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Thread: "Why Barbers Do Not Shave Anymore?" as told by a Barber

  1. #11
    Senior Member blabbermouth Leatherstockiings's Avatar
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    I read an account of a young sailors experiences on an American merchant ship in the mid-eighteenth century. The book was Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana. Shaving is mentioned a couple of times as part of a weekly bathing routine. On Sunday the sailors were supposed to have the day off to clean up, mend clothes, read the Bible, write letters, etc. If they were lucky enough they got shore leave for the day. In one instance Dana recalled a sailor making the mistake of shaving before asking the Captain for shore leave. The leave was not granted and the author remarked that it was always best to wait to shave until after leave was given to not anger the Captain by taking it for granted.

    Several points used to illustrate why barbers don't do straight shaves in the OP's link annoyed me. I think the point about missing the bus because a shave was added to a haircut is exaggerated. I never go to the barber before I have to be somewhere because I know it's very likely I will have to wait 20 minutes to an hour for my turn to come up. The point about straight razors causing irritation because they are made from an alloy is just baloney.
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    Senior Member ZipZop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcrideshd View Post
    Some states it's just too much trouble to live by the rules of a straight shave, hence shavettes.

    As to shaving in the old days I don't know how much different, I,m not sanitizing my razors now, I shave with them, mostly just tap water warm, wipe it down and stick it in my safe. They only get dipped in the blue stuff when I first get them, now years later I haven't done anything to them. I think you hit already, the old cowboy just waited till bath time or if he was a clean shaven guy all the time, a small mirror and his razor lather and brush was all he needed. He had plenty of leather to strop on with his saddle, and when he seen town there was always a guy who honed razors around.

    My dad was one of those guys who went to the barber for his shaves and trim, his own mug of soap and brush were left at the shop, he usually did a Monday, and a Saturday , in between he'd still shave with his razor at home(DE, and then electric) But those barber shops have just about vanished. Tc
    Aloha!

    I hear what you are saying. But really, shaving put a man at much greater risk of illness and death in the "Olden Days". More people died from nicks and cuts that became infected with Sepsis than most people are aware of. And then there was Anthrax infestation of Horsehair and Badger shaving brushes. This was a big problem that today is only a distant memory. Today, we are in a totally different world with sanitation and antibiotics and regulation.

    Lord Carnarvon died in 1922 shortly after peering into King Tut's Tomb after he nicked a mosquito bite with his razor and it became infected with Sepsis, starting the "Curse of King Tut" legend.

    John Thoreau (brother of Henry David Thoreau) died in 1841 after he nicked himself with his razor and came down with Lockjaw.

    Liquor magnate Michael Farley died in 1921 after he was infected with Antrax from his Barber's Badger brush.

    There was a real possibility of complications and death from shaving in the early 20th century and preceeding centuries. We're light years ahead of this by comparison.

    -Zip
    Last edited by ZipZop; 08-13-2017 at 03:07 PM.
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    "I get some lather and lather-up, then I get my razor and shave! Zip Zop, see that? My face Is ripped to shreads!"

  3. #13
    Giveaway Guy Dieseld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZipZop View Post
    Lord Carnarvon died in 1922 shortly after peering into King Tutt's Tomb after he nicked a mosquito bite with is razor and it became infected with Sepsis, starting the "Curse of King Tut" legend.

    John Thoreau (brother of Henry David Thoreau) died in 1841 after he nicked himself with his razor and came down with Lockjaw.

    Liquor magnate Michael Farley died in 1921 after he was infected with Antrax from his Barber's Badger brush.

    There was a real possibility of complications and death from shaving in the early 20th century and preceeding centuries. We're light years ahead of this by comparison.

    -Zip
    Thanks Zip! The first one I did not know. The others are quite interesting too.

    Yes we are light years ahead today, but going backwards with over use in my opinion
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    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    Ya now we just die from diseases from eating food that is not home grown, or killed by radiation. or Take so many pills that have other side effects or doctors pushing more surgeries,, ya I think we aren't doing so well. But I guess it's the sign of the times, we think we're better off, maybe we are but I don't think that history will prove a plague killed all the old west Cowboys to straight shaves. Wasn't that long ago a bunch of s were shaving in a jungle that wasn't so sanitary either,, me and a bunch are still here. My brush may not have had Anthrax but does buffalo shit count? Tc
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    Even better advise, " don't impede on a 850# Harley with me aboard, then I don't care what your driving, my 10 takes care of it"

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    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    I don't agree with the article.

    In most states using a straight is not allowed but using a disposable is not a problem. What is a problem is barber schools haven't taught using a straight for many years. The few that do only give it lip service.

    Folks spend money as they see fit and plenty would spend for a Competent shave. Those outfits that give you "the treatment" have no problem filling their chairs no matter the price.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth Hirlau's Avatar
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    The article was an interesting read. I don't agree with some of it & the author is a bit opinionated.
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    Senior Member Jlander's Avatar
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    Here in Texas it is legal to use a straight razor but very few do. My barber is a third gen. barber and uses a disposable blade because he does not want to invest the time for maintenance. He says he gets about 6 shave requests a week and he gives the full treatment with each. Most customers requesting a shave (he says about 90%) are 60+ yrs old. We talked about it last week as he was finishing a shave on a long time customer who just started SR shaving when he retired. He stated that his younger customers are in too much of a hurry and don't wish to spend the time. His rates are very reasonable ($16.50) so the cost , I don't think, is the determining factor. At least not with him. Nice old style barbershop. He has rebuilt all his chairs himself. They all date from the 20's to mid 50's. His personal chair is wood. Says it is the first model offered with pneumatic lift and all came from his grandfather's original barbershop.
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    A couple of months ago I've been to Truefitt and Hill shoppe in St.James's st. in London, and one definitely could have a shave there (I haven't, although I did leave there equally considerable sum ). Of course it has all the appearances of Victorian Gentlemen's Club, but they do cherish the tradition. Sadly, D.R.Harris and Taylor of Old Bond Street nearby didn't spotted similar facilities Sic transit...
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    Last edited by dimab; 08-13-2017 at 08:40 PM.

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