In old Turkish yülü meant shaving, yölgüç was a razor, yölügen a barber, yülemek to shave, and yülük a person who had shaved. But later, if the terminology is anything to go by, foreign influences came to dominate in the sphere of shaving and hair dressing. Two Turkish terms for barber, berber and perkârn, derived from the Italian barbierre and the French perruquier respectively, while kuaför for a ladies' hairdresser comes from the French coiffieur, and tıraş, meaning shave, from the Persian terâş, to scrape or make smooth.
If all the information, documents and pictures relating to the barbers of Istanbul from the second century AD until the mid-20th century were to be gathered together it would make an extraordinary historical archive. Legend has it that the butcher Hesperos was Byzantium's first barber thanks to his dexterity with the kuika ergaleia (razor), which was why the city's barbers were known as the 'drudges of Hesperos'. Most Byzantine barbers set up their stalls in churchyards, as so much of their trade consisted of shaving the heads of monks