Finding the right barber is like coming across the Holy Grail. It means that you’ve found someone with extensive hair knowledge who knows how to work hair clippers as precise as a surgeon uses a scalpel. And they’re also probably fun to be around. Today, we’re going to look at some to the things that set a great barber apart from a mediocre one, so that you get a first-class haircut every time.
Settling into Barbershop Tradition
If going to the barbershop is a new experience for you, there will be some noticeable differences from the unisex salon. For starters, the barbershop is more than just a place where you get your hair cut. It’s a spot for guys to hang out and chat while getting a quick haircut and shave. It’s also much better than your run-of-the-mill chain store, because you tend to see the same barbers on the regular and they get to know your hair type and how you want it cut. And as an added bonus, barbers aren’t concerned with hair in general, they specialize in men’s hair. They have a wealth of knowledge about how *your hair *should look.
So, what should you look out for when shopping around for a barber?
1. Find a barber who asks questions
You want to trust your hair to someone who’s able to give you exactly what you’re looking for. And a barber that just relies on guard numbers is probably not that kind of person. A good barber will want to find out exactly how you want your hair to look, what you like about your hair, and what you wish you could change about your current style. That way, they can determine the best course of action when cutting your hair, as well as help you select the right kind of styling product for your hairstyle. Basically, you want someone who’s able to take the time and learn more about your expectations in order to give you the style you envision.
2. Your barber should be asking for feedback
Your time at the barbershop shouldn’t be an in-and-out ordeal. A good haircut or shave can’t be rushed, and your barber should take the time to ask you what you like or don’t like about the way your hair’s being cut. Maybe it’s not short enough on the sides, or you don’t like that cowlick in the back of your head. Your barber can then make adjustments so that you don’t end up going home with a subpar haircut.
3. Give him a trial run
If you’re thinking about trying a barber but feel uneasy about trusting a new guy with your hair, start out small. Instead of having your hair completely redone, have the barber shape it up, straighten your hairline, or make your beard a little neater. Any barber who’s skilled with clippers and a pair of scissors can do this in their sleep, and if he fumbles through the process then that’s a major red flag. And since you’re just getting your hair shaped up, you don’t have to worry about any major changes to your appearance if he’s subpar.
4. Look for social media profiles
These days, most businesses have a presence on Facebook and Instagram. When you search around your city for barbershops, also try and find them on social media. That will give you an opportunity to see some of their before and after pictures so that you can get a better idea of how skilled they are.
5. Ask questions related to hair
Your barber should know a thing or two about hair, otherwise, he’s just a glorified haircutter. Make sure to ask questions about how to manage your hair, how often you need to get a maintenance cut, and what products work best with your hair texture and style. If your barber doesn’t know the answer to these questions, he probably only specializes in giving flattops and buzzcuts, and that’s not the guy that you want taking care of your hair.
The Final Word on Barbers
Going to a barber is about more than just getting a haircut and shave, it’s also about the experience. You’ll want to find a barber that you hit it off with, otherwise, it’s just as weird and awkward as going to those walk-in salons. With that said, you also don’t want to go to a barber who’s too popular, especially if he’s running a one-man operation. That means that you could be waiting an eternity to get freshened up.
Remember, there are plenty of decent barbers out there, but an exemplary one is quite the catch. Don’t be afraid to shop around until you find a barber with the skills and personality that best suits you.