In the world of fashion, hairdressing developed as an art during the middle Ages, when an appropriate coiffure became as important as the proper costume.
Not many of us realise that hairdressing is an art just like any other form of creativity. At times even the hair dresser does not realize this fact. A hairdresser converts the entire presentation of their clients with their skills by giving a good haircut, colour or elaborate up-do. Sometimes huge transformations happen due to a good haircut, given by a clever hairdresser. This is one art form that requires professional training. For someone who has attained training in haircutting it opens up a whole new field of creativity. There are hairdressing competitions for all those hairstyles, colours and elaborate updos for those who wish to be extra creative.
If you are a naturally creative person by instinct, training in hairdressing provides the appropriate knowledge to you, so that you can complete your styling assignments with enough confidence. Hence, it opens great many doors for you in the field of fashion and style. I trained as a hairdresser myself and really enjoyed the career I had in this field, especially the colour work and hair ups or up-dos, that’s where we create a fancy hair style for things like weddings or balls. Hair up days at the salon were fairy tale like in that it was a lot of creative fun for an artist like myself and I enjoyed those days more than any other. Of course creating the perfect cut took experience and creativity too as does working with colour and although at times I miss the industry I love being an artist more.
A good stylist always has the best tools. They need to be very selective about their styling gadgets, tools and beauty products, especially their scissors where it pays to invest in the best! This way you not only give the best of service to your client but quality products make your job much easier too.
Now I always found the history of hairdressing rather fascinating (As an apprentice you have to know many other aspects of hair and history was one of the units you had to do.). So here’s a bit of hair history for you.
As far back as Neanderthal Man,, mankind has used their hair as way to reflect their personalities, religion and social status; trimming and styling often wasn't only a way of making yourself look more attractive, there were occasions where the males used things like bones, feathers and other items in their hair to impress their female counterparts as well as to strike fear in rival groups.
In the time of Julius Caesar, Gallic and Roman men were required to grow their hair long to show their nobility. Upon being conquered by the Roman's, Julius Caesar ordered that any noble
Religion-wise hair can show a life lead to a casual onlooker. Monks for example shave their head in a number of religions, whereas early Muslim men would shave their head with the exception of a single long lock, which was believed to be used to pull them up to heaven after they die. Political leanings were also shown - as the long haired Royalist Cavaliers battled the cropped hair of the Parliamentarian Roundheads in English Civil War in the 1600's.
Hair - or rather wigs - can also be used to show job roles, such as Japanese Geisha with their elaborate large black wigs, and the rolled grey wig of a barrister or judge. Styles were used to show the mood of the person as well. Sumerian noblewomen would dress their hair in a heavy, netted chignon, rolls, and plaits around the head or letting it fall thickly over their shoulders. They also powdered it with gold dust or scented yellow starch and adorned it with gold hairpins and other ornaments. Babilonian and Assyrian men dyed their long hair and square beards black and crimped and curled them with curling irons. Persian nobles also curled their hair and beards and stained them red with henna, a product that is not so much in use today for the adverse effects it has on commercial hair colours, if you are using henna you must let your hairdresser know before getting them to colour your hair. The Egyptians used to grow their hair when they were mourning but Egyptian noblemen and noblewomen clipped their hair close normally; later, for coolness and cleanliness in the hot climate. On ceremonial occasions, for protection from the sun, they wore heavy, usually black wigs, as seen in pictures of people like Cleopatra. Hindu widows used to shave it all off.
Nowadays, religion, political persuasion or social status is less likely to have an effect on your hair. The general increase of disposable income, along with informality & individualism, has seen a rise in people changing their hairstyle, to suit their needs and tastes at the time.
In the 20th century a hairdresser must now fulfil professional requirements. In New Zealand it no longer takes a certain amount of hours to become a fully qualified hairdresser, you now instead have to complete an apprenticeship with unit standards where you learn each skill as one unit standard eg Colouring the hair or Perming etc. The time it takes you to do this is up to the individual but can take approximately 3 years on average. In the United it’s generally around 1,000 hours of training, in order to receive a state license to practice while in
Posted: Friday 26 February 2010