A bit of history: A barber’s pole originated in the Middle Ages as an advertisement of bloodletting services provided inside. That’s why the stripes are red (standing for blood) and white (representing bandages).
Those days are over (we’re pretty certain the custom was banned) even though the polls are popular signs outside barbershops. The “modern” shops offer haircuts, shaves and some — like the Boston Barber Company — provide espresso, tanning services and tattoos for their customers. (Full Story)