ryone wants to look and feel great when they step out of the barbers. Following these simple tips from Andrew Cannon, co-founder of Ruffians barbers, will help you get the style you want and build a great relationship with your barber that will keep you going back for more.
1. Do your research to find the right barber
Who do you know who has good hair? Ask them where they get hair cut. If you’re not surrounded by hair icons, ask Google. A simple ‘barber near me’ search will show you all the local options and you can use Google star ratings and reviews to find the best ones. Aim for a rating above 4.5 and avoid scores under a 4.
Once you’ve chosen the barber shop, give them a call for their advice on who to see. The best barbers will be able to deal with all hair types and style requests but it’s worth giving them a call to see if they have specialists for what you’re looking for - be that taming super curly hair or the sickest possible fade. For the very best barbers you might need to wait a few days for the appointment, but it’ll probably be worth it.
2. Know what you want before you go…
Be prepared to talk it out but don’t use technical barbering terms if you don’t know exactly what they mean. If you think you know what you want, sometimes pictures can speak a thousand words. Loads of guys take photos of haircuts they like in to the barbers on their phones, so you shouldn’t be afraid to do the same. The barber will appreciate the visual aid and you don’t have to worry about getting too technical in describing what you want.
3. ...but keep your expectations realistic!
Any barber worth his salt will give you time for a consultation and take factors like hair type, face shape and age into account and will tell you when what you’re asking for isn’t right for you. Go with an open mind and listen to your barber’s advice. They don’t want you leaving the shop with a cut that doesn’t look as good as possible!
4. Timeliness is next to Godliness
If you’ve booked your appointment, arriving 5-10 minutes early is ideal. It’ll just give you a more relaxed experience - don’t forget that you need to check in, order your coffee and maybe use the bathroom before you sit in the chair. You’ll also get time to check out other guys who’ve just finished their appointments for some last minute inspiration.
More than anything else though, not being late means you’ll time for a proper consultation and a nice relaxed haircut without the barber having to rush to get it finished.
5. Have a drink and relax… but not too much!
Most decent barbers will offer great coffee and sometimes even alcoholic drinks - but don’t go over the top. Too much coffee or booze might make you fidget and that just makes the barbers job more difficult.
6. Stay focussed in the chair
Try to focus on the barber via the mirror as much as you can. Firstly, making eye contact and chatting to the barber means you’re more likely to build a rapport. Secondly, chatting on the phone or constantly texting can be distracting for the barber.
Obviously, if you’re expecting an important call that can’t be missed, just give the barber warning in advance. They will appreciate the head’s up!
7. Watch what the barber does but don’t be afraid to ask for help
Everyone knows that feeling of having the ‘just stepped out of the salon’ and loving your hair, only to be totally disappointed when you can’t recreate the style at home. The part of your appointment where the barber is drying and styling your new do is the time to really pay attention - you’ll pick up on the products and techniques they use to achieve the look.
That said, if you’re not sure what one of the products is, or if the styling seems a little complicated - ask for help. A barber is an expert with often years of experience. If you’re not sure how to style your hair or use your hair dryer correctly, they’ll be happy to answer your questions. The chances are they’ve been asked weirder questions than yours, so just go for it!
8. ‘OMG I hate it’
With a good barber and the right upfront consultation, it’s unlikely that you’ll end up with something too terrible, but occasionally mistakes do happen. If you don’t like what you see - speak up - it’s almost certainly fixable.
9. Tipping is not a city in China
The easiest way to get top results time and time again, is to build a relationship with your barber. Tipping can help to fast-track this relationship. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount, but leaving a few extra quid or rounding up the fee will cement you in their mind as a good guy, and they’ll remember it next time you visit.
10. Don’t be a stranger
Be prepared to schedule regular trips to the barbers if you want to keep your new style looking sharp. Going for longer than four to six weeks between haircuts can result in a loss of shape and manageability.
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