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Is the obsession with BBS a new(ish) phenomenon?

The concept of wanting a 'smooth shave' is not new. The term BBS might be new, not sure it was never used back when barbers did real straight razor shaves regularly though.

Pretending its an obsession today though, is sorta detrimental. I don't see an obsession here. There are gear obsessions, and so on but BBS seems to me to just be a metric for evaluation or qualification. Guys get into wet shaving, and as skills progress, shave quality progresses. It's natural to find vocabulary that evaluates the progress. In a discussion forum, it makes sense to use terms, set standards, etc.

I don't see that qualifying anything as an obsession. I could point out a few things I do consider to be obsessions but it's really none of my business.

At the end of the day, who cares? So what?
If someone chases BBS or someone else wants 1000 Simpson brushes, it's not my business.
Everyone's business is their own.

Do we need to try and make people feel bad because of their preferences???
Do we need to try and feel superior because we don't chase those things?

BBS, way I see it, is just a stage or result that someone chooses to go for, or not. Lotta guys don't chase it. Not so many discuss it as a goal to achieve. Some do, yeah, but the majority of shavers seem to be mostly focused on other things.
There are some who use topics like that to gauge their masculinity, mark their territory, measure their manhood, sure, those types are all over the internet. They are a minority, and I think they're more obsessed with themselves to be honest.

But getting a close shave, wanting a closer longer lasting shave - that's been a thing since shaving and shaving advertisements were a thing.
Good stuff and I agree about the tools.

Seems like (generally) the introduction of the safety razor allowed most men to get a very close shave with less effort and less focus than with an open blade. Progress?

Still, it seems that many men today are able to get BBS shaves using straight razors from the 1800's...the actual, same tool. So I suppose I'm wondering how prevalent the pursuit of BBS was back then...as compared to today.

I guess we'll never know.

It is complete conjecture on my part, but I suspect that chasing a BBS shave is a relatively new phenomenon.

I think someone else mentioned this as well, but an 1800s era SR was a fine tool. The stones used to hone them were not always fine tools. Most here today wouldn't dream of shaving with a SR that hadn't been finished on at least a 10k grit hone. Most barber hones commonly used to hone razors back in the day were less than half that. Barber hones were also likely used until they were dished and well past their prime.

I agree with Gamma. Nothing wrong with chasing a better shave, and im sure some did so even in the 1800s. There's also nothing wrong with just looking for a decent shave and being done with it. Shooters choice, as long as the targets are engaged and cleared.
Coticules have been used for a long time, hard to know how widely available they were. Abrasive pastes like jeweler's rouge have been around a long, long time.
I stumbled across the "14-Stroke" shaving diagram that apparently is still taught to new barbers. Looking at the diagram, all of the shaving strokes are WTG or XTG except on the lower portion of the neck, which are ATG.

Which got me to thinking:

When exactly did the idea of BBS take hold?

Pretty sure that a cowboy trotting into town with his face covered in dust and a two-week beard was thrilled to pay two-bits for the socially-acceptable shave he got in 14 strokes. Likewise any 19th century gent either shaving himself or at the local barber shop.

Even today this is considered a typical barber shop shave.

Anyway, it seems to me that a comfortable shave which resulted in a clean-shaven appearance was the primary goal (and likely still is for many) and yet shaving seems to have evolved into an obsession with BBS.

No right answers, just a curiosity to me.
what does bbs even stand for? Newbie here
what does bbs even stand for? Newbie here
For your reference:

Because we have lots more of those acronyms!
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