History of the Barbers
Barbers have their root origins as far back as the Ancient Egyptians. The Egyptians were well-known for their personal grooming, from makeup to hair care. In their time, barbers and groomers were among the most well-respected of society. The Ancient Greeks also regarded barbers as men of high society. Men wore their hair cropped and beards long and perfectly styled. Barbers were in high demand, and the profession became a popular one.
Fast forward to the Middle Ages. Barbers were not only tasked with hair and grooming; they also performed dental extractions and minor surgeries. At the time, clergymen were the only people authorized for major surgery, and when they became overloaded with patients, they trained barbers to perform surgery. It’s hard to imagine going to a barber shop to have your appendix removed, but barbers were the only other people familiar enough with surgical tools and human anatomy to perform these tasks. Later, Henry VIII of England would order that barbers have a certain amount of bodies per year to dissect and learn, much like medical surgeons.
This is where the famous “Barber pole” got its colors. Since barbers performed medical procedures as well as haircuts, the public needed a way to identify such shops. The result was a pole with white, red, and blue stripes. The white represents the bandages used in surgery, the red represents blood, and blue represents veins. It’s quite a gruesome tradition, but also an interesting page in barbers’ history.
Barbers continued in this manner until 1745, when King George separated the barbers from the medical surgeons, and barbers were to undertake hair care only. The barbershop became a place for men to receive hair and facial care by professionals highly trained in their needs. It has continued this way for over 250 years. Today, the barbershop has a modern culture all its own. Nic Grooming aims to merge the traditional barbershop qualities, such as skin care and facial hair grooming with modern technology. Taking inspiration from the barbershops of the 1940s and 1950s, we merge old school and new school together in harmony.