The History of Barbering
The art of cutting men’s hair has a long and rich history. Some of the earliest evidence of barbering has been found amongst artefacts dating back to around 3500 BC, proving that even in ancient times, men liked to keep themselves lookin’ sharp.
Barbershops in ancient Rome were considered to be places of great social importance, where powerful men could catch up on the latest news and gossip while they had their beards trimmed. From wealthy shop owners to street barbers, any man with the skills to cut hair was awarded a certain level of respect in society. Barbers still command the same respect, although many other aspects of the trade have changed over time.
During the Middle Ages, barbers didn’t just cut hair; they also worked as dentists and surgeons, often specialising in tooth extraction. Considering this was long before the invention of anaesthetic and painkillers, it must have been a pretty gruesome job. The origins of the barber pole can be traced back to this period in history, with the coloured stripes meant to represent the different aspects of the trade.
As history progressed, barbers started to lean away from the medical side of their work to focus solely on cutting hair. In the 1900’s, barbering schools began opening up, allowing young men to practice their skills under the supervision of highly experienced professionals. Barbering benefited greatly from style trends of the early 20th century, a time when the upper classes were expected to maintain a perfectly groomed appearance at all times. It was common for men to visit their barber as often as once a week, in order to keep their hair and beard in tiptop shape.
The 1950’s and 60’s saw the development of men’s hair products such as pomade, which was used to create iconic hairstyles like the pompadour and quiff. In combination with traditional barbering techniques, Uppercut Deluxe Pomade was especially designed to recreate these classic haircuts, while our Monster Hold, Matt Clay and Featherweight waxes are also highly effective at achieving retro looks with a modern twist.
The history of the barber is one of the greatest inspirations behind the Uppercut Deluxe brand. We use the values of traditional barbering to bring high quality hair products to men, making it easy for them to achieve timeless style.