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Barber-pole-01.gif Will this do? Sakurambo 00:53, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Page focusing on male hairdressing[edit]

'Hairdresser' redirects to 'Barber', which focuses on hairdressing for men. If this redirection is to exist, it should be for hairdressers generally, not simply for "barbers". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:48, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. --Kvaks (talk) 18:58, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

I have been a barber for 40 + years and it is this type of language and mentality that has keep most barbers out of the major league in this business. Grow up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Masterbarber40 (talkcontribs) 17:46, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 06:56, 18 December 2014 (UTC)According to the 1940 textbook of "Journeymen Barbers' International Union of America" in the section covering history of the barber profession, the first recorded barbers were recorded from Sicily to Rome in the year of 303 B.C. In the course of a few years, they had so multiplied that the city was full of them. The source goes on to report the barber shop was a place even of its most earliest of origin of common resort for loungers and idlers of every description. As it is today, it was then a source of local gossip, news gathering and where the inquisitive portion of the community came to receive the fashionable news and information regarding affairs of the state. They came from all corners of the city when hours of regular business were over to informally discuss politics as it was a natural gathering place for the men of the age.

     The barber himself was in many ways a reliable new source. Since the earliest of days to modern times, the well known reliability of one's local barber shop news is an established city's icon to it's staying power. According to the Journeymen Barber's International Union, the first record of barbers in London dates to the mid thirteenth century and it is in this period in which the Barber's Company came into existence. How long before this period such a group existed is impossible to say, but the barbers at that time were governed by groups that did not record much about the trade functions during that period. What was recorded and what we do know were issues relating to member dues for annual subscriptions and what that generated revenue was reportedly used for. Like other similar trade based union associations, the Barber Company made it's mission to do a number of benevolent acts such as assisting widows and orphans of diseased members.  The Barber Company, in accordance with the law of the day, allowed no more than two apprentices at any one time. These groups were ruled by a master barber.      The first noted master barber was a Richard le Barber in the year of 1308, according to the 'JBUA'. The associations of the barbers and surgeons followed and in 1462 a charter was granted to the barber surgeons by Edward de Forth. Oddly, the charter makes no mention to barbers, it's simply referred to the regulations of surgeons. However, the surgeons, at that time, were as a matter of fact, all barbers. So much were the surgeons connected intimately with the work of a barber that when a person called a barber, he was understood to be a barber surgeon. At that time the Company, as it was known and called, which was the same as an association, was governed by four masters. Two of these were full time actual barbers and the other two were full time actual surgeons.      There was also a small association of surgeons at that time who were principally military surgeons, and these two  bodies had frequent disputes. The barber surgeons were indisputably the stronger organization by far having a much larger membership base and more influence in the community at large. The smaller group who wanted to change the name from 'barbers' to 'surgeons' were not only less in number but were in general, individually less charismatic. As a result the communities at large tended to receive them with less enthusiasm than their friendly neighborhood counterparts. This all added to the building rivalry between the groups. As the conflicts and disputes mounted to an unreasonable point, finally terms were discussed to reach a peaceful solution within the group. However, it did not last. In 1540 the Companies were incorporated by active Parliament and were legal called for the first time the Company of Barber Surgeons.      During that period medical practice was limited to the medical clergy. As such, a much wider divide existed between the barbers and surgeons and likewise between the surgeons and clergy. However, the clergy who provided medical care required the assistance of the 'barber surgeons' to perform manual operations as they did not possess the skill nor experience. The barber surgeons  readily aided in the performing of operations. So much so that the barber pole commonly displayed in front of the barber shop was originally thought to  be the colors representing surgery and also to designate the place where a patient might receive services. The pole represented something like a rod to keep the arm steady while the surgeons performed their work, ad in no time they began to practice as medical me as well as surgeons. The right to do so was quickly recognized by custom and a charter of incorporation followed during the formation of the union of barbers and surgeons.  This corporation was formed in the year 1540  and continued until the year of 1745, at which time the surgeons had gained pre-eminence over the barbers and the union was dissolved. The surgeons were reincorporated and called themselves the Company of Surgeons while the barbers called themselves the Company of Barbers.  

This has been a brief historical rendition of the origin of barber profession and the barber pole according to the Journeymen Barbers' International Union of America educational department publication of 1940.

As a barber I have watched this page with a bit of dissapointment since my starting "barber school". There is very little elaboration on tools and impliments. In fact, save straight razor they seem to have been neglected altogether. Also, there is no mention of services commonly provided.

Services Commonly Provided


Ear-and-Neck Shave

Face Shave

Facial uuuu Scalp Tonic

Tools and Impliments

Shears (scissors)





Edgers (A smaller clipper usually used to outline the perimeter of the haircut)(

Sanitizer (the most commonly seen sanitizers in this day and age is the wet sanitizer. Most barber board require them to be covered making the jar the most common wet sanitizer. The precursor was the dry sanitizer which involved placing the impliments into a fumigate cabinet usually made of glass and filling it with a formeldahyde gas which was accomplished a number of different ways)

Barber Chair (this definitely deserves it's own unique definition it is much different from the all too common styling chair in function and in purpose)

I didn't have a chance to complete the list, I will modify it later.

BTW, the barber pole definition is true. Even if it's not true there is no proof otherwise and this has been believe by barbers as far back as A.B. Moler the author of the first standard barbering textbook and likely further back then that. So dispute is essentially pointless. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:10, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Barber Pole?[edit]

I've always heard that the red stripe represented blood (rather than blood-stained bandages) and the white either represented cleanliness (rather than clean bandages) or was simply a good, visible contrast to the red.

The explanation about hanging bandages on a pole seems a little far-fetched. Why would a barber hang clean bandages from a pole with dirty ones? For that matter, why would a barber hang clean bandages from pole at all? They're clean. Maybe the barber pole predates the knowledge of germs, but it doesn't predate the knowledge of clean vs. dirty. Obviously, if the barbers were taking the trouble to wash them and hang them to dry, they wouldn't want to let them get the new bandages dirty.

Sometimes a symbol is just a symbol, and isn't based on an actual event. (For instance, I doubt the symbol of the griffin in heraldry came from somebody meeting a lion with an eagle's head.)

The posted explanation doesn't make any sense if you think about it from a realistic perspective. I'm not going to change it or anything, and I'm not an expert on barbers, but I think that part is pretty iffy. Kafziel 19:12, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

On second thought, I am going to change it, since the article was started by an anonymous IP address anyway. I'll wait a few days to see if anyone has any suggestions. Kafziel 19:23, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

The bit about the origins of the barber's pole sounds iffy to me too, but a quick Google shows that everyone else seems to believe this too. Of course, this may be the same bit of information being duplicated everywhere. Anyhow, I wouldn't change it without further documented research. --Iacobus 03:13, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Since the original claim was not documented I've removed it. Given the clear flaws in this claim (why would someone hang dirty stuff up with clean stuff if they're all going to get tangled up?). Also would you really keep your leaches and blood in the same basin? Sounds a bit bizaree to me since presemuably you'd want your leeches to be hungry. I don't know if leeches take up blood in a basin but even if they don't it sounds to me like you risk 'drowning' them in blood. All in all sounds a rather flawed claim and without further evidence or references, I don't think it's worth mentioning. If you do find a reliable reference, I would suggest you still mention it as a theory not a fact. Nil Einne 20:29, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Barber Pole Claim is True[edit]

It is actually documented in my text book. Milady's Standard Barbering Textbook, pretty much the only current text book in exsistance on the subject in North America. - DoobieEx


Finally in 1745 a bill was passed separating barbers from surgeons. When the Barber-Surgeons separated, the barber kept the pole as their identification. The pole consists of Red and White, or Red, White and Blue strips. Red for blood, White for bandages and Blue for veins

Here could be a few reasons why the book say's what it does.The reason for white bandages intermixed with red ones could be one of several reasons. They could simply put the whiter ones out with the blood "stained" ones because they were both just washed and they needed to dry them(no electric dryer) kept the white ones for the shaves and Hair cutting seperate from the surgery whones while dirty and then washed them seperately and dried them togethor. Another could be that sometimes there were blood stained ones hanging out there(after surgery they were washed and hung to dry)and white ones after a haircut(linens where washed then as well. For all intensive purposes the bowl at the top and bottom of the pole are "Symbolic" of leaches and doesnt mean they detached the bowl from the pole to perform this service. In all actuallity the Barber pole of today is symbolic. The red and white symbolize surgery and tonsorial services, bowls represent blood letting. Barberofdeville-Master Barber (talk) 03:49, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Barbers & Barbarians[edit]

"It is from the Roman (Latin) word 'barba', meaning beard, that the word 'barber' is derived - and hence 'barbarians' as the name used during that period to describe tribes who were bearded."

This is a false etymology. "Barbarian" comes from the Greek words barbaros, meaning "foreign speaker", and barbarizein, "to speak like a foreigner". The word did come into English via Latin (as did most Greek words), but has no connection with the native Latin word barba. (see any standard dictionary, such as the Shorter Oxford)

I have therefore removed the above text from the article. --Iacobus 02:42, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

I am removing the link to barbarian in the see also section--Lehk 03:32, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Any type of hair?[edit]

"someone whose occupation is to cut any type of hair" - is this really the case? Nose hair, pubic, ...? Animals', dead bodies' ?

Barbers may cut any type of hair. It is not prohibited by law, but because of the nature of their clinical training they generally prefer mens hair. The only services a barber cannot perform that a cosmetologist may perform in the state of West Virginia at least is a manicure and permanent waving. Although the only barber school in the state doesn't offer a barbering course that exlcudes permanent waving. Refer to the West Virginia State Code for verification if you want to include this. - DoobieEx

State vary when it comes to guidelines. However in most states that mandate training in a school (and still have a independant Barber Board) it is mandatory that you learn how to cut Men and Womens Hair(There is no differance between female and male hair only hair types such as diameter, thickness, hair pattern, etc.). It is also mandatory you learn all chemical services as relates to the hair. The straight razor shave(at least neck shave) is also mandatory. We are also tested on it by means of a practical exam which includes(shave, facial, taper haircutwithout gaurds using proper combs and shears on the top, 3 perm rods to be placed and wrapped, describe chemical service applications, and neck shave. We have chapters that relate to skin treatments in the Milady Standard as well as anatomy of the head neck and face. For all intensive purposes we learn the same stuff. No one really knows that much after completeing school unless they have had advance training(such as videos and siminars) There is equally bad Hair cutters in both Hair Professions and equally good. Some of the Best what you think are Hair Salons are actually Barber Shops in hiding. Its a shame that the common thought when someone hears the word barber they think "Oh, they will buzz my hair if i go there!" Thanks to the old timers in the 70's refusing to cut longer hair on guy's. A true Barber(historically speaking can Cut any type of Hair and use anything from a clipper to a straight razor on your hair and make it do anything they want it to, Can do a smooth comfortable shave, and if it relates to hair they can take care of it, Men or Women alike. A taper Haircut is one of the hardest haircuts to give period and only a barber can do it. The invention of the Gaurd on clippers and the 1970's is the worst thing to ever happen to the barber industry except for the disposable razor and canned goo. I for one dont use gaurds and have a 50/50 client base and perform all services as relate to hair. Barbers of old where the go to guy's for cologne, hair products, etc for the distinguished gentleman of the day.

Cosmetologist cannot use an open blade on the skin except for some states that allow neck shaves under supervision of a licensed barber in the shop. Barbers cannot do nails unless they take the additional schooling and obtain that license.

In closing (Cosmetologist cant shave the face)& (Barber cant do nails) Barberofdeville76.18.198.211 (talk) 08:58, 1 July 2009 (UTC)


"In Ireland it was enacted that, in order to be recognised as an Englishman, a man must have all the hair above his mouth shaven"

Should this be "under his mouth"? Englishmen with goatees and shaved heads?

You've neglected eyebrow & signature!!!![edit]

Please note that tonsorial redirects here. Is there a way to write it into the article??

Thank You,

[[ hopiakuta Please do sign your signature on your message. ~~ Thank You. -]] 00:20, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Closed on Mondays[edit]

Does anyone know why traditionally barbershops were closed on Mondays? I have heard it was because of the "strong arm" of the barber's union that forced towns to implement legislation prohibiting barbershops from doing business on Sundays and Mondays. Any truth to that?-- (talk) 21:35, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

When I asked my barber that he said it was so people who worked (or went to school) 9 to 5, Monday threw Friday could get their hair cut on Saturdays. My local comic book shop keeps the same hours and when asked they gave the same reason. Lando242 (talk) 19:57, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

The law itself was made by the Barber Union to protect barbers rights. No cutting on monday and sunday was so barbers had atleast 2 days off Sunday was chosen so those who wanted to attend church could if they so chose and monday because it was usually the slowest of the week. As far as no individual shall work on: its there to promote brotherhood and keep out competition. Rules and regulation are usually there for a reason. This one in particular was to protect peoples rights from there employers and to maintain a code of brotherhood. Some states even went as far as having a mandatory rate for services. Most state Barber boards only answer to the governor of that state.

Barberofdeville-Master Barber (talk) 03:47, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

The Definition of Barber on the main page is incorrect and the history is lacking[edit]

The definition of barber on the main page is incorrect as it only contains part of the definition. Barbers are not specifically male hair dressers. The definitions of Hair Dresser are also incorrect by published dictionary's standards. It give misinformation on the trade and its history. It also gives one the impression that barbers only do mens hair or that some go outside this scope to do womens hair. That is not the case historically. Cosmetology came much later after the 1900's as a profession. The first Cosmetology school was started by a Barber. It is sad that you have made the definition and history of a trade with much history so small in scope in comparison on this page. In fact barbering as a term is the definition of any and all things relating to hair care. Barbers where the first wigmakers, the first to use chemical treatments on the hair. Cosmetology schools do not teach this history as they want to get as far away from being deemed a barber as they can because of the image the barber industry has. Today's barber for the most part is not what it once was that is for sure with most barber's skills only able to use a gaurd and cut a fade or short men's cut. However this page should show the history of the profession as it relates to all other professions that provide hair care and beauty services(it is the alpha, the beginning of all. I feel that the page as of now is condescinding as it only states the profession today as the history of it and uses terms such as fancy haircuts or derogatory definitions. It has been a profession since the beginning of written history and should be treated as such. (To say that some barbers consider themselves hair stylist is because most only cut mens hair is like saying some Cosmetologist consider themselves make-up artist because most cosmetologist dont provide make-up services.) Make this page pure not some misconcieved attempt at generalizing a profession without doing the proper research.

There are terms you forgot tomention and have lumped the word barber with a type of institution of Barber and they are differant:

Barber Shop: Predominantly male oriented shop that caters to a male client base who provide Haircuts, Shave, Beard Shaping and trimming,and sometimes color service. Mainly have a male client base who perfer shorter hair styles and most will also perform womens cuts as well but are limited to what specific ability's of the barbers at that particuliar shop.

Barber Salon: Caters to Men and Women. Provides Haircutting, Chemical Services, Facial Massage, up-do's, Hair Styling, waxing, etc. Some will offer Straight Razor Shaves, and Nail services by a Nail Tech.

Barber Parlor: Usually Traditional looking Barber Shop emphasizing the 1920's-1960's methodology and interior

Tonsorial Parlor: Can be any of the above but almost always relates to being a Licensed Barber establishment.

Men's Salon: Can be either cosmetology shop, Barber Shop, or Combined License Shop that focus's on a male client base only.

Barber Stylist: Term that describes a Barber who has been trained in both Men's and Womens Hair Services.

Barber (from the Latin barba, "beard") a person whose occupation it is to cut and dress the hair of customers, esp. men, and perform shaves, and trim beards.

Hair Dresser: Main Entry: hair·dress·er Pronunciation: -ˌdre-sər Function: noun Date: 1764 1: a person whose occupation is the dressing or cutting of hair 2British : barber "Websters Dictionary"

Hair Stylist: Main Entry: hair·styl·ist Pronunciation: -ˌstī-list Function: noun Date: 1935 : hairdresser ; especially : a person who does creative styling of coiffures "Websters Dictionary (Hair period, Men have long hair too and Hair is Hair)

Ton*so"ri*al\, a. [L. tonsorius, fr. tonsor a shearer, barber, fr. tondere, tonsum, to shear. See Tonsure.] Of or pertaining to a barber, or shaving. of or relating to a barber or the work of a barber "Websters Dictionary" Relating to a barber or barbering, the shearing shaving styling or cutting of hair, usually at a barber shop.

Cosmetologist: Main Entry: cos·me·tol·o·gist Pronunciation: ˌkäz-mə-ˈtä-lə-jist Function: noun Date: 1926 : a person who gives beauty treatments (as to skin and hair) —called also beautician "Websters Dictionary"--

Here is what it should look like or atleast have this info on it.

In previous times, barbers also performed surgery and dentistry. page of . In more recent times, with the development of safety razors and the decreasing prevalence of beards, most barbers primarily cut hair. Some hairdressers consider the term derogatory. The term Hair dresser stems from the term Barbering not from Cosmetology(it came after and has a differant meaning)

Although many barbers may still deal with facial hair when requested, in American and Commonwealth culture most barbers specialize in the simple cutting of men's hair. They do not generally offer significant styling or 'fancy' haircuts when compared to hairdressers working in hair salons.(generalization with a derogatory statement at the end, not fact)

The place where a barber works is generally called a barbershop, or simply the "barber's". Terminology

A hairdresser is a universal term referring to someone whose occupation is to cut or style hair in order to change or maintain a person's image. Actually the definition isnt universal it actually refers to cutting or styling hair and the term for that is called tonsorial arts. Here is the definition of tonsorial(: of or relating to a barber or the work of a barber. Here is the definition for Cosmetology (: the cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair, and nails) which refers to Chemical services, and treatments of the hair, not cutting. It was actually a branch off of barbering in the early 1900's that specifically taught chemical services and all other cosmetic applications other than cutting the hair and shaving, or trimming) A.B. Moler started the first Barber school that taught only cutting hair, shaving, and trimming the beard and later expanded this to start the first coursework for cosmetology a division of barbering relating to chemical services and cosmetic application and also adress womens hair cutting) Even todays cosmetology considers the coursework for hair cutting as "Barbering"

 This is achieved using a combination of hair coloring, haircutting and hair texture techniques. 

Some barbers prefer to see themselves as hairdressers or hairstylists(We are all as we do hair and the definition of barber includes these;I.E. any one who does hair is considered this). There is a common misbelief that barbers do not perform any service other than hair cutting, and that cosmetologists perform all coloring and perms(thats because of sites that generalize our profession from an outside understanding making statements not based on fact). In fact, barbers can(can? no the word is Do) cut hair, trim beards, color, perm, provide facials, and shave. They are also licensed to work with artificial hair replacement products (toupées, etc). Many working stylists are legally barbers(and some stylists are legally cosmetologists, once again refering to barber as lesser rthan cosmetology when it comes to the term stylist which you say does not differentiate). There is some professional rivalry between barbers and cosmetologists, both of which are licensed and regulated. At one time, both groups were allowed to cut hair, but only barbers were allowed to shave or trim beards(still only barbers by law can perform a shave): this required mastering the arcane technique of using a straight razor. Today, barbers and stylists may be found working side by side in establishments known as male salons(or female salons. once again generalizing a term that has a solid definition). Male salons have afforded the barber the opportunity to remain traditional in all aspects of the term(traditional as of 1900's on), yet also progressively contemporary as fashion and trends evolve. In male salons, hairstylists and barbers seek to accommodate the modern male hairstyle trends by employing traditional hair styling and straight razor shaves with modern practices, such as texturizing techniques and color.(once again generalizing a profession on a common misconception)


History of Barbering as posted on "" and can be colaborated with Milady Standard Textbook.

The word "barber" comes from the Latin word "barba," meaning beard. It may surprise you to know that the earliest records of barbers show that they were the foremost men of their tribe. They were the medicine men and the priests. But primitive man was very superstitious and the early tribes believed that both good and bad spirits, which entered the body through the hairs on the head, inhabited every individual. The bad spirits could only be driven out of the individual by cutting the hair, so various fashions of hair cutting were practiced by the different tribes and this made the barber the most important man in the community. In fact, the barbers in these tribal days arranged all marriages and baptized all children. They were the chief figures in the religious ceremonies. During these ceremonies, the hair was allowed to hang loosely over the shoulders so that the evil spirits could come out. After the dancing, the long hair was cut in the prevailing fashion by the barbers and combed back tightly so that the evil spirits could not get in or the good spirits get out.

This rule by barbers was a common thing in ancient Asia. In fact, wherever there were legends and superstitions about the hair, the barbers flourished. To this day in India, the veneration of the hair continues and those who cut and dress the hair are important characters.

SHAVED HEADS AND BEARDS In Egypt, many centuries before Christ, barbers were prosperous and highly respected. The ancient monuments and papyrus show that the Egyptians shaved their beards and their heads. The Egyptian priests even went so far as to shave the entire body every third day. At this time the barbers carried their tools in open-mouthed baskets and their razors were shaped like small hatchets and had curved handles. The Bible tells us that when Joseph was summoned to appear before Pharaoh, a barber was sent for to shave Joseph, so that Pharaoh's sight would not be offended by a dirty face.

In Greece, barbers came into prominence as early as the fifth century, BC. These wise men of Athens rivaled each other in the excellence of their beards. Beard trimming became an art and barbers became leading citizens. Statesmen, poets and philosophers, who came to have their hair cut or their beards trimmed or curled and scented with costly essences, frequented their shops. And, incidentally, they came to discuss the news of the day, because the barber shops of ancient Greece were the headquarters for social, political, and sporting news. The importance of the tonsorial art in Greece may be gathered from the fact that a certain prominent Greek was defeated for office because his opponent had a more neatly trimmed beard.

In the third century, BC, the Macedonians under Alexander the Great began their conquest of Asia and lost several battles to the Persians who grabbed the Macedonians by their beards, pulled them to the ground and speared them. This resulted in a general order by Alexander that all soldiers be clean-shaven. The civilians followed the example of the soldiers and beards lost their vogue. Barbers were unknown in Rome until 296 BC, when Ticinius Mena came to Rome from Sicily and introduced shaving. Shaving soon became the fashion and the barber shop became the gathering place for the Roman dandies. No people were better patrons of the barbers than the Romans. They often devoted several hours each day to tonsorial operations, which included shaving, hair cutting, hairdressing, massaging, manicuring and the application of rare ointments and cosmetics of unknown formulas. The great ladies of Rome always had a hairdresser among their slaves and the rich nobles had private tonsors, as they were then called. Barbers were so highly prized that a statue was erected to the memory of the first barber of Rome.

When Hadrian became emperor, beards became the fashion again -- and for a very good reason. Hadrian had a face covered with warts and scars. He allowed his beard to grow to cover these blemishes. The people of Rome imitated the emperor and grew beards whether they needed them or not.

The fashion changed again to clean-shaven faces. We know that Caesar was clean-shaven. As we will see repeated in history many times, the leaders of the state were the leaders of fashion and the people were always ready to follow the prevailing styles. There are many passages in the Bible referring to the barber profession. Moses commanded that all who recovered from leprosy should be shaved. This was done as a health precaution, because throughout history the Jews have honored the beard as a badge of manhood. To this day, the orthodox Jews have little respect for clean-shaven men. During periods of mourning, the ancient Jews allowed their beards to go untrimmed, but ordinarily their beards were trimmed regularly. The prophet Ezekiel refers to an ancient custom in these words: "Take thou a barber's razor and cause it to pass upon thy head and upon thy beard." The razors of those days were made of flint and oyster shells.

ASSISTANTS TO CLERGY During the first centuries of the Christian era, the barbers of Europe practiced their profession wherever it was the custom to shave the face and trim the beard. Charlemagne made long, flowing hair the fashion, but each new conqueror changed the fashion according to his whim and personal needs. During the first ten centuries after Christ, the great majority of the people and even the nobles were uneducated and could neither read nor write. The most learned people of the times were the monks and priests who became the physicians of the dark ages. There were no professional surgeons at that time. Most of the diseases, which are easily curable now, were fatal then. "Bloodletting" was the popular method of curing all ills. The clergy who enlisted barbers as their assistants first performed this. This was the first step in the upward progress of the barber profession. Barbers continued to act as assistants to the physician-clergy, until the 12th century. At the council of Tours in 1163, the clergy were forbidden to draw blood or to act as physicians and surgeons on the grounds that it was sacrilegious for ministers of God to draw blood from the human body. The barbers took up the duties relinquished by the clergy and the era of barber-surgeons began. The connection between barbery and surgery continued for more than six centuries and the barber profession reached its pinnacle during this time.

FIRST BARBER ORGANIZATION The earliest known organization of barbers was formed in 1096 in France when William, archbishop of Rouen, prohibited the wearing of a beard. The barber-surgeon, or chirurgeons, began to thrive all over Europe. They were the doctors of the times and the royalty as well as the common people came to the barbers to have their ills treated as well as for shaving and haircutting. The physicians proper were in continual conflict with the barber-surgeons. The barbers embraced dentistry as well as surgery and this brought down on them the enmity of the dentists of the times. This caused a long strife, whose settlement required the interference of kings and councils. Followed between the barbers and the regular surgeon-dentists. But the barbers retained the privilege of practicing dentistry and surgery for several centuries.

FOUNDED SCHOOL OF SURGERY In the middle of the 13th century, the barber companies of Paris, known as the Brotherhoods of St. Cosmos and St. Domain, founded the first school ever known for the systematic instruction of barbers in the practice of surgery. This school was later enlarged and became the model for schools of surgery during the Middle Ages. Many of the foremost surgeons of the times were students of the School of St. Cosmos and St. Domain. The establishment of this school was one of the greatest contributions ever made toward the progress of humanity. The oldest barber organization in the world, still known in London as the "Worshipful Company of Barbers," was established in 1308. Richard le Barbour, as the Master of the Barbers, was given supervision over the whole of his trade in London. Once a month he had to go the rounds and rebuke any barbers whom he found acting disgracefully or entering on other trades less reputable. The master of a city company not only had this power, but he successfully prevented unauthorized persons from practicing the barber profession. The Barbers Guild of the 14th Century was undoubtedly more powerful than any of the modern unions. The king and council sanctioned the Guilds and so they could enforce their regulations. It was not uncommon for violators of Guild regulations to suffer prison terms for their misdemeanors.

BARBERS AS SURGEONS Up to the year 1416, the barbers were not interfered with in the practice of surgery and dentistry. But it was soon evident that they were attempting too much. It was impossible to expect ordinary human beings to competently practice surgery, dentistry and the various tonsorial operations. People began to complain that the barber-surgeons were making them sick instead of well. Many barber-surgeons resorted to quackery in order to cover up their ignorance of medicine and anatomy. These abuses came to the attention of the mayor and council of London. In 1416 an ordinance was passed forbidding barbers from taking under their care any sick person in danger of death or maiming, unless within three days after being called in, they presented the patient to one of the masters of the Barber-Surgeon's Guild. Until 1461 the barbers were the only persons practicing surgery. The practice of surgery was still in its primitive stage, but new discoveries were being made regularly and the barbers found it impossible to keep up with the new discoveries and at the same time maintain their skill in dentistry and barbering. The surgeons began to forge to the front and became increasingly jealous of the privileges accorded the barbers. But for a long time they could do nothing to prevent the barbers from acting as surgeons. In 1450, the Guild of Surgeons was incorporated with the Barbers Company by act of parliament. Barbers were restricted to bloodletting, toothdrawing, cauterization and the tonsorial operations. However the board of governors, regulating the operations of the surgeons and barber-surgeons, consisted of two surgeons and two barbers. Every time a surgeon was given a diploma entitling him to practice his profession, the diploma had to be signed by two barbers as well as two surgeons. The surgeons resented this, but the barbers were very much favored by the monarchs and preserved their privileges until the middle of the 18th century. Henry VIII, Charles II and Queen Anne presented the barber-surgeons with valuable gifts and raised many of them to high offices. Under a clause in the Act of Henry VIII, the Barber-Surgeons were entitled to receive every year the bodies of four criminals who had been executed. The dissections were performed four times a year in the Barber-Surgeons Hall which still stands in London.

ORIGIN OF BARBER POLE The modern barber pole originated in the days when bloodletting was one of the principal duties of the barber. The two spiral ribbons painted around the pole represent the two long bandages, one twisted around the arm before bleeding and the other used to bind is afterward. Originally, when not in use, the pole with a bandage wound around it, so that both might be together when needed, was hung at the door as a sign. But later, for convenience, instead of hanging out the original pole, another one was painted in imitation of it and given a permanent place on the outside of the shop. This was the beginning of the modern barber pole.

ALLIANCE DISSOLVED As the science of medicine, surgery and dentistry advanced, the barbers became less and less capable of performing the triple functions of barber-surgeon-dentist. The surgeons wished to be separated entirely from the barbers and they petitioned parliament to sever the ancient relationship of the barbers and surgeons and compel each profession to adhere strictly to its own provinces. A committee was appointed by parliament to investigate the matter and the petition was favorably reported to parliament. By an act of parliament, which received the sanction of the king, the alliance between the barbers and surgeons was dissolved in June, 1745. Two separate companies were formed and the property, formerly owned by the barbers and surgeons jointly, was divided among the two companies.

PROFESSION DECLINES This marked the decline of the barber profession. Similar action was taken in France under the reign of Louis XIV. Toward the end of the 18th century the barbers of Europe had completely relinquished their right to perform any of the operations of surgery and dentistry, except in the small towns and out-of-the-way places where doctors and dentists were not obtainable. After the barbers were prohibited from practicing medicine, surgery and dentistry, they became mere mechanics and servants, subject to the whims of fashion. When wigs became the fashion during the 18th and part of the 19th century, barbers became wigmakers. Their profession had lost its ancient dignity and barbers had become laborers, instead of professional men. In England, America and all over the civilized world, the decline of the barber was a spectacle for all to see. Barber shops became hangouts, places where low characters assembled. Smutty stories, malicious scandal and gossip of all kinds characterized barber shops until a few years ago. A barber shop was a place where men showed their lower instincts and where women dared not enter.

AN UPWARD TREND Late in the nineteenth century there were several noteworthy events in the barber profession that gave it an upward trend, and the effects are still carrying onward and upward. How long it will be before the barber may be looked up to as a professional man, taking his place by the side of the dentist, chiropodist, chiropractor and other kindred professions, cannot be foretold, but it would seem both the public and the profession are ready for better things. In 1893, A. B. Moler of Chicago, established a school for barbers. This was the first institution of its kind in the world, and its success was apparent from its very start. It stood for higher education in the ranks, and the parent school was rapidly followed by branches in nearly every principle city of the United States. In the beginning of schools, simply the practical work of shaving, haircutting, facial treatments, etc., was taught as neither the public nor the profession were ready to accept scientific treatments of hair, skin and scalp. Not until about 1920 was much effort made to professionalize the work.

Soon after the first Barber School opened A.B. Moler opened the first Beauty College to standardize cosmetic applications as it relates to hair, skin, and nails. (He was a brilliant man and visionary)Later the Cosmetology would become its own profession and seperate itself from Barbering.

American Barber History Timeline


Most of the Colonial Days were smooth shaven and many of the rich wore wigs. Also in the Colonial days barbering was hardly considered a white man's trade. Hence it was mostly confined to black barbers. Wealthy people became slave owners and the duty of the barber was shifted to the servants.


George Washington was bled to death by his physician in 1799. He suffered from a prolonged windpipe infection. He died calmly counting his pulse at the age of sixty-seven.


By 1848 bloodletting instruments had disappeared from most Doctors satchels.


The beard did not come into it's own until the Civil War. 1861-1865


After the Civil War with the influx of Dutch, Germans, Italians, and Swedish emmigrants, the white man began to thrive and the barber profession elevated.


The Civil War that closely followed the Western movement brought more changes to America. Including the re-establishment of the barber shop as an accepted institution on Main Street.


The average shop at this time cost approximately twenty dollars to equip and were ten by twelve feet in size. The shop consists of a straight-backed chair with a head piece resembling a crutch, a basin of water, a piece of common soap and a brush, 'setting' chairs and enough towels to last a week. "One towel to every ten to twelve customers." Hair cuts were five or ten cents and shaves were three cents.


As people moved westward, there were little time for wigs and personal embellishments. The pioneer life was a hard one. The men let their hair grow as well as their beards.


The Barbers Protective Union was formed on December 6, 1886 in Columbus, Ohio.


The Protective Union becomes the Journeymen Barber's International on December 5, 1887.


It was not until 1893 when A.B.Moler opened the first Barber School in Chicago. He also published textbooks at that time.


In 1897 the State of Minnesota passed legislation for a barber license. For the next forty years various states enacted legislation whereby barbers were licensed and inspected for sterilization to protect the public from disease. With the enactment of the licensing laws and stringent inspections, diseases such as impetigo, anthrax, ringworm and barbers itch are seldom heard of today.


The Associated Master Barber of America was organized in 1924 in Chicago, Illinois.


World War II brought about short hair as barbers were called into service. The flat top, butch, crew cut and the Princeton cut became popular.


In 1959 Edmond O. Roffler developed the Roffler Sculptur-Kut technique, a method were-by barbers could earn "big money" and capitalize on long hair. The Roffler-Kut system started with twenty barbers.


In the early sixties the Beetles set the stage for ling hair. Many barbers who refused to learn the methods of cutting ling hair were soon out of business.


The Roffler-Kut system now has over 6,000 barbers that have been trained in the Roffler Method. It is still being practiced today.


In 1981 the Journeymen Barber International Union became part of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.


Over fifty percent of barber students are female.


Since 1995 over fifty percent of barber students are African-American.

2000's New technology and techniques continue to shape the future of barbering. Every year more young men and women choose the barber profession. The future of barbering is in their hands. "Ed Jeffers Museum of Barbering"

Here is a sample of what the requirements are to become licensed:

ORNT 1000 Freshman Seminar 1

BARB 1110 History of Barbering and the Professional Image 2

CPTR 1000 Introduction to Computers 2

BARB 1120 Sanitation, Bacteriology, Safety with Tools, Implements, and Equipment

Theory and Practice 2 BARB 1131 Sanitation, Bacteriology, Safety with Tools, Implements, and

Equipment Lab 1 BARB 1160 Men's/Women's Basic Haircutting/Styling Theory & Practice 2

BARB 1220 Shaving, Mustaches, and

Beards Theory& Practice 1

BARB 1211 Barber-Styling Lab I 4

BARB 1410 Electricity and Safety 1

BARB 1140 Facial Massage and Treatments Theory & Practice 2

BARB 1150 Properties/Disorders/Treatments of Skin, Scalp, & Hair Theory and Practice 2

BARB 1231 Barber-Styling Lab II 2 BARB 1310 Permanent Waving/Chemical Hair Relaxing Theory & Practice 3

BARB 1321 Permanent Waving/Chemical Hair Relaxing Lab 2

BARB 1350 Chemistry 2

BARB 1420 Anatomy and Physiology 2

BARB 1430 Men's Hairpieces Theory 1

BARB 1441 Barber-Styling Lab III 5

BARB 2630 Professionalism for Barber Styling 1

BARB 1330 Hair Coloring Theory and Practice 2

BARB 1341 Hair Coloring Lab 2

BARB 2111 Barber-Styling Shop Management and Sales 2

TD - Barber Styling 53

Notice what's in bold...thats right basic men and women's cutting, color theory, and chemical services. It is only after schooling that barbers decide they only want to do men's hair and the majority of the profession do. Most also do not perform shaves(some of us do regularly) but it doesnt mean that we no longer do them a a general rule or dont do fancy haircuts. Please when making a wiki do not put a standard generalization of part of an industry. Make the wiki factual and make it as what it "technically is" and not what it is considered to be. There are very few differances between thethings taught in Barber school vs Cosmetology school. The only real differances are focus, when it relates to hair is that most cosmetology schools focus on shear cutting(called pivot point hair cutting in most schools)and color theory and barbers focus more on clipper over comb and shear over comb methodology. Only barbers can perform shaves, and only cosmetologist can perform nail services and Make-up application.

Truth of the matter is there are many great cosmetologist and many great barbers but there are just as many mediocre of both that cannot do color or cut hair to save there life. One is not better than the other and both are filled with talentless hacks and both are filled with spectacular professionals. A Barber by profession and education can do everything as it relates to hair from Hair Cutting to haircolor & highlights, Chemical Perms and the shave. The guy that does clipper cuts all day in a dirty shop using gaurds only does not make for a definition nor does the bookie/barber.

Please base your work on what the required learning is and what the definition states followed by actual full out history.(there are books written on the subject of Barber History)

Barberofdeville-Master Barber (talk) 03:46, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Derogatory term[edit]

In the article intro it is remarked that "Some hairdressers consider the term derogatory" - the cited source was a dead link, but I've now rectified this. However, I'm still unsure of the encyclopaedic nature of the remark. From what I can gather, it all stems from one isolated incident in India, whereby a Hairdressers' Association objected to the term 'Barber' being used in a movie. I've not seen any accounts of other groups expressing similar sentiments, and wonder if this one, localised incident can be considered noteworthy or indicative of the feelings of a significant proportion of hairdressers worldwide. (Given that the only coverage I can find of the assoc. in question relates to this story, I can't even be sure if they represent a significant proportion of Indian hairdressers) AJCham2097 (talk) 15:57, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Classificatins of Hairdressing[edit]

Cutting and styling includes the use of traditionally scissors and razors and in recent years a hair chisel.

colouring includes Foiling, solid colours, Bayalage, Streaking, Organic colouring, tinting, High lift colours, ionic colours and chemical colurs.

Chemical reformation includes Permanant wafes curls relaxing straightening, ionic straightening and cool smoothing.

Styling includes freehand styling, combing , brushing, bolw waving or drying, up-dos, avantgarde styling and setting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:51, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Terminology depends on location[edit]

A lot of content of this page assumes US understanding. Could people refer to which location thay are writing about? I have added info on Australian terminology as definitions are different for different countries/states. Supt. of Printing (talk) 06:44, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Texas Barbershop Photo[edit]

The picture of the restored barbershop in texas says something about the barber pole being horizontal. That is not the barber pole. That is a post to tie a horse's reigns to. The striped pattern was just a stylistic element added by the barber. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:15, 27 November 2010 (UTC)