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Shaving and Hair Through the Ages

Facial hair comes and goes in vogue. So does chest hair and hairy legs for women. Visit a beach in France and few of the women shave their underarms or legs. No one cares or gives it a thought. Hair just like about everything else is culture and custom. Whether it is hair on your head your face, or your legs.

Men wore beards for millenniums. It was a sign of masculinity. No one would expect Abraham or Noah to be clean-shaven. It distinguished them as the patriarchs. No after shave balm for them! Times changed and men began to be clean-shaven in some cultures. The Middle Eastern men still sport beards as part of their religion. Women in certain cultures don't cut their hair short, or even show it to men then aren't married to. Hair is also a fascinating study.

In Egypt, due to the extreme heat it was fashionable for men and women to clip their hair close to their head. When you watch the "Ten Commandments", you see women with long black hair adorned with gold ornaments and ivory hairpins. The women wore these wigs for ceremonial occasions.

In classical Greece, women wore long hair and pulled them back into a chignon. Women dyed their hair red with henna and powdered it with gold, fresh flowers or jeweled tiaras. Men wore their hair short and even shaved for special occasions.

The Romans followed the Greek styles with the addition of the wealthy using curling irons. Women dyed their hair blonde or made wigs made from their slave's hair. Hairstyles became more ornate with tight curls piled on their head wound around wire frames. Slaves were often adept at hairstyling so the rich and famous could have complicated, ornate hairdos.

In Japan, the people shaved the front of their hair but kept the back long in a tightly worn ponytail. Different hairstyles for different eras. One of the craziest was in the Renaissance period where the upper class women plucked their entire front hairline in order to have higher foreheads! The remaining hair was scrapped back to display elaborate headdresses of the day. And you thought plucking the occasional eyebrow was painful!

While all this hair styling and shaving has changed through the years, we have adopted the western culture of clean-shaven men and hairless legs and underarms for women. We have better after shave products than our predecessors did though with aloe and moisturizing agents our hair isn't as hard to keep neatly shaven. Where will shaving and hairstyle be in the future?


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