#1. Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt practiced the wet shave
Ancient Egyptian pharaohs typically shaved their heads as well as their faces. Archaeological finds have shed light on how they did it: gold and bronze razors have been found in burial chambers which were used with wood ash and animal fat as a cream for an early -- if a bit smelly -- mens wet shaving routine.
#2. Wet shaving caught on in the 3rd and 4th century
Shaving was usually reserved for noblemen until the 4th century when Alexander the Great required all men to shave before combat, leading to a smooth faced trend. Prior to this, commercial barbers of Rome performed barber services using straight iron razors and oil as a cream.
#3. The first steel straight blade was developed in the 18th century
For nearly 2,000 years, the wet shave was done with an iron straight blade that needed to be sharpened frequently and went blunt quickly. It wasn't until the 18th century that steel could be successfully worked into a straight blade for less nicks and cuts during shaving.
#4. The badger hair brush gained popularity in the middle ages
For a true traditional wet shave today, badger hair is the ideal choice. Badger hair is soft and feels like a massage while lathering. Badger hair shaving brushes also have a long history going back to the middle ages when hard soaps were used to produce a lather for shaving.
#5. A wet shave reduces ingrown hairs
An ingrown hair happens when the hair gets trapped in the hair follicle, leading to inflammation and itchy red bumps. A wet shave is an all natural grooming solution that reduces ingrown hairs in several ways: wetting the hair first softens it and makes it more pliant, the use of cream or soap allows the razor to pass smoothly over the skin, and the sharp blade requires fewer strokes for reduced inflammation.
#6. Wet shaving offers a lower cost per shave
Disposable cartridges are expensive and they don't last long. The razor, brush, and bowl can last a lifetime. The only necessary ongoing expenses of a wet shave are new cream or soap and blades.
#7. A wet shave offers an all natural grooming experience
Many men are returning to the wet shave for the classic masculine experience. A wet shave is also natural. Traditional wet shave products like creams and soaps typically use more natural ingredients than canned and mass-produced products. Brushes can be made with natural animal hair and wood.
#8. A wet shave doesn't require a straight razor
Many men think a traditional wet shave requires the use of an intimidating straight razor, but a traditional double edged safety razor offers the same close shave without the risk.
#9. Today's safety razor design was invented in the 19th century
In 1847, William Henson invented the now classic hoe-shaped razor, a shape that is still found with current safety razors, to make it easier for men to shave by themselves without the risk of a straight razor.
#10. The double edged safety razor was invented by King Gillette
King Camp Gillette, then a traveling salesman, improved the hoe-shaped safety razor in 1895 by combining it with disposable double-edged razors. While he sold the razor so cheaply that he took a loss, he made a fortune on the disposable blades that were designed for single use.
#11. Gillette's razor gained in popularity in the Army
After designing his new razor, Gillette won a contract with the U.S. Army for 32 million razor blades and 3.5 million razors during World War I. When soldiers returned home, they were allowed to keep their razors. Of course, they kept buying Gillette's disposable blades to keep their smooth shave experience.
#12. The stainless steel disposable blade used today is 50+ years old
The company Wilkinson began making the first disposable stainless steel razor blades in 1960, offering a cheap blade that could be used several times. This product made wet shaving affordable again after the introduction of electric shavers. The blade is still made today for a cost-effective and smooth shave.
#13. The James Bond shaving scene in Skyfall spiked razor sales
Many shaving product manufacturers reported a spike in sales of straight razor kits after the release of Skyfall in 2012 in which James Bond has an erotic close shave from Eve with a straight razor.
#14. Safety razors allow greater flexibility
Disposable razors today don't offer much in flexibility. While men can choose the number of blades, safety razors allow men to choose the type of blade to fit their skin type. Double-edged blades are also of a higher quality for a closer shave and fewer nicks.
#15. The popular Merkur safety razor was designed in the 19th century
The Merkur safety razor is one of the most popular types of mens wet shaving razors today, but it's design has actually been around for a long time. This razor looks the same as when it was designed by Gillette in 1895.
#16. Safety razors do all of the work
Store-bought disposable razors require using pressure to get a close shave. A traditional safety razor has enough weight in the razor and a higher-quality blade that does all the work. Hardly any pressure on the skin means less irritation.
#17. 62% of men have problems caused by shaving
Men have many complaints about their shave, all of which can be addressed with a wet shave. Common complaints include not a close enough shave (24%), ingrown hairs (22%), irritated skin (19%), nicks (13%), razor bumps (13%), and razor burn (8%).
#18. A wet shave is an eco-friendly option
Every year, about 2 billion disposable razors end up in U.S. landfills. This doesn't include the amount of waste produced from packaging and shaving foam. A wet shave routine can eliminate most of this waste as only the blades and cream or soap need to be replaced.
#19. Mens wet shaving can turn into a hobby
For many men, the wet shave can turn into a hobby. Many have a collection of soaps, brushes, and razors for a new experience and sensations every morning.
If you're curious about the benefits you can enjoy with a wet shave, it's time to give it a try. Check out the Boomer & Co collection of quality shaving soaps and aftershaves for the ultimate wet shave ritual.