You have decided to go to a barber to get a professional trim for your beard, but don’t know how to pick the right one?
Finding the right barber is not an easy task, and you need to do some research beforehand to make sure he’s someone you can trust around your beard.
But how do you make sure he's good?
1. Find a barber who specializes in beards and not just hair
Check the list of services of the barbershop (on their website or when you're there) and make sure they actually work with beards and list it as a separate service. If you just go in and ask them whether they could trim your beard, they’ll always say “Yeah, sure!”, ho,wever it doesn’t mean that they’re very experienced with beards.
Your best bet is to find a licensed master barber who has a lot of experience with beards.
As a side note, bearded barbers tend to have more experience, naturally, as they’re grooming their own beard on a daily basis and have mastered the skill. Which doesn't mean that someone without a beard (or a woman, for that matter) cannot do an excellent job, of course, but it's a bit more difficult to know for sure.
2. Try to find out if they have many bearded clients
If you see 5-6 bearded guys waiting for their turn at the barbershop, it’s a good sign! It means that it has a good reputation amongst bearded guys in your area, and that the barbers there are qualified and trustworthy.
Additionally, asking for recommendations from other bearded guys in your area is a good idea - nowadays it’s very easy and convenient to do that on social media. Instagram, for example, is a great place to start - if you like the beard style of someone who lives in the same city, don’t be shy to drop them a message to compliment them on it and to ask them if they have achieved it themselves, or if not, who their barber is. Local Facebook groups are another excellent ressource.
3. Come prepared
Do your research beforehand and let your barber know exactly what you want. Having a clear idea shows them that you respect their time and will generally get you much better results.
If you have done your research and you're still unsure of what you want exactly, tell them about it, and give them an idea about the different styles between which you’re hesitating - be ready to discuss 2-3 styles with them, so that they can point you in the right direction.
4. Talk to them - communication is essential
No matter how good a barber is, he cannot read your mind.
Explain what you want in detail, show them some photos, discuss it with them before they start working on your beard.
Be as specific as possible, especially about how much they should trim - don't just tell them "I want a little trim" but give them numbers instead. Tell them which parts of your beard you want trimmed and which ones you don't want them to touch.
5. Don’t be afraid to disagree
If you ask them for a recommendation for a new beard style, you don't need to commit - if you don't like what they're proposing, don't be shy to say "no". If you need time to think it over - let them know! You can always tell them that you need to think about it and come back another day if you decide to go ahead.
After all, it’s you who will wear your beard, not them. And you should be able to wear it with pride, not wait for it to grow back into a shape you like.
If you’re unsure of whether you’ve found the right barber, you can always start small or ask them for a haircut, for example. Like that you’d be able to observe their working style and decide for yourself whether they feel like the right fit.
6. Pay attention to the details
Is the barbershop clean and well-maintained?
Do they have regular clients?
Is your barber stopping to ask you for feedback while working on your beard (or hair)?
That’s exactly the kind of details you need to be paying attention to, and that will help you make the right decision.
A barbershop needs to be clean, period. If they’re sloppy in maintaining it, they’re probably sloppy with other things, too. No need to take risks when it comes to your beard.
Of course, a barber who has just moved from another area might not yet have regulars, but if it’s a barbershop that has existed for years and people aren’t coming back to it, it’s a bad sign.
A good barber will ask for feedback while he’s working, to make sure that both of you are on the same page - it doesn’t mean he isn’t confident, it just means that he wants to make sure that you’ll leave the barbershop happy & satisfied.
7. If something goes wrong - don’t despair
If, despite spending enough time on finding a good barber, you end up unhappy with the final result, don't despair! And most importantly, don’t just go home and shave!
Your beard will grow back and recovering from a bad trim won’t take all that long. It’s much harder to start from scratch rather than just wait for 2-3 weeks. Don't throw your hard work & dedication down the train, but instead just give it some time to recover, and try to understand why this particular barber was not the right fit for you.
Do you have any other tips about finding the right barber?
Have you already found yours? How did you find him?
Share your tips with other bearded men in the comments below!
My husband has been growing out his beard for three years (it’s very long now) and so for his birthday, I’m considering scheduling him a visit with a barber to have it professionally trimmed and styled. That will make following your step three a bit of a challenge, as it’s meant to be a surprise, so I might have to have the surprise be the budget for it and then have him help me choose a barber. I can at least help narrow things down for him by following your other tips like looking for someone who specializes in beards and talking to them beforehand. http://manhattanbarber.com/services/
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