PNG images: Hairdresser
A hairdresser is a person whose occupation is to cut or style hair in order to change or maintain a person's image. This is achieved using a combination of hair colouring, hair cutting, and hair texturing techniques. Most hairdressers are professionally licensed as either a hairdresser, a barber or a cosmetologist.
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Hairdressing as an occupation dates back thousands of years. Ancient art drawings and paintings have been discovered depicting people working on another person's hair. Greek writers Aristophanes and Homer both mention hairdressing in their writings. In Africa, it was believed in some cultures that a person's spirit occupied his or her hair, giving hairdressers high status within these communities. The status of hairdressing encouraged many to develop their skills, and close relationships were built between hairdressers and their clients. Hours would be spent washing, combing, oiling, styling and ornamenting their hair. Men would work specifically on men, and women on other women. Before a master hairdresser died, they would give their combs and tools to a chosen successor during a special ceremony.
In ancient Egypt, hairdressers had specially decorated cases to hold their tools, including lotions, scissors and styling materials. Barbers also worked as hairdressers, and wealthy men often had personal barbers within their home. With the standard of wig wearing within the culture, wigmakers were also trained as hairdressers. In ancient Rome and Greece household slaves and servants took on the role of hairdressers, including dyeing and shaving. Men who did not have their own private hair or shaving services would visit the local barbershop. Women had their hair maintained and groomed at their homes. Historical documentation is lacking regarding hairstylists from the 5th century until the 14th century. Hair care service grew in demand after a papal decree in 1092 demanded that all Roman Catholic clergymen remove their facial hair.
The first appearance of the word "hairdresser" is in 17th century Europe, and hairdressing was considered a profession. Hair fashion of the period suggested that wealthy women wear large, complex and heavily adorned hairstyles, which would be maintained by their personal maids and other people, who would spend hours dressing the woman's hair. A wealthy man's hair would often be maintained by a valet. It was in France where men began styling women's hair for the first time, and many of the notable hairdressers of the time were men, a trend that would continue into contemporary times. The first famous male hairdresser was Champagne, who was born in Southern France. Upon moving to Paris, he opened his own hair salon and dressed the hair of wealthy Parisian women until his death in 1658.
Women's hair grew taller in style during the 17th century, popularised by the hairdresser Madame Martin. The hairstyle, "the tower," was the trend with wealthy English and American women, who relied on hairdressers to style their hair as tall as possible. Tall piles of curls were pomaded, powdered and decorated with ribbons, flowers, lace, feathers and jewelry. The profession of hairdressing was launched as a genuine profession when Legros de Rumignywas declared the first official hairdresser of the French court. In 1765 de Rumigny published his book Art de la Coiffure des Dames, which discussed hairdressing and included pictures of hairstyles designed by him. The book was a best seller amongst Frenchwomen, and four years later de Rumigny opened a school for hairdressers: Academie de Coiffure. At the school he taught men and women to cut hair and create his special hair designs.
By 1777, approximately 1,200 hairdressers were working in Paris. During this time, barbers formed unions, and demanded that hairdressers do the same. Wigmakers also demanded that hairdressers cease taking away from their trade, and hairdressers responded that their roles were not the same, hairdressing was a service, and wigmakers made and sold a product. de Rumigny died in 1770 and other hairdressers gained in popularity, specifically three Frenchmen: Frederic, Larseueur, and Léonard. Leonard and Larseueur were the stylists for Marie Antoinette. Leonard was her favorite, and developed many hairstyles that became fashion trends within wealthy Parisian circles, including the loge d'opera, which towered five feet over the wearer's head. During the French Revolution he escaped the country hours before he was to be arrested, alongside the king, queen, and other clients. He emigrated to Russia, where he worked as the premier hairdresser for Russian nobility.