Category Archives: body care

crew cut

A crew cut is a type of haircut in which the upright hair on the top of the head is cut relatively short,[1] graduated in length from the longest hair that forms a short pomp (pompadour) at the front hairline to the shortest at the back of the crown so that in side profile, the outline of the top hair approaches the horizontal.[2][3] Relative to the front view, and to varying degrees, the outline of the top hair can be arched or flattened at the short pomp front and rounded or flattened over the rest of the top to complement the front hairline, head shape, face shape and facial features.[2] The hair on the sides and back of the head is usually tapered short, semi-short, or medium.[3][4]

A short crew cut is sometimes referred to as a butch, though with the exception of variant forms, a butch differs from a crew cut in that the top hair is cut a uniform short length.[5] A long crew cut can be referred to in the US as an ivy league crew cut or ivy league.[6][7] A crew cut where the hair on the top of the head is graduated in length from the front hairline to a chosen point on the mid to back part of the crown as a flat plane, of level, upward sloping or downward sloping inclination is known as a flat top crew cut or flattop.[8][9] Crew cuts, flattop crew cuts, butch cuts and ivy leagues can be referred to as buzz cuts; all are traditionally groomed with hair control wax, commonly referred to as butch wax.

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Crew cut Marine Lieutenant, 2011

The crew cut, regardless of the name applied to the hairstyle, was not limited to, nor did the style originate in the United States.[6] In English, the crew cut and flat top crew cut were formerly known as the pompadour or short pompadour, as well as the brush cut, and had been worn since at least the mid 18th century.[6][3][10] The style went by other names in other languages; in French, coupé en brosse; in German, bürstenschnitt; in Russian, ёжик. A short pompadour with a flat top was considered the standard while a somewhat curved appearance across the top was suggested for wider foreheads and face shapes.[11] The style with a flat top acquired the name brush top short pompadour and the style with a more rounded top, round top short pompadour.[12] Prior to the invention of electric clippers with a motor in the handle in 1921 and their ensuing marketing and widespread use, barbers considered the perfect short pompadour to be the most time consuming style to trim.[11][13][14] [15]

Author Jack Kerouac sporting a G.I. crew cut in 1943

The term, originally crew haircut, was most likely coined to describe the hairstyles worn by members of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell and other university Crew teams, which were short to keep the hair from being blown into the face of the rower as the boat races down the course opposite the direction the rower is seated with both hands on the oars, making it impossible to brush the hair out of the face.[16][17][18][19] The name drew a contrast to football haircuts, which had been long since 1889 when Princeton football players began wearing long hair to protect against head injury, thereby starting a trend, not altogether welcome; mop haired football players were frequently caricatured in the popular press.[20][6]In 1895, the championship Yale football team appeared with “close-cropped heads” and subsequently long hair went out of style for football. Almost concurrently, the first helmets began to appear.[20]

Crew cuts were popular in the 1920s and 1930s among college students, particularly in the ivy league. The style was often worn as a summer haircut for its cooling effect.[17][18][19][21] Men inducted into the military in World War II received G.I. haircuts, crew cuts, and a significant proportion continued to wear a crew cut while serving and after, as civilians.[22][23][24][25][26][27] As long hair became popular in the mid 1960s, the crew cut and its variants waned in popularity through the 1970s.[28][29] The crew cut began to come back in style in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the flat top crew cut being the most popular crew cut style during the 1980s.[30][31]


Crew cut Marine Lieutenant, 2011, side profile shows graduation of the top hair shorter from the front hairline to the crown.

Thicker hair that wants to readily stand upright is ideal for a crew cut; with an appropriate head shape, a crew cut may be possible with fairly thin hair.[3] When designing a crew cut, a barber follows the general sequence of other medium to short haircuts; edging, siding and topping.[3][1] When designing a new crew cut and the current style is not relatively short, the hair on top or all over the head may initially be shortened with shears or clippers. Edging and siding together form a taper which usually is short, semi-short or medium.[3] For a crew cut, some barbers perform edging and siding as one integrated process, regardless, the upper sides are initially boxed in and then cut to final form when designing the top.[1] The hair on the top of the head can be styled clipper or shears over comb or free hand with a clipper.[1]

Duke #20, crew cut designed for a widow peak receded hairline.

With the clipper or shears over comb method, the comb is inserted in the upright hair at the desired length and the hair is reduced to this length by means of clippers or shears severing the hair above the teeth of the comb.[32] Free hand means the clipper blade or guard does not determine the cut hair length but rather the distance the cutting blade is held above the scalp sets the cut length.

The barber selects the most complementary final form for the top according to face shape, skull shape, frontal hairline, and facial features within parameters set by customer instructions. Specifically, the short pompadour front can be made higher or lower, wider or narrower and can be flattened or arched to varying degrees across the forehead; the hair over the rest of the top can be more rounded or flattened; the upper sides can have more or less volume.[2] In side profile, the outward appearance of the upright top hair should approach the horizontal; if the hair is cut so the upright top hair appears horizontal when the head is viewed from the front as well as the side, as a flat plane, the style is generally referred to as a flat top crew cut or flat top; per customer wishes and the shape of the skull and frontal hairline, the flat plane can be level, upward or downward sloping relative to the forehead.[2][8][9] A crew cut with a longer top can be referred to in the US as an ivy league crew cut or ivy league.[6][7] A long crew cut might be graduated in length on the top of the head from one and a half inches (38mm) at the front hairline to one half inch (13mm) at the back of the crown.[33][34] A crew cut with a shorter top might have a similar proportional graduated difference in the length of the hair on the top of the head. If a short crew cut is three fourths of an inch (19mm) at the front hairline, the length of the hair at the back of the crown might be one fourth of an inch (6mm).[8][9]

Crew cut gallery[edit]

buzz cut

A buzz cut is any of a variety of short hairstyles usually designed with electric clippers. Buzz cut styles include the butch cut, crew cut, flattop and ivy league. The top of a buzz cut style may be clipped a uniform short length producing a butch cut, into one of several geometric shapes that include the crew cut and flattop, as well as other short styles. The back and sides are tapered short, semi-short, or medium.[1][2] Buzz cut styles can make the face look more defined. Buzz cuts are popular with men and boys who want a short, low-maintenance hairstyle and also for those with thinning or receding hairlines.[3] In certain countries, including Australia, China, Russia and the United States, military recruits are given buzz cut styles when they enter training, originally to prevent the spread of lice,[4] but now for ease of maintenance, cooling, and uniformity.[5][6]

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from wikipedia

butch cut

A butch cut is a type of haircut in which the hair on the top of the head is cut short in every dimension.[1] The top and the upper portion of the back and sides are cut the same length, generally between 14 and 34inch, following the contour of the head.[1][2] The hair below the upper portion of the sides and back of the head is tapered short or semi-short with a clipper, in the same manner as a crew cut.[1][2] A variant form may have a slight graduation of the top hair longer from back to front or a quickly graduated bit of hair at the front hairline to achieve a little flip up of the hair at the forehead.[1] A butch that is cut at less than 14 inch on top may be referred to as a burr.[3] A butch that is cut at 14 inch or longer on top, and especially one that shows natural curl, depending on length, may be referred to as a short brush cut or brush cut. [4] [1][5]Butch cuts are traditionally groomed with hair control wax, commonly referred to as butch wax.

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from wikipedia


Parted hair

Parted hair is the term given to the hairstyle featuring a long fringe divided in either a middle parting or a side parting, with short (or shaved) sides and back.[1] The term, when used, generally applies to males, although an alternative name, the undercut, is used for both male and female haircuts following this style.[1] Variations on this haircut have been popular in Europe and North America throughout the 20th century and in the 21st century.

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from wikipedia


Mao Zedong with the short version of curtains fashionable from 1910-1930

A shorter version of the haircut, parted in the middle and kept in place with pomade became popular during the Edwardian era as a more practical alternative to the longer hair and sideburns fashionable from the 1840s to 1890s. This was due in part to the popularity of sporting activities like rugby football among younger men.[citation needed]

From the turn of the century until the 1920s, a longer variant of the undercut was popular among young working class men, especially members of street gangs. In interwar Glasgow, Neds, the precursors to the Teddy Boys, favoured a haircut that was long on top and cropped at the back and sides. Despite the fire risk, lots of paraffin wax was used to keep the hair in place.[2] Other gangs who favored this haircut were the Scuttlers of Manchester, and the Peaky Blinders of Birmingham, because longer hair put the wearer at a disadvantage in a street fight.[3]


In the 70s David Bowie used this haircut with his orange color hair, then the late 1980s parted hair, derived from the bowl cut, made a comeback among fans of new wave, synthpop, and electronic music as an alternative to the mullets and backcombed hair worn by glam metal bands.[4] A longer, collar-length version of the haircut went mainstream in the early 1990s and was worn by many celebrities, most notably Tom Cruise.[5][6]

In popular culture[edit]

The longer version of curtained hair was widely worn by “pretty boy” actors[7] and surfers in the 1990s. These include Keanu Reaves in Point Break,[8] Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 2,[9][10] Brendan Fraser in The Mummy Returns,[11] and Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic.[12]

It’s unclear when this style became fashionable in East Asia, but evidence of it in Japanese media can be seen from before the 1990s.[citation needed] Many anime characters, such as Dragon Ball Z’s Trunks, James from Pokémon’s Team Rocket,[13] and Fullmetal Alchemist’s Edward Elric have this haircut.[14] Japanese video game characters with this haircut include James Sunderland from Silent Hill 2 and Leon S. Kennedy from Resident Evil

from wikipedia

regular haircut

A regular haircut is a men’s and boys’ hairstyle that has hair long enough to comb on top, a defined or deconstructed side part, and a short, semi-short, medium, long, or extra long back and sides.[1]:129–131[2]:98–101 The style is also known by other names including taper cut, regular taper cut, side-part and standard haircut; as well as short back and sides, business-man cut and professional cut, subject to varying national, regional, and local interpretations of the specific taper for the back and sides.[3]:188[1]:122[4][2]:97[5][6][7]

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from wikipedia

Elements of a haircut[edit]

The essential elements of a regular haircut are edging, siding and topping:[1]:118[2]:61–62

  • Edging refers to the design of the lower edge of hair growth from the sideburns around the ears and across the nape of the neck.[1]:118[2]:62–63
  • Siding refers to the design of the hair on the back and sides between the edge and the top.[1]:118[2]:68 Edging and siding, together or separately, commonly referred to as tapering, create a taper (see crew cut).[2]:68
  • Topping refers to the design of the hair at the front and over the crown.[1]:118[2]:70

Edging comes first, followed by siding and topping.[1]:118[2]:61 Edging is typically done with clippers; siding, shears over comb; topping, shears over finger.[2]:62–63[1]:118–120 There are other methods that can be utilized including all clipper cuts, all shears cuts and all razor cuts. Barbers distinguish between a two line haircut and a one line haircut.[1]:133–134[2]:97 Two line haircuts are standard taper cuts. The hair is outlined around the ears and then straight down the sides of the neck.[1]:113–115[2]:97

The edge of hair growth at the nape of the neck is tapered to the skin with a fine(zero) clipper blade.[1]:103[2]:110–111 A one line haircut, often referred to as a block cut, has the edge of hair growth at the nape outline shaved, creating an immediate transition between hair and skin and connecting the outline from the right sideburn to the outline from the left sideburn across the nape.[1]:115[2]:97 The outline at the edge of the nape can be in a squared off or rounded pattern. A squared off nape can have squared or rounded corners.[1]:115[2]:97[8]:90 Rotary, taper and edger clippers can be utilized when edging or siding a haircut. Guards and/or blades can be attached that vary the cutting length.[1]:54


A tapered back and sides generally contours to the head shape; the hair progressively graduates in length from longer hair at the upper portions of the head to shorter hair at the lower edge of hair growth on the back and sides.[3]:259 There are a variety of tapers possible from short to extra long.[1]:129–131[2]:98–101 Medium and longer tapers can be referred to as trims; however, the word trim is commonly used to request that the hair is trimmed back to the last haircut regardless of the style of taper.[1]:131[2]:96 The sideburns and the shape and height of the neck edge are important design elements that can affect the appearance of the face, neck, chin, ears, profile and overall style.

In most instances, a shorter neck or chin suits a somewhat higher neck edge; a longer neck or chin suits a somewhat lower neck edge. An extra wide neck suits a somewhat narrower neck edge while a thinner neck or protruding ears suit a wider neck edge.[2]:132–137When slightly longer sideburns are worn than are appropriate for a style, it can shorten the appearance of the face; when slightly shorter sideburns are worn than are appropriate, it can lengthen the appearance of the face; therefore, the appearance of a face that is shorter or longer than average, in particular when due to the length of the chin or lower face, can be normalized by altering the length of the sideburns.[1]:128, 131[2]:89–90, 135–136


Main article: Crew cut

Short taper cut.JPG

Other names for this style of taper include full crown, tight cut, and fade.[9][10]:50[11]:40–43[8]:41–45, 100[3]:282[12]:133 The hair on the sides and back is cut with a coarse clipper blade from the lower edge of hair growth to or nearly full up to the crown. The clipper is gradually arced out of the hair at the hat band to achieve a taper. A fine clipper is used from the sideburn to about an inch above the ear. Clipper lines are blended out so there is a seamless transition between lengths.[8]:100–103[12]:129[2]:98

Sideburns, which may not be visible at the time of the haircut depending on the color, thickness and density of the hair, skin tone and fine clipper blade used, are maintained short between haircuts. Short sideburns extend to the area where the ear cartilage attaches to the skull or slightly lower if ear shape requires to allow a sideburn to be defined.[1]:128, 129[2]:89–90, 135–136 Can be worn with a ivy league, high and tight, flat top crew cut, butch and other styles; and often the choice with these styles during the summer.[1]:129, 132, 133, 135, 142, 143[2]:108, 110, 113[8]:94



Also known as a half crown.[10]:51[11]:41–45[8]:91 The hair on the sides and back is cut with a coarse clipper blade about half way up to the crown; the clipper starts to gradually arc out of the hair at the top of the ears. A fine clipper blade is used at the sideburns and at the nape arcing out of the hair to create a blend at a point between the bottom and the top of the ears.[8]:91–99 [1]:130[2]:99 Sideburns are generally worn short as the hair grows out or slightly longer than short but not quite medium.[1]:128, 130[2]:89–90, 135–136 Blending at the upper sides can utilize clipper over comb or shears over comb techniques.[1]:118, 119 While a semi-short taper can be worn with a regular haircut, it is very common with an ivy league, crew cut, flat top crew cut, butch, brush cut, or burr.[1]:130, 132, 133, 142–143[2]:108, 110, 113


A coarse clipper blade may be used on the sideburns, with the clipper immediately arcing out of the hair, completing the taper at the top of the ears. In the nape area, the coarse clipper starts to arc out at the middle of the ears with the taper completed at the top of the ears. A fine clipper blade tapers the lower edge of the hairline at the nape to the skin.[1]:130[2]:99 The lower edge of hair growth at the nape can alternatively be blocked off in a squared or rounded pattern.[1]:115 Medium sideburns are appropriate with face shapes that are neither long or short. Medium sideburns extend to the top of the ear orifice.[1]:128[2]:89–90, 135–136 The hair on the middle part of the back and sides can be shortened, thinned and blended using a variety of methods including shears over comb, clipper over comb, thinning shears method, slithering with standard barber’s shears, shear point tapering or razor methods.[1]:118–119, 121[2]:68–69 A common style with a regular haircut, medium pompadour or ivy league and also worn with a crew cut or flattop.[1]:130, 132–133, 144[2]:108, 110


Long Taper Cut 1943.JPG

A coarse clipper blade is used in the nape area, arcing out of the hair at the bottom of the ears with the taper completed at mid ear. A fine clipper blade is used to taper the edge at the hairline.[1]:131[2]:99 A long taper is frequently blocked at the nape in a squared or rounded pattern instead of being tapered to the skin.[1]:115 Long sideburns are appropriate for average face shapes. Long sideburns extend to the middle of the ear opening. [1]:128, 131 The middle section of the back and sides is most often cut shears over comb or shears over fingers; can also be cut with a razor. Thinning, layering and blending of the middle section of the back and sides can be accomplished with thinning shears, slithering or razor techniques.[1]:118–119, 121[2]:68–69 Most frequently worn with a regular haircut or a long pompadour.[1]:131, 145–146[2]:99–101

Extra long[edit]

Extra long taper.PNG

A coarse clipper blade is used in the nape, immediately arcing out of the hair, with the taper completed below the bottom of the ears. A fine clipper blade may be used to taper the lower edge of the hairline to the skin.[2]:99–100 An extra long taper is frequently blocked at the nape in a squared or rounded pattern; a deconstructed arch around the ears and a deconstructed or shaggy block at the nape are also quite common.[2]:99–101 Extra long sideburns are appropriate; extra long sideburns extend to the top of the ear lobe.[2]:89–90, 135–136 The middle section of the back and sides is most often cut shears over comb or shears over fingers; can also be cut with a razor. Thinning, layering and blending of the middle section of the back and sides can be accomplished with thinning shears, slithering or razor techniques.[1]:118–119, 121[2]:68–69 Apart from being worn with a regular haircut, also worn with an extra long pompadour.[2]:99, 101


Topping includes shortening, layering, and thinning the hair on the crown and frontal areas to attain the desired length, volume, degree of contour, graduation, and layering. The technique most widely used to shorten, layer and graduate the hair is the shears over finger method, also known as finger work.[2]:70[1]:119 Finger work involves initially lifting the hair to be cut with the comb, then grasping the lifted hair between the index and middle finger of the opposite hand while transferring the comb to that hand and cutting it with the shears held in the hand that initially held the comb. The comb is then transferred back to the hand that holds the shears and the process is repeated in swaths that go from front to back, outer to inner areas of the right and left sides of the top.[2]:70–71[1]:111–112 The angle at which the hair is held away from the scalp is critical as it affects how the cut hair will graduate and layer. Depending on the area of the scalp and the desired appearance of the cut hair, the angle will range from around 45 to 135 degrees.[2]:73–75 Shears over comb techniques include the up and over method and the shear lifting method. In both methods, the hair to be cut is held up by the comb and cut with shears.[2]:69, 72[1]:119, 121 The up and over method is a continuous process where the strips of cut hair run from the front hairline back or from the side hairline upwards.[2]:72[1]:119 In the shear lifitng method, the process is not continuous but carried out sectionally from left to right across the top of the head proceeding from the crown to the front . For example, there may be fifteen separate sections, three across the top of the head from side to side and five from the crown forward.[1]:121[2]:72 Cutting proceeds from crown left to crown right and so on to front left to front right. As with the shears over finger method, the angle of the hair to the scalp as it is cut is critical to the layered and graduated appearance of the cut hair.[2]:73, 75 Depending on the thckness of the hair and the desired volume, topping may include thinning which can be accomplished by a variety of methods including thinning shears method, slithering with regular barber shears or the push back method with regular shears or thinning shears. The hair to be thinned may be held with the fingers or comb.[2]:84–85[1]:110 Whorls, cowlicks, and irregularities of the scalp can be addressed by shear point tapering techniques. Only a few hairs are cut in the problem areas using just the tips of the shears, over comb.[1]:137 Topping as well as siding may also be achieved with razor cutting techniques.[2]:138–149

Guards and blades[edit]

Three types of clippers can be utilized to achieve a regular haircut: taper clippers, rotary clippers and outliner/edger clippers.[1]:54 Taper clippers are powered by a linear or pivot motor. The blades are not readily interchangeable. The taper lever allows adjustment of the cutting length within a certain range, usually from #000 blade length, 1/50″ (0.5 mm) on the fine side to #1 length, 3/32″ (2.4 mm) on the coarse side. For longer lengths, clipper guards are attached. The guard will cut at the numbered guard length when the taper lever is in the shortest cutting position. Clipper guards are also known as clipper guide combs.[13][14] Fade clippers are identical to taper clippers with the exception of the range of cutting lengths which is entirely within the fine blade range. Most fade clippers cut between #00000 blade length, 1/125″ (0.2 mm) and #000 blade length, 1/50″ (0.5 mm). As with regular taper clippers, clipper guards can be attached for longer cutting lengths.[15] Rotary clippers have blades that readily snap on and off. Blades are available that leave from 1/250” (0.1mm) to 3/4” (19mm) of hair on the scalp when the clipper is guided over the head with the teeth of the clipper blade in contact with the scalp. Blades are numbered differently than guards. Rotary clippers are designed to accept a certain standard blade type, so that blades from a variety of manufacturers designed to the specific standard may be utilized on a clipper designed to that standard, regardless of manufacturer.[16][1]:55 Outliner/edger clippers have a very fine cutting blade and no taper lever and are used to outline a defined arch around the ear and for block cuts, the edge at the nape of the neck.[17][18][19][20][21][1]:54


Human scalp hair grows on average about one eighth inch per week or one half inch per month.[22] Most clipper guards are numbered in eighths of an inch. The number of the guard denotes the number of weeks of hair growth left on the scalp when a clipper with a certain numbered guard is guided over the head with the guard in contact with the scalp. A #1 guard leaves 1/8 inch (3 mm), one week’s growth of hair, on the scalp; a #2 guard leaves 2/8″ (6.3 mm), two weeks’ hair growth, on the scalp; a #3 guard leaves 3/8″ (9 mm), three weeks’ hair growth on the scalp; and so on.[23]


Cutting blade type Blade Hair remaining
Inches Millimetres Growth
Fine cutting blades
(also referred to as zero blades)
#000000 1/250 0.1 5 hours
#00000 1/125 0.2 10 hours
#0000 1/100 0.3 15 hours
#0000A 1/75 0.4 20 hours
#000 1/50 0.5 1 day
#00 1/30 0.8 1.5 days
#0 1/25 1 2 days
#0A 3/64 1.2 2.5 days
Medium coarse cutting blades
(#1, #1A, #1.5)
#1 3/32 2.4 5 days
#1A 1/8 3.2 1 week
#1.5 5/32 4.0 9 days
Full coarse cutting blades
(#2, #3.5 and #3.75)
#2 1/4 6 2 weeks
#3.5 3/8 10 3 weeks
#3.75 1/2 13 4 weeks
Longer cutting blades
5/8 H/T 5/8 16 5 weeks
3/4 H/T 3/4 19 6 weeks

from wikipedia

Hair clippers

Hair clippers are specialized implements used to cut human head hair. They work on the same principle as scissors, but are distinct from scissors themselves and razors. Similar but heavier-duty implements are used to shear sheep, but are called handpieces or machine shears.

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from wikipedia

Operating principle[edit]

Hair clippers comprise a pair of sharpened comb-like blades in close contact one above the other and the side which slide sideways relative to each other, a mechanism which may be manual or electrical to make the blades oscillate from side to side, and a handle. The clipper is moved so that hair is positioned between the teeth of the comb, and cut with a scissor action when one blade slides sideways relative to the other. Friction between the blades needs to be as low as possible, which is attained by choice of material and finish, and frequent lubrication.

Manual clippers[edit]

Manually operated clipper

Hair clippers are operated by a pair of handles which are alternately squeezed together and released. Barbers used them to cut hair close and fast. The hair was picked up in locks and the head was rapidly depilated. Such haircuts became popular among boys, mostly in schools, and young men in the military and in prisons.

Manual clippers were invented between 1850 and 1890 by Nikola Bizumic, a Serbian barber.[1] While they were widely used in the distant past, the advent and reduction in cost of electric hair clippers has led to their largely replacing manual clippers. Some barbers in Western countries continue to use them for trimming. They are also used in the Russian army: when conscripts enter boot camp, they cut their hair close to the skin, sometimes using manual clippers.[2]


In Greece, male students had their heads shaved with manual hair clippers from the early 20th century until it was abolished in 1982. The same practice was used in the military, where recruits had their heads shaved as they set foot in boot camp. In the 1950s and 1960s a law was implemented in Greece whereby head shaving with manual clippers was to be used as a punishment for young people caught by police, such as teddyboys and prostitutes.[citation needed] This practice was extended to Greek hippies and leftist youths during the 1967-73 military regime. Obligatory hair clipping was abolished in Greece in 1982.[3]

Manual hair clippers are used extensively by barbers in India to give short back and sides haircuts.[citation needed] Orthodox Jews tend to avoid clipping the side of their heads.[4] Among Muslim men, it is haram to clip more than a fistful of the beard.[5]

Electric clippers[edit]

An electric trimmer

Electric hair clippers work in the same way as manual ones, but are driven by an electric motor which makes the blades oscillate from side to side. They have gradually displaced manual hair clippers in many countries. Three different motor types are used in clipper production, magnetic, rotary and pivot. Rotary style may be driven by direct current or alternating current electricity source. Both magnetic and pivot style clippers use magnetic forces derived from winding copper wire around steel. Alternating current creates a cycle attracting and relaxing to a spring to create the speed and torque to drive the clipper cutter across the combing blade.

Leo J. Wahl invented the first electric hair clipper. He first designed a hand-held massager for his uncle, Dr. Frank Wahl. Frank Wahl opened a manufacturing plant in Sterling, Illinois to produce and sell Leo’s massager. During this time, Leo would sell massagers to various barbers and noticed an opportunity to improve upon the tools barbers were using at the time.[6]

Leo Wahl took over his uncle’s manufacturing business after Frank left to serve in the Spanish–American War in 1898. Leo continued to work on his inventions and by 1921, he patented his final design of an invention more than a decade in the making- the first electric hair clipper. Within a year, Wahl Manufacturing had manufactured and sold thousands of clippers all over the United States and in 1921 Leo renamed the company the Wahl Clipper Corporation. Leo J. Wahl died on May 20, 1957 with over 100 patent applications to his name. His descendants still operate the company today. Wahl Clipper is now an international industry leader in the manufacturing of products for the professional beauty and barber salon trade, consumer personal care and animal grooming. Wahl products are available in 165 countries around the world.[7]

NASA astronaut Catherine (Cady) Coleman trims the hair of European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli in the Kibo laboratory on the International Space Station during Expedition 26. A Wahl clipper attached to a vacuum cleaner was used to remove the free-floating hair clippings.[8]

By 1921, Mathew Andis Sr. entered the electric clipper industry. Production of these clippers began in the basement of his home, with help from Anna, his wife. Andis sold his electric clippers door to door and one year later established the Andis O M Manufacturing with John Oster and Henry Meltzer. After the three men parted ways, Mathew established Andis Clipper Company the following year. Today, Andis Company remains a family-held business.[9] In 1928, the John Oster Manufacturing Company joined the electric clipper market. In 1960, the John Oster Manufacturing Co. was acquired by Sunbeam Corporation. Oster continues to manufacture clippers today but is also known for their kitchenware including but not limited to toasters, ovens, blenders, etc.[10] Wahl Clipper, Andis Company and Oster Company all remain in business today and are highly successful in the clipper industry as are many other companies, such as Kim Laube & Co. Kim Laube & Co specializes in clippers powerful enough for the animal grooming industry, and is committed to keep their manufacturing in U.S.A.


Electric hair clipper blades must be lubricated frequently. Each major hair clipper manufacturer sells its own brand of hair clipper oil. It is possible to find out what is inside such a product by viewing the product’s safety data sheet online. Wahl Hair Clipper Oil, for example, is simply mineral oil packaged in a bottle with a dropper tip.

Blade material[edit]

Blades are usually made of rust-resistant stainless steel. Ceramic cutters are available; they are not subject to corrosion, and stay sharper longer because of a higher resistance to wear than metal blades. They remain cool to the touch even with fairly prolonged use, as ceramic is a poor heat conductor. However, ceramic blades are brittle and easily broken, and more expensive to replace than metal blades.[citation needed]


from wikipedia


A razor is a bladed tool primarily used in the removal of unwanted body hair through the act of shaving.[1] Kinds of razors include straight razors, disposable razor, and electric razors.

While the razor has been in existence since before the Bronze Age (the oldest razor-like object has been dated to 18,000 B.C.[2]), the most common type of razor in current usage is the safety or electric razor, though other kinds are still in use.

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from wikipedia


Bronze razor.

Razors have been identified from many Bronze Age cultures. These were made of bronze or obsidian and were generally oval in shape, with a small tang protruding from one of the short ends.[3]

Various forms of razors were used throughout history, which are different in appearance but similar in use to modern straight razors. In prehistoric times clam shells, shark teeth, and flint were sharpened and used to shave with. Drawings of such blades were found in prehistoric caves. Some tribes still use blades made of flint to this day. Excavations in Egypt have unearthed solid gold and copper razors in tombs dating back to the 4th millennium BC. Several razors as well as other personal hygiene artifacts were recovered from Bronze Age burials in northern Europe and are believed to belong to high status individuals.[4] The Roman historian Livy reported that the razor was introduced in ancient Rome in the 6th century BC. by legendary king Lucius Tarquinius Priscus. Priscus was ahead of his time because razors did not come to general use until a century later.[5]

The first modern straight razor complete with decorated handles and hollow ground blades was constructed in Sheffield, in England, the centre of the cutlery industry, in the 18th and 19th centuries. Benjamin Huntsman produced the first superior hard steel grade, through a special crucible process, suitable for use as blade material in 1740, though it was first rejected in England. Huntsman’s process was adopted by the French sometime later; albeit reluctantly at first because of nationalist sentiments. The English manufacturers were even more reluctant than the French to adopt the process and only did so after they saw its success in France.[5] Sheffield steel, a highly polished steel, also known as Sheffield silver steel and famous for its deep gloss finish, is considered a superior quality steel and is still used to this day in France by such manufacturers as Thiers Issard.[6]

Razor (top) and nail cutter with bone handle (bottom) found in a grave of the Hallstatt culture.

In the 18th and 19th centuries the wealthy had servants to shave them or could frequent barbershops. Daily shaving was not a widespread practice in the 19th century so some people never shaved. The custom of shaving every day among American men is a 20th-century innovation which was started after World War I. Men were required to shave daily so their gas masks would fit properly and this became much easier with the advent of the safety razor, which was standard issue during the war.[7] In the 19th century, cutlers in Sheffield, England and Solingen, Germany produced a variety of razors.

Razor made of bronze from the first Iron Age

Straight razors were the most common form of shaving before the 20th century and remained common in many countries until the 1950s.[8] Barbers were specially trained to give customers a thorough and quick shave, and a collection of straight razors ready for use was a common sight in most barbershops. Barbers still have them, but they use them less often.

Straight razors eventually fell out of fashion. Their first challenger was manufactured by King C. Gillette: a double-edged safety razor with replaceable blades.[citation needed] Gillette’s idea was the use of the “loss leader” concept, in which the razors were sold at a loss, but the replacement blades earned a high margin and provided continuous sales. They were immensely successful because of advertising campaigns and slogans denigrating the straight razor’s effectiveness and questioning its safety.[citation needed]

These new safety razors did not require any serious tutelage to use.[9] The blades were extremely hard to sharpen, and were meant to be thrown away after one use, and rusted quickly if not discarded. They also required a smaller initial investment, though they cost more over time. Despite its long-term advantages, the straight razor lost significant market share. And as shaving became less intimidating and men began to shave themselves more, the demand for barbers providing straight razor shaves decreased.[8]

Around 1960, stainless steel blades which could be used more than once became available, reducing the cost of safety-razor shaving. The first such blades were made by the Wilkinson firm, famous maker of ceremonial swords, in Sheffield.[citation needed] Soon Gillette, Schick, and other manufacturers were making stainless-steel blades.

These were followed by multiple-blade cartridges and disposable razors. For each type of replaceable blade, there is generally a disposable razor.

In the 1930s, electric razors became available. These can rival the cost of a good straight razor, although the whole straight-razor shaving kit can exceed the cost of even an expensive electric razor.

Straight razors[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Straight razor.

A straight razor manufactured by DOVO

Straight razors with open steel blades, also commonly known as cut-throats, were the most commonly used razors before the 20th century.

Straight razors consist of a blade sharpened on one edge. The blade can be made of either stainless steel, which is slower to hone and strop, and holds an edge longer, or high carbon steel, which hones and strops quickly, but has a less durable edge. At present, stainless-steel razors are harder to find than carbon steel, but both remain in production.

The blade rotates on a pin through its tang between two protective pieces called scales: when folded into the scales, the blade is protected from damage, and the user is protected. Handle scales are made of various materials, including mother-of-pearl, celluloid, bone, plastic and wood. Once made of ivory, this has been discontinued, although fossil ivory is used occasionally.

Disposable blade straight razors[edit]

A simple shavette razor with disposable blade inserted.

These razors are similar in use and appearance to straight razors, but use disposable blades, either standard double edged cut in half or specially made single edge. These shavettes are used in the same way as straight razors but do not require stropping and honing. Although the blades of disposable razors wear quickly, useful blade life can be extended with proper care, including drying the blade after use.[10][unreliable source?]

Safety razors[edit]

Main article: Safety razor

The first safety razor protected the skin from all but the very edge of the blade and was invented in 1762 by a Frenchman, Jean-Jacques Perret,[11] who was inspired by the joiner’s plane. Perret’s design was essentially a straight razor with its blade surrounded by a wooden sleeve. Around 1875 a new design with a smaller blade placed on top of a handle was marketed by the Kampfe Brothers[11] as “the best available shaving method on the market that won’t cut a user, like straight steel razors.”

Removable-blade razors[edit]

A modern double-edged safety razor

The term safety razor was first used in 1880[citation needed] and described a basic razor with a handle attached to a head where a removable blade may be placed. The edge was then protected by a comb patterned on the head to protect the skin. In the more modern-day produced safety razors, the comb is now more commonly replaced by a safety bar. There are two types of safety razors, the single edged and the double-edged. The single-edged razor is essentially a 4-centimetre (1.6 in) long segment of a straight razor. The double-edged safety razor is a razor with a slant bar that can be used on both sides, with two open edges. The blade on the double-edged safety razor is slightly curved to allow for a smoother and cleaner shave.

In 1901, the American inventor King Camp Gillette, with the assistance of William Nickerson, patented a new variation of safety razor with disposable blades. Gillette realized that a profit could be made by selling an inexpensive razor with disposable blades. This has been called the razor and blades business model, and has become a very common practice for a wide variety of products.

Many other brands of safety razors have come and gone. Much of the competition was based on designing blades that would fit only one style of razor until the blade shape was standardized by the inclusion of a multi-faceted central channel to the blade which would accommodate the various designs of blade securing systems; e.g. three pins, a slender metal bar, etc. Even today, these various securing forms still persist in their variety in DE razors, all accepting the same universal blade design.

Cartridge razors[edit]

A modern safety razor with an exchangeable cartridge.

Exploiting the same razor and blades business model as pioneered in the early 20th century, cartridge razors were developed in the 1960s and are now the most common form of shaving in developed countries. Although designed to have a more ergonomic shape at both the handle and head (including commonly a pivoted head which keeps the blades angled to the skin at a pre determined angle through the shaving motion) the concept is very similar to that of the double edge razor. However, here the entire head assembly (known as a cartridge) is removed and disposed of, not just the blade. Also, it is common for these cartridge heads to have multiple razor blades set into them, commonly between two and five blades.

Disposable safety razors[edit]

A basic disposable razor.

Disposable safety razors are highly similar in design to Cartridge Razors, constructed from inexpensive materials (commonly injection moulded polycarbonate), yet are meant to be wholly disposable after use with no blade sharpening or replacement possible. One device was invented in 1963 by American entertainer and inventor Paul Winchell.[12]

Electric razors[edit]

Main article: Electric razor

The electric razor (also known as the electric dry shaver) has a rotating or oscillating blade. The electric razor usually does not require the use of shaving cream, soap, or water. The razor may be powered by a small DC motor, which is either powered by batteries or mains electricity. Many modern ones are powered using rechargeable batteries. Alternatively, an electro-mechanical oscillator driven by an AC-energized solenoid may be used. Some very early mechanical shavers had no electric motor and had to be powered by hand, for example by pulling a cord to drive a flywheel.

Other razors[edit]

Thick, rigid, single-edged razors such as utility knives are used for various hand-held tasks. Applications include detailed carpentry work like sanding and scraping (in a specialized holder), paper cutting for technical drawing, plumbing and finish work such as grouting and cleaning, and removing paint from flat surfaces such as panes of glass. Unlike shaving razors, the industrial-grade blades used in these tools are usually made from a non-stainless steel like carbon steel, and have a tougher and duller edge.

A lame is a razor used in bread production to slash the surface of an unbaked loaf.

from wikipedia

Head shaving

Head shaving is the practice of shaving the hair from a person’s head. At different times and places people have shaved all or part of their heads for very diverse reasons including practicality, convenience, low maintenance, religion, culture, and aesthetics. A shaven head therefore has widely varying connotations depending on the context.

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Early history[edit]

Young Krystyna Lubomirska, a Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth noble lady with partially shaved head “in order to achieve the beauty standard of a wide, high forehead.”[1] A detail of an early 17th-century portrait in the National Museum in Warsaw.

The earliest historical records describing head shaving originated in ancient Mediterranean cultures, such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The Egyptian priest class ritualistically removed all body hair by plucking. This included hair on the head, eyebrows, and beard.



The practice of shaving heads has been used in the military. Although sometimes explained as being for hygiene reasons, the image of strict, disciplined conformity may certainly be a factor. During the allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day, many soldiers chose to have their heads completely shaved, denying the defending Germans something to grab onto when the battle moved to close quarters. For the new recruit, it can be a rite of passage, and variations become a badge of honour.

The militaries of the United States, Russia, and several other countries have welcomed their recruits by giving them haircuts using hair clippers with no guard attached. As of 2011, shaved heads continued to be standard haircuts in the United States Air Force, United States Marine Corps, United States Army, and the United States Coast Guard during basic/recruit training – upon graduation from training, grooming restrictions are relaxed in accordance with each service’s regulations. In Greece, this practice was abolished on June 25, 1982, when the military started allowing recruits to have up to 4 cm of hair. Before then, the regulation haircut in the Greek army for recruits was en hro (an archaic phrase for “shaved to the bone”).

A shaved head continues to be common place in the United States military. There have been traditions spawned from shaving a service members head. Most notable is the tradition of shaving one’s head when a service member enters the Mediterranean Sea by ship for the first time, known as “Med Head”[citation needed].

Prison and punishment[edit]


Paris 1944: Women accused of collaboration with Nazis are paraded through the streets barefoot, shaved, and with swastika burnmarks on their faces

Prisoners commonly have their heads shaven, often ostensibly to prevent the spread of lice, but may also be used as a demeaning measure.

Having the head shaved can be a punishment prescribed in law.[2]

The Nazis punished persons accused of Rassenschande (racial defilement) by parading them through the streets with shaved heads and placards around their necks detailing their crime.[3]

During and after the end of World War II, thousands of French women had their heads shaved in front of cheering crowds as punishment for collaborating with the Nazis during the war.[4][5][6] Also some Finnish women got their heads shaved for allegedly having relationships with Soviet POWs during World War II.[7]


Main article: Tonsure

A Buddhist monk shaving the head of a devotee to prepare him for priesthood.

Many Buddhists, Hajj pilgrims and Vaisnavas, especially members of the Hare Krishna movement, shave their heads.

Some Hindu and most Buddhist monks and nuns shave their heads upon entering their order, and Korean Buddhist monks and nuns have their heads shaved every 15 days.[8]

Muslim men have the choice of shaving their head after performing Umrah.


Throughout much of the 20th century in many Western countries, head shaving was considered[by whom?] somewhat unusual or lower class. Head shaving was often associated with manual workers such as seamen, dock workers and soldiers, as well as with prisoners and hospital patients.[citation needed]

Mayan nobles shaved.[9][10]


Mo Farah with a shaved head.

Competitive swimmers will often shave their entire body, including the head, to reduce drag while swimming. The same may also be true for sprinters, joggers or runners.


People with alopecia often choose to shave their heads to hide the effects. Those with Alopecia areata and men facing male pattern baldness may choose to shave fully. Michael Jordan, Mark Messier, Andre Agassi, Kerry King of Slayer, Rob Halford of Judas Priest, Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, Phil Selway of Radiohead, Michael Stipe of R.E.M., Chris Daughtry of Daughtry (band), theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, and actors Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson and Mark Strong are famous examples.

Skinhead and other subcultures[edit]

In the 1960s, some British working class youths developed the skinhead subculture, whose members were distinguished by short cropped hair (although at that time they didn’t shave their heads right down to the scalp). This look was partly influenced by the Jamaican rude boy style.[11][12] It was not until the skinhead revival in the late 1970s — with the appearance of punk rock-influenced Oi! skinheads — that many skinheads started shaving their hair right down to the scalp. Head shaving has also appeared in other youth-oriented subcultures which include punk, hardcore, metalcore, Nu metal, hip hop, techno music, and neo-nazi scenes.

Sexuality, gender and LGBT[edit]

A sexual fetish involving erotic head shaving is called a trichophilia. While a shaved head on a man relates to virility, a shaved head on a woman typically connotes androgyny, especially when combined with traditionally femininesignifiers. It may well express membership in the bisexual, lesbian and genderqueer communities. Similarly, gay men sometimes incorporate a shaven head into their overall look, particularly amongst the bear subculture. Specifically, the stereotypicalCastro clone” look commonly shave their heads in order to project a homoerotic ultra-masculine image. Drag queens have sometimes adopted shaven heads, again, to express a genderqueer image. In the BDSM community, shaving a submissive or slave’s head is often used to demonstrate powerlessness, or submission to the will of a dominant.

Fundraising and support[edit]

Women shaving their head in the 46 mommas event which is a fund-raising and awareness program of cancer

In solidarity with cancer sufferers, some people chose to shave their heads – particularly as part of fund-raising efforts. (Baldness is a well-known side-effect of the chemotherapy often used to treat cancer, and some people shave their heads before undergoing such treatment.)


In modern settings, shaved heads are often associated with characters who display a stern and disciplined or hardcore attitude. Examples include Yul Brynner and Vin Diesel, Samuel L. Jackson in roles such as Mace Windu and Nick Fury, and Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in Alien 3 (1992).

Goatee beards are often worn to complement the look or add sophistication. For most of Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston wore a goatee along with a clean shaven head, contributing to the iconic image of Heisenberg.[13]

In futuristic settings, shaved heads are often associated with bland uniformity, especially in sterile futuristic settings such as V for Vendetta, THX 1138 (1971).[14] In Fritz Lang‘s early science fiction film Metropolis (1927), hundreds of extras had their heads shaved to represent the oppressed masses of a future dystopia.

It is less common for female characters to have shaved heads, however, some female characters are bald.[15] Some actresses have shaved their heads for film roles,[16] while others have used bald caps.[17]

Agent 47 in the Hitman video game series is always depicted as bald with a barcode on the back of his head for a tattoo.

from wikipedia

Hair removal

Hair removal, also known as epilation or depilation, is the deliberate removal of body hair.

Hair typically grows all over the human body. Hair can become more visible during and after puberty and men tend to have thicker, more visible body hair than women.[1] Both men and women have visible hair on the head, eyebrows, eyelashes, armpits, pubic region, arms, and legs; men also have thicker hair on their face, abdomen, back and chest. Hair does not generally grow on the lips, the underside of the hands or feet or on certain areas of the genitalia.

Forms of hair removal are practised for various and mostly cultural, sexual, medical or religious reasons. Forms of hair removal have been practised in almost all human cultures since at least the Neolithic era. The methods used to remove hair have varied in different times and regions, but shaving is the most common method.[citation needed]

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from wikipedia

Cultural and sexual aspects[edit]

See also: Bikini waxing

Each culture of human society has developed social norms relating to the presence or absence of body hair, which has changed from one time to another. Different standards can apply to females and males. People whose hair falls outside a culture’s aesthetic standards may experience real or perceived social acceptance problems. For example, for women in several societies, exposure in public of body hair other than head hair, eyelashes and eyebrows is generally considered to be unaesthetic, unattractive and embarrassing.[2] In Middle Eastern societies, removal of the female body hair has been considered proper hygiene, necessitated by local customs, for many centuries.[3]

A woman’s unshaven underarm…
…and a man’s one that has been shaved

With the increased popularity in many countries of women wearing shorter dresses and swimsuits during the 20th century and the consequential exposure of parts of the body on which hair is commonly found, there has been an increase in the practice of women removing unwanted body hair, such as on legs, underarms and elsewhere.[4] In the United States, for example, the vast majority of women regularly shave their legs and armpits, while roughly half also shave their bikini lines.[5]

People may also remove some or all of their pubic hair for aesthetic or sexual reasons. However, some women in Western cultures choose not to remove hair from their bodies, either as a preference or as an act of defiance against what they regard to be an oppressive ritual.

Many men in Western cultures shave their facial hair, so only a minority of men have a beard, even though fast-growing facial hair must be shaved daily to achieve a clean-shaven or hairless look. Some men shave because they cannot grow a “full” beard (generally defined as an even density from cheeks to neck), because their beard color is different from their scalp hair color, or because their facial hair grows in many directions, making a groomed look difficult. Some men shave because their beards are very coarse, causing itchiness and irritation. Some men grow a beard or moustache from time to time to change their appearance.

Some men shave their heads, either as a fashion statement, because they find a shaved head preferable to the appearance of male pattern baldness, or in order to attain enhanced cooling of the skull – particularly for people suffering from hyperhidrosis. A much smaller number of Western women also shave their heads, often as a fashion or political statement.

Within the gay, bi and straight male cultures, some men are known to eliminate or trim pubic hair, a practice that is referred to as being a part of manscaping (portmanteau expression for male-specific landscaping). This custom can be motivated by reasons of potentially increased cleanliness and hygiene, heightened enjoyment during fellatio and analingus, and/or the desire to take on a more youthful appearance.

Some women also shave their heads for cultural or social reasons. In India, tradition required widows in some sections of the society to shave their heads as part of being ostracized (see widowhood in Hinduism). The outlawed custom is still infrequently encountered mostly in rural areas. The society at large and the government are working to end the practice of ostracizing widows.[6] In addition, it continues to be common practice for men to shave their heads prior to embarking on a pilgrimage.

Other reasons[edit]

Religious reasons[edit]

Head-shaving is a part of some Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Jain and Hindu traditions.[citation needed] Buddhist and Christian monks generally undergo some form of head-shaving or tonsure during their induction into monastic life[citation needed]; in Thailand monks shave their eyebrows as well[citation needed]. Brahmin children have their heads ritualistically shaved before beginning school.[citation needed] The Amish religion forbids men from having mustaches, as they are associated with the military.[7]

In some parts of the Theravada Buddhist world, it is common practice to shave the heads of children. Weak or sickly children are often left with a small topknot of hair, to gauge their health and mark them for special treatment. When health improves, the lock is cut off.[citation needed]

In Judaism, there is no obligation to remove hair; nor is there a general prohibition to removing hair. However, there is a prohibition for men using a razor to shave their beards or sideburns; and, by custom, neither men nor women may cut their hair or shave during a 30-day mourning period after the death of an immediate family member.[citation needed]

The Bahá’í Faith recommends against complete and long-term head-shaving outside of medical purposes. It is not currently practiced as a law, contingent upon future decision by the Universal House of Justice, its highest governing body. Sikhs take an even stronger stance, opposing all forms of hair removal. One of the “Five Ks” of Sikhism is Kesh, meaning “hair”. To Sikhs, the maintenance and management of long hair is a manifestation of one’s piety.[citation needed]

Muslim law (Sharia): It is recommended to keep (the beard)[citation needed], and that which is the object of recommendation (foot, hand, back, and chest hair). A Muslim may trim or cut hair on head. The hairs on the chest and the back may be removed. In the 9th century, the use of chemical depilatories for women was introduced by Ziryab in Al-Andalus.[8] Muslims are legislated by the Sunnah to remove under arm hair and pubic hair on a weekly basis; not doing after a 40-day period is considered sinful in the Sharia.

Ancient Egyptian priests also shaved or depilated all over daily, so as to present a “pure” body before the images of the gods.

Medical reasons[edit]

Body hair on an unusually hirsute male

The body hair of surgical patients may be removed before surgery. In the past this may have been achieved by shaving, but that is now considered counter-productive, so clippers or chemical depilatories may be used instead.[9] The shaving of hair has sometimes been used in attempts to eradicate lice or to minimize body odor due to accumulation of odor-causing micro-organisms in hair. Some people with trichiasis find it medically necessary to remove ingrown eyelashes. Shaving against the grain can often cause ingrown hairs.[10]

Many forms of cancer require chemotherapy, which often causes severe and irregular hair loss. For this reason, it is common for cancer patients to shave their heads even before starting chemotherapy.[citation needed]

In extreme situations people may need to remove all body hair to prevent or combat infestation by lice, fleas and other parasites. Such a practice was used, for example, in Ancient Egypt.[citation needed]

In the military[edit]

A close-cropped or completely shaven haircut is common in military organizations. In field environments, soldiers are susceptible to infestation of lice, ticks, and fleas. In addition short hair is also more difficult for an enemy to grab hold of in hand-to-hand combat, and short hair makes fitting gas masks and helmets easier.

The practice serves to cultivate a group oriented environment through the process of removing exterior signs of individuality.[citation needed] In many militaries head-shaving is mandatory for males when beginning their training. However, even after the initial recruitment phase, when head-shaving is no longer required, many soldiers maintain a completely or partially shaven hairstyle (such as a “high and tight“, “flattop” or “buzz cut“) for personal convenience and an exterior symbol of military solidarity.[citation needed] Head-shaving is not required and is often not allowed of females in military service, although they must have their hair cut or tied to regulation length.[citation needed]

Armies may also require males to maintain clean-shaven faces as facial hair can prevent an air-tight seal between the face and breathing or safety equipment, such as a pilot’s oxygen mask, a diver’s mask, or a soldier’s gas mask.[citation needed]

In sport[edit]

It is a common practice for professional footballers (soccer) and road cyclists to remove leg hair for a number of reasons. In the case of a crash or tackle, the absence of the leg hair means the injuries (usually road rash or scarring) can be cleaned up more efficiently, and treatment is not impeded. Professional cyclists as well as Professional Footballers (soccer) also receive regular leg massages, and the absence of hair reduces the friction and increases their comfort and effectiveness.[citation needed]

It is also common for competitive swimmers to shave hair off their legs, arms, and torsos, to reduce drag and provide a heightened ‘feel’ for the water by removing the exterior layer of skin along with the body hair.[11] Some professional soccer players also shave their legs. One of the reasons is that they are required to wear shin guards and in case of a skin rash the affected area can be treated more efficiently.

As punishment[edit]

In some situations, people’s hair is shaved as a punishment or a form of humiliation. After World War II, head-shaving was a common punishment in France, the Netherlands, and Norway for women who had collaborated with the Nazis during the occupation, and, in particular, for women who had sexual relations with an occupying soldier.[12]

In the United States, during the Vietnam War, conservative students would sometimes attack student radicals or “hippies” by shaving beards or cutting long hair. One notorious incident occurred at Stanford University, when unruly fraternity members grabbed Resistance founder (and student-body president) David Harris, cut off his long hair, and shaved his beard.

During European witch-hunts of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, alleged witches were stripped naked and their entire body shaved to discover the so-called witches’ marks. The discovery of witches’ marks was then used as evidence in trials.[13]

Head shaving during present times is also used as a form of payment for challenges or dares lost involving the removal of all body hair.

Inmates have their head shaved upon entry at certain prisons.

Forms of hair removal[edit]

Depilation is the removal of the part of the hair above the surface of the skin. The most common form of depilation is shaving or trimming. Another option is the use of chemical depilatories, which work by breaking the disulfide bonds that link the protein chains that give hair its strength.

Epilation is the removal of the entire hair, including the part below the skin. Methods include waxing, sugaring, epilation devices, lasers, threading, intense pulsed light or electrology. Hair is also sometimes removed by plucking with tweezers.

Hair removal methods[edit]

Many products in the market have proven fraudulent. Many other products exaggerate the results or ease of use.

Temporary removal of hair to the level of the skin lasts several hours to several days and can be achieved by

  • Shaving or trimming (manually or with electric shavers)
  • Depilatories (creams or “shaving powders” which chemically dissolve hair)
  • Friction (rough surfaces used to buff away hair)

“Epilation”, or removal of the entire hair from the root, lasts several days to several weeks and may be achieved by

  • Tweezing (hairs are tweezed, or pulled out, with tweezers or with fingers)
  • Waxing (a hot or cold layer is applied and then removed with porous strips)
  • Sugaring (hair is removed by applying a sticky paste to the skin in the direction of hair growth and then peeling off with a porous strip)
    File:Threading in Wenchang.ogv

    Threading in Wenchang, Hainan, China

  • Threading (also called fatlah or khite in Arabic, or band in Persian) in which a twisted thread catches hairs as it is rolled across the skin
  • Epilators (mechanical devices that rapidly grasp hairs and pull them out).
  • Powder (weakens the root ends of hair and halts hair production).
  • Use of thanaka powder along with kusuma oil.
  • Drugs that directly attack hair growth or inhibit the development of new hair cells. Hair growth will become less and less until it finally stops; normal depilation/epilation will be performed until that time. Hair growth will return to normal if use of product is discontinued.[14] Products include the following:

Permanent hair removal[edit]

For over 130 years, electrology has been in use in the United States. It is approved by the FDA. This technique permanently destroys germ cells[23] responsible for hair growth by way of insertion of a fine probe in the hair follicle and the application of a current adjusted to each hair type and treatment area. Electrology is the only permanent hair removal method recognized by the FDA.[24]

Permanent hair reduction[edit]

  • Laser hair removal (lasers and laser diodes): Laser hair removal technology became widespread in the US and many other countries from the 1990s onwards. It has been approved in the United States by the FDA since 1997. With this technology, light is directed at the hair and is absorbed by dark pigment, resulting in the destruction of the hair follicle. This painless laser hair removal[25] method sometimes becomes permanent after several sessions. The number of sessions needed depends upon the amount and type of hair being removed.[26] Equipment for performing laser hair removal at home has become available in recent years.
  • Intense pulsed light (IPL)
  • Diode epilation (high energy LEDs but not laser diodes)

Clinical comparisons of effectiveness[edit]

A 2006 review article in the journal “Lasers in Medical Science” compared intense pulsed light (IPL) and both alexandrite and diode lasers. The review found no statistical difference in effectiveness, but a higher incidence of side effects with diode laser based treatment. Hair reduction after 6 months was reported as 68.75% for alexandrite lasers, 71.71% for diode lasers, and 66.96% for IPL. Side effects were reported as 9.5% for alexandrite lasers, 28.9% for diode lasers, and 15.3% for IPL. All side effects were found to be temporary and even pigmentation changes returned to normal within 6 months.[27]

Experimental or banned methods[edit]

  • Photodynamic therapy for hair removal (experimental)
  • X-ray hair removal is an efficient, and usually permanent, hair removal method, but also causes severe health problems, occasional disfigurement, and even death.[28] It is illegal in the United States.

Doubtful methods[edit]

Many methods have been proposed or sold over the years without published clinical proof they can work as claimed.

  • Electric tweezers
  • Transdermal electrolysis
  • Transcutaneous hair removal
  • Photoepilators
  • Microwave Hair Removal
  • Foods and Dietary supplements
  • non-prescription topical preparations (also called “hair inhibitors”, “hair retardants”, or “hair growth inhibitors”)

Advantages and disadvantages[edit]

There are several disadvantages to many of these hair removal methods.

Hair removal can cause some issues: skin inflammation, minor burns, lesions, scarring, ingrown hairs, bumps, and infected hair follicles.

Some removal methods are not permanent, can cause medical problems and permanent damage, or have very high costs. Some of these methods are still in the testing phase and have not been clinically proven.

One issue that can be considered an advantage or a disadvantage depending upon an individual’s viewpoint, is that removing hair has the effect of removing information about the individual’s hair growth patterns due to genetic predisposition, illness, androgen levels (such as from pubertal hormonal imbalances or drug side effects), and/or gender status.

In the hair follicle, stemcells reside in a discrete microenvironment called the bulge, located at the base of the part of the follicle that is established during morphogenesis but does not degenerate during the hair cycle. The bulge contains multipotent stemcells that can be recruited during wound healing to help the repair of the epidermis. [29]

Another disadvantage of permanent (laser, electrolysis) hair removal is a decrease in regeneration ability of human skin, since hair follicles contain stem cells which help with healing.[

from wikipedia