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The popular image of cave men as hirsute great savages fails to take into consideration the inevitable trend-setters around at the time  – who were busily getting rid of their facial hair with the aid of two sharp shells, used as tweezers.  This is circa 100,000 BC and shows that today’s preoccupation with grooming started a very long time ago and that those early style leaders were no sissies.

The history of shaving is littered with a wonderful assortment of bizarre fads and painful procedures to get rid of facial and body hair,legsquikshave.jpg for men and women, as revealed in some fascinating research conducted for Quik Shave.

Depilatories first emerged around 4,000 BC and included such ingredients as arsenic and quick lime. Greek women at one time opted to singe off their leg hair. Julius Caesar noted in 50 BC that “Britons shave every part of their body except their head and upper lip".

doubleheadrazor.jpgQuik Shave's double head razor - who say you can shave your head in less than a minute, a pair of legs one minute flat.

In the Middle Ages, European ladies shaved and plucked eyebrows, eyelashes, temples and necks to give a bald effect – an alarming prospect when they removed their enormous headdresses. In the 1700s, men and women in Europe shaved off their eyebrows in order to paste on mouseskin false ones.  Beau Brummell is said to have shaved several times a day. In the 18th century, the straight steel “cut throat” blade was produced in Sheffield.

The first safety razor was patented in the US in 1880. truefittrazor.jpgIn the first World War, every US serviceman was given a Gillette. But by the second World War, such was the shortage of materials that American women were using sandpaper – sandpaper!– to rub hair from their legs and underarms. The QuikShave, a double headed razor, was patented by Mr Herbi McNinch of Texas in 1996.

Since then, more disposable razors, electric shavers, improved safety razors and a host of other hair removal products have come onto the market, as men and women continue to rid themselves of hair at an ever increasing rate.

The classic shaving set here is from Truefitt & Hill, who have been shaving gentlemen at their St. James's premises since 1805. This one in from their Edwardian collection, with handmade badger shaving brush, to retail at £145. www.truefittandhill.co.uk

New research shows that men are following the girls in getting rid of underarm hair, and that hair-free legs and chest and back fuzz removal is on the up. What’s more, 41per cent of the men surveyed admitted that they also removed crotch hair.

This survey, conducted for Phillips Bodygroom, found that of the men contacted over  a third were prepared get rid of all hair if their girlfriends were keen. Most opted for shaving, but some were now using girly hair removal creams – and some were even into waxing.  Quite a few have manage to nick themselves in pursuit of hairless body regions – but the Phillips Bodygroom is designed to easily reach all the parts that other shavers may not with a special foil to ensure a safe and smooth shave.

Given all this effort to achieve a hairless state one can only wonder at the millions of men who still agonise over going bald.



The present vogue for shaven heads has reduced the activbottles.jpgnumbers of men desperately scraping and pasting hair across a balding pate, yet the dread signs of thinning locks still prompt delaying tactics. Various products claim to halt or reverse the decline and the latest on the market comes from Swarzkop.

This is Activ M, claimed to give a "genuine and long term solution". Exclusively for men, it is said to be effective where normal hair loss is caused by changing levels of hormones within the body, as in a change in levels of testosterone in men.

Activ M shampoo and tonic are available in Boots and other chemists priced £9.99 and £12.99 respectively. Visit www.activhaircare.co.uk for further information.



LATEST SPA to open its doors is at Knock Castle in Scotland.  This splendid old pile has been given a complete make-over and now has all sorts of up-to-the-minute knockcastle.jpgsuper spa treatments, from hot stones to seaweed wraps.  The hotel has 30 bedrooms and a fine restaurant, and guests may arrive by their own transport or book one of the hotel group’s own helicopters for travel within the UK.

The surrounding Perthshire countryside offers no less than six championship golf courses, fishing in loch and river, shooting, walking and watersports.  For further information go to www.knockcastle.com




Autumn 12 edition

:: SAVILE ROW Style Magazine ::

contact Home - Contents in brief with pictures
contact Style 1 - The meaning of bespoke in technicolour
contact Style 2 - Latest addition to the bespoke ranks
contact Style 3 - Savile Row's goes for global marketing
contact Style 4 - Best of British puts on a display
contact Style 5 - SR Collection - our selection of goods and brands
contact Grooming - Shaving started with the cavemen
contact Textiles - Vicuna makes its return in a de luxe suiting
contact Drinks 1/2 - Blithe new spirits and Ethical wines
contact Property - Luxury investments around the globe
contact Pin-ups - Ladies in the spotlight
contact Home Luxury - Shocking trend for nude gardening
contact Gifts - Diamonds are a man's best friend
contact Travel - Live the high life on the home front
contact Contact - Details and registration
contact Tailors of Savile Row - listing of top tailors and interviews
contact Archive - Back Issues

CREDITED with making the world’s most expensive, Clive Christian is launching a male fragrance that seems likely to top the price list in this market too.

Just 1000 bottles of the precious liquid ‘1872 Artwork’ will be produced this Autumn, available through Fortnum & Mason and Harrodchristianbottle.jpgs at £185 for a 50ml perfume spray.  The date signifies the year that Queen Victoria granted the perfume house her seal of approval, as shown in the crown on the perfume bottles.

Clary Sage was chosen as one of the main ingredients, considered a sacred herb in Roman times. Emperor Nero had drops of the herb scattered over his troops before they rode into battle, bearing the standard of the Roman Eagle – and the eagle is featured on the perfume’s bottle.


THE ESSENCE of Porsche design has been poured into the latest male fragrance on the market, the first from the Porsche design studio. As to be expected, it is contained in a sleek, modern bottle, in plain black packaging and should have appeal to men who like their toiletries to look manly.

The eau de toilette 80ml bottle is priced at £52, the 50ml at £38.  There is also a Porsche Design aftershave lotion, a hair and body shampoo, alcohol-free deodorant stick and deodorant spray.


AND ANOTHER new fragrance, this one from the Italian fashion house of Canali. With various hints of this and that and the other herbs, flowers, fruits and woods in its make-up, it comes in a classic bottle to reflect the classic tailoring style of the house of Canali and is priced at £55 for a 100ml eau de toilette and £40 for the 50ml.  After shave, shave balm, body wash and deodorant are also available.