One truth about adulting: it gets harder to make really good friends as you age.

But if you really, really have to drag your arse out there and invest in a meaningful platonic relationship with someone, make that your barber (that’s besides the resident bartender at your favourite joint). He/she is literally in charge of how drop-dead handsome you’ll turn out to be, and that alone is worth all the time and energy – even coffee.  

Like any relationship, though, you’re still missing the key ingredient: communication. That’s probably why you haven’t been getting that exact hairstyle you’d envisioned in your mind. We’ll now show you how to tread this two-way street and walk out a happy customer for once.

Wait, You First Have To Find The One Barber

You might have that one friend who sports a consistently clean cut like he spares no expense on his hair. How does he achieve that? Chances are, he’s found The One barber.

Much like finding a S.O, finding the right barber who truly gets you is essential to achieving your desired look. But much unlike finding a S.O, you have to be willing to ‘cheat’ and experiment with a new shop, or a new guy/gal. Happenstance plays a part too.

Leaving your fate in the hands of a generic hairstylist is a hit-or-miss. You might have better luck with The Search at gentlemen’s barbers.  

Pro tip: Or simply get your consistently clean cut friend to link you up with his barber.

How To Communicate With Your Barber

When you’re in the chair looking back at your potential Chosen One in the mirror, how exactly should you communicate with him to get a cut that really works for you and you only?

Do your homework beforehand, flip your phone out and show him a picture. Even better, show a clip, a GIF or whatever that moves. Be sure to get his two cents on whether you will be able to pull off that cut, because God knows not all of us can rock bangs. What’s most important is getting a bang for your buck.

Trying a new barber?

Pro tip: Settle for a trim instead of a full cut to ‘test water’. That’s if you’re not confident he/she can get the job done. You can still go a little shorter if it’s too long but you can’t grow out your hair on the spot if it’s too short.

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Barber Pet Peeves

Don’t be that guy every barber dreads serving. Pay close attention to your etiquette. Your hair is at stake. You’ll want to avoid telling him to do whatever he wants, and then hide your regret behind a polite smile when your hair looks nothing like [insert your idol].  

He knows. Trust us.

That said, don’t be too quick to insist on a cut that he advises against. He’s the one who deals with hair on a daily basis. Also, don’t be late for your appointment. Especially on weekends. You don’t want to mess up his subsequent appointments and piss him off. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Sound Out

Don’t like something? Speak up or forever hold your peace. Resenting your cut after the deed has been done is futile, and so is repeatedly looking at the mirror and mentally cursing your barber for a screw job.

Ask questions as you go along. “Are you leaving the fringe this long, or will you be trimming down some more?”

Oh yes, unless you’ve gotten an education or you know what they’ll do to your look, this isn’t a time to be a smart ass and spout barber jargons. Do you really know the difference between a shave, a fade and a taper? 

Refer to above and let the jpeg/gif/mp4 do the talking.

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Barber Chit-Chat???

Keep it hair-related and avoid unnecessary small talk. You should want razor sharp focus from him. If it’s a barbress, keep it in your pants. Regardless of how friendly she is with you. This is one of those off-limits persons you don’t want to hit on because one, she’s at her workplace.

Two, she could choose to take it out on your hair with her creep radar set off.  

Before You Go, One Last Thing…

Your barber is not there attending to your hair 24/7. Take a minute off admiring yourself, observe how your barber styles your hair at the end, and have a go at it on your own tomorrow morning.

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Short of recording it on video, milk what you can and have him demonstrate the styling technique to you (it’s free, so no harm). Ask about the products he used, although he’s probably going to sell you some.

Whether or not you’re buying into his pitch for your man mane, keep The One barber close. Very close. You’re going to be seeing a lot of him in the coming months and you’ll want to continue walking out exploding with confidence.