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Posts made in October, 2017

Why do we care so much about hair?

Posted by on Oct 8, 2017 in Hair Therapy | 0 comments

Almost everyone needs a haircut now and again. Other than the few absolutely hair free individuals out there, people have to get a trim. That simple fact of life doesn’t end there, of course, because our modern society is obsessed with what we do with that trimming. The plethora of styles out there speaks to this obsession. Your hair says so much about who you are, whether you’re a punk, straight-laced, business focused, or nostalgic for another era. But why is that?

The history of the hair salon goes back, as the term should suggest, to Paris. The first hair dresser’s name was, of all things, Champagne. In the 1600s, he moved to Paris and began dressing the hair of wealthy men in the city. With him, the industry was born.

Since then, hair styling had continued to evolve, spreading from those early days when only the richest of men had their hair done to just about every person in America and most Western countries.

Salons diversified and specialized, so that some dealt with women, some, like barbers, only with men. Some became focused on certain kinds of hair, like those for African Americans. Others specialize in certain types of cuts, like sports barbers.

Beyond that, there are even more modern developments. Some hair salons are trying to turn their business into a hybrid with luxury spas by doing things like serving their patron’s namesake, champagne, and offering other relaxing perks to attract higher prices and better clientele.

All of this is a great deal of effort and expense just to keep hair out of your eyes. Why are people willing to go to such lengths to make their hair look nice?

It seems that obsession goes all the way back to the beginning of society. Though modern hair salons started in France, hair grooming (with its important significance) appears to go back much further. Homer, the first writer in the so-called Western Canon, wrote about hairstyles way back almost three thousand years ago.

More famously, and even earlier, Egyptian pharaohs became obsessed with being completely clean-shaven head to toe, and wore wigs instead of their own hair.

Greece and Rome also had wig makers and enjoyed dying hair. Some of the ancient Greek statues, it is believed, had wildly colorful hair when depicting the gods. A look at temples in India shows this wasn’t an exclusively Western idea.

In short, we are obsessed with our hair today because humanity was always obsessed. The only that has changed now is that it isn’t only the elite who are able to make their hair stand out. The average 18-year-old has as much ability to dye their hair as a wealthy Roman did, and the salon is no longer for the richest amongst us. We can all afford to enjoy champagne’s invention every now and again.

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