From James Dean's quiff to Kurt Cobain's long scruffy hair, men just copy the prevailing popular hairstyle, and move on when it becomes too generic. The problem with this is...your face. People rarely consider that what looks good on another guy might not look as good on them.
So are we doomed to forever pale in comparison to our haircut pegs? Maybe not. Fancy hair places have sprouted all over the metro and they promise to make your locks look the best it can.
Too good to be true? We got a P1200 cut for ourselves at Makati's Hombre Manila: Salon of Men to tell you how it fares compared to the service of yor friendly neighborhood barber.
1) They'll get to know you and suggest hairstyles based on what you tell them (or don't).
"I usually size up the guy when he walks in here," says Jen Leung, art director at Hombre. "I ask them a few questions about their personal hygiene, observe their personality, and measure what haircut I can recommend them. It's important because if they don't have the patience to fix their hair everyday then why bother giving them a complicated haircut?"
2) They will make you feel pampered.
At Hombre, there's literally a person that'll catch your cut hair before it falls on your face. We don't know about you guys, but that's what we call F-A-N-C-Y. It may be a bit overwhelming for some guys so, to keep you calm and relaxed, their bar is ready to serve drinks like tea, coffee, and yes, alcohol (single malts and Johnnie Walkers to be exact).
3) They have pretty awesome tools.
We have to admit that, when the hair stylist showed us her limited edition, $500 samurai blade scissors, we felt really special.
You can feel it cut the atoms in your hair. Leung says that she uses it to cut very short fine hair because she never uses any machines when trimming your side burns.
4) They're not miracle workers.
They'll tell you straight up if what you're asking is impossible. "A bald guy once asked me to make him look like George Clooney and he got pissed at me since I laughed because I thought he was kidding," recalls Leung.
Again, these people are hair stylists not plastic surgeons so while they can style your facial hair, they can't mold the contours of your face to have #DimplesLikeAlden. You can ask for alternatives to what you originally wanted; their stylists know a lot of possible variations that could suit you better.
5) It takes longer than you'd expect.
The whole process took about two hours. So we don't recommend going if you're expecting an express cut.
6) Most importantly, they want to make you feel like you're getting your money's worth.
"If a guy walks in here and tells me they want to get a crew cut or something, I’ll ask them 'Are you sure? You're paying a lot for my services,'” says Leung. Hair stylists from high-end hair places charge three to 10 times more than most street barber shops do so you might as well try something that you won't be able to get in an ordinary barbershop.
7) They offer free maintenance.
"If you're not happy with your haircut, come back and I'll cut it for free," promises Leung. "Just don't come back in a month and say you're not happy with it."
"We also do maintenance. For example, if the line we shaved on your side grows more quickly than the rest of your hair, we'll 'line' you again for free."
When we asked her why they offer such services at no cost, Leung answers, "We're not out there to make big money fast, we want to keep you for a long time."
Here's what our writer, Chise, has to say about his haircut. "Iba yung experience from the barber shops I used to go to dahil pati yung masahe, yung shampoo, yung shave, very relaxing. Nakatutok talaga sa'yo yung mga stylists unlike sa ibang barbershops na dalawa o tatlo yung ginugupitan sabay-sabay. Feel mo talagang pinagtuunan nila ng pansin yung mga details ng hair mo. Para talagang catered para sa'yo yung hair style dahil pati korte ng balbas at tubo ng buhok, iniisip nila."
As Leung said, if you're not willing to style your hair why bother getting a good haircut? But if you're looking for a new look, and need some pro attention, it's a good albeit pricey investment. If you're going for something more adventurous, their attention to detail should give you that extra reassurance to walk with your chin up the next day at the office.