We recently picked barber Michael Stout’s brain about what questions he asks gents in the chair when they sit down and utter the infamous phrase: "Let’s change things up."
Daily, if not hourly, I have a gentleman in my chair looking for a change. This is usually followed by a photo reference or some name for a haircut they’ve heard their buddies talk about. As a traditional barber, let me help some of you towards a practical hairstyle that's in your wheelhouse. When talking with a gentleman in my chair, there are a few core questions I ask when helping them find a new "do:
How much time do you want to spend on your hair?
This answer will knock most of your options off the table. It may be frustrating to hear, but most men have fewer options than they think. Most men have little to no time at all. If fast and flexible is your speed, you have to remember: embracing your natural texture is a must. If you have curly hair, getting out the door with a straight-haired look means more time and effort for you.
How often do you get your hair cut?
Frequency to the barbershop plays an important role in style. With trends like clipper designs and hard parts, it's always a good idea to set up a timeline for you to revisit your barber. Some hairstyles lose their shape quicker than others. But overall, men seem to get the itch for a trim right around when their hair looks or feels twice as long as their original cut. But at the end of day, the frequency of your cut is chosen by you and how long you can go before feeling like a wolf-man. Remember: time=length.
Do you like to use product in your hair?
Hairstyles are often achieved with a little (sometimes a lot) of help from hair products. Even hairstyles that look dry and carefree are most likely held together with a little help. So when you decide to cut out those reference photos of Brad Pitt or David Beckham, keep in mind the styling teams (and their arsenals of product) that helped make those looks happen.
I hope these tips can help you when the time comes to consider a fresh new look. Try to think of them more as guidelines, because one thing I've learned as a barber over the years is that there are exceptions to every rule. Make sure to communicate with your barber, know your limits, likes and dislikes. And you, sir, are going to be the talk of the town!
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