A cut above: Five easy ways to spot a great barber
Finding the perfect barber is like stumbling across your dream pub – you’ll instantly feel at home and will happily plan regular visits for years to come. The only real difference is that your other half is more likely to encourage a trip to the barbers, rather than a rendezvous with your favourite ale-filled tankard.
Today it can be tricky to spot a great barber, especially with the barbering industry expanding as quickly as it is. In truth, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you could easily be hoodwinked by a few cowboy barbers.
Thankfully, premium men’s grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge has teamed up with award-winning barbershop owner Liam Hamilton (LH) to put together a few telling traits that every great barber possesses.
Making the job look easy
LH: “In all my years in this industry, I’ve always found that the best barbers make their profession look effortless. Anyone that’s ever tried to cut a friend’s hair, or even their own mop for that matter, knows that achieving anything more than a bodged bowl cut is difficult. Barbers spend years mastering the intricate skills that allow them to create exquisite styles. Making that look effortless shows true ability.”
Any great tradesman looks after his tools
LH: “If you can’t see a jar of Barbicide in the shop, then I suggest you look elsewhere. A barber that isn’t effectively sterilising their tools is asking for trouble. Hygiene is particularly important during shaving as well. The best barbers use a brand new blade for every shave and dispose of these blades responsibly into sharps bins. A quality barber will also ensure he only uses the highest quality scissors to perform his haircuts with. Look out for leading professional brands such Matakki, Kamisori Shears and Tondeo. These are the sharpest on the market.”
There’s more to a good barber than just a busy schedule
LH: “Any barber can smash through their client list quickly, but the best barbers give each and every customer their full attention. A proper consultation and advice on hair styling products and post-cut care should come as standard. A barber should get to know their clients and leave them feeling happy with the service they receive. Only then will they return time after time.”
A true sense of pride
LH: “You’ll see awards, qualifications, certificates of insurance, imagery of their best work, etc. plastered all over the shop walls. It’s a sign that a barber is dedicated to their trade and happy to share their success. In particular, look out for any evidence that your barber is state registered, a member of the Hair Council, a member of the NHS or a Master Barber.”
A sense of community
LH: “As soon as you walk through the shop doors, you should feel comfortable. Those waiting patiently for their cut look content and, as you visit the shop more often, engage in conversation with you. You’ll be offered a drink; there’ll be plenty of magazines and up-to-date newspapers to browse as well as music in the background that isn’t overpowering. Ultimately, the experience should make you feel valuable and leave you excited for your next cut.”