Would you wear and use a vintage pocket watch?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Victorian Shaving Ritual

We of the steampunk community may have a fascination for Victorian-esque clothes, furnishings, and jewelry, but to take the immersion in history one step further, let us see how they shaved their faces!

The "Living the London Life" blog post by Shahan Cheong (a university graduate in his twenties from Melbourne, Australia) on Holmseian.net simple states,

"For a man to be seen with anything other than a moustache, a full beard, or a cleanshaven face was considered almost sacreligious in the Victorian era. Beards, muttonchops and moustaches were acceptable ways in which to wear facial-hair, but to appear in public, or indeed, before one's own household in morning-stubble was considered highly unpresentable."

 As such, the ritual of shaving needed to occur whenever stubble appeared.  The author describes the steps involved in his post here.

In order to recreate these steps, you will need a razor (straight or safety), lathering soap, hot water, and intestinal fortitude.  (I also recommend consulting a professional to teach you how to complete the process safely.  Do this at your own risk, or not at all!  This is more for information than instruction.)

Otherwise, enjoy your time spent shaving, knowing you are doing it the way they did in Victorian times!


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