Barbing is one of life’s inevitable things and guys do it to look neat and sharp, but how many men even know how the modern idea of barbing originated. Find out.
File photo: Barber at work
Many Nigerian men make a trip to their barber at least once a week but most of them probably know nothing about how the art of barbing began, what barbers were truly about and where they got their name from.
Below are 10 old facts about barbing everyone should know:
1. The word ‘barber’ comes from the Latin word ‘barba’, meaning beard.
2. In the middle ages, barbers also treated wounds and performed surgery. Barbers performed surgeries, amputations, enemas, set breaks, removed kidney stones, treated wounds, drained boils, lanced cysts, cleaned ears, created ointments, and could give you a bath or crack your neck.
3. In some ancient cultures, it was thought that demons liked to enter the body through the hair, so the barber could prevent evil spirits from inhabiting you. Later some barbers took part in trepanning, which is the process of drilling a hole in the head to let out the evil spirits that are causing mental illness or seizures.
4. In 1450, an Act of Parliament prohibited barbers from performing surgery.- Surgeons were also banned from cutting hair, but both professions could still extract teeth.
5. In ancient Rome, barbers dressed cuts with spiders’ webs soaked in vinegar.
6. The barber’s trade is an ancient one. Razors have been found among relics of the Bronze Age- Barbering was introduced to Rome by the Greek colonies in Sicily in 296 B.C., and barber shops quickly became very popular centres for daily news and gossip. A morning visit to the tonsor became a part of the daily routine, as important as the visit to the public baths, and a young man’s first shave (tonsura) was an essential part of his coming of age ceremony.
7. The barber was paid higher than the surgeon until surgeons were entered into British war ships during its many naval wars.
8. A desairologist is licensed to work on the hair, make-up, nails, and hair coloring of dead people at funeral homes. These clients are able to be very still, but are not the best conversationalists.