Getting a haircut isn’t supposed to be complicated.
You’ve been doing it since you were old enough to sit still in a chair. But have you been doing it right?
Turns out, there are some things you can do to make your next barbershop visit run smoother, for you and your barber.
And no, it’s not just about being a big tipper.
1. Be patient. As Walker says, a good barber is probably a busy barber. And a good barber takes his time. They always try to stick to their schedule, but it doesn’t always pan out that way, especially with pickier customers. Additionally, don’t jump in the chair as soon as the previous client hops out.
2. Chill about the hair clippings. “Things will get a little hairy sometimes,” Walker writes, but that’s what the cape is for.
3. Don’t expect your barber to be a magician. Bringing an inspiration photo is always helpful, but know that the person in the photo has a completely different quality of hair and scalp. Your haircut isn’t going to be a dead-ringer for the one in the photo.
4. Stop nodding. Conversation is natural, sometimes even encouraged. But talk with your hands, not the nod of your head. If your barber places his hands on your head to steady it, that’s the international sign to stop moving.
5. Don’t lay down mandates. Let the barber choose the tools. Don’t demand a scissor cut because you think it finishes better. Similarly, don’t claim you’re growing your hair out — because you wouldn’t be sitting for a haircut if that were true. Trust your barber.
6. Don’t get too picky. Your barber is happy to adjust the haircut to your liking, but speak up before the cut is finished. You’re only paying for one haircut, not five.
7. Prep your hair before you arrive. Comb it, don’t slather it with product, and, especially if there’s no pre-cut shampoo, make sure it’s clean.
8. Tip your barber, but don’t be weird about it. Use it as a chance to say how much you liked the cut. Also, it’s usually preferable to hand the tip to your barber, not the receptionist.