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Shaving is a great way to show the best part of our image to others. There’s something about a clean shave that shows a sense of self-discipline and cleanliness. But shaving doesn’t have to be totally serious — and here are just five fun facts you might not have known about shaving.

1. Did You Ever Wonder Why Fidel Castro Wears a Beard?

fidel castro beardThe 50’s were a strange time in Cuba. The country was ruled by an iron fist, and involvement of the Mafia made life for all but the wealthiest citizens a waking nightmare. This political situation prompted a revolution, with figures like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara becoming peoples’ heros as they overtook the island nation.

But did you know that their trademark beards were symbolic of the nature of the revolution, which was based on guerilla warfare involving troops camping in the jungles of Cuba for months at a time? In those tropical climes, shaving often meant one thing: infection. And in a sparse area with little medical assistance or antibiotics, that was a fatal mistake. So when the revolution ended, Castro’s men kept their beards to symbolize their time in the jungle.

2. The Satirical Newspaper “The Onion” Once Predicted the Gillette Company Would Introduce a Five-Blade Razor

It was seen as a joke: The Onion wrote a fake editorial by a supposed Gillette executive, saying essentially, Why not, we’re going up to five blades. It was a humorous take on Gillette’s four-blade razor. But life imitated art, in this case, and Gillette did indeed later introduce a five-blade razor.

3. Your Face Has Many Different Grains

Have you ever wondered why men used to go in droves to tonsorial parlors to get a shave, and why those shaves feel so good?

Part of this has to do with the fact that professionals in these businesses are trained to know how the grain of facial hair is directed — and to cut with the grain for a smoother feel. Shaving properly is in fact centered around an understanding of how hair grows on the face, in order to get the cleanest cut possible according to The Art of Shaving website.

4. It’s Difficult to Shave With Curly Hair in the Army

Because of the shape of curly hair, shaving can often be a difficult process — in fact, it can be a serious health risk, as ingrown hairs can be painful and even prone to infection. In the army, if you have difficulty shaving, you can get a pass that allows you to avoid the mandatory shaving that takes place every day. But lookout if you have curly hair and don’t get this pass! You might be in for a painful time.

5. Ancient Egyptians Loved to Shave

Shaving was a big deal in Ancient Egypt, and was tied to cleanliness. In fact, kings in Ancient Egypt would often tie shaving to a sort of holy rite, with special razors used for the process.

 

So these are just a few ways that shaving might be more interesting than you thought — and next time you get a good shave, remember you’re taking part in a tradition that goes back thousands of years!

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