In modern times, the term “barber” is used both as a professional title and to refer to hairdressers who specialize in men’s hair. Historically, all hairdressers were considered barbers. In the 20th century, the profession of cosmetology branched off from barbering, and today hairdressers may be licensed as either barbers or cosmetologists. Barbers differ with respect to where they work, which services they are licensed to provide, and what name they use to refer to themselves. Part of this terminology difference depends on the regulations in a given location.
In the late 19th and early 20th century barbershops became a common business where people would go to have their hair cut by a professional barber with good equipment. People would also play Board games, talk about recent events and farming business or gossip. They can sometimes also be used for public debates or voicing public concerns.
Most modern barbershops have special barber chairs, and special equipment for rinsing and washing hair. In some barbershops, people can read magazines or watch TV while the barber works.
Despite the economic recession in 2008, the barbershop industry has seen continued positive growth. Recently there was a trial that had barbers check high blood pressure in barbershops and have a pharmacist meet and treat the patient in the barbershop, with positive results
The barber pole, featuring red and white spiraling stripes, symbolized different aspects of the craft. It is a symbol from the time when barbers used to perform medical procedures. The white and red stripes represent bandages and blood while the blue stripes represent veins. In the US the blue stripe is also sometimes used to match the flag.
Coming soon – a directory of Barber shops in Cape Town