Ready to drop the haircut you’ve been wearing for years now?
If you are not quite convinced the hot new style everyone you know is copping will work for you, the best thing to do is turn to the ones who know men’s hair best: barbers.
Not to say you should just hang your head and leave your hair’s fate entirely in your barber’s hands. While there’s a chance this approach will work out very well for you, there’s also a possibility that you’ll end up with a ‘do you can’t really pull off or even know how to maintain. Rather, the best hairstyles are born from the combined efforts of the man getting the cut and the with the scissors
So how does one work with their barber? We talked to Felipe and Sons Co-Founder Martin “Bug” Warren to get some advice on how to do just that:
On hairstyle recos and pegs:
“We never have a go-to hairstyle,” Warren says when asked if they recommend particular styles right off the bat. The last few years have seen certain cuts (and yes, we mean undercuts, we’re not being subtle here) really take the world by storm, and it seems logical for barbershops to cash in on the craze." And yet Warren insists that it’s not just about trends. “[Deciding on a haircut] is really a collaborative process based on what the customer would like and also what our barbers suggest.”
What does this mean for the average joe ready to head to the barbershop? It means he must have a general idea of what he wants, but must be open to recommendations. Bringing style pegs and high hopes about this or that haircut is encouraged, but the customer doesn’t always know best so it’s a good idea to listen to the experts.
On choosing a cut above the rest:
We’ve said before that your choice of hairstyle shouldn’t just depend on what’s hot and what’s not. After all, the most popular style at the moment might not suit you at all—worse, it might even bring out your most unflattering features.
So when you’re at the barbershop and deciding what cut you should get, don't just bank on the cuts that celebrities are sporting. Warren shares that barbers usually propose hairstyles after taking into account the customer’s wants, face shape, and hair texture.
“Face shape and hair texture are important because we want to make sure the haircut really makes our clients look and feel their best,” he explains. Because both things have a major effect on how well a style will work for you, we’re not surprised these two are at the top of the list. “If a client, however, insists on a certain cut despite our recommendations, then we give them what they want,” he adds.
No need to worry that this might mean you end up with a bad hairstyle because of your own stubbornness, though. No matter what cut you ultimately choose, they’ll still do their best to “execute the hairstyle with the utmost detail and care.”
On selecting a barber:
Some of us have gone to the same neighborhood barbero since childhood. No shame in that, there are many good reasons to stay loyal. As Warren puts it, “The advantage of sticking with the same barber is the relationship and familiarity and trust you build with that barber. You see them at least once a month so a relationship really grows. There may be times when you want to chat, and there may be times where you’d just like to relax and sleep while getting a service. Trust that your barber will know what mood you’ll be in.”
On the other hand, it’s also worth it to get out of your comfort zone and seek out someone new. The change in perspective might just be what you need to get out of your rut and come home with a new go-to cut. According to Warren, a different barber can lead you to a hairstyle you never thought would fit you, but actually does so very well.
On proper hair maintenance:
Guys take grooming so seriously now that it has become the norm to find hair care and skincare products that are exclusively for men. But while an involved, multi-step grooming regimen is something we can all try, you don’t have to follow complicated routines to take care of yourself.
When asked how someone who’d just been to the barber’s can look after his hair, Warren’s answer is simple, emphasizing the most basic tenets of haircare: “Make sure you find a shampoo and conditioner fit for your hair, take care of your scalp, and if you’re using product, make sure to wash it out.”
And at the end of the day, that’s all you really need to do to keep your hair healthy, strong, and looking fly as hell.