The distinction between a barber and a hairdresser has a long history dating back to ancient civilisations. In ancient Greece, barbers were highly respected individuals who were responsible for both cutting hair and performing surgical procedures. In ancient Rome, barbers were also responsible for maintaining public hygiene by providing teeth cleaning and facial hair removal services.
During the Middle Ages, barbers were a fixture in nearly every European town. They were typically male and were members of the guild of barbers. Barbers were responsible for not only cutting hair and performing grooming services, but also for treating wounds and performing minor surgeries. In fact, the red and white striped barber pole that is often seen outside of barbershops today originated as a symbol for these medical services, with the red representing blood and the white representing bandages.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the profession of hairdressing emerged, with hairdressers primarily serving female clients. Hairdressers were responsible for styling and cutting the hair of both men and women, but the profession was mainly associated with women's hair.
Today, the main difference between a barber and a hairdresser is the type of clientele they serve. Barbers primarily serve male clients and focus on cutting and styling men's hair, while hairdressers serve both male and female clients and are trained in a wider range of hair styling techniques.
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