When it comes to having a haircut, not everyone knows what to ask for. We’ve all been there. You arrive with strong intentions and a well rehearsed spiel, only for it to dissolve from memory as soon as you sit in the barber’s chair.
“So, what are we doing today then sir?”
Your mind goes blank and you inevitably end up mumbling something which vaguely resembles what you’d intended. You know the hairstyle and the outcome you want, but how do you express that beyond “a bit off here” and “leave that a bit longer”?
Thankfully, we’re pretty experienced when it comes to men’s haircuts. We’ve been cutting hair for years, so we’ve asked the question a thousand times and heard many different responses. We hate hearing horror stories about disastrous trips to the barber shop which could have been avoided by better communication, so we’ve come up with this simple guide to help you get the best haircut out of your barber.
Lesson one: do your research
Before you get ahead of yourself, you need to be researching two things; the barbershop and the hairstyle. Find a barber shop which has an aesthetic that suits you. Chances are, the old barber that your grandad’s been going to for years isn’t going to be familiar with Oliver Cheshire’s hairstyle in his latest Instagram post. Similarly, there’s not much point going to an expensive, high-end salon for a short back and sides. Find a salon or barbers that match the style you’re going for.
Once you’ve done this, you can then start researching men’s hairstyles that you like. If you’re unsure of what style suits you, skip to lesson two.
Lesson two: ask questions
It might be your hair, but your barber is the expert when it comes to cutting and styling. Thickness, kinks, cowlicks, widows peaks – all of these details will be whizzing through the barbers mind as he or she works their masterful digits through your hair. A quick consultation will help you understand what is achievable with your hair and might give you new ideas for taking your hairstyle in a fresh direction.
A good barber should always ask questions about your hair.
- “How would you like to wear it? Formal? Relaxed?”
- “Have you seen a cut you like?”
- “What job do you do?”
The best men’s barbers take all of these things into consideration. Hairstyles communicate a lot about a person, so it helps if the barber has some insight into your personality and lifestyle.
Lesson three: be realistic, and play to your strengths
Unfortunately, there are some things that not even the most gifted barbers can fix.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re not going to be able to sport the latest David Beckham quiff if your hair is an inch long and curly. Sometimes haircuts you like won’t work with your hair. It’s a fact of life, but a good barber should be able to help you achieve a style that suits.
Lesson four: choose the right hair products for your style
You’ve decided on the cut and your barber has just put the finishing touches to your trim. They’ve managed to get your hair exactly how you want it using a range of products and techniques – but how are you meant to recreate the style when you’re at home?
If they’ve used professional men’s hair products then it’s likely that you’ll struggle to achieve the same look using generic branded hairstyling products. Ask your barber for product recommendations – chances are they’ve used something that you’ve never considered before.
So there you have it gentlemen, four simple lessons to help you get the most out of your next trip to the barbers. Never be afraid to ask questions. After all – it’s your hair! If you’ve got any questions about your next trim then get in touch with us on Instagram or Twitter – we’re happy to help.