The Art of a Haircut: How to Communicate with your Barber

Afternoon gents! It’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here, coming at you with some helpful info about one of the most important aspects of men’s lifestyle: a visit to the barber! It’s been said several times that one of the most important people in a man’s life is his barber, and I’m inclined to agree to an extent. While people tend to stereotype women as the ones who obsess over their hair care, men also tend put a lot of emphasis on keeping their locks neat and clean. That’s why so many men go to barber shops today. With this in mind, I’m going to give you four (4) steps to make your next haircut easier and all the more satisfying. (Also, disclaimer, most of what I have in this post comes from this video from the Art of Manliness, so I’m not about to claim credit for any of this.)

1. Use precise measurements

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when going to a barber shop is telling the barber they want “a little bit off the top”, which every barber will interpret that differently. As in the AoM video, “one man’s trim is another man’s close shave.” So in order to make your cut more precise, or suited to your terms, tell them a specific measurement you want cut. Say something “two inches off the top”, or if you aren’t sure about how much you want cut, just let your barber know. He’ll just clip a little bit off, ask you if you like it, and if you don’t, he’ll clip off some more, simple as that.

2. Know some general styles

Obviously, with a haircut, there are a lot of different styles you can go for. With so many out there, just telling the barber a general you want a trim can be a bit confusing to them. Telling the barber you want a specific hairstyle can help ease that confusion. To give you an idea, I’ll give you a few visuals of the most popular men’s hairstyles. (And yes, I’ll be using a few celebrity pictures, bear with me.)

Crew Cut
Crew Cut (my typical cut)
High and Tight
High and Tight
Buzz Cut.png
Buzz Cut
Flat Top
Flat Top (think military haircut)

Also, keep in mind that these can come in various lengths, or you can even ask for a hybrid of styles. But just keep these in mind when talking to your barber. He’ll know what you’re talking about.

3. Show them a picture

This is honestly pretty simple. If you show your barber a picture of the haircut you want, they’ll be able to replicate it based on the picture. This worked very well for my last haircut. I just showed the barber a picture of my cousin who had gotten a similar haircut, and it turned out perfectly. There’s really not much else to say here.

4. Let your barber do his job

Now yes, you may have an idea of what you may want your hair to look like, but remember who the expert is: the barber. He will know what type of cut will work best with your head shape, neck thickness, etc. Plus, certain cuts will also look different depending hair or skin color. So, even if the barber may have different suggestions than what you might prefer, just hear him out and let him do his job. He’ll know what to do.

So there it is! Follow these steps, and your hair will be looking as spiffy as ever! Also, honorable mention here, keep going to the same barber. If you keep going to the same barber, he’ll get to know what style you usually like to get, a general idea of you head shape, and other details of the cut. Also, this post only covered the bare minimum of a haircut. The Art of Manliness video goes into much more detail about other aspects of the cut, so I would highly recommend watching that video too.  In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post. Please be sure to share the post, follow the blog, and follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Instagram. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

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