Believe it or not, barbers have been an integral part of society since 5000 B.C.! Although they haven’t always been the savvy smooth operators who knew how to makeover a hairy man into a dapper man like we do at Crewners, they once played an important role in health and surgery. Don’t believe us? Then you have to read on!
Here are 8 fun facts from The National Barber Museum you may not have known about the history of barbers!
Fact #1 – Barbering may have originated in Egypt
The first documented records of barbering services are from over 6,000 years ago when barbers performed services on Egyptian nobility using “crude instruments” such as sharpened shells.
Fact #2 – Barbers were also surgeons
Beginning in the 900s barbers dressed wounds, performed surgical operations and cut hair. This is why they were called “barber-surgeons” throughout the middle ages.
Fact #3 – The barber industry split into two factions in England
Circa 1300, the industry broke into two separate industries – barbers who strictly cut hair and shaved men, and barbers who practiced surgery.
Fact #4 – The Civil War made the beard popular
The beard, which is a noted fashion statement today, was once considered inappropriate or unkempt. That is until 1861, when soldiers in the Civil War made it a trend. In other words, all you whisker-growers can thank your forefathers for popularizing the hairy chin and mustache.
Fact #5 – Customers used to have to share towels with one another
In the 1800s, it was common for a barbershop to provide one towel for every 10-12 customers – oh, and a haircut costed between 5 and 10 cents! But that’s in part because the average shop owner only had to pay $20 to own and run their one-room shop.
Fact #6 – Short hair, or the crew cut, has origins in World War II
During the war, barbers began cutting men’s hair very short on the bottom and sides, and leaving the top longer. This became a wide-spread trend and marks the beginning of the haircuts called crew, butch, flat top or the Princeton. This also set the expectation that all barbers being trained during this time knew how to cut short hair.
Fact #7 – The Beatles popularized long hair and forced the industry to learn new techniques
Just when barbers had the short haircut down, the Beatles had to come and mess it all up! Suddenly long hair was all the rage, and barbers who only knew how to cut crew cuts were at a disadvantage. The industry had to reinvent itself again, stretching it’s skillset to include everything from shoulder-length hair to the bowl cut.
Fact #8 – Women weren’t as common in barbering until the 1980s
By 1985, what once was a male-dominated profession touted a 50% female barber student rate. This was a great advancement for the industry, and today, both men and women master the art of barbering and own barbershops.
Taking a look back at the history of barbering makes us stand even prouder to provide fashionable, stylish haircuts and the highest quality straight razor shaving services. Our industry has come a long way, and we’re excited to be one of the barbershops in California paving the way for the future. All of our services are luxurious and include a post shave Clubman cologne, as well as hot towels, hot lather, and talc. You will walk out of Crewners revived and feeling like a whole new man! Book your appointment online today, and come see us Tuesday through Sunday at the San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose.