The History of Wet Shaving: Taylor of Old Bond Street

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Keeping it in the Family

First and foremost, Taylor of Old Bond Street is a family business. Passed down over the course of 4 generations, the company keeps the operation small and immensely attentive, offering discerning wet shavers what they call the “Taylor Tradition” – products with pure, natural ingredients and a product range that “includes the luxurious and the unusual.”

Taylor of Old Bond Street was founded on September 1st, 1854 by Jeremiah Taylor, the great grandfather of today’s Chairman, Leonard Taylor. The business began as a hairdressing salon on Bond Street, and soon enough Taylor of Old Bond Street gained a reputation amongst the British gentry for superior hair and scalp treatments extracted from natural ingredients.

Jeremiah’s son, Ivan, later took over the business, using his expertise in chemistry to develop many new treatments.

In 1930, Ivan’s son, Sidney, expanded the business, opening up a second location on Jermyn Street. And today, Sidney’s son, Leonard, continues to be at the forefront of Taylor of Old Bond Street, creating hair, skin, and beard products that epitomize classic British style.

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A Commitment to Quality and Style

Taylor of Old Bond Street’s philosophy of balancing natural, high-quality ingredients with refined elegance has been a hit with wet shavers since its inception. Whether you’re lathering up their perennially popular Sandalwood Shaving Soap or applying their Bay Rum Aftershave Lotion, you always feel like a gentleman.

Taylor of Old Bond Street products are reliable and add a touch of understated elegance to your shave den.

Today you can visit Taylor of Old Bond Street at 74 Jermyn Street, located in the heart of London’s fashionable West End. Stop in for a relaxing barbershop shave or simply admire the dizzying array of shaving soaps, brushes, razors, and every wet shaving implement you could imagine.

Find out more about Taylor of Old Bond Street on their website, and shop Taylor of Old Bond Street at RoyalShave.

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The History of Wet Shaving: Truefitt & Hill

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If you’re a wet shaver, you’ve probably been indoctrinated in the three Ts of traditional wet shaving: Taylor of Old Bond Street, Trumper, and Truefitt & Hill. All three brands are based in Britain and are even located in the same shopping district. Preserving the nostalgic elements of wet shaving, these brands are considered to be the best in the world.

At RoyalShave we understand that one of the wonderful things about practicing wet shaving is that it links us with a rich historical past. It’s a legacy that we carry on every time we start whipping up a lather, or put a razor to our face. As such, today we will be taking you back in time to the rise of the standard-bearing Truefitt & Hill, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the Oldest Barbershop in the World.

Check  back for our next wet shaving history lesson soon!

The Beginning

Up until the early 1800s, British men and women wore powdered wigs. Grooming regimens focused on making these wigs look lavish, a feat usually accomplished at the barbershop. But by about the beginning of the 19th century, barbershops began offering more options for pomades and hair products, allowing the vogue to sway on the side of natural, shorter hair.

In 1805 William Francis Truefitt opened one of the first barbershops in London, quickly becoming known as an exceptional barber who helped Britain’s gentry look equally regal for society events as for everyday. Soon Truefitt received the highly revered Royal Warrant to His Majesty, King George III, becoming the Court Hair Cutter, Court Hair Dresser, and Wigmaker.

An Esteemed Clientale

In additional to serving the Royal Family, Truefitt boasted as his clientele some of the most notable figures of the time – according to the Truefitt & Hill website, “glancing at Truefitt’s appointment books is like reading entries from a ‘Who’s Who’ of distinguished society and names of those who shaped the history of the world…”

Among these famous patrons was Sir Winston Churchill and William Gladstone, the Duke of Wellington, as well as entertainment figures like Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, and Fred Astaire.

In 1935 Truefitt acquired the hairdressing business of Edwin S. Hill & Co., moving into Edwin Hill’s old space at 23 Old Bond Street and becoming the Truefitt & Hill we know today.

Long-Running Royal Ties

Since the brand’s inception, it has served the Monarchs of Great Britain for nine consecutive reigns, and to this day Truefitt’s barbers visit the Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle to attend to the Royal Family.

Find out more about Truefitt & Hill on their website, and shop Truefitt & Hill at RoyalShave.

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