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Hairdressing as an occupation dates back thousands of years. both Aristophanes and Homer, Greek writers, mention hairdressing in their writings. Many Africans believed that hair is a method to communicate with the Divine Being. It is the highest part of the body and therefore the closest to the divine. Because of this Hairdressers held a prominent role in African communities. The status of hairdressing encouraged many to develop their skills, and close relationships were built between hairdressers and their clients. Hours would be spent washing, combing, oiling, styling and ornamenting their hair. Men would work specifically on men, and women on other women.[verification needed] Before a master hairdresser died, they would give their combs and tools to a chosen successor during a special ceremony.
In ancient Egypt, hairdressers had specially decorated cases to hold their tools, including lotions, scissors and styling materials. Barbers also worked as hairdressers, and wealthy men often had personal barbers within their home. With the standard of wig wearing within the culture, wigmakers were also trained as hairdressers. In ancient Rome and Greece household slaves and servants took on the role of hairdressers, including dyeing and shaving. Men who did not have their own private hair or shaving services would visit the local barbershop. Women had their hair maintained and groomed at their homes. Historical documentation is lacking regarding hairstylists from the 5th century until the 14th century. Hair care service grew in demand after a papal decree in 1092 demanded that all Roman Catholic clergymen remove their facial hair.