I frequently get asked how to select the right men’s hairstylist, and I understand this can be daunting. It does not have to be…I promise. I have worked in the beauty industry for more than 35 years and have worked alongside more barbers and stylists than I can count. After years of contact with beauty professionals, I have great tips on selecting the right men’s hairstylist or barber. Many factors can go into choosing a service provider that is an excellent fit for an individual client. And it is not just about talent….
Is the men’s hairstylist on time?
I am not necessarily talking about whether the stylist or barber is five or ten minutes behind a scheduled appointment. Unfortunately, a service provider running late happens. For the most part, we are at the mercy of a client being on time. If a client is late for their scheduled appointment, it causes the men’s hairstylist or barber to be late for the rest of the day. I am talking more about the service provider’s attitude about being on time. Does the right men’s hairstylist for you walk in the door after you have arrived? Did they have enough time to set up their workstation before you arrived? If a client personally values being on time, the right men’s hairstylist will also value being on time. A service provider that values a client’s time will be at the shop with their station set up and ready for a client’s arrival.
Are they clean and organized?
Again, I am not talking about a service provider having a rough day and being a bit disheveled. I am talking about whether the men’s hairstylist is routinely disorderly and unkempt. Barbers and Cosmetologists receive training to be keen on details. A great men’s hairstylist with an eye for detail will ensure they have an organized work area. They will also present themselves with that exact detail. Sadly, a messy workstation with lots of hair under or around the chair may reflect on the quality of their work.
How is their appearance?
Being a clean and organized men’s hairstylist or barber continues beyond their workstations. This value reflects in their outward appearance. A client should not be shy about scrutinizing the service provider’s appearance. A great stylist takes personal branding seriously. Along with barbers, men’s hairstylists are also trained in men’s grooming and understand it is their job to meet a client’s image expectations. A client should ask himself whether the right men’s hairstylist or barber for you is well-groomed. Does their hair look freshly maintained? Are their clothes clean and wrinkle-free? If the service provider is attentive to detail in their outward appearance, the chance is likely to carry over into the quality of service they give.
Do they radiate confidence?
A confident men’s hairstylist in a shop is pretty apparent. I am not talking about the barber in the shop who is loud and boisterous. I am talking about the service provider that exudes confidence without being arrogant. Trust me. You will recognize that stylist in the shop immediately. This men’s stylist is confident in their appearance, skills, workstation, and communication. Confident service providers look clients in the eye with a firm handshake and a genuine smile. If a stylist greets you from across the room or is too busy on their phone to greet a client properly, it could be a sign that they do not have the confidence you require.
Are their skills up to date?
Barbers and cosmetologists have no continuing education requirements once certified by the Board of Barbering & Cosmetology. Great service providers do not need
to be required to better themselves. Seeking continuing education is an intrinsic value and desire to have the best skills possible. Please feel free to ask the men’s hairstylist or barber questions about their training and experience. Service providers love to share information about themselves, mentors, or special classes they have taken. The client should be concerned if they have not sought continuing education since barber school. There should be even more concern if the only education the service provider has sought is from YouTube and TikTok. Only seeking education after the certificate completion will reflect in the service provider’s skills and tools.
In-person continuing education classes were placed on hold in the beauty industry in certain states from 2020 to 2022. Some service providers could only seek education via Zoom or YouTube during those years. Educators have begun in-person classes again, and there is no longer any barrier to skill improvement.
How are the communication skills of the men’s hairstylist?
It is a must to find a men’s hairstylist or barber who can confidently tell you which hairstyle works best depending on your head shape, hair type, and texture. Service providers with little experience or additional training will only ask what the client wants or asks you for a picture. Inexperienced service providers are not concerned about whether the haircut is right or best for the client. A good men’s hairstylist will ask what a client has had in the past but also asks how that haircut has worked for him. They will offer haircut options that will work for a client. A great men’s hairstylist will also guide clients to a style that makes them look and feel their best.
One of my most significant pieces of advice to a client in this area is to select a men’s stylist or barber who listens. I mean, actively listens. A great men’s hairstylist will listen to the requested style and then articulate it back to the client, so both parties understand the expectation. The service provider should be comfortable with communicating with a client on all levels. The client should leave a consultation excited about the style choice and confident that the stylist fully heard what the client said. I suggest ending the consultation once you are satisfied that the stylist listened to your request. Please do not settle for a service provider looking at you through a mirror, nodding their head in agreement, and only saying, “great, let’s go to the shampoo bowl.”
Does the men’s hairstylist ask any questions?
Asking the client questions should go beyond the consultation. Is the stylist or barber asking you what you do for a living? Did they ask about your likes and dislikes? A great men’s hairstylist will try to get to know you beyond your name. Getting to know a client thoroughly is necessary to offer the right style suggestions. Not only asking about details about the client’s life is essential. The service provider also needs to ask for a client’s feedback during the haircut. During the haircut, a great men’s hairstylist will stop before finishing and ask whether the length is correct or if you like the direction they are going in. Asking for feedback during a haircut is a technique that all great stylists will do to avoid a haircut disaster. Great men’s hairstylists and barbers will always ask for feedback before they are finished.
Selecting the right men’s hairstylist may take a while.
The best way to start the process of selecting the right men’s hairstylist begins with booking a consultation appointment. Basically, I suggest you interview them before letting them touch your hair. I know we are all busy, and consultation appointments take extra time we do not have these days. But these appointments can be the difference between enduring a bad haircut for two weeks or a great haircut that gets compliments. Consultation appointments also avoid the awkward moment of walking out of a men’s hair salon after sitting down for the haircut because you realize the service provider will not be good. Just 10 to 15 minutes with a stylist or barber is all that is needed to determine if you have selected the right men’s hairstylist and if they are a keeper.
Do you have other tips on how to select the right men’s hairstylist? Please share them with us in the comments.