Barber Shopping

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Ever paid too much for a bad haircut? If you have, you'll appreciate these tips on finding a barber that you can have a satisfying long-term relationship with. Keep in mind, you are your best asset when it comes to getting the most out of your barber or stylist. Oftentimes, you have more to do with your results that your barber or stylist does.


Finding the perfect barber or stylist can be a daunting task. If you are looking for a change, or you are new to the area, ask someone you trust who also happens to have a nice looking haircut. Get a recommendation, where to go and why. The individuals who are happiest with their barber will, most likely, not hesitate to offer up a name.

Understandably, asking your buddy where he gets his hair cut is not the most conventional conversation starter. Different approaches can ease the pain of potentially awkward situations. Mention to your friend that you really have to get your hair cut, but your usual person is no longer around. Then, ask your friend if they have someone good to recommend, to save you the burden of asking someone else. This process is not as uncomfortable as it seems. The more you build it up the worse you could make it. If this suggestion absolutely does not work, or you will not even consider it, ask a female. Ask a female you know to ask someone with a nice looking hair cut where he goes. Females are not only better at communicating, they usually get results that often evade us. You will not only be flattering her, but women love to talk about hair anyway. Make sure that your female cohort has good hair herself, you could save yourself a lot of folly this way.


Okay. You have a reasonably reliable recommendation. Your appointment is set. Now, you need to know what to do when you sit down in the barber's chair. This is your test drive. Only one of you will survive. Just messing with you, it really is not so bad. However, you will need to communicate what you want to the person holding the scissors, or you'll get what is being served. If you need a basic trim, this may not be so bad. But, if you know exactly what you want, this is go time.

“Just clean it up.” You can tell this to your barber or stylist if you want a trim, but are keeping your current style. Anything more than this requires more specific instructions. The more you tell them the more comfortable they will be working on you. You will see the results in your haircut. Keep in mind that being specific does not mean telling the barber or stylist how to do their job. Even if you know something about cutting or styling hair, it is important to approach the situation from the stylee's standpoint. Deliver the details of how you want your hair to end up, then let the professional figure out how to get there. After all, you went to a professional and want to reap the benefits of their potential skills.


A good stylist will be able to look at you and determine what will, or will not, be flattering and workable. If you find yourself sitting in the chair of such a stylist, ask them for their opinions and ideas to help you decide what you want.

Give the stylist or barber something to work with. Bring in a picture of someone sporting a style that is similar to what you are looking for. The stylist will have a concrete idea of what you want and be able to adapt it to your head shape. If you find a magazine picture of what you want, rip it out. Only you and the barber need to know that you want Brad Pitt's hair. One last tip, you may want to schedule your first appointment with a new stylist or barber for a basic cut or trim. Once you know he has the skills you want, then go back for more detailed styles.


When your haircut is finished, remember that the person who performed small miracles on you does not work for free. Most of a stylist's income comes from gratuities(tips), so be prepared to pay up. You will not only make yourself memorable to them, but they will appreciate it. More generous than restaurant tipping, tipping your barber or stylist usually follows a 20% rule of thumb. If they took a little extra time with you, or did something special do not hesitate to give 25-30%. You spent the time to locate a quality barber, consider practicing good tipping habits as investing in your style-future. The payoff is looking sharp.


Stay loyal. If you find the right barber or stylist, stick with them. Not only will you receive more personalized treatment, your barber will remember your preferences. You will be pleased with the rapport that you build and the results you get, as they will certainly take care of you.

Let your stylist know you are coming back. Schedule your next appointment while you are in the shop. Most men should be getting their hair cut every two to three weeks to keep their look sharp. Good stylists and barbers tend to be booked up in advance. If your barber or stylist is sole owner and operator you will most likely be the only customer in their shop during your appointment. One of the benefits of going to traditional barbers is the one-on-one attention they give you. This does not, however, mean that you are their only customer. By booking in advance, you save yourself the hassle of trying to schedule an appointment at the last minute.