The Fascinating Progress of Beauty Salons Throughout History

beauty salon

Today small business which cares about its future transforms from a pure hair salon into a beauty salon, offering sets of services such as skin health, facial aesthetic, foot care, nail manicures, aromatherapy, meditation, oxygen therapy, mud baths, and many other. Beauty salons have proven to be a recession-proof industry all over the world.

Back in the days of the ancient Egyptians, people from the upper classes would normally could have a skin and health treatment in ancient beauty salons. Wealthy men often had a personal hairdresser within their home. But not every beauty salon was hidden inside the palace, there were also a few on the streets available for everyone who could afford it. Indeed, beauty salons throughout history made a huge jump but it is still a place with friendly atmosphere and dedicated professionals.

Unfortunately historical documentation is lacking of information about hairstylists from 5th to 14th century.

But let’s start with hairdressers. Greek writers Aristophanes and Homer both mention hairdressing in their writings. Africa tribes were giving hairdressers high status as they believed that a person’s spirit occupied owners hair.

The word “hairdresser” first time appeared in 17th century in Europe, and then was considered as a profession. In France men began styling women’s hair for the first time, and many of the notable hairdressers of the time were men.

The first famous male hairdresser was French Champagne who moved to Paris to open his own hair salon for wealthy Parisian women.

Monsieur Champagne look was coined in France in 1663, shortly after his death. His aristocratic clients included Princess Marie de Gonzague.

Time gone by and the next famous hairdresser Madame Martin popularised a style called “the tower” in times of Louis XIV. Tall piles of curls were pomaded, powdered and decorated with ribbons, flowers, lace, feathers and jewelry.

In 1765 the hairdresser de Rumigny published a best seller book Art de la Coiffure des Dames and four years later he opened a school Academie de Coiffure. By 1777, approximately 1,200 hairdressers were working in Paris. During this time, barbers formed unions.

hair stylists guild

In our time The Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild serves as the official labor union for make-up artists and hair stylists in Film and television. Artistic professionals create the iconic looks for Hollywood’s stars, and influence major trends in the consumer industry of celebrity hair salons.

After de Rumigny was born other hairdressers such as Leonard and Larseueur who were the stylists for Dauphine of France Marie Antoinette. Leonard developed the loge d’opera, which towered five feet over the wearer’s head. During the French Revolution he escaped and emigrated to Russia, where he worked as the premier hairdresser for Russian nobility.

In 19th century Marie Laveau was one of the most famous hairdressers and also a Voodoo practitioner. Meanwhile French hairdresser Marcel Grateau developed the “Marcel wave” which required the use of a special hot hair iron.

Fashionable women asked to have their hair “marceled.”

The first retail chains of hair salons and later an international network of franchised hair salons was created by Martha Matilda Harper in 1891. She invented a successful hair tonic and later began franchising the hair salon model to low-income women, and by its peak her company included more than 500 franchises and an entire line of hair care products.

She created the Harper Method, underlie the modern concept of the hair salon including reclining shampoo chairs, which became a common feature of hair and beauty salons worldwide, they offered scalp massage and child care, and worked during evening hours. Among her customers were Susan B. Anthony, Woodrow Wilson, and Jacqueline Kennedy visiting the best hair salon.

Her floor-length hair also served as an effective marketing tool and appeared in many advertisements for her products.

Hairdressing became one of the few acceptable professions during this time for women, alongside teaching, nursing and clerical work.

After World War I, the bob cut and the shingle bob became popular, alongside other short haircuts. In the 1930s complicated styles came back into fashion, alongside the return of the Marcel wave.


Barbers as highly respected individuals

The term “barber” is used both as a professional title and refers to hairdressers who specialize in men’s hair. The first razors have been found among relics of the Bronze Age, around 3500 BC, in Egypt. Men in Ancient Greece had their beards, hair, and fingernails trimmed and styled in an market place. In Rome barbering was introduced by Greeks and quickly became very popular centres for daily news and gossip.

In the 19th century several events got back barbershops in trend. In 1893, A. B. Moler of Chicago, established a school for barbers. This was the first institution of its kind in the world, and its success was apparent from its very start. Today despite the economic recession, the barber shop industry has seen continued positive growth.

“You take old-timers, they wanted to look neat, to be presentable. Now people don’t seem to care too much.”

children hair salon

Bright colors of a children hair salon

When your little one’s locks need a trim you’ll want to make sure they’re in expert hands.

Today small business owners open children hair salons using kid-friendly fixtures, bright colors, movies and cartoons to attract little clients. Owners even decorate the salon with fun-shaped salon chairs, such as animals, cartoon characters, trucks and cars. They offer simple services such as cuts, shampoos and styling, sometimes mini manicures, nail art and toenail painting.

Little princesses can enjoy glamorous beauty rooms where they will be treated like a Hollywood star while boys can play X-box games.

hair salon

Beauty salon is the place for socializing while having your hair done

Hair salon is the place where close relationships built between a hairdresser and his clients. Men usually worked specifically with male clients, and women with women, that’s why we have barbers and hairdressers. Today beauty salons served as social places, allowing women and men to socialize while having their hair done.

But wealthy women still prefer hairdressers visit their home, when the majority visits salons for services such as waving, coloring, hair extension. Men can go to mens hair salon or a barbershop where can have their hair done and beard groomed.

Today about 44% of hairdressers are self-employed, 29% working part-time, and 14% had variable schedules. Latest statistics says there are about 650,000 people working as hairdressers, with a projected increase to 750,000 by 2018.

Before a master hairdresser died, they would give their combs and tools to a chosen successor during a special ceremony.