The Time of "Clean Shaven" is Over | Eric Bandholz

Jenny Durre

Simply put, the term "clean shaven" is NOT EVEN TRUE.

This term historically has been used to describe people who have no hair on their face. However, use of the word "clean" has been tied to the identity of people and how they look. A person would look "clean" when completely shaven as compared to "dirty" if they sported facial hair.

Clean shaven originated around 1860-1865. At this time approximately 25-30% of guys were completely shaven. This means there was an overwhelming majority of men that sported some type of facial hair. It is probably safe to say the war had a giant impact on how society viewed beards.

The real kicker that set this term on an expedited path to popularity was in the early 1910's, when Gillett produced their first disposable razor.

This novelty business plan allowed for the average guy to get ahold of razors to perform the shave himself. Before the disposable razor, men had to visit barbershops to get a quality shave, and this came at a hefty expense.

Because shaving had previously been restricted to high class society, lower class men jumped on the ability to shave their faces. Gillett took their initial success and ran with it. They propagated the idea of looking and feeling "clean" when people completely shaved their facial hair.

Let's jump to the science behind why "clean shaven" is actually not a factual statement. Eric did a little research, and the results might be a bit surprising. Completely shaven faces, it turns out, actually have a more traces of MRSA. This is thought to be caused by micro-abrasions formed by the razor.

MRSA is a type of staff bacteria that can cause infections in different areas of the body. MRSA is difficult to treat because it often resists commonly used antibiotics.

In contrast to this, beards actually retain a different types of bacteria that help strengthen your immune system and act as a antibiotic on your face. It also acts as a filter when inhaling and exhaling catching allergens etc.

The time is now to squash the term "clean shaven." Remove it from your vocabulary, and help spread the word.

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