The Barber’s Pole as a Symbol of Barber Trade
The Barber’s Pole as a Symbol of Barber Trade – The barber’s trade has been around for a while. Razors were found among relics from the Bronze Age (circa 3500 B). The Bible mentions shaving hair and beard in Ezekiel 27:16-17 which says “And take thee a sickle, even Thou shall pass upon thine head” plus other passages mentioning things like razors or scythes being used as weapons during conflicts earlier than that.”
Barbering was introduced in Rome in 296 B.C. and barbers quickly became both popular and prosperous. Their shops were centres for daily news and gossip. All free men of Rome were clean-shaven, while slaves were forced to wear beards. It is from the Roman (Latin) word Barba, meaning beard, that the word “barber” is derived.
The Barber-Surgeons History
About 334 B.C. Alexander the Great made his soldiers shave regularly for the purpose of gaining an advantage in hand-to-hand combat so that his warriors were able to grasp an enemy by the beard, while they were safeguarded in this method of fighting. The barbers of the early days were also the surgeons and dentists.
Most early physicians disdained surgery and the barbers did surgery of wounds, blood-letting, cupping and leeching, enemas and extracting teeth. Since the barbers were involved not only with haircutting, hairdressing and shaving but also with surgery, they were called barber surgeons. They formed their first organization in France in 1094.
In an effort to distinguish between academic surgeons and barber-surgeons, the College de Saint-Come, founded in Paris about 1210, identified the former as surgeons of the long robe and the latter as surgeons of the short robe. French barbers and surgeons were organized as a guild in 1391, and barber-surgeons were admitted to the faculty of the University of Paris in 1505.
Ambroise Pare (1510-1590), the father of modern surgery and the greatest surgeon of the Renaissance began his career as an itinerant barber surgeon. His brother was a barber-surgeon and his sister married a barber-surgeon. In England, the barbers were chartered as a guild by Edward IV in 1462 as the Company of Barbers.
Haircuts of the Past
The surgeons formed a guild 30 years later and the two companies were united by the statute of Henry VIII in 1540 under the name of the United Barber Surgeon’s Company. In actual practice, however, barbers who cut hair and gave shaves were forbidden to practice surgery except for bloodletting and pulling teeth and surgeons were prohibited from “the Barbery of shaving.”
In France, a decree by Louis XV in 1743 prohibited barbers from practising surgery by the barbers by acts passed during the reign of George II. The surgeons with the title of “Masters, Governors and Commonalty of the Honourable Society of the Surgeons of London.” This body was subsequently dissolved and later replaced by the Royal College of Surgeons in 1800 during the reign of George III.
Why are Barber’s Pole red, white and blue?
The origin of the barber’s pole appears to be associated with his service of bloodletting. The original pole has a brass basin at its top representing the vessel in which leeches were kept and also represents the basin that received the blood.
The pole itself represented the staff that the patient held onto during the operation. The red and white stripes represented the bandages used during the procedure, red for the bandages stained with blood during the operation and white for the clean bandages. The bandages would be hung out to dry after washing on the pole and would blow and twist together forming the spiral pattern similar to the modern-day barber pole.
Barber’s Pole Represent Blood and Bandages
The bloodstained bandages became recognised as the emblem of the barber-surgeons profession. Later in time, the emblem was replaced by a wooden pole of white and red stripes. These colours are recognized as the true colours of the barber emblem. Red, white and blue are widely used in America due partly to the fact that the national flag has these colours.
Another interpretation of these barber pole colours is that red represents arterial blood, blue is symbolic of venous blood and white depicts the bandage. After the formation of the United Barber-Surgeons Company in England, a statute required barbers to use a blue and white pole and surgeons to use a red pole.
In France, the surgeons of the long robe placed a red pole with a basin attached to identify their offices. The barber’s pole – a historical link with surgery.
Pall Mall Barbers History – A Rich Heritage Barbershop
Pall Mall Barbers was originally founded in 1896 as the Pall Mall Toilet Saloon at No. 27 Whitcomb Street, just off London’s iconic Trafalgar Square and Pall Mall. Since then, we’ve served countless gentlemen in our 123 years, helping them look their best and make their first impression count.
A long-established history of providing hairdressing and grooming to gentlemen, our story dates back to London in the 1600s, when the Pall Mall was transformed from an area for a croquet-like game played by royalty and nobility into the shopping and hairdressing destination for well-to-do gentlemen from across the capital and world.
As a destination, Pall Mall and St James’ have long held a reputation as the home of the best men’s outfitters, barbers, perfumers, and gentlemen’s clubs – frequented by distinguished dandies, politicians, and the upper classes. With such proximity to royal households, many of these businesses are long-standing Royal Warrant holders as suppliers to the royal family
Since 1896, Pall Mall Barbers have been at the forefront of men’s haircuts and male grooming and have set the agenda for style-conscious gentlemen for over 123 years in London. To this day, we are driven by our dedication to giving the highest quality experience for our clientele, for each of the 63,196 haircuts we delivered last year.
Our relentless dedication to deepening our knowledge of styling techniques and traditions across the globe has given birth to a world-class suite of products and services that combine cutting edge London styling with the very best global male grooming techniques. This focused approach has led to us becoming the largest and most awarded independent barbering business in London with over 52 haircutting seats and 23 award-winning products.
An Inspirational Tale
Our owner, Richard Marshall, started working in barbering at the age of 12, sweeping floors and making tea in a barbershop in his hometown. He dropped out of formal education at 15, unable to read or write at the time, and his father encouraged him to find a trade – so he took up barbering as a full-time job.
Richard took a qualification in barbering, winning his college competition two years running, as a student of the year and winning the South of England Championships consecutively – heading to the national finals. This award-winning mentality has driven Richard for his whole career.
By the age of 21, Richard had moved to London and started barbering in Mayfair, just off Savile Row, building a loyal clientele and following. At 28, in 2005, he bought the original Pall Mall Barbers store from the previous family owners – growing the business to 6 central London stores and the beginnings of our international expansion.
Commitment to excellence
Pall Mall Barbers operates to exacting standards and has a robust and comprehensive approach to delivering services and developing products and staff to ensure that every grooming experience and product that we develop is of the highest quality. This focused approach has led to us becoming the most awarded independent and the best barbershops in Europe with 23 award-winning products and over 10 industry awards across our services and products.
Pall Mall Barbers Products For Men
On top of that, we know how important it is to keep yourself looking groomed all year round. That is why we produced a vast range of luxury men grooming products inspired by our client’s needs and lifestyles. It reveals a character with independence and determination for the city gentlemen who chooses his destiny.
The product range is used by our barbers in-store and can be purchased. Therefore, you can recreate that unique haircut with ease. With a little friendly advice from one of our highly skilled team of barbers.
Hair Styling Products for Men
There are so many hair styling products for men on the market. How do you know which one to use?
The best way is to ask an expert like one of the barbers at our very own Pall Mall Barbers shops in Liverpool Street. With their collective experience of cutting and styling men’s hair, they’ll know exactly which hair styling product to use to get the look you want.
One thing we often find is that men like to stick to what they know. Whether that’s the haircut, they’ve sported for years or the products they’ve been using. Have a chat with your barber next time you’re in, and you’ll be surprised to learn that you could get a better result or finish your hair with something other than the hairstyling product you’ve relied on for so long.
Range of Hairs Styling Products
Our range of hair styling products for men has been developed using the finest ingredients that work and smell great over many years. And we’ve tried and tested them with the people that matter. Our customers, to make sure that they do what they say on the tin.
Whether you want a smooth, slicked-back look, like that of those Mad Men Don Draper and Peter Campbell. Or maybe you prefer a more rugged, casual and messy style like Prince Harry likes to sport. Then we’ll have just the right hair styling products for you.
Your barber will advise you and show you how to use the product properly. We always suggest that you use a little bit first, warm it between your hands and then apply it. We’ve even created a load of videos to give you advice on using them if you can’t call our barbershops. Why not head over to the Pall Mall Barbers YouTube Channel and have a look?
Check out the full range of hair styling products for men, watch a few of the videos and then go ahead and order them online too. What could be easier?
Pall Mall Barbers – Best Barbers in London
Pall Mall Barbers is not just another barbershop. Established in 1896, a British institution has been providing grooming services to gentlemen for over a century. With multiple locations in London and New York, Pall Mall Barbers is a place where you can relax, unwind, and let the barber do the magic. From cut-throat shaves to haircuts, facials, and well-being, Pall Mall Barbers offers a range of services that cater to your every need. You’ll be greeted by friendly and professional barbers who will make sure that you’re comfortable and satisfied with the end result.
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Pall Mall Barbers Fitzrovia Location
Pall Mall Barbers Fitzrovia is between Warren Street and Great Portland Street tube stations, and a short walk from Euston. At the north end of Tottenham Court Road, our Fitzrovia barbers are a leisurely stroll from nearby Regent’s Park.
Fitzrovia barbershop is one of our most popular thanks to its perfect location. Our master barbers are experts and executioners in all men’s haircuts, shaves, and beards from classic to modern haircuts. That’s what makes Pall Mall Barbers the best barber in London. Near Tottenham Court Road, Euston, Warren Street, Oxford Street and Great Portland Street, you will find our Fitzrovia Barbers Located close to the BT tower which stood as the UK’s tallest building until 1980, it is only right that we offer services of barbers Baker Street which make you feel tall and proud as you leave.
Nearest Tube Stations
Pall Mall Barbers Kings Cross Location
Pall Mall Barbers Kings Cross Address: 68 York Way, Kings Cross, London N1 9AG
Conveniently located near Kings Cross rail and tube station as well as St. Pancras International, our barber shop is just a short walk away – tucked just behind Kings Cross, near to Central Saint Martins and Regents Canal, nestled amongst the many media buildings including The Guardian HQ at Kings Place.
Nearest Tube Stations
Nearest Train Stations
- Kings Cross Rail
- St. Pancras International
Pall Mall Barbers Paddington Location
Conveniently located near Paddington rail and tube station at Paddington Central, our barbershop in Paddington is a short walk from Edgware Road and Royal Oak tube stations, as well as Warwick Avenue underground station.
Pall Mall Barbers Paddington Address: 23 Sheldon Square, Paddington, London W2 6EY
Nearest Tube Stations
- Paddington Central
- Royal Oak
- Edgware Road
- Warwick Avenue
Pall Mall Barbers Bishopsgate Location
Home to several major banks and a whole host of other businesses, we are pleased to inform you that there is now a luxury barbershop near Aldgate for you to enjoy. Our barbers are a mix of uniquely talented stylists, trained in all aspects of modern barbering, and able to answer most male grooming queries. Committed to providing sleek and friendly service, as well as the best haircuts in the Bishopsgate area.
Our Barber Shop at Bishopsgate is fantastically connected, a short walk from the nearby Shoreditch High Street overground station and Aldgate, Bank and Liverpool Street tube stations. We’re local to Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane, Leadenhall Market, and Shoreditch.
Nearest Tube Stations
- Liverpool Street
Nearest Overground Stations
- Shoreditch High Street
Pall Mall Barbers Oxford Circus | Soho Location
Pall Mall Barbers Soho is located in the heart of one of Europe’s busiest shopping areas with over 300 shops on Oxford Circus in Soho near Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road and Piccadilly Circus, it’s the ideal destination for any barbershop enthusiast. It can be found on the first floor inside Intimissimi Uomo so no matter where you’re based, it won’t be hard to reach this barber haven. Pall Mall Barbers Oxford Circus is on the corner of Oxford Street and Regents Street.
Pall Mall Barbers Soho is the ideal place to get your hair cut and styled by our expert barbers. We offer a wide range of services including haircuts, beard trims, shaving and more. Our team of experienced barbers are passionate about providing the best possible service to our clients. If you’re looking for a great place to get your hair cut, Pall Mall Barbers Soho is a perfect choice.
Pall Mall Barbers Trafalgar Square Location
You needn’t be stranded looking for good barbers near the Strand, located 2 minutes away you can find our barbers near Covent Garden. Established barbers near The Stand are challenging to come by, and London barbers generally tend to be relatively unreliable in terms of reputation. That’s why Pall Mall Barbers, the oldest barbers near Covent Garden, stand out tall and proud, ready to serve you. You’ll find Pall Mall Barbers near Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Soho, Covent Garden, and Embankment Centrally located.
Nearest Tube Stations
Pall Mall Barbers Westminster Location
Pall Mall Barbers Westminster Address: 11 Palmer St, Westminster, London SW1H 0AD
Pall Mall Barbers Westminster store is located right next to St James’s Park station and a short walk from the nearby Westminster, Green Park, and Victoria tube stations. Located at 11 Palmer Street right next to the entrance of St James’s Park tube station on the circle/district line.
Nearest Train Stations
Book an appointment with our awesome team of Victoria Barber, This can be done via our Website Booking System or by using the free PMB app (available on iOS and Android). Alternatively, call the shop and speak to one of our friendly team members, who will be delighted to make a booking for you.
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