How to choose the right barber

How to choose the right barber

Remember when just any barber would do?

In high school you would get a cut at your friend’s house down the street. He’d play the role of the “experimenter” and you’d play the role of the “experimented.” Sure, there were some risks involved, but the cost (free) was worth it. Besides you could always play off any hair hazard as an intentional bald-type fade.

In college you’d take your chances with the guy down the hall for a few bucks. Back then cost wasn’t an issue. It was more about reputation and pride-of-style on both ends of the clippers. If a mistake was made (and you know there were), you could always slap a hat on for a week or two until your hair grew back.

In the workplace finding the right barber becomes crucial. Being well groomed affects how people interact with you, not to mention your hair may not have the resiliency to bounce back from a bald-type fade like it used to.

The importance of having a good barber can’t be understated, and it can be daunting to find the right one for you. Here are a few tips according to and to help you find one you can trust and respect.


Look around. Follow up on referrals. Check out the phone book or Internet for barbers. Make a list, then go stake out each location. Is it far from where you live? If you’re driving, is there enough parking around? Does the shop stay open late? Is it clean? What are the weekend hours? Look at the barbers’ work. Do they take their time and listen to what the customer has to say before getting started? Does the barber offer different hair styles? And once a style is picked, can the barber actually match the agreed-upon style?


Speak up. Stand by your opinion and taste. If you don’t like what you see while your hair is being cut, or if your barber has decided to be experimental with your hair, politely tell him you don’t like what he’s doing. It’s important to pick a barber who’s right for you. Ask questions about the types of styles he can do, and what he can’t. How long has he been cutting hair? You’ve got to build trust, and never stay with one because a friend or relative thinks you should.


While a lot of factors go into picking the right barber, sometimes it takes luck, a twist of fate or just good old-fashioned common sense. For example, if the barber’s hair looks worse than yours when you come in for a haircut, don’t get the haircut; don’t let the “click-clack” sound in clippers anywhere near your hair, and if the barber is constantly distracted or taking long breaks while doing your hair, it’s time to try someone new.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Johnson Publishing Co.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group