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 For the Health of it


       The modern man's appointment book tends to have dates for the barber, doctor, dentist, gym, and maybe a massage. But before barber- surgeons were split apart into two separate guilds, these things were one. When barbers from Crete came to ply their trade in ancient Rome, they were what would later be termed "Renaissance Men," jacks of all trades not narrowly confined by specialization. Their list of skills was staggering, and barber- surgeons would give new meaning to the term "full service" barber shop, offering a shave, haircut, and enema.

       Even into the postwar era, barbershops retained some of their former associations, mostly because of where they were located -- in gyms and pool halls, bowling alleys and health spas, downtown hotels, golf courses, and Officer's Clubs. Women had beauty salons. Men had barber shops. Men and women had separate clothing stores, but men were harder to merchandise, so their services were often combined. The clothier might have a barber shop in the back of the store, conveniently located to give the patron in the chair a long, leisurely look at the latest Spring line-up. Now that you're all fixed up with a fresh haircut, how about a new suit?




Sports heroes endorse good grooming.


        Athletics and barber shops went together, for nearly obvious reasons. Before Joe Namath grew his locks out under his helmet, coaches required their quarterbacks close- cropped. For returning servicemen, who had seen so many of their buddies become casualties or POWs, discipline was the watchword, both in life and haircuts.

       A poster often seen in barber shops depicted eight "Official Hair Styles for Men and Boys," with the sponsor's reminder that "Good Grooming Demands LB hair products." This poster is familiar to many TV viewers because it also hung on the wall at Floyd's Barber Shop on The Andy Griffith Show. The "LB" reference was changed to "FBS (Floyd's Barber Shop). In the space for the shop name was printed: "Floyd's Barber Shop, Mayberry, N.C." LB got lots of mileage from their poster, and depicted these official haircuts in their advertising, tacitly commending LB as an "official" hair groom. The company was also blessed with some of the decade's best jingles: "LB means 'Look Better.' Better look for LB."

       Shulton's Old Spice was probably the decade's best-selling after shave. But if dads recognized the bottle with the sailing ship, ads targeting their sons were youthful and athletic. "Shapes up the crew cut...disciplines the brush cut," promised the ad for Shulton's Short Cut in Boy's Life, the Scouting magazine. It ran next to other athletically-themed ads of the era: for "Tackle" skin cream and a hairgroom called "Score."



 


 

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