Barbershops play an essential role in society. However, they have a unique and colorful history you might not expect. Haircuts were not always the primary focus of barbershops, believe it or not. Here are some interesting facts to know about barbershops.
Barbershops Have Been Around Longer Than You Think
Barbershops have served an important role throughout history. But they’ve been around a lot longer than you might think. You can trace the art of barbering back to Ancient Egypt. You can even find Egyptian hieroglyphs that depict barbers on the walls of tombs. Ancient Egyptian society viewed their barbers as priests. They removed hair with razors because people believed hair was a channel through which demonic spirits could enter the body. The first barber razors featured sharpened flint and oyster shells. Archaeologists have found some of these relics, which are around 6,000 years old.
The Societal Role of Barbershops Has Evolved a Lot
Today we know barbershops as a place where you can get a haircut and enjoy some gossip and conversation. However, barbershops once played a vastly different role in society than now. In medieval times, society referred to barbers as barber-surgeons, and they did a lot more for men than cut hair. These barber-surgeons performed surgeries, dentistry, bloodletting, leeching, enemas, and fire cupping. Of course, they did also cut hair, but they had many other roles on top of that. Eventually, barbers got banned from performing surgical procedures. So it’s not likely that you’ll find a barbershop today where you can also get a tooth extraction.
The Interesting Origin Behind the Barber Pole
The barber pole is one of the most iconic symbols associated with barbershops and has been a part of the profession for centuries. We can trace this symbol’s origins back to Medieval England when barber-surgeons performed bloodletting. Bloodletting was a procedure in which blood got extracted from a patient’s body to prevent disease or illness. When barber-surgeons performed these procedures, they would give patients a pole to grasp and use white bandages to stop the bleeding. They would then tie the blood-soaked bandages to the pole and place it outside the shop to advertise their services. The traditional barber pole we know today was originally a symbol of bloodletting services.
Now that you know some interesting facts about barbershop history, you better understand this profession and its role in society. If you own a barbershop and want to buy a barber chair online, check out Salon Equipment Center for our high-quality selection of products with Japanese-made hydraulic pumps. We also offer Click Lease financing options with zero percent interest for your first five months.