Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Grooming – A timeless tradition - Part One


Some things never go out of style. One of them is performed by men, every morning as they stand in front of the mirror, to shave and fix their hair before going to work. But there were times when a man did not touch his beard!
From the very beginning, grooming was done by barbers only. They performed sacerdotal ceremonies of cutting hair to remove evil spirits in ancient times; as barbers surgeons, surgical interventions and dental extraction during the Middle Ages; wig design and maintenance during the 17th century; and since 1850, barbers practice only the art of cutting and styling hair & trimming beards (grooming as we know today).
Men did not did not shave by themselves. They went to barbershops, or received the visit of a barber at home.
The golden era of barbershops lasted from 1880 to 1940. During this period, going to the barbershop was a weekly, or even a daily routine. It was an opportunity to meet and socialize with others. Besides getting a haircut, a trimmed mustache or a clean fresh look, clients had the gathered to catch up with the local news and politics.

In the late 18th century Jean Jacques Perret invented the safe razor inspired by a joiner’s airplane, but it was only in 1904 that men began to shave themselves, with the invention of King C. Gillette: an inexpensive, double-edged blade that could be clamped over a handle, used, and then discarded.
The use of safety razors was the first cause to the decline of the barbershops era, followed by WWII, the Hippie movement, the creation of hair salons in the 80’s and the metrosexual movement of the 90’s.

Today you can still find some nice classic barbershops, but there are only very few exceptions to bad haircuts available. The good news is: there are brands  still investing in the traditional art of grooming, by offering luxurious toiletry products, such as high badger hair shaving brushes, elegant razors, traditional shaving soaps and balms, fresh aftershaves and fragrances, etc… It means that you still can recreate a classic barbershop grooming experience in front of very own mirror!

to be continued... part 2 will bring you more secrets under the beard!


ScentScelf said...

Oh, this shall be interesting...a chance to peek into barbershops through time.

I am intrigued by the various traditions; here in a large American city, you can travel from the high end (and high up, as Geo. Trumpeter is on the upper floor a hi-rise shopping center) to the low-cost neighborhood red and white, with pleather chairs from half a century ago and magazines from here and there and a threshold that a woman is not necessarily welcome to cross.

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Dear ScentScelf - I always wanted to take a pick inside when the barber shop was full...the scents of the leather chairs, shaving creams, the scent of oak coming form the ceiling, cabinets... the smell of talc, fresh coffee...cigars...shampoos...and here in Brazil they also get a shinning shoes service - so, the smell of shoe polish is added to the rich world of fragrances...
OOOHHH they all made me want to be a part of it...I also love the smell of hair spray! I think it is because during the 70's all my mom friends, including her, used tons of hair sprays...so I go back to the naivité of my childhood.
Some neighborhood still have their original barbershop - but I don't dare to go in... My only free entrance is the barbershop of the privite club i belong to. I used to take my boy to have a haircut. But now he is old enough to go by himself... sadly!!!

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