Back in those far off days, enormous tribes of hairstylists would sweep majestically over the wide-open plains of this ancient and noble land, often scaring the Romans and frightening the Vikings.
Later, no Middle-Age city-centre was safe from the late night deprecations of these fearsome savages and many a medieval innocent shopping trolley was sacrificed to the God of the canals during those secret midnight ceremonies that are still to this day only spoken of in whispered and hushed words of awed fearful wonder.
Now, though, to see today’s hordes of semi-domesticated hairstylists calmly flicking through magazines and applying suntan lotion as they bask in a spring-sun dappled meadow it is hard… but not only that, it is also difficult to imagine that these are the direct descendents of those once-fearsome creatures.
Like many things, the domestication of the wild hairstylist had much to do with the English Civil War and its aftermath. Up until that point, there was no real need for hairstylists at all in English society, just someone with a spare pair of sheep shearing shears and a bit of free time. Even this was a bit too ostentatious for the Puritans who took over in the aftermath of the Civil War, preferring instead that people pulled their own hair out when it got too long as a form or penance and self-mortification.
However, during his escape from England after hiding in an Oak tree, a dishevelled King Charles II met a semi-domesticated hairstylist in the employ of Lord Wilmot who effortlessly managed to restore the full regal magnificence of Charles’ hair ‘in a very fitting and pleasing manner’.
So, after the Restoration, It was Charles II who set in motion the organised domestication, keeping and breeding of the hairstylist on a scale never before seen. Soon, the growth of the mercantile classes in England’s burgeoning cities led to many domesticated hairstylists opening premises to cater to the increasingly elaborate and demanding tonsorial needs of the new middle-classes.
The rest is – a bit more – history.
A tale from the From the LFITW archive
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