A cut above – not all barbers are the same

Promoted by Johnston Press

Needing to find a new hairstylist? Here’s our guide to picking a good one.

Maybe you’ve moved to a new area or you fancy a change. It’s tricky to pick where to go – sometimes there’s just too many to choose from.

Here are our top tips to finding the best place for a trim, shave or an entirely new do.

Do your basic research
Since the dawn of the internet, people have reviewed everything (train stations included, for some unfathomable reason). And if someone has received very good or very bad service it makes them more likely to hop online and tap out a review for the world to see.

A quick glance on Google will give you an idea of the barber shop’s service. Of course, the odd one-star review is inevitable – bad days do happen – but if they make the majority, then it’s best to overlook a rogue comment.

Or do it the old-fashioned way – ask friends, family and colleagues for recommendations. Who knows? You might find a hidden gem.

How busy are they?
A good barber who runs a diary system won’t have appointmetns on the spot. In fact, if you call a barber and get offered a cut for that afternoon, unless it’s due to a cancellation, it’s a sign of low demand for their services. There’s a reason you need to wait a week for an appointment with a good barber.

However, some traditional barbers offer a turn up and wait system – the size of the queue can be a good gauge of how popular they are.

Clean and tidy
So you’re waiting in the barbers for your turn have a look around and see what’s what. A good barber will be spotless. Tools should be sterilised for at least ten minutes, a new blade used for shaving and the shop itself squeaky clean. Good presentation means the owner cares.

Expensive gels and wax does not necessarily mean a good haircut, but on the other hand, cheap products usually equates to a cheap and nasty cut.

How long are the other customers in the chair for? If it’s an in and out operation, is that the service you are looking for?

In the chair
A decent barber will take the time to find out what you really want. The clippers shouldn’t be reached for right away – a precise cut with dimension can only be achieved by scissors, and patience.

Be prepared for some advice – a confident and competent barber won’t do exactly as you ask if they believe you won’t suit the cut or it’s not suitable for your hair type. They’ll initiate a discussion so you leave happy - with a razor-sharp cut.