You know you’ll find an incredible sense of community and walk out with an excellent cut when you visit my shop. Are there a few things about barbers that you still might not know? You’ll have to read this blog to find out!
Hello, everyone! I am very excited to be back in my writing chair after spending another great few weeks keeping my clients looking and feeling their best in my barbers chair! Making sure you get extraordinary results, helping you feel your best, and putting my 28 years of experience to work is my goal every time you come and visit my shop. This isn’t just a hair cut for me, and it shouldn’t be for you either! Have you been thinking of trying out a new look or wanting to change up your style? Do you want to feel your best from head to toe? Trust your new look and these big decisions to Charleston’s Master Barber! (Hint – that’s me!)
Bringing the best services and cuts to my clients comes with continued education in my field and paying attention to what’s available and what’s changing. I love learning, and I also love educating. If you’ve been reading my blogs for the last year, my passion for sharing what I know and what I’ve learned over the years reflects in each of them. My last blog focused on the reasons why you should be going to a barber. In this blog, I thought it might be interesting to take it one step further. I thought it might be fun to share some interesting facts about barbers that you may or may not know. If you learn something new today, make sure to comment below or chat with me about it the next time you come in for a cut, style, or any of my services!
In one of my very first blogs, I touched on the history of barbers and what those iconic barber poles stand for. Where though, does the term “barber” come from? Historically, the trade of being a barber is one of the oldest in history with an incredible story behind it. The word “barber” comes from the Latin word “barba” which means “beard”. Barbering has been a profession for six thousand years, according to the National Barber Museum. The ancient Egyptians depicted barbering services in tomb paintings and razors and other relics of the profession have been found in their tombs. Services were done by Egyptian nobility with tools made from flint or oyster shells. Along with Egyptian nobility, Egyptian priests also performed barbering duties. It was believed that evil spirits would enter the body through the hair and the only way they could be removed was through cutting, shaving, trimming, and styling the hair in such a way to keep any evil spirits from entering the body. The idea that a barbershop offered a sense of community dates back to ancient Rome. It was first documented that while visiting your barber you could hear the news, gossip, rumors, and more. Thanks to this community, information spread very quickly. The barbershop was a place to go to relax and unwind.
From the very beginning of time, beards have historically been more than just a fashion choice or grown to keep your face warm. They have been symbols of ultimate masculinity, authority, power, and strength. This tradition was seen in the middle ages through the reign of Henry the 8th and again in the Victorian era, according to History Extra. Starting in the middle ages, barbers not only gave hair cuts they would also perform minor surgeries, pulled teeth and other dental needs, they would perform bloodlettings, and much. They were not just called barbers, they were called barber-surgeons. The world of being a barber-surgeon remained this way up until the scientific revolution came into fruition in the 1800s and the birth of modern medicine came to be. The knowledge of biology was now necessary to be a surgeon, its complexities went way beyond a barber-surgeons knowledge. What is interesting though is that the “Father of Modern Surgery”, Aambroise Pare, started his career as a barber-surgeon according to the American College of Surgeons. He started his apprenticeship to become a surgeon in 1520 in Paris, where he spent most of his time trimming beards and sweeping the shop.
The oldest barbershop still in existence today is Truefitt & Hill. It was established in London in 1805 and for over two centuries they have been known as one of the best traditional barbershops and perfumer in London. They hold this record with the Guinness Book of World Records and they are the Royal Warrant Holders to the Duke of Edinburgh. They have expanded their company and are now operating in the USA, Canada, India, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, and Azerbaijan.
As the United States started to grow and more immigrants came to make a new life for themselves after the Civil War, the barber profession hit a new height. There was a huge influx of Dutch, German, Italian, and Swedish immigrants coming to the United States, all who culturally grew and kept their beards, according to the National Barber Museum. This growth led to the Barbers Protective Union, which was formed in December of 1886 in Columbus, Ohio. The first barber school in the United States was opened in Chicago in 1893 by A.B Moter. He was also one of the very first to write and publish textbooks on the topic.
In 1897 the very first legislation was passed that to cut hair, you must obtain a license. This legislation was first passed in Minnesota and over the next 40 years, many states followed suit to protect clients from disease and to keep their shops safe and sterile. This act helped get rid of impetigo, anthrax, ringworm, and barbers itch, according to the National Barbers Museum. Today, it does vary by state, but most still require you to hold a license to cut hair and to own a barbershop along with the multitude of other services now offered.
While the trend in beards and hair length has seen quite a turn of popularity through the thousands of years barbering has been around,  the fad of long hair in the United States hit in the 1950s. Long hair became a very profitable source of income thanks to the Roffler-Kut system. This technique started with 20 barbers knowing the technique and skills but became hugely popular as the years went on. Some of these skills are still used today. Pop culture found in Music and TV, and things like the British Invasion, kept long hair popular through the 70s.
Who knew that sitting down in my chair held so much history? This blog is just a simple outline, the wealth of information that makes up the world of barbering is huge. It’s such a rich and interesting history and I am so proud to be apart of it. Think about these things the next time you come in for a new style or beard trim. Each style and cutting technique has been carefully crafted for hundreds of years before you came in and sat down! I am Patrick the Groomsmith and I am here with the best barbershop in Summerville, the best nonsurgical hair restoration in Summerville, and more.