Getting a haircut can be a daunting task at times, especially if you’re forced into unfamiliar follicle territory with the prospect of finding a new barber. It’s funny, but people often place a inordinate weight on their hair and getting it cut, but the fact of the matter is unless you’re considering chopping off your lengthy headbanger locks for a military-issue buzz cut it’s going to grow back before you know it. Still, a great haircut is one of the small, but indispensable pleasures of life, so to help you out we’ve assembled a simple list to help you get the best trim for your money.
Look for a Place that’s Busy
If you’re passing by a shop that’s empty most of the time, it’s not a good sign. Sure, it might provide the convenience of right-here, right-now service, but it’s probably going to result in a cut that you’re going to need to hide under a cap for a few weeks.
If you see a guy with a haircut you like, ask him where he got it. We know that may sound like a strange prospect to some, but we’re proponents of guys actually talking to each other about style and grooming. Enough with awkward stoicism; he’s not going to accost you complimenting his cut, and it’s a simple way of finding a new shop to try.
Cost doesn’t always translate into quality
A decent men’s haircut (for relatively short, classic styles) should cost you between $20-40 in most cases. Of course, this changes slightly depending on the city, and even the neighborhood you’re in, but a man shouldn’t have to choose between paying his rent or growing dreadlocks.
A good way to ensure you’re not overpaying for a cut is to go to a barber. This article is titled ‘How to find a quality Barber’ for the specific reason that a salon probably isn’t where you need to go. Unless you’re getting layered highlights – if you are, consult a calendar cause you’re in the wrong decade – all you need is a man who’s skilled with scissors. Okay a beer is a nice touch, but Tahitian cucumber water or scalp massages aren’t. Cost isn’t always reflected in your cut, but more likely in that alpaca leather couch in the waiting area.
You should never feel rushed by a barber.
If you notice a barber pushing through clients before you, and feel like he’s going to give you the same bum-rush treatment, don’t be afraid to just make an excuse and get out of there (a fake phone-call works wonders). Yes, it’s not the ideal reaction, but a rushed cut or a surly barber is something no man shouldn’t have to pay for.
A good barber should be attentive, interested, and engaged: asking you what you want, and taking the time to confirm the details or suggest new options. It’s kind of like dancing, except one partner has sharp implements at their disposal.
You get the cut you ask for
If you’re not crazy about your cut when you walk out the door, remember that barber’s will often cut your hair to maximize your value, so it will be about a week before it has a chance to grow-out and take it’s shape. Unless he has clearly done a complete hack-job, tip him fairly and wait to see the true results of his skill emerge in time.
If you’re getting a haircut within a week of a specific function or event, ask the barber to cut it to look a little grown in and more natural. Ideally though, you should time your cut a week to ten days before an event in order to look your best. If the haircut never ends up meeting your standards, you don’t have to return.