Tips for Finding a Barber

Whenever I go to the barbers, there are always a couple of guys with empty chairs. They look up hopefully when I enter and ask if I need a haircut. I point to Dane, my barber, and say, “I already got a guy”.

It’s from Dane that I learned the secrets to a good hair cut. Here they go..

1. Go local.

I like going to the neighborhood barbershop. While Supercuts is good in a pinch, it helps to find someone who is a Barber, and treats it as his or her craft (not just as a side gig). Also, while there are certainly some very good high-end barbers, watch out for salon settings. There are very talented people there, but going to the barbershop has been for me at least a very male experience, where anything and everything is discussed, and salons do not to translate that experience very well. Also neighborhood barbers tend to be significantly cheaper than salon barbers.

2. Always go to the same person.

Your hair has a personality, and it usually takes a barber a couple of times before he or she can get it right. Once you find a haircut that suits you, your barber won’t even need to ask you what you want. Also, it feels good to “have a barber”, a person whose job is to make sure you are well groomed.

3. Tip.

Always tip your barber. This is a service. Most neighborhood barbers rent their chair and have to pay weekly, the number of “heads” they cut does not factor into the price they have to pay. If you like your barber, tip him or her. It’ll get them to their rent faster, compensate for slow days, and more likely that they will stick around.

4. Tip Well.

This is the secret to VIP service. I have my barber’s cell phone number. I call him when I’m about 45 to 60 minutes out from coming, by the time I get there, my seat is waiting for me. That enables me to be in and out. He let’s me know when he’s going out of town so we can adjust our schedule accordingly. It almost feels like a strategic partnership. For this I tip him 25 to 50 percent of the price of the hair cut (which really isn’t much because the neighborhood barbers tend to be cheaper). Come the holiday, I’ll probably slip him a bit extra. Although it pays to be special, it still feels special.