Barbers and tattoos

Two professions that counterintuitively seem to work well together, are the barber and the tattoo artist.

I’ve been paying attention to how many barber shops either also do tattoos or infuse their brand with that old-school rugged, 50s, tatted-up sailor image.

So I’ve asked myself: why barbers and tattoos?

First, they’re both old professions. Barbers have existed since the Egyptians in 5000 B.C.. And tattooing became a service in the 1880s.

Second, when the first ships came into contact with tribes who showcased their vibrant tattoos, the one person on the ship who could try his hand at tattooing eager sailors, was the barber.

And there’s more history there.

Apparently the “barber surgeon” in the middle ages, was the figure responsible for both cutting hair and performing surgery during and after battles, because of their razors and firm hands.

But there’s something even more intriguing, and that’s what customers look for from both professions.

Tattoo and barber shops exist for customers to forge and expand their identities. To allow them to use their bodies to convey their personal brand and values in a way.

To make a statement.

It’s a fascinating mix of history, tradition and creativity.

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