Where Do You Start?
I’ve often said that one of the least important factors when getting a haircut is the haircut itself. And while there is a bit of playful irony in that statement, there is also a bit of truth.
With the recent surge in barbershop popularity, there has also been an increase in the amount of barbers. Last year, California’s barber industry saw a 9% employment rise, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That translates to more choices of places for men and boys to get their haircut. But how do you know which barbershop is right for you?
Hopefully, some of the tips I share will help point you in the right direction.
Five Factors You Should Consider
Time is crucial, so finding a barbershop that can get you in and out in a timely manner is important. A well-functioning barbershop should be capable of getting you into the barber’s chair in less than 30-minutes.
Most traditional barbershops operate on a walk-in basis, which tends to work well for most men. However, there are some shops that opt for the salon approach and book appointments. But if you’re like me and live a busy life, planning a haircut around someone else’s schedule can become a bit of an inconvenience.
Each barbershop has its own personality, and it’s generally a reflection of the ownership and its customers.
Luckily, there is an abundance of choices.
Finding one that fits your personality is crucial.
If you’re a working professional, a mom looking for a place to bring your kids or a local police officer, visiting a shop that is filled with guys drinking beer and using profanity may not be the place for you.
A good way to gauge the environment is to decide whether or not you would feel comfortable in that particular barbershop based on the music and/or TV, the customers that are inside and the conversations that are being had.
There is no right or wrong choice here; it’s just a matter of preference.
For the most part you should expect to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 for a haircut (give or take a few bucks). If price is a main factor when choosing a barbershop, you may have to compromise in the other areas listed in this blog.
I’d argue that if a barbershop’s prices are higher than others, they are probably more confident in their services.
To learn more about how barbershop pricing works, I’d encourage you to read fellow barber Tim Hite’s blog.
I’ve been in the business for roughly 15 years and I can count on one hand the number of barbers that have impressed me. The sad truth is that schools just aren’t teaching barber students how to cut hair.
A good barbershop should be staffed with barbers that are equally knowledgeable. Nobody wants to wait through four other customer’s haircuts because only one barber knows how to do a specific haircut.
Can you imagine going to a restaurant and depending on the chef working, you may or may not have your dinner cooked properly?
The same should apply to getting a haircut.
I’ll be honest.
I haven’t gotten along with all of the customers that I’ve worked on. Sometimes personalities clash and when finding a barbershop that fits your needs, this may be one of the more important factors.
You don’t have to have identical views in order to get along with the barbershop’s staff—like any other relationship, if you generally feel comfortable around the person then it may be someone you would want to return to for future haircuts.
And There You Have It
Long-standing relationships can be built between barbers and their customers that are equally beneficial for both parties. All of the suggestions listed above are only meant to give you some things to consider. There is no single right answer but rather a collection of factors that should help persuade you into choosing a barbershop that is right for you.
Now get out there and find your barbershop!