Beautiful, Badescu Skin

"Putting your best face forward."

Beauty Around the World: Shaving & Grooming

Deciding to use a straight razor is perhaps as deep as male grooming gets these days, but way back when, shaving was a ritualistic practice and rite of passage. Let’s go back in time, shall we?


Ancient Egyptians were all about the facial hair until the Dynastic Period. At some point, they decided that facial and body hair were uncivilized and animalistic. Thus, in the spirit of new-found sophistication (and a desire to look more civilized), men shaved head to toe. It was a daily regimen; appearing unshaven symbolized low social ranking.

Baby smooth was the goal for the Ancient Egyptians, but royalty were allowed small, well-trimmed goatees.

Did you know…? Kings were buried with a barber and their trusty razor so he could go into the afterlife clean-shaven.

Ancient Greeks, however, believed that beards represented a man’s masculinity and wisdom. Trimming was optional, but highly discouraged: in other words, the bushier, the better. The only time a beard would meet a blade was in times of mourning.

It’s safe to say that Aristotle never had to worry about razor bumps and burns or ingrown hairs. Or shaving cream at that. Lucky chap.

Did you know…? Cutting another man’s beard was a punishable crime (and getting de-bearded was the greatest shame a man could ever endure). Pursuing a career as a barber was certainly not in anyone’s future.

Ancient Romans, in a collective effort to do whatever the Greeks didn’t do, hailed the clean-shaven look. They were the compromise between the Egyptians and Greeks – not quite baby-smooth, but definitely never overgrown. A boy’s first shave was an elaborate celebration; rather than shave in privacy of his own accord, it was a ceremonial ritual with quite the public viewing.

Did you know…? Boys would rub olive oil on their face in an attempt to grow a beard faster (and thicker) for that first ceremonial shave.

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Gents, we’re curious: what’s your grooming regimen look like? Multi-blade, straight blade or electric razor? What are your tips and secrets?

Author: Kimberly Yang

A 21-year-old blogger, sometimes freelance writer, and full-time business school student. Previously the fashion editorial intern for two boutique magazines and now here at Mario Badescu! I tend to be verbose, so I'll keep it as short and sweet as possible: I write and dance. A lot. Also pertinent: Aries, pescatarian, and lover of all things beautiful. I'll be honest when I admit that before MB, I simply washed my face twice daily and left it at that. But ask if I'm a skincare junkie now and I'll nod voraciously. I can never be without moisturizer, and the Vitamin C Serum makes my heart palpitate. And if by some miracle you haven't tired of me rambling about myself or the Vitamin C Serum and are curious for more, visit my Google+ page for more of my work.


  1. Interesting post! It must have been such a hassle for the Egyptians toi shave everything, every day. I can’t complain about shaving my legs now!

  2. Interesting contrast between the cultures.

  3. The use of the trimmer and electric shaver make it possible to have a shave in your style and shape easily.