History of the Barber Surgeon

History of the Barber Surgeon

During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Barber Surgeons were the surgical practitioners and grooming experts of medieval Europe. They were a coalition of tradesmen essential to the order of society who were charged with performing everything from cutting hair, pulling teeth, bloodletting, and surgery.

In this era, surgery was not generally conducted by physicians who would focus on medicines for healing. Barber Surgeons, who had sharp-bladed razors, an indispensable tool of their profession, were the surgeons of the day. The Barber Surgeons often took up residence in castles where they provided medical assistance to royalty and the wealthy.

The craft lives on today with the traditional red and white barber’s pole, still seen outside many barber shops, which is said to represent the bloody bandages hung outside windows of a Barber Surgeons practice. It wasn’t until 1745 when King George II of England separated Barber Surgeons into Barbers and Surgeons, nearly 800 years of these trades being documented to be one in the same.

BSG is committed to honoring the history of the noble Barber Surgeon through it’s collaborative efforts of Staff Master Barbers and Hair Restoration Surgeons.

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