Are you aware that before the razors came to be, people would use two clam shells to pull their undesired facial hair out? Eventually the method of using objects such as shark teeth and sharpened flint became prevalent. Drawings of these razors can still be found today in some prehistoric caves. There are also still tribes around today that use some of these materials including sharpened flint. Recently archaeologists have unearthed solid gold razors in Egypt. Some are believed to date back to around 4000 BC. Around 3000 BC during the Bronze Age, the introduction of copper tools resulted in copper and bronze razors being made.
Historians think that the ancient roman king Lucius Priscus was responsible for the use for the razor around 600 BC. It had been only a century later that razors came into general use. Alexander the great was also a historic figure that helped develop the practice of shaving. It really became a rule enforced on his soldiers to remain clean shaven. He believed that it would prevent your enemy from grabbing your beard in battle.
In the 18th Century the first modern straight razor was created. The razor came detailed with decorated handles and a blade which was ground to some specific angle. It was manufactured in Sheffield, England, which was then the centre of the cutlery industry. Shaving was a common practice for the wealthy in this era, because they had servants who could shave them. The affluent also had enough money to frequently visit barber shops. As you can tell it was merely a select few which could regularly shave during this time, so it is safe to assume that the majority of the male population never shaved. It really only became a day to day practice for the average man on the street in the early Twentieth century.
The majority of shaving was done using straight razors before the late 1950s. Being a barber back then was considered a special skill. Some barbers still use straight razors, however…