There inevitably comes a glorious time in every man’s life when he finds “the One.” This person understands you, listens, and provides endlessly. They get who you are and serve to build you into a better person; they deliver. Yes, I am talking about the ever faithful barber that we look for but seldom find. So what happens when this elusive entity vanishes from existence? It might be they stop answering the phone, you’ve heard they left town, or he’s left the industry.
Whatever the reason, your barber broke up with you and your own your own.
Photo credit: Evan Martins
Finding an award-winning barber is more than just shelling out money on expensive goods. It’s about trial and error, finding someone who understands your needs, and building rapport that leads to trust. A bad haircut is one of the most traumatizing experiences we can go through second only to death, divorce, or losing our home. You will never fully appreciate your hair or your barber until you find neither is there when you need them. So what can you do?
How to Get Back Out on the Barber Circuit
Just like dating, there are plenty more barbers in the sea – cliché but true. Unless you start to ask around and make those calls, you’ll never find someone who is potentially better and more suited to maintaining your style. Losing a good barber isn’t the end of the world unless you are not committed to finding a great one! Make calls, ask for referrals from friends, and in the worst case scenario you can always beg the barbershop to tell you how best to stalk your ex-barber down (it might sound extreme but this is one of the rare exceptions where you are allowed to do this!).
Photo credit: Roseburg
Whether you are looking for a replacement or someone new:
- Always look online for reviews from real customers – they’ll give you the facts straight up and you won’t be sold on a sleek website
- If you are unfamiliar with the barbershop or salon, consider taking them up on a trial by investing in an alternative and less permanent service to get a feel for the place
- Always hire the best qualified person you can afford – even an increment of $10/15 can make a huge difference
I know this is going to sound awful, but those perky hairdressers found in local chain stores that have excellent deals (the $5 haircut?); those people don’t stick around long. They’re underpaid and usually overworked. They’re going to have quotas, people breathing down their neck and won’t be committed to cutting your hair in the way it deserves. Always look for somewhere that has a professional and profound reputation. If you can spring for a salon, many offer great selections for men’s haircuts and won’t rush you out the door before it’s done right.
Meeting Your New Barber
Going for a haircut can be a really great way to reduce stress, change your looks, and feel more confident. Now that you have researched, discovered the best barber in town, and are willing to put a few bucks toward the big event, it’s time to prepare. Make sure you arrive with clean hair that has been washed that day, this is especially important if you are looking for color or highlights to be added (but it’s worth it on a hygienic level anyway). Wear lose fitting clothes to prevent sweating in the heat (lots of places have heated tools turned on 24/7 it seems) and it’ll help you both feel more at ease – no one wants to wonder why your shuffling awkwardly under the sheets.
You should also take photographs of styles you like for reference, and talk with your stylist on how to achieve the right look for face shape and hair type. Any barber worth his scissors is going to be able to answer these questions with thoughtful and experienced answers. If you can’t work up the courage to ask, then you probably shouldn’t be letting them cut away pieces of your identity – just a thought!
Photo credit: Deviant Art
You might also want to:
- Ask your stylist for their opinion before cutting and listen to their answers
- Ask them why they are treating your hair in a certain way – you can pick up tips
- Ask how you should maintain and style your look when you go home
- Ask what additional treatments are required to improve the quality of your hair
- Always tip your stylist and anyone who works on your hair between $2-15
Once the haircut is over, be sure to tip them and thank them for their time. You’ll be able to find a barber relatively quick thanks to the internet, but keeping a stylist devoted to your hair is easily swayed by how you treat them (as much as how they treat you). Book a follow up appointment if you want to, but know that you can go home and let the haircut settle in for a few days before committing to the same seat. If you have any problems, call them back ASAP and ask for a review – you’ll be amazed at how they can help rescue your hair from the wrong cut!
Photo credit: Fairmont
Good luck in finding your next barber, we know there is plenty of choice out there and finding the right one for you is all about taking action. So start reviewing, calling, and if you have been with you barber sine you were 8, why not sample some of the delights and see how else is out there. For more information on how to keep your hair healthy, full of life, and thicker for longer why not read the Ultimate Guide to Male Grooming by Male Standard?