Did you recently move to a new place? Aside from settling on your new home, you’re also probably thinking of finding a new barber. It’s not an easy task, especially if you have a trusty barber who has styled you for years. While this may take a few appointments to different barbers, knowing how to find a good barber shop shouldn’t feel like extreme sports.
In this post, I share my personal recommendations to help you find a new barber you can trust. This will help save you from a lot of trouble dealing with shady shops.
A guide on how to find a good barber shop
If you’re at a loss on how to find a new barber, here are some of the key points I recommend:
1. Ask your former barber for recommendations
Your former barber can give recommendations to the new place where you’re moving. Veteran barbers often have a network with other barbers. Yours may recommend someone he knows who can deliver the styling you prefer.
Asking your former barber can help you dodge a bullet from barber shops with a poor reputation. Still, you should do your own research to double-check the credibility of the barber referred to you.
The good thing about this is that your former barber knows your personality. He can give you a referral that matches your character and what you’re looking for. Maybe your former barber and the one he’s referring are good friends, which will make the transition easier for you.
2. Check for online reviews
If your former barber doesn’t know barbers in your new place, your best bet is to search online. Look for local barber shops and check their online reviews. This will give you a firsthand idea of how a specific barber shop delivers its service.
Aside from Google reviews, you can also check on Yelp. Try to look for a local barber shop with the most positive reviews. Don’t forget to check the negative reviews as well so you’ll know what to expect should you decide to visit the shop.
Moreover, social media is another great platform to look for reputable barber shops. Facebook and Instagram will surely give you several options in just a few searches.
The good thing about social media platform is it also incorporates online reviews. You’ll also see actual photos of the haircuts and services the barber offers. Most of all, you can reach out to the barber shop right away to inquire about their services.
However, you should remember that a few bad reviews shouldn’t represent the entire shop. Any business gets them from time to time, and some customers can’t be pleased no matter what.
3. Ask friends in the locality
Another thing you can try is asking some friends in your new place for referrals. I personally recommend asking someone who has good hair since it’s more likely a reflection of how good his barber is.
Your friend can also introduce you to the barber personally, which is a good starting point. Also, you’ll get to ask your friend about the quality of service.
However, you should focus on how your friend’s haircut looks, not on the color of his hair. Does he have fades or lines that you want on your own hair? Or does the haircut look rushed? The answer to this will let you determine whether your friend’s barber is worth the try.
4. Look for the busiest barber shops in town
The busiest barber shops in town are often the best ones. The fact that customers are willing to line up and wait says a lot about the quality of the barber’s service.
While getting an appointment from a busy barber shop isn’t easy, it will be worth the hassle. It’s better than walking to an empty shop and not knowing what to expect.
Nevertheless, you should also consider the timing of your visit. Weekends are often the busiest days as these are the time when men are out of work.
5. Check the barber’s training and track record
The most important part of looking for a barber shop is checking the barber’s reputation.
First of all, I’d like to inquire about the training. It’s best to trust a certified barber with hours of training from a barber school. Barbers will usually hang this in their shop for the customers to see.
Aside from that, you should consider the experience. Sometimes, a barber’s experience can trump his or her formal training. I used to go to an old barber who never attended barber school but can give a fade better than anyone else in town.
If the barber shop has been in operation for decades, you’re likely in good hands. But to be sure, you should still refer to online reviews.
6. Inquire about the shop’s services
Take note that you can’t expect other barber shops to offer the same services as your old barber. Haircuts are guaranteed, but the likes of braiding, eyebrow shaping, beard trimming, and razor shaving may not be available.
If you wish to avail of any of these, it’s best to inquire first, so you won’t waste your time visiting the shop. And even if the shop doesn’t offer the services you need, there’s a chance that they can refer you to another barber.
7. Shortlist a few shops and try them
I recommend listing at least 2 to 4 barber shops based on your research and friends’ referrals. You should try each of the shortlisted barber shops for minor services like trims or touch-ups. This way, you can get a vibe of the place and the barber himself.
During your visit to the shop, you should observe how the barber communicates with you. Is he rude or distant? Does he remind you of your favorite barber in the past?
Aside from that, you should also check the place. An unkempt, outdated, and dirty-looking barber shop doesn’t paint a good picture of the quality of its services.
Moreover, you shouldn’t hesitate to tell the barber what you want. This will help you gauge how skilled and willing the barber is to adjust based on your requests.
If the barber turns you down or tries to get his own way, he or she may not be the best pick for you. Feel free to check other barber shops until you find one you’re most comfortable with.
8. Bring visual references
When going to a new barber, it will help a lot to bring photos of your desired haircut. You can also show the barber your past photos, so he will have an idea of what you’d like to get done. This will save both you and the barber a lot of time from trying to explain your desired results.
All barbers I’ve been to will not mind their customers showing photos for inspiration. A good barber will be honest if he can’t produce exact results.
Overall, you should be modest in the way you demand based on the photos you have.
9. Check their pricing
Another important thing you should do is check the pricing of the barber shop. Take note that prices will vary on location, the experience of the barber, and the service you want to avail of. It’s a no-brainer that a barber shop located in the city will charge more than those in the suburbs.
In the end, it’s all about how much you’re willing to spend. The only way to know if it’s worth the cost is to try the barber shop’s services personally.
10. Set your expectations fairly
Above all, you should set your expectations fairly when hunting for a new barber. Never expect your new barber to have the same skillset and results as your former stylist. Remember that the new barber doesn’t have an idea of what you want, so it’s a whole process of rebuilding your preference.
Also, don’t expect to step out of the shop looking like a Hollywood star. You should be realistic based on the services and price you’re willing to avail.
Questions to ask your new barber
Before you even get a haircut from your new barber, I suggest that you ask a few of these questions first:
- What products do you use? Most barbers have a product line that they use in their shops. Nevertheless, many are willing to experiment and use the product that you prefer. A barber who can accommodate your preferred product is surely a keeper.
- How will this style look on me? It’s important to ask what the barber thinks about the new style you want to get. They have styled many people before, and they can surely imagine how a certain haircut will look on you. A good barber can also adjust the style to suit your face and overall look.
- When should I get my next haircut? Once your haircut is done, don’t forget to ask about your next appointment. This will save you from queuing up again. It will also let the barber know your intention of going back.
- Do you have photos of your previous work? Experience barbers will not mind showing you a catalog of their past haircuts. Good barbers take pride in their results, while others will stick to stock photos on the internet. As much as possible, you should always look for real photos from their previous customers.
- How can I keep my haircut looking good? Barbers can provide you with tips on how to keep your new haircut looking good. They can also recommend products based on your hair type and the results you want to achieve.
- How do you accept payments? Many barbers I know prefer cash since it’s easier to dodge taxes. However, it’s also convenient if the barber shop offers card or digital payments. This will make the transaction faster, and you don’t have to worry about running out of change.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it bad to switch barbers?
A: Of course not! You can always switch to a new barber if your current one doesn’t deliver the results you want. A professional barber will understand why their customers leave and look somewhere else. It’s part of the business and shouldn’t be taken personally.
Q: How do I tip a barber?
A: Barbers will appreciate a 15% to 20% tip or gratuity. If you’re happy with the service, you can also give more. Most of the time, the barber will split the tips to other stylists who handled washing, cutting, coloring, and so on.
Q: What should you not tell your barber?
A: While you’re paying your barber, you should still respect their craft. Never tell them to ‘just do the barber thing’. Always be friendly, and it will surely pay off on your haircut. Being friendly will also forge a lasting relationship between you and your new barber.
Q: Is it okay to show your barber a picture?
A: Showing a picture of the haircut you want to achieve will help barbers a lot. Remember that barbers are visual people, and it will be easier for them to know what you want by showing a picture. So the next time you visit a new barber, don’t hesitate to bring a few visual references.
Q: How often should I go to a barber?
A: Most men will visit their barbers every two months. It depends on how fast your hair grows and how often you want to change styles. If you’re into longer hairstyles, you can go for four months without a barber appointment.
Q: Do barbers trim beards?
A: Yes, but not all. Many barbers specialize in haircuts only, but others went through additional training for complete manscaping. They can trim your beard, remove nose hair, remove ear hair, and more. It’s important to ask about this part before going to the shop.
Knowing how to find a good barber doesn’t have to be a stressful task. You can ask friends for recommendations, and you can also look up for local options. Aside from that, customer reviews will give you an idea about the barber’s reputation. Nevertheless, going to the shop and trying the service yourself is the best way to find the right barber.
Here at Daily Grooming Tips, we provide grooming solutions that work. We believe that the modern man also deserves pampering and proper self-care. From hair care, beard care, manscaping, and more, we aim to turn you into a dapper gentleman.