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1st, My History 🧐

I have been cutting hair since the turn of the century and it has been a way of earning a wage for the lifestyle we lead. It was not until I was working at “Cuts and Clobber” in England that I truly enjoyed my work and found my passion overtook the value of money. 

 

We moved to Australia after our “Honeymoon of a lifetime” and I settled into the role of a barber *(After leaving my work in England I decided that the working environment I had at Cuts & Clobber could not be replicated so I re-invented my working style into a barber, after all I worked equally with men’s hairstyles as I did with ladies). 

 

I worked within two barbershops learning and refining my skills along the way including working environments and styles of customer interactions. 

 

After 8 1/2 years we moved over the waters to 🇳🇿 New Zealand 🇳🇿, worked in two barbers, bought a home in Marton and decided to have Pip’s Barbershop, a new venture I always was cautious about but it was a decision well made. 

 

Pip’s Barbershop 💈 is a creation about family, community, customer service and “Darn Good Haircuts”.

The Barber’s Pole 💈

To the antique dealer, old barber poles are coveted finds. They date back as far as the Middle Ages. The oldest poles were made of wood, and the stripes were painted on them. Truly rare barber poles lit by oil lamps inside are especially sought after. Some are very ornate and are made of stained glass, while the poles of the electric age turned giving a swirling effect. The poles were first used in the Middle Ages, a time when the average man could not read nor write. When placed in front of a shop, the poles let everyone know what business was inside. However, the poles originally told of much more than cutting hair.

Since the barber of days long passed was an expert with a razor, he not only gave hair cuts and shaves. He was the man called upon by doctors and the sick to make the cuts for bloodletting, for extracting teeth, and even to perform surgeries.

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A Barber "Blood Letting" in the 15 century.

Barbers Other "Skills" 🔪

Barbers performed a wide variety of functions at that time. In addition to cutting hair, a barber might pull teeth, perform surgery on minor wounds, amputate limbs or administer leeches. 

Already prepared with the tools needed to perform venesection, barbers developed a thriving bloodletting practice from 1100 to 1500. This included the development of barber organizations, entrance into schools to learn the trade and a distinguishing symbol, the barber pole. 

As more was learned about surgery, a transition began from barbers to more experienced physicians performing bloodletting. By the 1800s, the popularity of bloodletting had reached an all-time high. Multiple methods of administration were detailed in medical books, from dry cupping to scarification, venesection and arteriotomy. 

In areas considered too constricted or in patients too weak for the usual methods of bloodletting, leeches were considered useful. Rubbing the skin with sugar-water, milk or blood would persuade the leech to bite after which it would suck blood until gorged.

Blood Letting 🩸

In order to perform the task of bloodletting, the barber would have the patient grasp a staff tightly in order to make the veins on the arm stand out. Affixed to the top of the staff was a leech basin which was used not only to hold the leeches to be placed on the incision, but also to catch blood from the cut. Before the incision was made, a clean, white linen bandage was wrapped around the patients arm as a tourniquet. To stop the flow of blood, another bandage was wrapped around the arm. When the task was complete, the barber would take both the clean white bandage and the blood-soaked one and tie them around the top of his staff. Shocking and as unsanitary as it may seem, the staff was often hung outside the barber’s home or shop for advertisement. As the wind whipped about, the bandages would wrap around the staff, forming a spiral red and white pattern.

 

 

As time passed, permanent wooden poles were made to hang outside the barber’s shop. The twisted image of the red and white bandages were used as the pattern to paint the wooden poles. The basin which was atop the staff, was transformed into a ball. Later a blue strip was added to the poles. Why? Some say that it represents the blue protruding veins.