We may not talk about it as often as the ladies, but we stress about our hair too! From where to get it trimmed, what new style to try, essential beard products, and whether to dye greying hair. Not to mention additional grooming needs such as our facial hair, body hair, fingernails, and more. Time is tight, so it’s ideal to have a place that does it all. The tips below will help you choose the right salon, barbershop, or hairstylist.
What Is The Difference Between A Barber And A Hair Stylist?
The first thing you must decide is whether you require a barber, hair stylist, or specialty stylist. While each is trained and certified, they have distinctly different skill sets. While you can find some professionals that can provide multiple services, like every industry—we all have areas of specialty.
Begin by identifying your core needs, which may change over time:
Barber—these are professionals who are trained to cut short hairstyles. While they may use scissors, they are experts with clippers and fades. They may offer services such as dying your grey, but they probably don’t offer bleaching, highlights, or bold hair coloring. However, someone else in the shop may offer color and bleaching. Many barbers also trim and shape beards, full-beard shaving, and hair removal for ears, nose, and brows.
Hair Stylist—these are professionals who are trained in scissor cutting for longer and fuller men’s hairstyles. They may use clippers, but they probably aren’t as skilled as a barber. Many stylists are also trained colorists who can offer bleaching, highlights, and bold hair colors. They may be able to trim and shape your beard, but they probably don’t offer full shaves. However, someone else in the salon may offer shaving, hair removal, and waxing.
Specialist—there are countless specialties to choose from, including professionals who are trained in braids, dreads, curly hair, black hair, Asian hair, and more. If you require a specialty stylist, you may require a second professional for your beard and other grooming needs.
With men across all demographics prioritizing their grooming, many hair salons now have barbers, and many barbershops offer a wide range of men’s grooming services.
A Quick Guide To Fades
Even if you prefer a crew cut that’s an inch or longer on top, you will need it to fade attractively from top to bottom. A skilled barber can deliver a range of fades that is both gradual and flattering.
You don’t necessarily have to know what type of fade to ask for, but here’s a quick guide for communicating what you want. Or you can share a photo of what you are looking for and your barber will confirm if it’s a flattering style.
- High Fade: starts at the temple
- Medium Fade: starts at top of ears
- Low Fade: starts at bottom of ears
- Drop Fade: lower on sides than the back
- Skin Fade: shaved down to the scalp
- Temple or Brooklyn Fade: precise fade behind the temple known for sharp lines
- Burst Fade: circular-shaped fade
In addition to fades, look for a barber that can deliver the edge shape and in-fade lines and designs you crave.
Now let’s dive into how to select a barbershop or hair salon.
#1 Ask For Referrals
Whether you are new to the area, are ready to switch up your style, or your current barber or stylist isn’t cutting it—ask for referrals. But don’t just ask anyone.
- Ask someone whose hair, beard, or hair color always looks fresh.
- Ask someone who has the same hair texture and type.
- Ask someone who is struggling with the same conditions, such as thinning hair.
- Look beyond online reviews because you need to visualize your needs.
- Don’t limit yourself to asking people you know, ask a guy or two at the gym.
- Don’t just ask for the business name, but a barber or stylist’s name.
#2 Perform Online Research
Once you have a few referrals, head to their website and social media. What you are looking for are photos that highlight the quality of their shave and cuts. Look for both the social media profiles of the salon or barbershop, and the individual stylists or barber.
Unfortunately, not every hair professional has an online portfolio. In that case, pay a bit more attention to their online reviews. In addition to the quality of their hair services, explore the range of add-on services they provide.
This might include:
- Beard trimming and shaping
- Straight razor shaves
- Braiding and dreadlocks
- Brow shaping
- Ear and nose hair removal
- Full body hair removal
- Hair dying and coloring
- Manicure and pedicure
- Full spa services
You may not find one place that does it all, but the more services they provide the better!
#3 Location, Location, Location
Make no mistake, quality is worth a drive, but convenience may be your priority. This might mean close to home, work, the gym, or other places you frequent each week. Especially since your hair needs to be trimmed and beards reshaped every 6 to 8 weeks. If your hair is mid-length or long, you can stretch this out a bit—but it may begin to look shaggy.
#4 Book An Appointment
Now it’s time to give a barber or stylist a try. If you are switching up your style, bring an image or two, or arrive early to browse through hair books. This will help you to better communicate what you need. To ensure the best service, share your individual hair and skincare needs. For example, if your hair is beginning to thin, if your skin is sensitive, or if you are prone to ingrown hairs.
Should You Purchase Salon Hair And Beard Products?
Your barber or stylist will talk you through the type of products they are using, especially if you are trying a new style. Or if you have an area of opportunity, such as dry or damaged hair. At the very least, they will suggest a product or two when you pay. Remember that, first and foremost, these products are upsells.
While they may have stunning packaging and smell great, salon products may not be your best option.
Many salon products are:
- Designed for generic grooming
- Formulated with synthetic ingredients
Instead, we invite you to consider the personalized head-to-toe grooming regimens from Uncle Jimmy. Our products are formulated with natural ingredients that won’t damage or dry your hair, beard, or skin. This includes Black Seed Oil, Avocado, And Honey. We invite you to shop now!
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