Forget the craft beer and single origin espresso, what you want from a barber are two things: dedication and consistency. But with seemingly every CBD and suburban corner now boasting a Hirsute Stag or Preening Eagle – when did barbers get pub names BTW? – it can be tough to pick a winner. Here are the signs that you’re on the money or should walk away.
How’s your head?
If the phrase “well I haven’t had any complaints” was the first thing that popped into your mind, you’ve been watching too much RuPaul’s Drag Race. Point is, there’s no better advertising than word of mouth. Despite what Mr Zuckerberg will tell you, if your mate is rocking a do you covet, ask them where they got it. Ditto a stranger on the street. It won’t be as weird as you think. Well, almost, but not quite. And you’ll end up with a better haircut.
Don’t be ageist
True barbers can ply their trade until their hands or eyes give out and chances are that old, Italian gent in the white smock puffing on a durry knows how to deliver a cut as well as any tattooed punk with a set of clippers. Don’t write them off. Especially when it comes to retro military styles.
What’s your number?
If the only question that comes your way is the clipper number you require, thank them for their time and leave. Clippers are a valuable tool but they can also be a cop out for those who don’t want to do important scissor work. Which is where the true skill lies. Shape should be just as important as the fade.
When a deal is not a deal
Repeat after us – there is no such thing as a bargain haircut. You’re paying for the barber’s expertise, experience and time. If he/she is charging $12, he/she is clearly operating a volume business model. You deserve better.
The lino or floorboards should be spotless and cleaned after every customer. It speaks of attention to detail.
Should the barbers be plastered in pictures from the original Baywatch era – moody black and white pics of heavily gelled dudes – jog on. If the decor hasn’t moved with the times, chances are the styles haven’t either.
Don’t stress if they don’t take bookings. It’s the way things are heading in barber-land. But if there’s no one waiting for a snip, reconsider. A wait is good. It means repeat business.
For our list of the top barbers Australia wide, head to our barber directory.
For more grooming tips and tricks, check out our Instagram