Worldwide, the barbershop is a dude’s refuge. It’s an open gathering where almost anything and everything is discussed and emotionally debated. It’s a chill environment where time sometimes stands still and one discussion can last hours. Like any gatherings, however, there are regulations, guidelines, and decorum one should follow.
Ask your barber about himself, his life, and his family. Talk about where they are from and what’s like there and how it’s different. (Why are we assuming he is a non native??)
Talk about religion or politics. Not only is it a personal matter, but these conversations often take on a life of their own and can end up in unexpected and awkward places.
Talk about your family, significant other, and life. Tell them what you are up to, how your studies or work is going, and what’s stressing you out or keeping you going. The barbershop has always loved these type of conversations, especially because there’s a possible new one every 15-30 minutes.
Talk about other barbers. It seems obvious enough but for some strange reason, a lot of customers complain and compliment other barbers while getting groomed by someone else.
Ask your barber about your facial hair and if they have any grooming tips or advice. This does not mean you have to listen to them but them discussing your hair will increase your understanding of your hair which may benefit you in the long run.
Move around in your seat. Yes, those 10 messages you received in your shabab’s Whatsapp group are important but they can wait. Moving around also disrupts the barber’s flow and rhythm.
Talk about football and sports. Every barber in the Arab world has afavorite sports team he passionately cheers for. Fair warning, these discussions can also grow lives of their own but these lives are a lot funnier and jovial.
Ask for a free cut or barter with exposure. At the end of the day, the barbershop is still a business dictated by profit and loss. The barber provides a service and deserves money in return; please do not ask them for a free cut or try and barter with them through social media exposure, it’s soo blasè.
Thanks and tip your barber and ask for his name. If he’s done a good job and you plan to return, ask for his number so you can confirm his availability for next time.
Do's and dont's with your barber in the ME:
The barbershop has historically been an open gathering and place to discuss anything however there are certain topics to avid and others to make sure you discuss about.
ask about their family, where they’re from and what its like there
talk about your SO and family
ask them their opinion about your facial hair or hair.
talk about football or sports, every barber prefers one team over another
Tip and ask for his name and maybe his number if you plan to return
talk religion or politics
talk about other barbers
Ask for a free cut or barter with exposure
Move around in the seat