There are hundreds of Barbershops out there, so many in fact, that sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming to choose which barber is right for you. Being in the grooming product industry, we have a pretty good knowledge of what a good barber is, with hundreds of Barbershop's around the world ranging The Bearded Chap products to sell to their customers and keep them groomed, well after they have left the shop.
There are a few different scenarios that you might find yourself in, having to find a new barber. You may have moved overseas, interstate or just the other side of town, so your go to barber is no longer convenient to see. Your barber may have decided to pack up shop or move onto a different shop which is a little out of the way. Or you could just be travelling on holiday or with work and need a tidy up for a meeting of those holiday feelz.
This article gives you a step by step guide on how choose a barber to suit to suit grooming needs.
1. Ask what the word on the street is!
The first point of call for me is to call or text some of my mates who always look on point and are located near the area I'd like to find a barber. It's a great reference point as you're mates, generally want to make sure you're looking good when they hang out with you and who doesn't love suggesting something to a friend! Getting a referral by a friend is also great to get into some of the super high demand barbers as they can vouch for you and vice versa. If i've had no luck there, I'll then hit google, looking for all the barbershop's in the area that suits me. I generally get a good overview by their google reviews, the good and the bad! The bad ones usually give you a little bit more information and tell you how the shop treat their customers. I especially look for their responses to any negative reviews and how they dealt with them. and it's also a good chance to see some photos of the barbershop to see if it fits your kind of aesthetic. I personally like the old school traditional barbershops or your more high end, premium barbershops, but whatever suits your vibe, go with. I think the environment that you get your grooming done in can play a massive role in the whole barbershop experience. If the barbershop is aesthetically pleasing, you're more likely to have a good time and feel comfortable while getting your haircut.
2. Get Social!
Next i'll check out the barbershop's social media, looking at the haircuts they are posting up to see if there is anything I like, some more in depth photos of their shop and I also look to see how regularly they post. A barbershop who posts regularly, I feel, mean that they take their business seriously and that they are engaging with their customers at a solid level. Their social media page also gives me an overview of what type of cuts they can do and the quality of the cuts they are performing. It also gives me an idea of who the team is and who I might like to cut my hair based on the haircuts they have been doing. I also usually send a DM telling them that i'm looking for a new barber. I'm looking for them to respond to me, as I feel this means that they are again, good operators, want my business and care about me as a customer. From there I'll either organize my appointment through the DM or usually they direct me to their website to make a booking, if its a walk in, i'll let them know when they can expect me.
3. Visiting the barbershop
Once I have chosen a barbershop to attend. I'll turn up a little earlier for my appointment, to check it out and make sure the barbershop is clean and tidy! This is a massive factor for me as a dirty barbershop means that hygiene could be a concern. Hygiene is massive when it comes to barbering. They are cutting hundreds of peoples hair per week and if the shop and tools they use are not cleaned properly, it could potentially lead to bacteria infections and other things like folliculitis which can be quite painful (trust me, it's happened to me before) infected hair follicles are not nice and can leave scarring or permanent irritation meaning you can't get your favorite skin fade, due to the pain or scarring left on your head after it heals. If it all checks out, i just hang out and if there's an opportunity strike up conversations with other people waiting or the barber while they are finishing other customers haircuts.
4. Have a chat with you Barber
If you haven't bailed by now, jump in the chair and have a good chat with your barber about previous haircuts or how your previous barber use to cut your hair. Don't be afraid to show pictures of the style and cut you're looking for or want to achieve. The more the merrier as the barber will start to imagine how the style or cut is going to work on your head. They might make some other suggestions that you had not of thought of before also! An experienced barber will actually map out a plan over a couple of months for a new hair style to allow the hair to "grow in" to its style, especially on big style changes. If i'm in a high end barbershop, i'm looking for awesome service, like hot towels, maybe even a hair wash, applying products to my hair and beard as apart of the service ect.
During your cut, ask about what the best products are to use in your hair or beard and if there is any they can recommend. Most of the barbers who sell The Bearded Chap hair and beard products will use as apart of their service, which is really handy to learn how to apply them correctly and how much to use. One thing that I feel is super important not only for you, but your barber is honest feedback on the cut and style after they do a mirror check at the end. Don't be afraid to tell the barber about anything you don't like or want done. Your barber wants you to be happy and if there is something that needs to be either fixed or changed, they will alway do their best to either fix it or explain the reason for it being the way it is so you understand. If you're making a big style change, and it's the first cut of a 3 cut plan, your hair might not be long enough yet to sit right ect, and they might explain that it might only take a week for your hair to sit they way that you are hoping for. This also saves you extra money, having to go to another barber afterwards to fix, when all you had to do is tell your barber on the spot. Don't feel awkward, don't feel bad! You're barber #1 priority is to make you happy and looking and feeling confident!
5. After the cut
If i've walked out, feeling good and having a good experience and feeling happy, I'll generally go back to that barber and lock in a long term style plan for the future! Hopefully you and your barber will hang around for a while to build up that relationship and your barbershop visits become regular.
I hope this give a little insight to my process in choosing a barber! Support your local by going to your barber regularly and purchasing your favourite grooming products while your there!
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