Comments & Curiosities: A few snippets on haircuts

June 26, 2010|Peter Buffa

Need a haircut? I always do. But if you need one, get yourself down to Hampton Salon, on Bayside Circle in Newport Beach by 4 p.m. today.

It's important. Every hair that ends up underfoot at Hampton Salon today will be sacrificed for a very good cause — to benefit Containers of Hope, a Christian nonprofit that provides food and school supplies to kids around the world.

The event is called "Cuts for Change," and not only do you get a perfect trim but it's way too cheap to stay home. If you're a new customer, it's ten bucks for a cut, twenty bucks for a cut and blow-dry. Can you beat that? You cannot.


Normally, a woman's cut and blow-dry starts at $70. Twenty bucks is better.

"Our goal is to provide people with a great haircut and send them out not only looking good, but feeling good about doing something to help others," said Condren Hampton, who is the actual, real-life Hampton in Hampton Salon.

Containers of Hope was founded by the mother of one of Hampton's stylists, Ashley Guillory.

"We're going to be doing what we do best for charity," said Guillory.

It is a wonderful idea and I say two thumbs up, at least, to all the snippers at Hampton Salon. But here is my question — how long have people been cutting their hair?

Who was the first person to say, "You gotta get a trim, bud. You're starting to look like Crystal Gayle"?

The answer is interesting, assuming you use a pretty loose definition of interesting. Ancient Egypt is where you'll find the first recorded images or references to hair that had been cut and/or styled. There were no blow driers at the time, and for good reason, with temperatures of 120 degrees or more in the region. Oh, I forgot — it was a dry heat.

So it's possible that the very first haircuts were simply a defense mechanism against the heat. Egyptian men and women kept things short, neat and trimmed, except for special occasions, when women wore long, curled wigs trimmed with ribbons, gold and ivory hairpins, which must have been very pleasant when it was 120 degrees.

The ancient Greeks added a few twists, literally, with a popular woman's style being long hair twisted tight into a chignon at the back of the head. Women also decorated their hair with flowers, and this is when the first references to hair coloring appeared. Girls who wanted to have more fun dyed their hair with henna, and for special occasions, sprinkled it with golden hair powder. I have no idea what that is but it sounds real messy.

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