Although the name escapes me, somebody once said that the most important figures in a gent’s life are his tailor and his barber. It could be argued that other figures – particularly during one’s formative years – could be deemed more important, but you get the point.
But how do you go about finding the one for you?
Unless the barber runs a referral scheme (which is unlikely), a personal recommendation will always be a great endorsement of a service. In fact, just peer upwards (or downwards depending on height) and the quality of their barber’s work should be apparent.
Most good barbers will have a strong social media presence. A trade as visually based as barbering lends itself perfectly to photo sharing service Instagram. A quick search will allow you to view a barber’s skills firsthand.
Reconnaissance (binoculars not necessary)
By no means foolproof, but a saunter by could tell you all you need to know. A barbershop that takes pride in its appearance is likely to take pride in its services. A queue around the block is also a good sign, of course, but this rarely happens outside of Rotterdam.
Communication is key to all good relationships (as i’m sure you’ve heard). We tend to judge a barber on providing a service we’re content with, not just technical proficiency. Talented with scissors they may be, but mind readers they are not. Talk to the barber about styles that appeal to you. Obviously not all styles suit all faces; a good barber will adapt styles to suit you.
Treat your barber like a teacher. You are responsible for the fate of your own do once you leave the barbershop. A good barber will educate you on how to recreate the style day after day. Not only will you look/feel your best, you will also become a walking endorsement of their work – refer to point one.
Tip (not compulsory)
A small gratuity will always be appreciated and remembered.