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Hairdressing has been at the heart of communities since time began. An intimate ritual, it's at once private and very public; there aren't many jobs which allow you get as close as a hairdresser. Here are some artworks that capture the art of hairdressing.

12 artworks
La toilette
© the artist. Photo credit: Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums

La toilette c.1962

Peter Collins (b.1935)

Oil on canvas

H 89.9 x W 111.8 cm

Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums

Combing the Hair ('La Coiffure')
Photo credit: The National Gallery, London

Combing the Hair ('La Coiffure') about 1896

Edgar Degas (1834–1917)

Oil on canvas

H 114.3 x W 146.7 cm

The National Gallery, London

A Maid combing a Woman's Hair
Photo credit: The National Gallery, London

A Maid combing a Woman's Hair about 1883

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824–1898)

Oil on millboard

H 32.5 x W 24 cm

The National Gallery, London

The Invention of the Combing Machine 1862

Alfred Elmore (1815–1881)

Oil on canvas

H 100.2 x W 141 cm

Bradford Museums and Galleries

A Gentleman's Toilet (La petite toilette)
Photo credit: Wellcome Collection

A Gentleman's Toilet (La petite toilette)

Jean-Michel Moreau le jeune (1741–1814) (after)

Oil on wood

H 26.5 x W 19.3 cm

Wellcome Collection

Toilette
© the artist. Photo credit: Salford Museum & Art Gallery

Toilette c.1983

Jiri Borsky (b.1945)

Oil on canvas

H 51 x W 41 cm

Salford Museum & Art Gallery

An Indian Lady Attending to Her Toilette with a Helper Holding a Mirror for Her
Photo credit: Wellcome Collection

An Indian Lady Attending to Her Toilette with a Helper Holding a Mirror for Her 19th C (?)

unknown artist

Gouache, ink & pen on paper (?)

H 12.5 x W 8 cm

Wellcome Collection

Hairdressing
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Southampton City Art Gallery

Hairdressing 1947

Geoffrey Arthur Tibble (1909–1952)

Oil on canvas

H 100 x W 73.7 cm

Southampton City Art Gallery

Lady Seated at Hairdressers (?)
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Examination Schools, University of Oxford

Lady Seated at Hairdressers (?) 1953

Georges van Houten (1888–1964)

Oil on canvas

H 100 x W 80 cm

Examination Schools, University of Oxford

Portrait of a Lady Brushing Her Hair with a Maid
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Examination Schools, University of Oxford

Portrait of a Lady Brushing Her Hair with a Maid 1953

Georges van Houten (1888–1964)

Oil on canvas

H 107 x W 87 cm

Examination Schools, University of Oxford

Tattooing and Braiding the Hair
Photo credit: Horniman Museum and Gardens

Tattooing and Braiding the Hair

unknown artist

Pigment on parchment

H 11 x W 15.3 cm

Horniman Museum and Gardens

A Malabar Barber Cutting a Customer's Hair
Photo credit: Wellcome Collection

A Malabar Barber Cutting a Customer's Hair

unknown artist

Gouache, gold & gum arabic on paper (?)

H 30 x W 22 cm

Wellcome Collection