“ Will the True American Barber Pole Spin Forever?”
Barbering in the United States was a large part of the culture from before the 1900’s to present day. Today’s decline in barbering is much different than the decline in the 60’s, which can almost be directly traced to the long hair of “The Beatles”.
Today’s decline is not because of long hair or the slumping economy. In fact short haircuts and the need for barbers, like myself, has never been greater. Barbers and barber shops are vastly out numbered by cosmetology shops, hair salons, and chain hair stores.
The difference between the two is great. Many of you have probably gone into a salon or chain hair store and left wondering what just happened to your flat top. Or one every licensed professional should know, the regular business mans tapered cut. In fact this is what separates the barber from the cosmetologist. It is not that cosmetologists are poor at cutting hair. It is they lack the training to perform the different haircuts. They train for about three weeks of clipper cutting! With today’s hairstyles that is ridiculous. Look at old photos from the 20’s. You will notice the same thing you see today, a man in a suit with a nicely tapered barbered haircut.
A taper is a blend from the nape, or back of the neck, to the occipital bone, a clean blend around the ears, without any lines or imperfections. All of the haircuts that are performed today the flat top, fade, and men’s and woman’s short cuts come back to the basic skills of blending and tapering or shingle cutting the hair.
Today in Pennsylvania we still do the men’s tapered haircut on the barber examination since 1931. In PA today there are approximately 200,000 licensed cosmetologists and only about 10,000 barbers left. This is the complete opposite ratio prior to 1965.
There are other differences between the two licenses, but none greater then the emphasis on men’s hair. PA law prohibits anyone other than a licensed barbershop to have a barber pole or any signage that renders barbering services. So look for that spinning red, white and blue barber pole and you will know you are headed in the right direction. Do what your great grandfather and fathers have done for decades; keep the great American barber pole alive!
*Some states have different laws and regulations for hair professionals
Gary's Custom Cuts is an upscale barber shop specializing in men's and young men's hair care. Our goal is to have you feel confident in the way you look through proper education, use of best equipment and hair products designed especially for men, young men and boys...
"A true barbering experience."