When you think of a female barber what is the first thing that comes to mind?
I was going to write my next blog from a female point of view, how a barber was originally classified as a "man's job" and how I and any other women deserve the right to do whatever job we want to do. I decided to not to do that.
I was going to go on about how my dad never dictated my career options and how he never had an opinion on what I should be doing as a job. He always says to me, "whatever makes you happy". He never asks me how work is, he just asks "are you happy?". He always encouraged me and my brothers if we want to do something go and do it, on your own. Because of this I appreciate it and value it more.
Before I started writing this blog I thought of how many people have actually made a comment about it to me and in reality, not many. Yes, I do get the occasional "a female barber, thats rare" and I normally reply with "yeah I guess". The most common thing I come across is when I'm referring to myself as a barber in a conversation they "correct" me and say "hairdresser". Simply put....... I am a barber!
I want to use this opportunity to share a little knowledge that I know about female barbers and how it actually isn't rare.
A little background history-
Originally Barbers didn't just cut hair they also preformed surgery and dentistry. The barber pole actually represents that. The white represents a bandage, the red blood and the blue veins. When the pole was spinning it meant the barber shop was preforming surgery on a wounded soldier or removing someone's teeth. This is why I don't have a barber's pole, they weren't used just to look cool. In the 18th century being a surgeon and a dentist was very much considered a man's job.
One of the worlds first female barbers were Miss Dolly house and her sister. They are Australian and they ran their own barber shop in 1927.
In 1985 over 50 percent of barbering students were female.
By the time the 90's came around female barbers were everywhere. Most recently a lady from India made head lines about becoming India's first female barber.
Her name is Shantabai her husband and father both were the barbers for her village and surrounding villages. When they both past away, she had to make money to feed her daughters and took up their jobs and clients and now has them lining up for a shave and hair cut and can feed her daughters again.
“This profession has given life to me and my kids. Until I can see with my eyes and hold the ustra with my hands, I will carry on with this job,” says Shantabai, who is determined to work until the day she dies.
To me it's normal to be a female barber, it's nothing unique and rare. Its just what I love to do just like all the other women that did it and do it today. My clients always compliment me about my haircuts and shaves, the most common thing I hear is "I have that females touch". To me the whole thing about a barber shop being a "mans cave" for men to talk about "mens things" and not a place for women is a massive marketing tool and to be completely blunt is dying down.
My clients love asking my opinion on what hair style would look good and if they should keep their beard or not. I guess sometimes a females point of view is what they are after.