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Arts and Crafts

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hair Cut Art History

Cutting hair has already been around for thousands of years and all kinds of tools were used to accomplish the task; Egyptians from 3500 BC already used a type of razor made from sharpened flint or oyster shells.

Cutting one's hair could be based upon different reasons; convenience, because short hair was cooler in a particular climate, or spiritual and religious beliefs, cultural customs, or even laws such as in China during the Manchu dynasty which required men's heads being partially shaved.

Not everyone was entitled to cut hair. This was mostly reserved for the religious and spiritual leaders and later on for those who also practices medicine and dentistry and that is where the red and white spiral stripes of the barber pole originate from; white represented haircutting, hairdressing and shaving and red represented the surgical services.

It took until the 1300's when in England barbers were divided into barbers and surgeons, but it took until 1745 when a clear separation and distinction was made between the two professions.

In the States, the services of barbers became more and more popular after the Civil War and barber shops became a common sight in towns and cities, but it would not be until 1893 when A.B. Moler established the first Barber School in Chicago and cutting hair and shaving became turned into a real profession.

A barber license was required as of 1897 which was for the protection of the customers. Sterilization kept diseases from spreading and barber shops were frequently inspected.

New technologies and different and innovated techniques are constantly being introduced which demand the hairdressers to keep up with if they want to stay in business.

The profession most certainly has evolved into a real form of art and creativity, imagination, expertise and a steady hand are some of the traits which can not be done without!

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