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Monday, 18 May 2015


In ancient Egypt, hairdressers had specially decorated cases to hold their tools, including lotions, scissors and styling materials.

In ancient Rome and Greece household slaves and servants took on the role of hairdressers, including dyeing and shaving. Men who did not have their own private hair or shaving services would visit the local barbershop. Women had their hair maintained and groomed at their homes.

During the Middle Ages both Muslim men and women, attended their respective hammams (public baths), where the men were shaved (sometimes the whole head except for the long topknot) and their beards were trimmed. The women's long hair was washed and often given a henna rinse.

Hair care service grew in demand after a papal decree in 1092 demanded that all Roman Catholic clergymen remove their facial hair.

By the middle of the 18th century the hairstyles of European women had become very fanciful, especially in France. Their hair was draped over a frame stuffed with cotton, wool, or straw and cemented with a paste that hardened. It was then powdered and decorated, sometimes with ornaments such as live birds in cages, waterfalls, and naval battles, complete with ships and smoke. This time in history is where the term "hairdresser" was born.

By 1767 there were 1200 hairdressers working in Paris; a few years earlier there had been none. The hairdressers now formed a distinct profession - the best were men, many of them trained as wigmakers.

The most notable hairdresser of the second half of the 18th century was Legros de Rumigny, a former baker, who became court hairdresser in France and published the Art de la Coiffure des Dames in 1765. The book was a best seller amongst Frenchwomen, and four years later de Rumigny opened a school for hairdressers: Academie de Coiffure.

The Russian Czar Catherine the Great once imprisoned her hairdresser for three years in an iron age to prevent rumours of her dandruff, (after she discovered the presence of dandruff on her collar.)

French hairdresser Marcel Grateau developed the "Marcel wave" in the late part of the 19th century. His wave required the use of a special hot hair iron and needed to be done by an experienced hairdresser. Fashionable women asked to have their hair "marceled."

In the late 19th century hairdressers began opening salons in American cities and towns, led by Martha Matilda Harper, who developed one of the first retail chains of hair salons, the Harper Method.

At the height of its success, Martha Harper had 500 franchises and produced a full line of hair care and beauty products. Her company served a number of important clients, including Susan B. Anthony, Woodrow Wilson and Grace Coolidge.

The actor Danny DeVito is a qualified hairdresser.

A person who has never had a haircut is correctly referred to as acersecomic.


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