Barber shops have long been a place for much more than a cut and a shave.
Cutting your own hair has been seen as a horrible idea since ancient times. As far back as 3,500 BC Egypt, there is evidence that hair maintenance was serious business to be left to the professionals. A task left in its earliest forms to the capable hands of priests and men of medicine, by Rome 296 BCE, the “barber shop” had become a hub for social activity, sharing news, and an essential right of passage for those growing into beards that will forevermore need a weekly trim.
The National Barber Museum & Hall of Fame shares the weirdly fascinating history of all things hair. Collections of shaving mugs, barber poles, and antique hair dryers are just the beginning. They present an offering of bizarre facts, such as which president died from a bloodletting conducted by his barber (which was apparently a thing) and who was the inspiration for the bob cut, an overwhelming trend that had barbers hustling to perfect all over the world. Endless shaving artifacts and accoutrements from an astonishing stretch of time in barbering history, and examples of the unusual practices offered.
Along with the thorough coverage of the history of hair, the museum also acts as the keeper of the Barber Hall of Fame. Since 1965, Barbers have been submitted for the honor by making a “significant and lasting contribution to the barbering profession.” You can nominate your favorite barber for recognition by filling out a form on the museum’s website.