Old School New Age

Posted 9/25/2014

These days, there’s a barber shop or hair salon on nearly every corner in town. Some guys pop in to the first one they come to when they need trimmed up, while others have been with their stylist or barber for years. At the Barber Den, we have clients who drive across town for not only the cut they like, but also for the home town feel of bygone days. Coming to the barber shop ...

... might remind them of the shop their dad took them to when they were young, or maybe they just want the camaraderie of barbers who have become friends over the years.

Barbering in the Middle Ages

This old school style doesn’t mean old techniques, however. In Middle Age Europe, for instance, barbering was quite different. The job was called barber-surgeon, and most men learned the trade as apprentices. Aside from cutting hair, services included bloodletting, leeching, pulling teeth, enemas and treating battle wounds. As medical professionals become more educated and skilled, barbering tasks diminished, and by the early 1700’s, only haircutting, leeching, tooth extraction and other minor services remained part of the barber’s expertise.

20th Century Barbers

Barbering became more legitimate in 1890’s when training schools began opening to refine the trade of hair cutting and styling. By the early 1900’s, barber shops were often the place in the community for men to hang out and pass along news and gossip while getting a smart, new cut and dapper shave.

Conversations haven’t changed much over the years. Men coming back from war in the 40’s compare stories with sons of the Vietnam Era and grandsons of Middle East conflicts. Retirees and working men view the fluctuating job market with equal interest. Politics and religion continue to be hot topics best left unspoken.

Treat yourself to a little old school treatment at The Barber Den, open Tuesday through Saturday! You can reminisce about simpler times while listening to a Sinatra tune on the radio. Then again, maybe it’s not Sinatra after all – it could be Buble’ giving new age flair to an oldie but goodie!