Men's Grooming

Choosing a new barber 101 – Open your eyes when you step into the barbershop

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Contrary to what you may see in highly accurate documentary films such as ‘Barbershop’ and ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut,’ the barbershop tradition of regularly visiting the same barber has faded in the modern world. But there are still many reasons why a man should visit a reliable, highly skilled barber on a regular basis.

Having a personal barber ensures consistency, as they will know all the intricacies, complexities, and the contours of your hair. With each visit, your barber will have a chance to know you better and figure out what haircut or beard style best suits you. In this article, we will focus solely on how to choose a barber. But if you want to bring up a few haircut concepts with your barber next time you pay him a visit, check out the articles posted on MenHairStylist. Without further ado, here is how to choose a new barber.

Presentation Matters

At its core, the barbershop experience is about looks above all else, so presentation should play a vital role in your decision-making process. The establishment and the people populating it should inspire confidence, professionalism, and a great attention to detail. So, here are the first things you should look for:

  • Check how well-groomed the barber is. We know this article’s purpose is to help you get the best grooming possible, but think about it this way: how would you feel if you went for a consultation and saw the doctor chain-smoking and smashing flies against the table? They could be the best doctor in the world but entrusting them with your healthcare would still feel a little funny. Circling back to barbers, would you trust a person who does not take care of themselves with your personal grooming? If the barber sports a crummy haircut and unpressed clothes, chances are the service is the same.
  • Check the shop’s cleanliness. While modern barbershops are far from the lice-infested saloons of previous centuries, it is better to be safe than sorry. You should also look for a good overall organization, as a good barber will have everything in order to ensure a fast and effective service.

Another (admittedly largely superficial and trivial) way to figure out if the barbershop is worth it is seeing how difficult it is to get an appointment there. If you are able to get an appointment for the same day and at a popular time (after office hours and the like), the barbershop is either a newcomer or it is not very liked by the locals. We are not saying you should not give new businesses a chance– it is just a small thing to bear in mind when choosing a barber.

Experience

If you are about to let a person handle a cut throat razor blade a few inches from your face, you would better ensure that the barber is more than familiar with the tools of their trade. You should never shy away from asking your barber how long they have been practicing their trade. Furthermore, you should never restrain yourself from doing this out of a fear of offending the barber as a true professional will never turn hostile upon being asked about their work experience.

Confidence

A good and professional barber will greet every client with a firm handshake, ask how their day went, and attempt to establish a relationship based on trust. Furthermore, a barber will always know when and how to ask the right questions and give suggestions on the spot based on how the haircut is evolving.

Good Communication Skills

Barbershops, similar to a news publication, represent a business whose growth and success is highly dependent on the trust of their clients and the establishment’s reputation. Grooming is a very intimate process, and barbers are well aware about that.  A barber will know how to ‘’read the room’’ and shape the service according to the client’s personality and expectations.

For example, if the client is shy and rarely intervenes with suggestions, the barber will know which buttons to push in order to encourage them to be more open about their desires. On the opposite spectrum, if the client is overly-enthusiastic and wants to try out a new haircut, a good barber will make sure to inform them that it might not be such a good idea.

Another thing that good barbers do is offering on-site reports about the current state of the haircut and what approach they are about to take. For instance, they will always ask, ‘’How much shorter?’’ and then show how much they are about to cut. Or, when discussing the finishing you want around the ears, they might ask either ‘’Close and Tight?’’ or ‘’Shaped and soft around the edges?’’.

A Good Memory

Another essential trait of every serious barber is a good memory. What many people are not aware of is the fact that a good haircut takes between three and five consecutive visits to shape up. That is because the barber will have an easier time figuring out what suits you best by cutting it in multiple bursts (meaning once every two to three months) rather than a bigger proportion in one go. A good memory plays a vital role in this process. From the first time they cut your hair to years later (assuming you visit the same person regularly), a good barber will know all the intricacies, complexities, and unique contours of your hair and be able how to deal with certain issues such as receding hairlines.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many advantages of visiting the same barber regularly. However, there are certain factors to take into account before taking this step, and hopefully, this article will offer you some insight in this respect.

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Elaine Goodman is a fashion enthusiast and senior editor at MenHairStylist. Elaine’s blog collects and exhibits only the best looking and trendy hairstyles. Have no worry there is a hairstyle for you, no matter what type of hair you have. After writing and publishing is done for the day, Elaine likes to sink her remaining time into a good murder mystery novel.

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