Hair history, shaggy science

Shaving facts to ’stache away

Are you getting ready to grow a month’s worth of potentially horrible facial hair? Well, chances are if you’re growing it now, you’ll be shaving it later. Don’t be sad — shaving is loaded with history and sciencey goodness.

Here are a few of our favorite shaving facts.


Shaving is really old

Before they mastered blades, early humans made do with broken shells to pluck and cut hair from their bodies. Ouch! The clean-shaven look however, is widely credited to Alexander the Great, worried that enemy soldiers could yank his warriors’ beards in battle.

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Follicles sometimes need a little coaxing

Your facial hair is made up of tens of thousands of follicles subtly pointing in different directions. To make the most of your shave, “map” the grain of your facial hair. Then begin your shave against the grain. You’ll get a closer, faster shave. Also, try taking a shower or using a hot towel to steam your face — it’ll help soften facial hair, for a smoother shave.

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We’re lucky all we’ve got to deal with are whiskers

Keratin, the structural protein that makes up hair, is also in horns, hooves and claws (which include your fingernails). But as far as keratin structures go, we got off easy with hair.

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A hairy situation in the drain

Even though hair looks smooth, its surface has a scaled texture. As cut hairs slosh around in your drain they stick together, creating nasty clogs. To reduce these sticky clogs, trim your beard some before shaving to reduce the length of the hair. And always use hot water when you’re flushing cut hair down the drain. When hair clogs do happen, Liquid-Plumr® Hair Clog Eliminator® dissolves hair by breaking down the keratin they’re made of and letting them flush into your sewer system.

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