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The History of Hair Removal

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Hair removal was not born yesterday! Actually, it dates as far back as 30,000 B.C. but it was not as painless as it is today by any means. Handheld objects such as sharpened flint stones or shells were used by cavemen to remove hair, and most of the time just as much skin as hair was removed along with it. Ouch!

It was not until the 1880s when King Camp Gillette had invented and then introduced the famous Gillette razor that has been modified but still around today.
Hair removal creams, also known as depilatory creams, dates back to 4000 B.C.

The cream creates a chemical reaction, breaking down the keratin bonds in the hair so the hair can be easily wiped away. In the 1940s Nair released its depilatory cream and they still continue to be the mainstream product on the shelves. 
Another type of hair removal is called sugaringSugaring is similar in concept to hot wax but the sugary mixture does not have to be used hot. The ingredients can be bought at the grocery store and consist of sugar, water and lemon juice. Combine the ingredients, bring to a boil, and store in an airtight container. Egyptians used this method by applying a sticky paste of oil and honey to the skin, and then a strip of cloth was pressed on top of the paste and ripped off, removing the hair. 
As science advances so does hair removal. In the late 1800s, galvanic electrology was developed to target and kill the hair follicle by inserting an electrically charged, thin metal probe into each pore. Revolution has now led way to skin lasers. Lasers project a beam of light into a section of skin. Every pore is targeted in each section of skin being treated. The beam of light is absorbed by the melanin within the hair follicle and is then converted into heat. The heat effectively slows future hair growth. Hair grows in four to six week cycles and to effectively target every hair in its growth cycle treatments must be spaced apart every four to six weeks and a series of six to 10 treatments are recommended for maximum results.

The Importance of Hair Removal
For cavemen the removal of hair was very import to their survival so their enemy would not have anything to grab. Also, those that had less hair also had less ticks, lice and mites. For these very same reasons, Alexander the Great had required all of his men in his army to have short hair and shaven faces. 
Throughout history the removal of hair has also shown an importance to one's social status as well as religious expression. In the early 1900s, fashion evolved from the Victorian era of high neck, full length dresses to the swinging 20s of lower neck lines and shorter dresses. This transition in fashion of showing more skin also meant neatly shaven legs and underarms as depicted in a Harper's Bazaar magazine in 1915. The same ritual continues today to remain happily hairless.

Read 1609 times Last modified on Friday, 08 March 2013 17:26
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