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Chinese Baber

By the 10th century, barbering had gained currency in China. A person working in this trade had been earlier called a "shaver", "hair-cutter" and so on. For a long time, instead of running a shop, such people provided services when called for. Around the 14th century, shavers carrying their tools on a shoulder pole began to appear on the street to solicit customers. Barber!s stalls also began to be set up in marketplaces.

"On Customs" in the Records of Xi Jin, a book written in the mid-14th century, noted that: "Shavers use color drawings of teeth as their signs." This is one of the earliest documentation of the signs used by shavers. This illustration(left) is the only barber!s sign of the 18th and the 19th centuries extant today. Under the carved beam is a white sign curtain, painted with a wave design, and trimmed with a curled grass pattern. In the center are two characters for "cutting hair," meaning "to tidy up."