Evolution Of Shaving
The act of
shaving, the process of removing hair from the
face or body, has been around since the Stone
Age. It has evolved over thousands of years from
an act of necessity to one of art and vanity.
Today, women shave their legs, underarms and bikini
lines; men carve designs out of facial hair; swimmers,
divers and other athletes shave everything to
cut fractions of a second off their time; wrestlers
shave to avoid further agony as they fight to
escape the grip of their adversary; motor-cross
and Nascar racers shave their bodies to reduce
rash and friction burns from their protective
suits; body-builders shave to shine a little brighter
as they flex their chiseled bodies for a panel
of judges; Young women and men today shave more
and more of their bodies simply because it looks
more attractive. In the Stone Age, men and women
shaved their face or body hair for a more practical
Archeologist and other scientists, we are able
to trace the act of shaving as far back as the
Neanderthal man. Through the study of ancient
cave drawings even Mr. Neanderthal himself is
pictured as a somewhat clean-shaven gentleman,
albeit one in excruciating pain. How Neanderthal
accomplished this look has been attributed to
an ancient tool that resembles the modern day
tweezers. With the help of two seashells he plucked
the hair from his face.
believed to be many reasons for this painful effort
but some of the more practical ones include: preventing
the infestation of lice and fleas, to make eating
easier and not as messy, and give a potential
enemy one less thing to grab during hand-to-hand
As the Stone
Age continued to roll on archeologist believe
that the first “actual” shaving tool
was developed around 25,000 – 30,000 B.C.
It was made with flint that had extremely sharp
edges. The edges would dull pretty quickly and
its usefulness would probably expire after just
a few uses. Therefore, we can say that during
this period the first disposable razor was born.
By the Neolithic
Period (around 9,500 B.C.) even the technology
of that period had begun to advance. Archeologist
have excavated crude shaving tools made of other
types of stone or even horn with actual handles
as well as tweezers that they appeared to use
to pull the hair from their faces. In other cultures
of this period it has also been discovered that
some men used burning twigs to singe the hair
from their faces leaving only smelly stubble behind.
It was 4,000
B.C. where Mastabas show razors with hieroglyphics
explaining there use. Women had developed a different
means of removing body hair. They used strange
concoctions of cream that contained potent ingredients
like quicklime and arsenic.
3000 B.C. metalworking was invented and the first
permanent razors were developed using copper.
By 1,200 B.C. the art of making razors swept Scandinavia
and elaborate bronze razors etched with mythological
designs and stored in leather cases were excavated
from Danish Mound Graves. In 500 B.C. there is
evidence that show that many Roman men could actually
start their day with a trip to the tonsor (barber)
to have their face shaved for them. The tonsor
could also offer a soothing cream made from scented
ointments and spider webs dipped in oil and vinegar
to cool the burn for those with sensitive skin.
advancements, shaving was still an often painful
and gruesome process. During the first century
A.D. outlandish ingredients were used by women
to remove unsightly body hair: ass’s fat,
powdered viper, bat’s blood, and she-goat’s
gall to name a few. The Greek doctor and philosopher
Galen, who had become famous for teaching people
the art of sex using live models, helped develop
and write down certain cosmetic practices.
still a painful chore when the French barber Jean-Jacques
Perret became the first person to propose the
concept of the “safety razor” in 1770
with his lengthy exposition entitled La Pogonotomie.
In that century, the Perret Razor was manufactured
with an L-shaped wooden guard that held the razor
blade firmly in place. The design was intended
to help prevent cutting into the face. It served
as the catalyst for the evolution of the safety
razor followed in the late 18th and 19th century.
In the 19th century the straight steel razor was
produced in England and the demand grew rapidly.
The only problem was how quickly it dulled. It
had to be constantly sharpened so it could be
used over again.
inventor William Henson introduced his “hoe
type” razor in 1847.
Henson’s invention gained instant fame with
its revolutionary new design that placed the blade
perpendicular to the handle for the first time.
This new design allowed the shaver more maneuverability
and made it easier for a more managed shave. Despite
its instant success, it suffered a short-lived
future. It still wasn’t that amazing “safety”
razor everyone longed for.
“safety” razor would finally arrive
in 1880 thanks to the Kampfe brothers of the United
States. They filed for a patent in 1880. Its defining
feature was a wire skin guard that ran along one
side of the razor’s edge, which only allowed
one side of the razors edge to be used but protected
the face nicely. The Kampfe brother’s design
defined the birth of the “safety”
razor but it shared a problem with its competitor,
the straight steel razor. The forged blade had
to be removed frequently and sharpened. King Camp
Gillette had the answer to that.
a salesman in Baltimore in 1895 when he came up
with his idea of a disposable razor blade. One
morning, as he stood in front of the mirror shaving,
the idea just popped into his head--a new razor
and blade that would be disposable, yet safe and
inexpensive. Over the next six years Gillette
developed his idea and despite the many experts
insisting that it was impossible to produce a
hard, thin steel razor that was inexpensive enough
for commercial use, he persisted.
his idea to William Nickerson, a MIT engineer
and machinist, and together they went to work
on Gillette’s new invention and named their
new company the American Safety Razor Company.
Their new product would become a T-shaped, double-edged
razor where the shaver would make a one-time purchase
of the handle and only replace the blades when
they became dull. The new blades would not be
forged like the blades of the past; instead their
disposable blades would be stamp cut from a template.
In 1903 Gillette
would start production on his new shaver under
the new name of the Gillette Safety Razor Company
located in South Boston. His sales for 1903 were
a modest 51 razors and 168 blades. In 1904 he
would win a patent for his new product and sales
would jump to 90,000 razors and 123,000 blades.
grew steadily, so did the competition, as other
companies jumped on board and introduced similar
products. In 1910, Willis G. Shockey would receive
a U.S. patent for his wind-up safety razor, opening
the door for the future electric shavers.
War I Gillette was contracted to provide every
enlisted man heading to Europe to fight for our
country a safety razor and a supply of replacement
blades. By the end of the war, 3.5 million razors
and 32 million blades were in the hands of the
LT. Colonel Jacob Schick patented the first electric
razor in 1928, which became available to the consumer
the following year. His electric razor was inspired
by the military’s repeating rifle. Like
the rifle, the blades would be in clips and easily
inserted into the razor when the old ones became
too dull. This marked the beginning of a new shaving
80’s and 90’s, were marked by an explosion
in multi-bladed disposable razors.
At last count, there were four on one razor head.
In 1992, Will King gets razor burn and invents
shaving products aimed specifically at preventing
razor burn during shaves-- and becomes one of
the largest shaving products companies aptly named
King of Shaves.
razors have led to a new problem for the shaving
community—Razor Gunk*, which worsens razor
burn. This led to one of the most innovative and
unique advances in shaving --the invention of
the Razor-Gator in 2004.
to consumers in 2005, Razor Gator is a whole new
class of product, an R.A.D.--razor assist device,
which scrapes, sweeps and wipes away razor gunk
from between the blades of disposable razors.
It reduces nicks and cuts while allowing a smoother
shave. As more of the world shaves more of their
personal area code there has been an increase
in razor related ailments such as nicks, cuts
and razor burn. Razor Gator reduces razor burn
and keeps your razor's edge running clean so you
can continue to shave smooth no matter where you
As Razor Gunk
appears to be a greater problem in multi-bladed
razors and as more of the world shaves more of
their body, there has been a proportionate increase
in razor gunk residue on these razors. Razor gunk
and dulled razor edges leads to a significantly
higher incidence of razor burn. Of course, razor
burn can be a real problem in certain areas of
Gator has angled teeth, a mini-brush and cloth
swab to scrape, sweep and wipe away even the most
tenacious razor gunk* from between your multi-bladed
Razor Gator is an affordable, disposable consumer
item which is lightweight, easy -to-use and has
no moving parts or batteries. Razor Gator will
with routine use last 4 to 6 weeks. Shave smooth.
Use Razor Gator.