The History Of Waxing
Humans have been managing their hairy bits for thousands of years.
Cavemen used to do it probably for survival since if they had less hair – there were less chance of an adversary to grab hold of long hair during a fight and less places for mites and other unpleasant infestations to live. They used basic tools like seashells, sharp rocks or pieces of broken flint.
It’s known as well that the ancient Egyptians used to remove unwanted body hair and they made use of more advanced tools like shaped flint, bronze razors and pumice stones. It was considered that barbers were held in very high regard in society – much like doctors are today.
It is the ancient Egyptians who are credited with the invention of a technique called Sugaring where a sticky paste made from sugar, lemon juice and water is rubbed onto the skin and either removed with a strip of cloth – or more usually just ‘flicked’ off the skin taking the hair with it.
In ancient Egypt, Greece and Middle Eastern countries removing body hair was socially important and known to keep the body cooler. In fact most women removed all of their body hair and head hair, except for the eyebrows. Having pubic hair was considered uncivilized for both men and women.
Although there is no evidence of hair management during the Middle Ages – having clean hair free skin has continued to be a status symbol through both Roman and then the Elizabethan periods (except the fashion changed then to eyebrow and forehead plucking for a more noble brow).
Hair removal tools and techniques however remained a little basic until a French barber called Jean Jacques Perret invented what we now call the ‘cut-throat’ razor in the 1760s, and the safety razor in America over 120 years later. You might recognize the name of this latter invention – it was King Camp Gillette, the founder of the Gillette Corporation .
Western women in America and Europe caught on to removing leg and under-arm hair in the early 1900s with some reference to an article or advert in Harper’s Bazaar featuring a model in a sleeveless dress displaying shockingly (at the time) no under-arm hair!
Moving on to the late 20th Century western men became much more body conscious spending a little longer in the gym and in front of the mirror. Men also began to manage their body hair. Sportsmen were booked for guest modelling careers displaying their smooth skin in print and also in TV and films.
Following on from the ladies version of the ‘brazillian’ in the late eighties (made necessary by the fashion for extreme bikinis on the beaches of Brazil) the ‘boyzillian’ was born and popularity quickly grew and spread worldwide. There are many potentially confusing names given to the removal of hair from the buttocks, scrotum and natal cleft. BSC is a common one where although this is an abbreviation of Back, Sac and Crack – Back means buttocks – not the large area between the waist and shoulders.
It is not just intimate waxing that is growing in popularity. “Back and Shoulders” is a popular combination, along with Back and Buttocks, just eyebrows or for the more mature man – the nostrils and ears.