12 Facts You Never Knew About Shaving

There’s a story behind every beard. Who knew? 5 o’clock shadow got the better of you? Take a trip to Target for all the essentials every man needs for a smooth, clean shave.

1. Shaving dates back to prehistoric times.

We’ve learned from cave paintings and other historical artifacts that, yes, even cave men preferred a stubble-free chin. (Presumably so the cave ladies didn’t confuse them with wooly mammoths when dating season came around, but still.) That said, their methods were a little rougher around the edges: cave folks used clamshells, flint knives, and even shark teeth to get that clean shave.

So yeah, next time you nick yourself with your straight-edge, just remember: you could have a freakin’ shark’s tooth lodged in your jaw.

2. Alexander the Great was an outspoken critic of facial hair.

To be fair, he had his reasons. The Macedonian king promoted shaving during his reign so that enemies couldn’t grab his soldiers’ beards in combat. Also, he just liked the way it looked.

TL;DR, the World Conqueror would’ve hated Williamsburg.

3. The world’s oldest existing barbershop is in London.

CTI TV / Via youtube.com

Truefitt & Hill, currently located at 71 St. James’s Street in London, England, was established as far back as 1805. That’s two centuries worth of clean shaves and barbershop gossip.

4. 1.3 billion men shave with a traditional blade and razor.

That’s a lot of stubble.

5. The ancient Aztecs made their razors from volcanic glass.

And they used molten lava as aftershave. Okay, maybe not that last part, but it’s commonly believed that the Aztecs crafted razors, swords, sickles, arrow tips, and other essentials from obsidian.

6. Egyptians shaved their eyebrows to mourn their cats.

Shutterstock / Via en.wikipedia.org

In the unfortunate event that an Egyptian feline passed away, it was customary for its owners to shave their eyebrows to signify their loss.

7. A politician promised to never, ever shave again if Abraham Lincoln was elected president.

Valentine Tapley, pictured above, died in 1910. His beard was twelve and a half feet long.

8. On average, 75% of men shave once a day.

Others trim, pluck, preen, or otherwise go full-on mountain man.

9. The disposable razor rose to prominence in 1895.

When a traveling salesman by the name of King Camp Gillette combined the shape of the traditional hoe razor with a disposable double-edged blade. And thus, every man’s morning routine was indelibly changed forever.

10. Soldiers in the British army were forbidden from shaving their mustaches until 1916.

From the late 19th century up until smack-dab in the middle of World War 1, soldiers were forbidden from shaving their upper lip. The regulation was eventually abolished, however, by Lieutenant-General Sir Nevil Macready, who hated his own mustache so much that he had an Army Order drafted up as soon as he was in the position to do so. And then he shaved immediately.

11. The world’s largest “barbershop” is a temple in Tirumala, India.

The pilgrimage town of Tirumala, India houses the Sri Venkateswara Temple, where devotees travel from far and wide to worship and donate their hair to the temple. A collection of on-site barbers shave over 20,000 heads each day — that’s over 500 tons of human hair every year — making the temple the world’s largest barbershop.

12. It’s estimated that men will shave 20,000 times in their lifetime.

Depending on who you ask — and, presumably, how much hair you have — that can add up to around 27 feet of hair for every man on earth.

Snag all your shaving essentials at Target.

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