Skip to main content

In the Picture

In every issue, we fix our gaze on an everyday photograph and chase down facts about details in the frame.
(Photo: Darran Rees)

(Photo: Darran Rees)

  • In the United States, between 2007 (the state of the recession) and 2011, the number of sole-proprietor barbershops grew by 50 percent, and the number of sole-proprietor beauty salons grew by 35 percent.
  • Bob Chandler and Danny O'Cain co-own the Chandler O'Cain barbershop in Canton, Mississippi (population 13,500). The shop has been open since 1931. The swiveling barber chairs were installed in 1939, when Danny's mom was the shop owner.
  • The Mississippi State Board of Cosmetology licenses hair care, cosmetology, manicuring, esthetics, and wigology professionals. The fine for practicing hair care without a license: $50; for practicing with an infectious disease: $1000; for leaving hair or nail clippings on the floor: $50.
  • In 2010, the average wage for a barber was $11.45 an hour—which is higher than for hairstylists and cosmetologists.
  • According to AdAge magazine, the 20-percent profit margin that Procter & Gamble makes on its Gillette products is the highest of any P&G brand. The personal grooming market for men and women combined is worth $14 billion in annual sales.
  • According to the International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery, hair loss sufferers in the U.S. spend more than $1.8 billion a year to save their locks. From 2004 through 2012, surgeries for men declined by three percent; for women they rose by 20 percent. In Asia, hair restoration surgeries (for both men and women) rose by 400 percent.
  • According to a 2005 articles in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Caucasians tend to gray first, often as early as their mid-30s, followed by Asians, then Africans. Scientists have not yet found a link between signs of aging in hair and real aging in the body.
  • BlueCo Brands, the maker of Barbicide, ships its products to more than 45 countries, including Iceland and Romania. Barbicide sales have grown substantially in the Middle East, particularly in Dubai.
  • The barber pole is considered one of the oldest tradecraft symbols, dating to the Middle Ages. Early barbers also performed tooth extractions and bloodletting. Today at least 10 states have rules that deem the pole for barbers only—excluding beauticians from using the symbol.
  • The Barbering Hall of Fame, in Ohio, has 60 inductees. Among them: Ernest E. Kokan, 1975, invented the reclining barber chair. Charles DeZemler, 1968, became a journeyman barber at 14 and later cut the hair of Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Zane Skerry (one of two women), 2007, became a master barber in 1974.

*Compiled by Olivia Cvitanic, Kihana Langdon, and Sarah Sloat.

This post originally appeared in the January/February 2014 issueofPacific Standard as "In the Picture." For more, consider subscribing to our bimonthly print magazine.