Shaving : History, Tips and Tricks

barber shaving

The invention of mass-produced, inexpensive razors changed the face of modern man, and the invention of electric razors made shaving a little safer and more convenient. This is the story of two men who’s names are synonymous with a clean, close shave to this day: King C. Gillette and Jacob Schick.


Though King Gillette is credited with the invention of the modern razor, there were several previous attempts, and a patent for the first safety razor was granted as early as 1880 to the Kampfe brothers. The difference with the Gillette shaving system, which was introduced in 1903, was the introduction of a blade that didn’t need sharpening and a razor that was inexpensive to construct, making shavers plentiful and affordable for every man. The Gillette razor works simply. Insert the double-edged blade into the top receptacle, tighten to hold the blade in place, lather up, and shave. The addition in the 1970′s of a cartridge and permanent handle added to the convenience, and today you can find both disposable and permanent razors with multiple blades, moisturizing strips and other features.

Some of the earliest attempts at improving on the home-shaving experience came from a man named Jacob Schick. His first improvement was a method for injecting a new blade into the razor without having to touch the razor blades, an important safety enhancement. However, Schick wanted to take it a step further and reinvent shaving by creating an electric shaving system that eliminated the need for many of the accoutrements of a traditional shave, such as blade changes, lather and water. After several years and test models, the first electric razor was put on the market in 1937. It featured an oscillating blade that jutted in and out of a slotted head, a design feature still in use today. The differences in the two shaving systems go beyond the obvious and extend to the actual method of cutting. The traditional razor works much the same as a knife, getting close to the skin surface to slice off the unwanted hair. The electric razor uses a scissoring effect to sheer the hair, much like a rotating lawnmower blade. Each method has their proponents and detractors.

Though the preferences and methods may vary, The Art of Shaving is a website that has every thing a man needs for the perfect shave. From pre-shave oils to after-shave moisturizers, today’s well-groomed man can load up on all of the essentials.

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