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The Roots of Barbering

Did you know that from the Middle Ages until the 18th century the local barbershop was the place to go for dentistry, blood-letting, minor operations, and bone-setting? In fact, the origin of the barber's pole is associated with the service of blood-letting. The original pole had a brass basin on top, representing the vessel where leeches were kept and blood was received. The pole represented the staff, which the patient held on to during the operation. The red and white stripes portrayed the bandages -- red for blood-stained and white for clean. When the bandages were hung out to dry on the pole after washing, they would often blow and twist together, forming a spiral pattern. This led to the subsequently painted red-and-white striped barbershop pole.

Nowadays, barbering is a lot less complicated (and typically pain-free!). Barbering of the 21st century involves cutting and dressing hair, as well as shaving and trimming beards. Barbers may also be licensed to color, bleach, highlight or perm hair. Some barbers even provide skin care and nail treatments. After all, men aren't the only ones frequenting barbershops. As salon prices go up, many short-haired women opt for low-cost barbering rather than high-end hair designing.

Consider barbering, and be part of a centuries-old profession that's woven into the fabric of modern-day society.

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