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The History of Razors

Some form of the razor has been around since the early days of humanity. Early humans are thought to have used sharpened animal’s teeth or shells to trim back long facial hair or tame tresses. By the time of the Egyptians, razors made of gold or copper were being used and have been found buried in ancient tombs. The ancient Romans also used razors, but the first modern straight razor was not created until the 18th century. The first straight razor was made from steel and while it was invented in Sheffield, England, it quickly gained popularity across Europe. However, it wasn’t until World War I that daily shaving became common. Soldiers needed to be clean-shaven in order to ensure the tight fit of gas masks, and the cultural practice of shaving daily continued after the war. Straight razors were used for this until the 1950s, when an invention by King C. Gillette quickly took over. Gillette created a safety razor that used replaceable blades, and thanks in part to an aggressive advertising campaign against straight razors, it caught on. In fact, the majority of today’s razors are based on Gillette’s original design. However, in modern times there are also some alternative options to choose from, such as electric razors.

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