All In A Froth: The History, Features & Benefits of Hot Lather Shaving
The practice of shaving is about as old as civilization itself. Throughout history, there have been numerous values and beliefs associated with growing a beard or going clean-shaven.
These beliefs shifted over time, and as the world changed, so too did men’s facial hair. The tools of shaving have also evolved from simple stones and shells used by primitive man all the way to modern innovations like lathering machines and hot shaving cream dispensers.
Ancient Beard Traditions
Historians and archaeologists can trace the earliest records of shaving back to Ancient Egypt, where it was a sign of wealth, status, and cleanliness. The Ancient Egyptians were extremely preoccupied with personal hygiene. During these times, a clean-shaven head was a mark of sophistication and good breeding. Later, in the Roman Empire, Alexander the Great made it compulsory for his soldiers to keep their whiskers closely shaved to prevent enemy soldiers from grabbing hold of them in combat. Julius Caesar, however, vocally advocated for the laborious and painful practice of beard-plucking!
Unsurprisingly, these ancient Italians used olive oil instead of soap for their hot shaving. Soap-making technology was not very advanced then, and “soap’ was little more than animal fat mixed with wood ash. Oil made a gentle balm for the face after a sharp blade scraped it clean of stubble. While shaving oils are still in use today, the fact that oil and water don’t mix makes clean-up from oil-based shaving quite a chore.
Evolution Of The Razor
The early razors were simple sharp blades. Interestingly, shaving technology didn’t advance for a very long time, aside from the blades becoming smaller and thinner as the materials they’re made from improved.
It was only in 1762 that a Frenchman, Jean Jacques Perret, added a wooden safety guard to the traditional straight razor. He also compiled and published the first shaving instruction manual that same year. In 1850, the modern ‘t-shaped’ razor was invented, which made the business of shaving exponentially easier. In 1904, King C Gillette (not an actual king, his name was King!) famously patented the disposable razor cartridge design that’s still in use today.
Enter The Lather Machine
It was around this time that barber shops began to use primitive versions of the modern hot lather machines and shaving cream warmers. The famous personalized, artisanal shaving mugs with separate lathering and rinsing chambers were pioneered. Some even used chemical reagents that would generate the heat of a modern hot lather dispenser when ingredients were combined. Lather machines allowed barbers to skip a lot of the mechanical action of the badger brush that could be abrasive and damaging to the skin.
Until relatively modern times, regular shaving was often a privilege of the elite. In medieval Europe, only wealthy men could afford to keep an in-house barber and enjoy the luxury of a proper hot shave. While barber shops were in existence since Roman times, they were reserved for the upper echelons of society and the men of large settlements.
Working men had to rely on traveling barber-surgeons to keep their beards from getting out of hand. Yes, you read correctly, barber-surgeons. Before the advent of modern medical technology, the primary requirement of both surgeons and barbers was a steady hand with a sharp blade, and they often used the same tools for both practices.
The Practice of Hot Shaving
These customers were seldom treated to anything like a modern hot shave, complete with hot towel immersion, pre- and aftershave. Primitive men noticed that wet hairs were easier to shave than dry follicles. They also observed that animal fat (and later, soap) made the process even more effective.
Finally, the combination of soap and hot water was discovered, most likely by the Ancient Egyptians, who left papyrus instructions for a primitive shaving cream mixture.
Hot lather shaving offers an incomparable shaving experience. The warm mixture expands the pores so the hairs are removed more easily and gently, and it softens the hairs and makes them more pliable for badger and blade.
The gentle facial massage of working the cream in is soothing and invigorating. Everyone agrees that the warm lather of a hot shave also feels better than the chilly alternative. Especially first thing in the morning.
The Benefits Of Hot Lather Shaving
Most people will tell you that you need to go to a barbershop to get the luxuriant experience of a hot lather machine’s soothing massage. We’re here to tell you that’s not the case.
At LTHR we have a shaving cream warmer and hot shaving cream dispenser that you can wield as easily as a modern razor.
Instead of getting hampered by a lathering machine the size of a small microwave—perhaps you’ve seen one like it in a barbershop—you can now carry a premium shaving experience in your briefcase. Heated to exactly 135 degrees Fahrenheit and housed in a rust-free and waterproof casing manufactured to Federal Aviation Authority standards, our hot lather machine offers an unparalleled shaving experience.
Our expertly formulated shaving cream, which contains no harmful chemical additives that you might find in generic supermarket brands, mixes coconut oil and aloe leaf juice. This natural mixture results in a gentler shaving experience and lasting facial comfort akin to using a daily moisturizer.
Our lathering machine is ideal for men with busy lifestyles who want to invest in their grooming and really look after their skin. Powered by a long-lasting ion battery, guaranteed to give at least two weeks’ worth of shaves, this device is designed to be compact and convenient. Being cordless, it’s easy to store unobtrusively on a counter or easily stowed in a travel bag. At a mere seven and a half inches tall and three inches in diameter, our lathering machine takes up about as much space in your shower as a soap dish.
There are plenty of reasons for you to choose LTHR for your everyday personal grooming comfort. But the biggest reason is yourself. Why settle for anything less than the very best? It’s what your skin and beard deserve?