Photo courtesy of Victory Barber & Brand/Facebook
I found myself in the barber chair past weekend and the regular chit-chat in between cat naps -am I the only one that almost falls asleep during?-, quickly turned from weather talk to what annoyed me at barbers and why I still came back to him specifically. You see, my barber used to work for those big hair cutting chains, giving them training and know-how, before the incredible corporate pressure to sell products drove him away. I get annoyed when salespeople are in your face trying to make a sale, being stuck in a chair and manhandled by a guy with sharp scissors isn’t much better. For guys shaving and getting a haircut should be relaxing, being away from daily life and having a little me time. Here’s what all hairdressers and barbers should know about us customers.
Stop trying to sell things: I hate it in clothing stores, shoe stores, department stores, .. you name it. If I need your help I’ll ask for it so whenever I get a haircut.. I really don’t want you to rant on about how amazing this shampoo, conditioner, styling product is. I’m an old fashioned kinda guy. If you cut my hair nicely and I enjoy the result, I will ask you what you used regardless. That’s when you can hook me for a sale, not during.. just stop that! I’m not afraid to get up from a shampoo treatment and leave if you keep on nagging.
Blow driers on hell temperature: What is it about cheaper chains that makes them want to blast your wet hair with something that resembles a burning hot oven. Sure my hair will dry fast an you can already style it a little, but my scalp doesn’t enjoy it and it makes me feel very sweaty every time as the hot air can’t escape underneath that blanket that catches hair. I don’t have sensitive scalp but seriously, leave the Sahara desert air for those that enjoy it. Even for those quick in between blows to remove any cut hairs.. I’m sweating enough as it is!
My head is human, not plastic: Another fan favorite of interns and students that are just getting the hair of a human head. The discount you get -if at all- for playing the hairy guinea pig is not worth the scratches and itching afterwards all over my scalp. I have noticed a lot of established people still treat your hair like it’s a dolls, pulling it roughly as they brush. I have very dense hair so there’s no way you can quickly brush it at any point, they still TRY. God that hurts and I never return.. just saying.
Leaving me at the washing basin: I always love it when I get my hair shampoo’d and they give you a scalp massage that makes me insert claws into the chair. I don’t really favorite you leaving me there, laid back with my neck in that cold and hard basin -hurts my neck after a while-, dripping wet hair and shampoo sliding down my forehead into my eyes. Did you really have to take that call? Did you? Don’t ever leave a client laying there unsupervised. I called out for help and as I was stuck in some plastic harness contraption that prevented me from moving my arms freely.. not my fault I got up and started dripping all over the place. Idiot.
Too much talking, not enough cutting: I know a lot of women love to talk while they’re getting a haircut, coloring, treatment done.. but guys in general don’t do that. We get in, out and look spiffy! You can imagine how thrilled I was each time a girl or guy started leaning into my ear to whisper something under their moist breath while the blow drier was on full force. I’ll share a sly smile and a chuckle but inside you’re killing me. Lets get this over with please, thank you very much.. I don’t enjoy a 3 hour long barber visit.
The surprise cost add-up: I’m really flexible when it comes to cutting my hair, I don’t have crazy demands or rituals I need to have done. No all I want is a gentle wash, dry and cut, extra happy if you style it nicely in the end with wax or cream. What I don’t like is the sudden extra costs you come up with. The woman that charged me €5 for a scalp massage of a minute.. never went back. Hell if you massage in the shampoo you get more action than from her. Just be honest upfront on how much you’re going to charge, I hate sudden huge bills when it adds up for a simple haircut.