One of life’s worst experiences is getting a bad shave at the barber’s. There is a certain hopelessness and despair you feel as you climb off the chair knowing you did not get the style or look you expected. This post seeks to avoid all that negativity and provide you with a communicative skill set that will ensure every trip to the barbershop is a happy and satisfying one.
Do your research:
The 1st step, as with most things, is to have a clear idea about the look you want. Not every beard suits every face, do you research, talk to people, and decide what you are going after. Only after you understand what you want can the barber do his job properly.
Clarity is key:
The clearer you communicate your facial hair objective, the easier the burden on the barber. One of the biggest complaints barbers have about their customers is a lack of communication, too often customers sit in the chair and provide little or vague details about their expectations. If you can’t explain in words what you are looking for, take pictures or videos as references.
Segment your face:
Breaking down your face into different segments allows you to focus on one area at a time making sure you get the look you want.
Above/on the cheeks:
Generally speaking, the beard above/on the cheeks is usually rounded or straight. This can be communicated to the barber multiple ways: with words, by tracing your hand over the area and showing him what shape you like, or by even using an eyeliner pencil and drawing the shape before he uses a razor blade or machine.
Side of face:
The area in front of your ears also needs to be considered. Again, the general looks are usually rounded or straight and should run down to the jawline where the bottom part of your beard begins.
Some prefer the bottom side of their beard to be cut at the jawline or a little under it while others prefer the beard to run down to their neck line. Some prefer a straight look, while others want a curved line. Most of this should be thought about and contemplated during your research phase such that when you are at the barbershop, he can simply follow your instructions.
Mustache and Connector:
A mustache can have a life of its own or be part of a wider project. This is often determined by whether or not you are partial to the connector between your beard and mustache. If the connector is kept, you need to let the barber know what to do with it. This usually means a simple trim that takes away unwanted hairs and leaves a simple straight line from your beard to your mustache. The ‘stache itself can have multiple looks, long and curly towards the end, pencil-thin, or just regular sized that covers the distance between your upper lip and nose.
Under mouth and soul patch:
One of the most underrated and overlooked parts of a beard is the area under you bottom lip and above your chin. The soul patch is often trimmed or cleaned up but the areas next to it are sometimes ignored. Usually square or rounded, don’t forget to tell your barber what you would like to do with this hair.
Follow these guidelines and never have a bad grooming experience again! Do your research and consider what look you are going for. Then, talk to your barber in clear terms and with visual aids if needed. Finally, segment your face and focus on one area at a time and decide what you’d like to have done.