Visiting your barber to get your beard tidied up and hair cut and styled is one thing most gentlemen look forward to every few weeks.
We don't usually think about this, but barbers are one of the few people in your life that you actually entrust the most. Think about what you discuss in the chair? They are one of the few people in your life apart from your family and partner, who you give permission to physically touch your face and head (a subconscious intimate zone which builds massive rapport) during an interaction and you entrust them with their judgement of of your physical appearance of your hair and beard.
Just like you're a professional at your job, Barbers are Professionals in their industry and don't take your trust for granted. We vent to barbers, tell them stories of our lives, some of us just take that time to relax with no conversation at all. The goal of your barber is to make you feel like a new man when you walk out their door, full of confidence and ready to take on the world! But just like the interactions with people in your workplace, there are some social standards that barbers expect of you when they are performing their art on you. We spoke with a few of our retailers to find out the top things that customer do that make it hard for them to do their job at the highest level.
Below are 8 things you should keep in consideration when you visit your barber next.
1. Wash Your Hair - Most of us (with hair on our head) use products like pomades to style our hair. In order to make your hair easy to work with and ensure cutting is accurate barbers need clean hair. There is nothing a barber hates more than if your hair is plastered down with a hard core oil based pomade where they can barely run their comb through.To ensure your barber can give you the best cut possible, wash you hair the morning of or just before you visit your barber. This will make the process easy and allow your barber to spend the extra time styling your hair instead of having to wash it for you etc. Some luxury barbers incorporate a hair wash as apart of the service which mean you dont really need to wash your hair before you go. But If in doubt that your barber provides this service, play it safe and wash your hair. Dont worry, you'll be walking out the barber shop looking sharp as a tack! Thats what you're paying them for!
2. Brush Your Teeth - This goes without saying. Nobody enjoys bad breath. Barbers work closely with your face and and head so if you're oral hygiene is poor, you might be making it hard for your barber to focus. Try and make the effort to brush your teeth and floss before you visit your barber. If its not possible, chew some gum on the way to the barber shop ( But spit your gum out before you go in) or have a mint. You're barber will love you for it!
3. Know What You Want - If you've ever had someone describe to you something they want, you do it and they come back and say "No, that's not what I wanted" then you'll understand what we mean. Barbers are not mind readers, so it's important to communicate what you want clearly. If you're a regular with your barber, they will be able to pick up on the style you already have. But if you're wanting a style change for your hair or beard, the best way to ensure your barber is on the same page as you is to show some pictures of the type of style you are wanting on your phone or cut outs from a magazine for the barbers to use as a reference. Be aware though that just because a celebrity is rocking a epic hair or beard style, doesn't mean it will look good on you. Every person has a different head shape, and certain head shapes do not suit certain haircuts and styles. Barbers are professionals and study face shapes and what hair cuts suit different head shapes during their training. A good barber will consult you with what you want and give their professional opinion as to if that cut is going to work on you and if there are any compromises in order to get as close as to what you're chasing. Trust your barber like you would trust your doctors recommendations.
4. Be Patient - We've all heard our parents say "patience is a virtue" and it definitely applies when you're in the barber shop. Traditional barbershops generally work on a walk in system, meaning that you can walk in without a booking and will have to wait in the queue order. If you're going to a walk in barber during peak times like late night shopping and the weekend, prepare to be patient as there will generally be a queue of people waiting to have their cut. Some shops who are walk ins have a chalkboard where you write your name on the board and when your name is called, you'll be served. Be patience in the waiting area and dont be afraid to strike up a conversation with the guy waiting beside you. You'll be surprised who you meet and could lead to a new friend or a business connection. While you're in the chair, patience is a must too. Depending on the cut you want, barbers can sometimes take up to an hour & a half to ensure that you're service is up to their high standard. If you're a busy gent, like most of us are, you might need to find a barber who does bookings so you're not waiting around killing time. Most barbers who take bookings take them online or via the phone. The barbershop is a masculine sanctuary and the experience is meant to be enjoyable so be patient and enjoy your time there.
5. Don't Be Late! - We all hate it when you organise a meeting or an appointment and you have to wait because someone is running late. Barbers are no different. If you're booked in at a certain time with your barber, respect your barbers time as he is respecting your time by ensuring he is ready and waiting for you when your arrive so he can get straight into his service on you. Aim to rock up 10-15 minutes early, enjoy the atmosphere of the shop and take the time to relax and take some "You time". The barbers time is just as precious as yours and mutual respect for each others time goes a long way. Remember, he has a business to run and if you're late, it has a flow on effect for the next customer. Pay it forward by being on time, as you don't want to be the one being held up by a customer in front of you who rocked up late, cutting into your time.
6. Trust Your Barber - Again, barbers are professionals in their industry and you need to trust them. Dont tell the barber what to do, he knows what to do. You don't like it when people tell you how to do your job, so don't to it to someone else's profession. Trust your barber and enjoy the experience.
7. Sit Still & No Gum - A big no no is chewing gum so don't do it! Chewing moves your jaw and parts of your head increasing the risk of unwanted hair removal. The number one thing that pisses barbers off the most was customers who hop up out of the chair during the service, walk up to the mirror to inspect what the barber has done. Do not get up out of the chair during your service to look at yourself unless the barber instructs you. The barber will give you a final inspection with a mirror for you to express any concerns or approval with your service.
8. Enjoy - Don't worry about the process, chill out and relax and enjoy the pampering ( It's the rare chance in your week that you escape from your responsibility of life). Most barbers these days will provide you with an alcoholic beverage or coffee while you're getting your service so enjoy it.
Follow these rules and you'll barber will take very good care of you next time you get your tidy up.