According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 608,000 barbers and hair stylists actively operating in the US. But while there is certainly no shortage of hair specialists, not all barbershops are created equal. And, often, finding a professional that you can trust is exceedingly difficult.
So, what are the skills and traits to look for in a barber? While a lot depends on your unique requirements and style, the list below can point you in the right direction and help you find the right barber for your needs.
Listens to the Client’s Needs
Finding a barber to entrust with giving you a hairstyle you are happy with isn’t always easy. So, it isn’t surprising that, according to a survey by YouGov, nearly 40% of Americans consistently see the same person when looking to get a haircut.
But if you are shopping around for a barber, how can you pinpoint one that will make your dream hairstyle come true? A good indicator is their communication and active listening skills. A barber who spends time understanding the lifestyle needs, level of hair care, and expectations of each client are more likely to satisfy the needs of a customer – and win over their loyalty!
Can Offer Professional Recommendations
While clients might have an idea of the style they want, a certain haircut might not work well for their facial features, hair type, or haircare routine.
That is why a barber needs to be able to deliver personalized and professional recommendations that combine the client’s expectations with realistic results. An experienced barber might even recommend a different style to enhance a client’s unique features or style!
Holds All the Right Certifications
Finding a qualified and experienced barber can be a struggle, especially if you are not sure of their education or curriculum. If in doubt, consider checking their qualifications and look for the signs of barber school enrollment at accredited institutions.
And, don’t forget that a good barber knows that a career in hair styling requires ongoing education! So, consider asking them what training courses they are undertaking at the moment or what niche they are looking to specialize in.
Has a Thorough Understanding of Hair Care and Various Techniques
Hair care and styling are highly skilled niches, and a professional barber will know not to underestimate the importance of learning different styling techniques, as well as the science behind skin and hair care.
When looking for a new barber, make sure they are comfortable with popular techniques such as a skin fade but also test their knowledge of hair coloring, shaping, strengthening, trimming, and shaving.
Is Creative and Has Strong Interpersonal Skills
If you have been shopping around for a barber, and you have narrowed your choice to a few professionals who hold similar certifications and skill sets, it is time to look for their unique selling point. And, this often is their creativity and interpersonal skills.
According to a survey conducted in 2021, over a third of Americans consider getting a hairstyle one of their top self-care activities, just behind spa treatments and getting a manicure. In turn, a skilled barber will know how to enhance this experience for each client, ensure they are comfortable and entertained, and leave the salon satisfied!
Keeps Up With Trends – But Values Timeless Styles
The hair styling industry, just like the broader beauty industry, is in continuous evolution, and new trends emerge and fade every month. That is why it is essential for barbers to keep up with the times and timely learning new techniques to remain competitive in a changing market.
At the same time, no barber’s skillset can be complete without a thorough knowledge of classic styles, timeless haircuts, and vintage barbering techniques.
Is The Perfect Barbershop Host
When looking for a barber you can trust, make sure to look beyond the person who will deliver the haircut! A highly-skilled barber will understand the importance of a pristine salon, sparkling clean utensils, and a smartly designed shop.
Just take a look around before entrusting them with a haircut or observe them while at work to get a better idea of the standards they uphold.