in most “Traditional Shave” shops, albeit at a much higher price!

B.C., but as with most “facts” of that time, we can hardly be certain. So let’s skip ahead to the 19th century, when the shaving razor was commercialized, providing men the ideal solution for sticky beards with food stuck in them! In 1915, when women’s sleeves and skirts began getting shorter, all it took was one brilliant marketing executive from a razor company to create a campaign convincing women their hair was unhygienic and unfeminine, and women soon took up the procedure.

However, in this day and age, we prefer more scientific reasons to justify ourselves. Here’s what we discover: It is indeed very unhygienic to grow a large amount of hair, imagine a beard as a giant bushy spider web attached to your face, who knows what’s buried deep inside? This considered, keeping that clean can be as about as inconvenient as growing a whole another set of hair. We also shave ourselves to avoid the very functions hair was designed to serve: we don’t want to collect sweat and we like to look young! There are also the Society and Vanity elements, society tells us to believe that the amount of body hair we have is inversely proportional to our attractiveness, which has lead us to believe the same (to an extent).

Now you know why we actually shave, but will that change your attitude towards it?

Straight razors were dominant for many years, and continue to be used in most “Traditional Shave” shops, albeit at a much higher price!

References

  1. Survey I conducted
  2. http://askville.amazon.com
  3. http://straightrazorplace.com
  4. Image via DamnCovers. Retrieved from:
    http://www.damncovers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/apple-shaving-fb-cover.jpg
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