Some may be surprised to learn that salons and hairdressers are not a modern invention. Throughout history, hair cuts and styles have played as important a role as clothing in marking the social and economic status of men and women. While their importance may seem confined to the beauty industry, hairdressers and barbers have long been important tastemakers in society and have gone a long way in shaping a culture's beauty ideals.
Now, the job of the hairdresser goes well beyond cutting and styling customers' locks. Most full service salons offer regular shampoos and blow-outs, hair coloring and highlights services, as well as deep conditioning, straightening and perm treatments. In addition to wielding scissors, some of the leading stylists also offer tips on skin care and cosmetics application for special events. For bridal parties or girls attending their prom, specialty salons are fully stocked with supplies and hair accessories to provide them with a special look on a big day.
Specialty salons also exist to style customers with a variety of hair needs. Those that cater to clients of African descent carry the equipment and supplies necessary to do treatments such as relaxing. They also stock brushes, conditioners and other products that will work well on richly textured hair. Salons that cater to children will often use special shears to ensure that no nicks or cuts occur, and may even have small brushes that are sized for small school children. These, and specially trained hairdressers work to give their clients the confidence and self-esteem that comes with looking great.