For my Mamas with boys who require haircuts and do not have a male figure to take them, what were your requirements for choosing the right barber?
My son is four and I’ll be honest, he’s had at least four barbers. It took about three years for us to find the right guy. I always thought that it was so odd that not enough women discussed their barbershop visits or experiences. As I became more familiar with it, I knew why; it was a man’s world. Now hear me out, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this! Men deserve to have their culture, their conversations and guy time in this experience. I respect that. I once had a friend of mine make the statement, “You have your therapy weekly and I have my barbershop appointment.” (Lol). I’ve always admired how wonderful that experience is for a man.
However, when you are a woman raising a son on your own.. where do you fit in with this world? My first few visits were intimidating and there was a lot for me to learn. In some cases, these guys simply don’t have time for that. They are busy, they want you to put the child in the chair, tell them what you want and keep it moving. There are some cases where they don’t believe you know what you want, how could you? So, they take lead and now you’re walking away with a cut you’re not happy with. Then there’s my favorite case, where your wants have been heard and the barber gives you suggestions based on your child’s head shape, texture of hair, and how long they are willing to sit still.
Here are my suggestions when choosing a barber:
1. Know what you’re talking about. Try to do as much research as possible on a good haircut and hair lines. This is very important when your son is young and still has “baby hair”.
2. Ask for recommendations with photos. You want to always see their work first.
3. If you have another child that will be attending the appointments to sit with you, try to choose an environment that will feel safe and inviting to other children. My daughter is always at my son’s appointments, his barber talks to him and her while we are there. He is as invested in her as he is with my son. When the visit is over, they both are awarded for their good behavior.
4. DO NOT GO ON A FRIDAY OR SATURDAY. If it’s your first visit, please avoid the most busiest days of the week. You will get rushed out of there and this will not be the best time to ask questions. I try to always book our appointments during the week.
5. Book an appointment. This will alleviate any issues with your child not wanting to sit still or the other child that’s waiting; growing impatient.
6. Choose a barber that’s patient and great with kids. If your child is young using a tablet or device may be helpful, but I’ve found that it’s also great to have a barber that interacts with them. They need to feel seen and heard. This is someone they will develop a relationship with. With kids, if they don’t feel comfortable; expect them to act up.
7. Environment! I am listing this again. What type of people does this place attracts? Is it conducive to the environment you’re building for your kids at home? Are you okay with the language, visuals, the vibe? If you’re uncomfortable, your kids will be too.
8. Time. Make sure you’re barber is using their time wisely. Punctuality is still a requirement. You arrive on time and so should your barber. For our appointments, we spend no more than 20 minutes at our visits. My son hops into the chair as soon as we walk in and we are out.
9. Tip your barber. Even if it’s 2-5 bucks! Tip them. They don’t have to allow your extra child to sit there nor do they have to entertain them or go the extra mile for your son. Finding a good barber can be tough, so when you do; show a little gratitude This will also make room for understanding.
10. It’s okay to voice something you don’t like. Do so respectfully, but please do not feel as though you cannot say when you are not happy with a cut. I would suggest to not hover over your barber while they are working, which is why the plan for your child’s style should be discussed prior to the cut.
With all of these things being said, it is still very important that everything you are requiring from your barber in terms of respect and safety, you yourself are giving that as well.
Barber credit to Will at Los Barbers Barbershop in Pooler, GA. Loc Style credit to DeAndrea Jackson at Mirror Image Extensions Bar & Boutique in Savannah, GA. Brand shirt by Tori Parker @dreamzexpressed on IG