A Brief History of the Barber: Old, New, and Weird Traditions

Before the days of disposable razors and aerosol cans of shaving cream, there were barbers; in big cities, small cities, urban cities and rural cities, most every man went to the town barber for a clean shave.

Barber image via Flickr

Who Were The First Barbers?

Yet what many people don’t know is that barbers existed even before the invention of modern cities – there were ancient barbers from as early as 6000 B.C.E.!

These early barbers did almost exactly the same things that modern barbers do; they cut hair, colored hair, shaved beards, trimmed beards, and even did facial makeup (okay, maybe modern barbers don’t do everything that the older ones did).

Whether it’s a Boston barber or a Chicago barber, all barbers share a rich historical lineage that weaves through some of the most identifiable times in history.

Here are a few highlights.

Military Advantages of a Clean Shave

Greece was one of the first societies to embrace barbers, as well-trimmed beards were a sign of fashion and wealth in this area during 500 B.C.E.

However, by 334 B.C.E., Alexander the Great ordered that all men must shave their beards, thus giving Greece a military advantage over their enemies.

Alexander’s reasoning was that his men could grab and hold their enemies by the beards, yet their enemies would not be able to grab them back; this gave Alexander’s army a distinct advantage from a military perspective.

One can only imagine that the barbers of this time period were exceedingly busy keeping Alexander’s army clean-shaven throughout Greece’s many military conquests.

The Social Implications of Roman Barbers

Less than 100 years after Alexander demanded his army go beardless, the practice of barbering became popular in Rome.

Around 296 B.C.E., barber salons became a popular sign of luxury, similar to the recreational fine baths of that era. These salons skyrocketed in popularity, becoming hubs for daily gossip and town news.

But the Roman barber salons were more than just recreational hotspots; they were also figurative representations of social status in a very segregated culture. Free men set themselves apart by being clean-shaven, while slaves were actually forced to grow a beard.

The societal implications of barber salons reached every nook and cranny in Rome’s societal class system. Unlike the world today, where both rich and free men alike grow beards for various reasons, the men in Rome lived by a very strict set of societal rules pertaining to their facial hair.

Old, New and Weird Barbering Practices

If you were to list off the services that modern barbers provide, “bloodletting”, “pulling teeth”, and “administering medicine” probably wouldn’t be among them.

Thankfully, modern barbers don’t continue these practices, although many barbers during the early Christian era did all of these things – plus more.

The practice of barbering, fortunately, has involved the same skill set for the last couple hundred years by eliminating both bloodletting and dentistry from their services.

Today, a Boston barber and a San Diego barber will both offer similar services: a smooth shave, a quick hair trim, a hot towel treatment, and much more. But at the end of the day, all barbers ultimately offer one thing a relaxing experience that has been a mainstay in American culture for hundreds of years.

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7 Different Acne Removal Treatments

Dealing with acne is something no one wants to go through but many of us do. Dealing with acne is big business and it is hard to know what the best acne removal treatment is.

However, while there are well-known treatments like facial creams, there are other less-known but effective techniques that are often used. Here are just a few of those treatments that you may not have tried.

Image via Flickr

Aloe-Vera

Aloe-Vera is well known for its healing qualities and many people have found that using Aloe-Vera on acne can actually clear up the face. The great thing about this is that there are plenty of Aloe-Vera products available and they are all cost effective when compared with other types of acne removal treatments.

Cortisone

A more extreme acne treatment is cortisone. The cortisone is injected directly into the heavy breakout areas to remove the acne and clear up the skin.

Use Heat To Treat It

A cheap way to deal with acne is to use heat as a treatment.  Heat can be used locally to kill bacteria on pimples and to speed up the healing of the skin as well.

tea trea oil

Many people find great relief from their acne problems by treating it with tea tree oil.

Tea Tree Oil

Like Aloe-Vera, tea tree oil is well-known for its healing qualities. Those healing qualities make it perfect as an acne removal treatment. By dissolving the tea tree oil into water and applying it on the skin, it is possible to kill bacteria and keep the skin from drying out.

Zinc

Zinc is another effective treatment for many people and taking zinc gluconate in pill form can help alleviate inflammatory or cystic acne. This is another method that is cheap and easy to obtain because of the availability of pills.

Detoxification

Lastly, you can try detoxification to remove toxins from your body and as a result, your skin.

Detoxification is often used in alternative medicine to remove acne and it involves cleansing the body of toxins that can cause an excess of bacteria and oils that need to be removed. This is a useful and cheaper treatment that lots of people have had success with.

Removing acne doesn’t have to be hard. There are plenty of treatments that can be used to help you have clear skin. You can remove your acne without needing skin surgery and you can do it with over the counter products.

Treating this skin condition doesn’t have to be hard, nor does it have to be expensive.   Light treatment is also an effective way when dealing with acne. Try out some of these and find out which is going to be best for you.

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Best Available Wrinkle Treatments

Throughout history people have been trying to combat the aging process, and gone to war with their wrinkles. One of the best ways to win this battle is by understanding the cause of wrinkles and what can be done about them.

how and where to get wrinkle cream

There are a variety of wrinkle creams available – just be sure to buy one with an easy money back guarantee in case it doesn’t work for you.

Aging

Wrinkles come with age. As a person gets older their skin cells divide slower and the inner layer of the skin starts thinning.

The skin’s ability to stretch decreases, which results in the skin’s outer layer becoming loose and in turn depressions in the skin begin to occur.

As a person ages their skin also has a decreased ability to retain moisture, glands that secrete oils work less. This is the reason for wrinkles.

Wrinkle Treatments

There are a variety of treatments to help with wrinkles. At any drug store the shelves are filled with over-the-counter treatments that consist of a wide range of creams and lotions.

Some people even get prescriptions for treatments such as retinoid creams, Renova and Retin-A, etc.

The use of injectable fillers is increasing too. Dermal fillers can consist of hyaluronic acid, which is a natural sugar that helps skin preserve its shape. Another injectable filler used is calcium hydroxylapatatite particles in a gel. Once a dermal filler is injected into an affected area, it can maintain the results from 6 to 12 months.

Remove Some Skin

Procedures to remove layers of skin and decrease wrinkles as well as erratic depressions in the skin have been successful. The two common methods are chemical peels, which uses chemicals to dissolve away layers of skin and dermabrasion, which scrapes away layers of the skin.

A more serious method that can be used is laser skin resurfacing. During this procedure a laser is used to remove skin. It is similar to a deep chemical peel and people who have this procedure may need a period of time to heal.

Botox

One of the most popular wrinkle treatments is botox. It is used as a way to relax the muscles beneath facial wrinkles, which results in skin having a smoother appearance.

Extra care is always used by doctors when they administer botox as it can cause muscles in the area to become unresponsive. The botox procedure is often used in conjunction with lasers and fillers to obtain the best possible results for wrinkle treatment.

Non Invasive Treatments

There are also wrinkle removing procedures performed without touching the skin. They are called non invasive wrinkle treatments. One of these methods is radiofrequency rejuvenation, which administers light or heat into the deeper layers of the skin. Once this is done the collagen production of the skin will increase.

How a person deals with their wrinkle situation is an individual choice. Starting with over-the-counter wrinkle creams and lotions is a good start. Should someone want to move onto the next level of treatments, they should probably consult a qualified dermatologist.

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