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Finding the perfect barber is comparable to finding true love; you may search forever and find yourself settling for someone who fails to fulfil all of your hair styling dreams. Or you could strike it lucky and find that special someone who can make everything sit just right.  You may get a buzz of excitement every time you walk out of their shop with your crisp new "do" because deep down, you know you can look great and now you've got the hair style to prove it.

Honestly, though, the hunt for the perfect barber doesn't have to be hard, and in this article, we share with you our tips to finding the perfect men's hairstylist, the qualities you should look for, and the reliable techniques to filter out the pretenders from the real deal!

Don't think about the price

Most people search for barber shops with the lowest price or the best deals. However, when it comes to personal styling, beard styles and modern hairdressing, price shouldn't be your deciding factor. In the hairstyling industry, the most expensive barbershops aren't always providing the best service, with factors such as shop front rental prices and supplier costs driving up the price. Simply put, the cheapest barber in your neighbourhood might very well be the best. Having said that, there is such a thing as too cheap, so if the price seems too good to be true, there might be a catch (ie a terrible hair cut awaits).

There are yet other Barber Shops that might charge a little more, but they add more to the service like head washing, massages, beard treatments & facials. They might also have barbers that are particularly talented (see more on this below), and they might use high end products and equipment. Sometimes it's hard to tell until you stump up the money and get the cut. At the end of the day, if you didn't think it was good value, you can always move on to the next one.

Lefty's Barber shop

Expert barber & stylist Tara, owner of Lefty's Barber Shop in Victoria, working on a beard treatment. To listen to a podcast featuring Tara Click Here.

Consider experience & attention to detail

Your local barbershop employs a range of experienced barbers and hairdressers, some who've spent years focused on men's hairstyling, some who have only just transitioned to specialised barber work, and others who are entirely new to the grooming industry. When choosing your individual barber within a shop, it's essential to ask about their experience so you can discover who is best qualified to handle your needs. Most people find themselves building loyalty to one particular stylist, and following them to other barbershops as their career grows.

Originally we titled this section "Consider experience", but we changed it because attention to detail is so important. I've personally had a better cut from an apprentice barber who took her time to carefully shape the hair versus a veteran who did my cut in a rush at the end of a very busy day. The difference was attention to detail. It was making sure everything looked naturally tapered & even. Although attention to detail can wax & wane during the course of a day, it's general level is basically built into a person's character. You'll know their level once you sit in the chair & watch them at work but if you don't want to take the gamble, you could find out another way - which leads us to the next section...
 
Franco the barber

Franco, from The Barber Club in Victoria. He is an expert barber with very high attention to detail. You can see beard styling video tutorials featuring Franco here & here.

Check out social media

Thanks to Facebook & Instagram location tagging and online portfolios, it's easy to discover the creativity and skill level of the barbershops around you, by merely looking at their work. These easy to access platforms become a visual representation of the type of styles the shop can achieve, the variety of cuts they are known for, and whether they can accommodate the beard and haircuts you want. 

Commonly most barber shops will have a lead page that represents the shop as a whole. It's important for barbers to at least have this because social media is like a living CV, that builds trust with customers. On top of this, individual barbers often have their own personal accounts where they post to exhibit their skills. With some basic stalking skills you should be able to find most barbers you come across. Given how important social media is to the industry as a platform to share ideas & fashion trends, if a barber isn't on social media, it's got to be considered more likely they're not great at their job.

 

Style by Antony Staltari

Hair style by multi awarding winning barber & leading industry stylist Antony Staltari from The Barbery in Adelaide (@antonystaltari on Instagram). You can see shave & beard styling tutorials featuring Antony here, here and here.

Check out reviews

Generally speaking, only the best cuts, styles and designs make it to social media, so it isn't always the most reliable representation of how skilled a barber, or shop, really is. This is when online reviews, such as Google reviews and sites like Yelp & Facebook, are excellent points of reference. However, it's best to assess reviews optimistically, especially feedback from years prior. Particularly in the hair industry, reviews may have been about past staff members, who no longer work there, or from disgruntled customers whose issues are price or location related, and not service-based. 

 

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