Thursday, July 16, 2009


Shaving is the process in which the hair is removed by means of a razor or any kind of sharp tool used for hair removal. Shaving is mostly done by men, specifically cutting off their facial hair. Women usually shave their underarm and leg hair. Men and women make it a common practice to shave in this day and time. Areas most focused on are their facial hair, underarm hair, pubic hair and chest hair. Shaving is often done for different reasons. Some people do it for religious practices, certain sports such as swimming, running and of course military reasons. Men who have inherited baldness also shave. Throughout history head shaving has also been used as a means of punishment and humiliation.

The history of shaving

Way before the invention of razors, shells were used to extract the human hair. Around 3,000 BCE, when tools of copper were being developed, copper razors were being invented. During the reign of Alexander the great, he promoted shaving, so not to give the enemy the opportunity to grab the beard in combat. He also believed it looked cleaner. Today millions of American men over the age of 15 shave. The average man will shave thousands of times in his lifespan.

Shaving methods

There are 3 types of razors that can be used for shaving.

  • straight razor
  • safety razor
  • electric razor

Wet shaving

Wet shaving is the process in which hot water is used to prepare the desired area to be shaved. The water softens the hair, then the shave soap is whipped into a creamy lather with a shave brush. Then the face is shave with a straight or doubled edged safety razor. The traditional barbershop uses hot wet towels for beard preparation. Shaving brushes are made with boar or badger hair, Good for holding lots of water, necessary for producing a good lather. It takes skill to wet shave, but with a little practice you'll become a pro at it.

Electric shaving

Electric razors possess a set of oscillating blades that are held behind a metal foiler which prevents them from touching the skin. As the razor is held up against the skin hair sticks through the holes in the foiler and are cut by the blades. There are many different designs on the market. Some blades are a rotating cylinder, others are one or more rotating disks, and others a oscillating blades. Normally circular blades have a circular motion and cylindrical or oscillating blades is up and down. The first electric razor was built by Jacob Schick in 1928. Electric shaving is not as close as wet shaving and you will also need an electric source. But electric shavers give fewer nicks and cuts and shaving is much faster.

Shaving side effects

Shaving can cause many side effects including abrasions, cuts and irritations. Stopping many of these side effects can be done by using fresh blades, avoid pressing down with a razor and using plenty of lubrication. There are many products on the market that help with this procedure.

cuts - shaving cuts are caused by the blades irregular movement over the face, particularly shaving over razor bumps. Methods used to stop shaving-induced bleeding are:

  • pressing alcohol onto the cut
  • pressing a small piece of tissue over the cut
  • applying styptic pencils and styptic liquids
  • Shaving after a cold shower reduces bleeding

Razor burn

Razor burn irritation is caused by using a blunt blade or using improper technique. It appears 2 to 4 days after shaving as a mild rash, but usually disappears after a few ours or few days depending on the severity. Razor burns can also be accompanied by razor bumps where the shaved area gets raised welts or infected pustels. A rash is usually an indication of lack of lubrication. Razor burn is a common problem usually due to people with coarse hair, sensitive skin, shaving too closely, dry shaving, applying to much pressure when shaving and shaving against the grain.

To prevent razor burn one must keep the skin moist use shaving gels, shaving brush and lathers, avoid putting colognes and perfumes on the shaved areas. Most importantly shave in the same direction of the hair.