How do you know if a barber is good Tips from Professional Barbers

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How do you know if a barber is good? Tips from Professional Barbers

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Professional barbers advice on how to recognise if a barber is good

#

Once you had a disastrous experience at a barber, you will go out of your way to not repeat it. And put work to find barbers that know how to find their way with scissors — but how should you even start? Skilled barbers maybe not be the easiest to find, and they are often booked up because there are more people in need of a good haircut. 

 

These are qualities to look for on the way to find professional Barber with real skills

barber shop how to choose. Good barber shops

Photo by Freepik

Before Entering any Barber Shop:

Do proper research. 

Internet offers plenty of reviews and opinions. Some are very informative and valuable. Look for ones focused on facts and arguments, not emotions. 

Where to look for? Besides Google reviews (search for “Barber near me”, “Men’s hair cuts in “City”, “Barber in “City”, “Best Barber in “City”), you can go through Facebook groups, local booking websites and even Reddit.

 

Second old fashion option is to seek suggestions from friends and family. But only from guys who have amazing haircuts. Advice about “great barber” from men that never had a good haircut may end up as a big disappointment.

vintage straight razor mens haircut barber shop barber straight razor barber shop black white freepik

Photo by Freepik

Check Barber's portfolio, aka social media accounts

One look at the haircuts will tell you more than many reviews. 

Barbers are often sharing their work online, and customers are tagging them. So you can have a look from both sides. 

Keep in mind that you will not find their worst cases and haircuts that didn’t work out. More what they think is good. What speaks plenty about their personal taste. 

Now social media are like virtual front display, too:

A barber shop which has a great shop front display means they have a good eye for detail. Avoid anywhere with dog-eared black and white photos from 1994.

Director of Manifesto London, Mikey Pearson. For FashionBeans.com
Hairdresser at a barber shop styling hair of a client - skilled barber

Photo by Freepik

 

When You're at the Shop look for:

Confidence, not arrogance

Look for confidence — nothing more, nothing less. 

Stereotypically, unconfident people are shy, and sometimes they are. More often, people hide it under the layer of arrogance and ego. Setting themselves as better than others. 

That’s the first clue: if anybody praises him/her work more than you would praise them … run fast, run far. 

Specifically, you are looking for confidence in their work and skills (not personal confidence). Barber should look you in the eye, smile, ask your questions and take suggestions from you without crushing their fragile ego. 

Signs of crushed ego: reacting aggressively or getting offended by ANY criticism. Speak politely. Anybody can get offended if you are rude. 

 

Confident Barber will advise what hairstyles work well with your hair type and face shape. Including how much time and skills you have to style your hair without judging you or being condescending. Barbers who lack expertise or confidence in their profession will do precisely what the customer requests, even if the result will be hideous.

A competent barber has balls to explain why your vision is not the best choice and leave the final decision to you. Professional guides you, but in the end, always accepts your choice, even poor choice of hairstyle.

The most important thing is the consultation, they should give you some suggestions and should never be too quick to bring out the clippers.

Founder of barbershop and grooming brand Pankhurst London, Brent Pankhurst. For FashionBeans.com
man barbershop salon doing haircut beard trim freepik

Photo by Freepik

Good Barber always has tips to share with you.

Professionals are not afraid to share their knowledge with customers. 

So if you ask about hair care, hair styling, or anything beard related, Competent Barber will talk you through the process with details. Why? From respect to his own work. If he created a masterpiece, he wants his clients to maintain it every day. Good look boosts the confidence of every man as well, it’s a “walking” advertisement. As they say, a happy customer is a pride and joy of every Barber.

You should be advised on what products to use for your specific hair type, what styling products to use to keep the haircut looking its best and any tips for styling your hair – if a hairdresser or barber is unable or unwilling to do this, stay away in the future.

elebrity men’s hairstylist and owner of Joe & Co, Joe Mills. For FashionBeans.com
Handsome man at a barber shop styling hair - professional barber

Photo by Freepik

 

Check how well-groomed the Barber is.

Examine a new barber from top to bottom. Is he groomed? His hair should be at least well-conditioned. Most barbers are conscious of their appearance. As they work in business of assisting men with improving their personal and professional image. So have a good look at how are they dressed. Are shoes clean, clothes ironed? 

A critical point is to look at their HANDS. Nails should be trimmed and clean. You don’t want anybody to be touching your hair with dirty hands. 

This kind of attention to detail will undoubtedly convey into their work.

It does not matter what price you are paying, a barbershop needs to be spotless. If they don’t care about the shop, they probably don’t care about your hair.

Director of Manifesto London, Mikey Pearson. For FashionBeans.com
handsome bearded man hipster with stylish haircut beard holding old fashion razor red checkered shirt near mirror with serious face beauty salon barbershop as barber near brick wall freepik

Photo by Freepik

If we talk about cleanliness...

If you feel unease about the cleanness of the shop, just turn away and never come back. Better to be safe than sorry.

To assess place’s hygiene, look at the general organisation of tools and order on all countertops and floor. All facility, including working spaces, should be clean and in order. Equipment and dust should not be scattered all over the place. 

Minus occupated workspaces: Obviously, when artists work with hair, it will be a little bit messy. Though, after every client, the station has to be tidy up. To welcome the next client in all splendour… So no piles of hair beneath the chair. Your health depends on the sanitary of your Barbershop, so no slacking off.

It takes, on average, 10-minutes for tools to be sterilised. If your barber is simply dipping a comb in Barbercide or spraying the clippers in front of you, the chances are the equipment being used is not sterilised.

General manager at Pall Mall Barbers, Daniel Davies. For FashionBeans.com
barber with scissors barbershop freepik

Photo by Freepik

The key is in asking right questions.

Which ones are right, and who should be asking them? As a professional, your Barber should get info about your needs, personal taste and vision – if you have one, habits around your hair, lifestyle and amount of time you want to dedicate to hair care. As well as what you like and dislike about your hair? Any difficulties styling? Have you thought about a new style? What is a complete no go for you?

 

Standard “What number of clippers do you want on sides?” is a relic of history. Leave it in ’90 where it belongs. Because, if that would be so easy. You could give yourself a haircut. 

man barbershop salon doing haircut beard trim haircut freepik

Photo by Freepik

Is your Barber uses scissors?

Barbers that cut hair using only clipper guards are typically inexperienced and, what’s worse: lazy. On the other hand, haircuts performed only with clippers tend to be average. 

Scissors have to appear at some point. Some more diligent barbers use only scissors. 

young man barbershop trimming hair freepik

Photo by Freepik

 Why does Barber have to ask about your feedback?

Professional is open to feedback. What’s more, he demands it constantly.

Why? By asking about your input during the process, Barber keeps hand on the puls and prevents haircut catastrophes. 

That’s unfortunately not a popular approach yet. 

The minimum: you should always insist on  being able to see yourself in the mirror. Unless you trust your Barber to the death… which may appear when you will see an unfortunate surprise, so called “hairstyle” 😉

 

For obvious reasons, bad barbers don’t want to hear criticism. At least, until they finish and you cannot believe what you see in the mirror. Though at this point, it’s too late, and you are cursed to make your walk of shame looking like a dummy until they will grow back

client doing hair cut barber shop salon freepik

Photo by Freepik

Conduct an interview.

Strange as it may sound: the go-to man for all your grooming requirements, new Barber, is like an applicant for the position (though you do not need to explicitly inform him about it, it’s more like an unspoken deal). Conduct “interview” to check if this is a person you want to “work with”. After all, you visit a barbershop 1 or 2 a month for half an hour at least. 

What is to know about? Professional background, school or courses and personality.

 

It’s good to ask how long is he in the profession and where did he graduate as Barber. Though he/she can make bad haircuts for the past 20 years, so that’s more like a fun fact. However, from that point, he may start to talk about his career and courses and there will be more gems to discover. Ask your Barber how busy he/she is or how his/her day of work looks like. It’s hard to believe if guy is good at what he does there would be no queue (Possible, but rare).

If Barber tells you he/she finishes tired after all day of clients and you need to have an appointment, or it can be not easy to find a free slot – it’s a great sign. It’s still not guaranteed, but most probably that’s more quality barber than one spending all day playing cards with a local crazy person. 

Important stuff: always ask about hygiene. It’s an again uncommon thing, but one of important. Quality Barber will have no issue with explaining sanitization procedures they have in place, especially those concerned cutting tools.

Be wary of] a barber that doesn’t use a brand new blade when shaving. Not only should this be done for ease of use but for hygiene purposes as well.

Ted’s Grooming Room’s master barber. For FashionBeans.com
bearded man with scissors freepik

Photo by Freepik

Observe Barber in action.

Is he nervous or rough while doing a haircut? That’s a problem. Barbers have to be fast, especially if they have a lot of customers or just having a bad day. It can never be an excuse for lack of precision or quality. Barber should not pull on your hair or lose his cool for no reason (unless you are rude to him). He is professional. You both own to behave professionally in place of work. 

 

 A large part of the barbershop tradition’s is the camaraderie that men find there. If there is a personality conflict with the Barber, the experience will be ruined.

Look out for barbers that queue watch. If there is a first come, first serve system, be wary. Sometimes this works perfectly fine but sometimes, barbers can be known to speed up or slow down the haircut in order to see or avoid certain people.

General manager at Pall Mall Barbers, Daniel Davies. For FashionBeans.com
barber works with hair clipper Freepik

Photo by Freepik

Start out slow.

You can do as much research as you want, but unless you sit on that hair you will never know for sure… So start out slowly.

Whatever you want to test a barber or it’s uncomfortable to just stand up and walk out after the story of somebodies barber life. To save yourself stress, do not ask straight away about a new sophisticated hairstyle. So long as you are not an amateur of adrenaline, and you substitute for missing bungee jump or something.

Ask about straightening up your current hairstyle. A bit shorter, refreshed… nothing fancy, just to recognise the quality haircut. It’s hard to do that wrong, and even if he does, the result will not be such… disaster. 

If the barber fails to prep the skin properly before shaving [that’s a red flag]. It’s vital to ensure a hot towel relaxes the skin thoroughly and opens the pores, comfort is paramount, and the nose and mouth must be left free to breathe easy.

Ted’s Grooming Room’s Master Barber For FashionBeans.com

Guys from FashionBeans.com did a fabulous work advising 6 UK’s top barbers and celebrity groomers to get 12 tips from Professional Barbers on how to spot a professional barber.

Professional barbers advice on how to recognise if a barber is good

#

Once you had a disastrous experience at a barber, you will go out of your way to not repeat it. And put work to find barbers that know how to find their way with scissors — but how should you even start? Skilled barbers maybe not be the easiest to find, and they are often booked up because there are more people in need of a good haircut. 

 

These are qualities to look for on the way to find professional Barber with real skills

barber shop how to choose. Good barber shops

Photo by Freepik

Before Entering any Barber Shop:

Do proper research. 

Internet offers plenty of reviews and opinions. Some are very informative and valuable. Look for ones focused on facts and arguments, not emotions. 

Where to look for? Besides Google reviews (search for “Barber near me”, “Men’s hair cuts in “City”, “Barber in “City”, “Best Barber in “City”), you can go through Facebook groups, local booking websites and even Reddit.

 

Second old fashion option is to seek suggestions from friends and family. But only from guys who have amazing haircuts. Advice about “great barber” from men that never had a good haircut may end up as a big disappointment.

vintage straight razor mens haircut barber shop barber straight razor barber shop black white freepik

Photo by Freepik

Check Barber's portfolio, aka social media accounts

One look at the haircuts will tell you more than many reviews. 

Barbers are often sharing their work online, and customers are tagging them. So you can have a look from both sides. 

Keep in mind that you will not find their worst cases and haircuts that didn’t work out. More what they think is good. What speaks plenty about their personal taste. 

Now social media are like virtual front display, too:

A barber shop which has a great shop front display means they have a good eye for detail. Avoid anywhere with dog-eared black and white photos from 1994.

Director of Manifesto London, Mikey Pearson. For FashionBeans.com
Hairdresser at a barber shop styling hair of a client - skilled barber

Photo by Freepik

 

When You're at the Shop look for:

Confidence, not arrogance

Look for confidence — nothing more, nothing less. 

Stereotypically, unconfident people are shy, and sometimes they are. More often, people hide it under the layer of arrogance and ego. Setting themselves as better than others. 

That’s the first clue: if anybody praises him/her work more than you would praise them … run fast, run far. 

Specifically, you are looking for confidence in their work and skills (not personal confidence). Barber should look you in the eye, smile, ask your questions and take suggestions from you without crushing their fragile ego. 

Signs of crushed ego: reacting aggressively or getting offended by ANY criticism. Speak politely. Anybody can get offended if you are rude. 

 

Confident Barber will advise what hairstyles work well with your hair type and face shape. Including how much time and skills you have to style your hair without judging you or being condescending. Barbers who lack expertise or confidence in their profession will do precisely what the customer requests, even if the result will be hideous.

A competent barber has balls to explain why your vision is not the best choice and leave the final decision to you. Professional guides you, but in the end, always accepts your choice, even poor choice of hairstyle.

The most important thing is the consultation, they should give you some suggestions and should never be too quick to bring out the clippers.

Founder of barbershop and grooming brand Pankhurst London, Brent Pankhurst. For FashionBeans.com
man barbershop salon doing haircut beard trim freepik

Photo by Freepik

Good Barber always has tips to share with you.

Professionals are not afraid to share their knowledge with customers. 

So if you ask about hair care, hair styling, or anything beard related, Competent Barber will talk you through the process with details. Why? From respect to his own work. If he created a masterpiece, he wants his clients to maintain it every day. Good look boosts the confidence of every man as well, it’s a “walking” advertisement. As they say, a happy customer is a pride and joy of every Barber.

You should be advised on what products to use for your specific hair type, what styling products to use to keep the haircut looking its best and any tips for styling your hair – if a hairdresser or barber is unable or unwilling to do this, stay away in the future.

elebrity men’s hairstylist and owner of Joe & Co, Joe Mills. For FashionBeans.com
Handsome man at a barber shop styling hair - professional barber

Photo by Freepik

 

Check how well-groomed the Barber is.

Examine a new barber from top to bottom. Is he groomed? His hair should be at least well-conditioned. Most barbers are conscious of their appearance. As they work in business of assisting men with improving their personal and professional image. So have a good look at how are they dressed. Are shoes clean, clothes ironed? 

A critical point is to look at their HANDS. Nails should be trimmed and clean. You don’t want anybody to be touching your hair with dirty hands. 

This kind of attention to detail will undoubtedly convey into their work.

It does not matter what price you are paying, a barbershop needs to be spotless. If they don’t care about the shop, they probably don’t care about your hair.

Director of Manifesto London, Mikey Pearson. For FashionBeans.com
handsome bearded man hipster with stylish haircut beard holding old fashion razor red checkered shirt near mirror with serious face beauty salon barbershop as barber near brick wall freepik

Photo by Freepik

If we talk about cleanliness...

If you feel unease about the cleanness of the shop, just turn away and never come back. Better to be safe than sorry.

To assess place’s hygiene, look at the general organisation of tools and order on all countertops and floor. All facility, including working spaces, should be clean and in order. Equipment and dust should not be scattered all over the place. 

Minus occupated workspaces: Obviously, when artists work with hair, it will be a little bit messy. Though, after every client, the station has to be tidy up. To welcome the next client in all splendour… So no piles of hair beneath the chair. Your health depends on the sanitary of your Barbershop, so no slacking off.

It takes, on average, 10-minutes for tools to be sterilised. If your barber is simply dipping a comb in Barbercide or spraying the clippers in front of you, the chances are the equipment being used is not sterilised.

General manager at Pall Mall Barbers, Daniel Davies. For FashionBeans.com
barber with scissors barbershop freepik

Photo by Freepik

The key is in asking right questions.

Which ones are right, and who should be asking them? As a professional, your Barber should get info about your needs, personal taste and vision – if you have one, habits around your hair, lifestyle and amount of time you want to dedicate to hair care. As well as what you like and dislike about your hair? Any difficulties styling? Have you thought about a new style? What is a complete no go for you?

 

Standard “What number of clippers do you want on sides?” is a relic of history. Leave it in ’90 where it belongs. Because, if that would be so easy. You could give yourself a haircut. 

man barbershop salon doing haircut beard trim haircut freepik

Photo by Freepik

Is your Barber uses scissors?

Barbers that cut hair using only clipper guards are typically inexperienced and, what’s worse: lazy. On the other hand, haircuts performed only with clippers tend to be average. 

Scissors have to appear at some point. Some more diligent barbers use only scissors. 

young man barbershop trimming hair freepik

Photo by Freepik

 Why does Barber have to ask about your feedback?

Professional is open to feedback. What’s more, he demands it constantly.

Why? By asking about your input during the process, Barber keeps hand on the puls and prevents haircut catastrophes. 

That’s unfortunately not a popular approach yet. 

The minimum: you should always insist on  being able to see yourself in the mirror. Unless you trust your Barber to the death… which may appear when you will see an unfortunate surprise, so called “hairstyle” 😉

 

For obvious reasons, bad barbers don’t want to hear criticism. At least, until they finish and you cannot believe what you see in the mirror. Though at this point, it’s too late, and you are cursed to make your walk of shame looking like a dummy until they will grow back

client doing hair cut barber shop salon freepik

Photo by Freepik

Conduct an interview.

Strange as it may sound: the go-to man for all your grooming requirements, new Barber, is like an applicant for the position (though you do not need to explicitly inform him about it, it’s more like an unspoken deal). Conduct “interview” to check if this is a person you want to “work with”. After all, you visit a barbershop 1 or 2 a month for half an hour at least. 

What is to know about? Professional background, school or courses and personality.

 

It’s good to ask how long is he in the profession and where did he graduate as Barber. Though he/she can make bad haircuts for the past 20 years, so that’s more like a fun fact. However, from that point, he may start to talk about his career and courses and there will be more gems to discover. Ask your Barber how busy he/she is or how his/her day of work looks like. It’s hard to believe if guy is good at what he does there would be no queue (Possible, but rare).

If Barber tells you he/she finishes tired after all day of clients and you need to have an appointment, or it can be not easy to find a free slot – it’s a great sign. It’s still not guaranteed, but most probably that’s more quality barber than one spending all day playing cards with a local crazy person. 

Important stuff: always ask about hygiene. It’s an again uncommon thing, but one of important. Quality Barber will have no issue with explaining sanitization procedures they have in place, especially those concerned cutting tools.

Be wary of] a barber that doesn’t use a brand new blade when shaving. Not only should this be done for ease of use but for hygiene purposes as well.

Ted’s Grooming Room’s master barber. For FashionBeans.com
bearded man with scissors freepik

Photo by Freepik

Observe Barber in action.

Is he nervous or rough while doing a haircut? That’s a problem. Barbers have to be fast, especially if they have a lot of customers or just having a bad day. It can never be an excuse for lack of precision or quality. Barber should not pull on your hair or lose his cool for no reason (unless you are rude to him). He is professional. You both own to behave professionally in place of work. 

 

 A large part of the barbershop tradition’s is the camaraderie that men find there. If there is a personality conflict with the Barber, the experience will be ruined.

Look out for barbers that queue watch. If there is a first come, first serve system, be wary. Sometimes this works perfectly fine but sometimes, barbers can be known to speed up or slow down the haircut in order to see or avoid certain people.

General manager at Pall Mall Barbers, Daniel Davies. For FashionBeans.com
barber works with hair clipper Freepik

Photo by Freepik

Start out slow.

You can do as much research as you want, but unless you sit on that hair you will never know for sure… So start out slowly.

Whatever you want to test a barber or it’s uncomfortable to just stand up and walk out after the story of somebodies barber life. To save yourself stress, do not ask straight away about a new sophisticated hairstyle. So long as you are not an amateur of adrenaline, and you substitute for missing bungee jump or something.

Ask about straightening up your current hairstyle. A bit shorter, refreshed… nothing fancy, just to recognise the quality haircut. It’s hard to do that wrong, and even if he does, the result will not be such… disaster. 

If the barber fails to prep the skin properly before shaving [that’s a red flag]. It’s vital to ensure a hot towel relaxes the skin thoroughly and opens the pores, comfort is paramount, and the nose and mouth must be left free to breathe easy.

Ted’s Grooming Room’s Master Barber For FashionBeans.com

Guys from FashionBeans.com did a fabulous work advising 6 UK’s top barbers and celebrity groomers to get 12 tips from Professional Barbers on how to spot a professional barber.

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