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Barber Hacks: 10 Monumental Tips That Will Change How You Barber

Barberhacks is an online resource for barbers to help them improve in every aspect of the business.

Disorganized Chaos

I don’t know how I used to do it when I was younger, I’ve gotten to the point in my career where that is pretty far removed from the present. Like a lot of barbers I’m mostly self-taught, meaning there was little structure in the way that I approached cutting hair.

I have always had a disorganized chaos going on on my station while I am cutting, I’ll casually toss guards onto the countertop as I progress into my cuts. I’ll grab scissors and place them haphazardly about. I’m getting the job done, so it doesn’t matter what happens while I’m doing it, does it?

This is not to say that I have been a complete mess in my past, just unorganized as I cut.

Because who notices the little points like that? In Barbershops, the customer is looking the other way, aren’t they?

I’ve started to break down my routine recently, especially when it comes to my service, my cleanliness, and hair cutting basics.

I realized that there are a lot of holes in my routine, and I have started chaging my habits. I feel that barbering is something that works better within a system, and the more organized the system, the better the service that you can provide from top to bottom.

Method Man

Recently, I was studying one of my colleagues, someone that is super successful in his business. I always take my spare time to break down what my colleagues are doing differently than I am.

I noticed that he was very methodical in his approach to cutting hair, each part of the haircut could easily be broken down into steps, into fluid movements, checks and balances, and created a flawless whole.

Perhaps I was reading into it a little bit, but I’ll take my moments of inspiration where I can get them.

Add into this, that I was listening to a podcast that recommended the book ‘The Checklist Manifesto’, that I checked out of library and am currently reading.

Also, I have started making appointments at my home on Sundays, so that I can create videos for my YouTube channel. I started using the calendar and notes feature on my phone for this reason.

I told my father about this, and he said, “Good, it sounds like you are starting to be acountable to yourself.”

Sometimes, life presents you with all of the correct information at the same time, and coupling that with the want and desire to change for the better, I have started to institute some systems of my own into my workflow.

My past self would say something like, “That takes all of the creativity out of the haircut”, but I beg to differ, it provides a foundation that allows for more creativity in the moment. It takes all of the thinking out of the process and allows you to channel it into the idea of what will suit your customer best.

How Does This Apply?

You may ask what I’m talking about, how all of this applies to cutting hair.

It means organizing your station so that is appears flawless to anyone all times, even in the middle of a service. It means putting your tools back where you got them from, it means cleaning your tools as you proceed.

It means documenting every step of your process, and taking a good hard look at it, to see whether or not you are being as thorough and efficient as you can with every customer that comes through your chair.

It adds a whole other level to the idea of service, it can make it so that you can create a service for someone that becomes entirely comfortable for them from the moment that they walk through the door to the moment that they leave throughout multiple appointments.

It is one of those ideas that no one will notice outwardly, but it will provide the customer with a service that they don’t receive anywhere else, and customers will notice that.

Get Me Started

So how do I start doing this?

Get rid of any tools/ideas you don’t use.

Clean your station from anything but your essential tools. Be merciless, get your tools down to the absolute necessities.

Organize your station in a way that is pleasing to the eye. Pretty self explanatory here. Break it down every night, and put it back up every morning, or directly after you have broken it back down.

Now, take the time to sit down and write down each and every step of your service from the moment that your customer comes through the door until they leave.

Here is the example of my list that includes hair and beard services. This does not include the straight razor shave process, as I am currently working on that.

Fold towel and place it on station.
Meet eyes
Shake hands
Greet by name
Ask about day
Examine hair.
What are you looking for from this haircut?
Give opinion on hair.
Ask about what they don’t like.
Look at photos (if needed)
Discuss whether the cut is suitable for them.
Agree on style.
Wet hair.
Section hair.
Decide on clipper or scissor.
Explain cut as you proceed.
Cut sides.
Cut taper (if needed)
Outline neck and sides.
Cut top.
Use towel as needed.
Texturize as needed.
Use towel to remove hair as needed.
Place towel in original spot after using.
Finish Outline. (unless beard is part of service).
Blow hair off of cape.
Razor (if no beard).
Cut beard.
Take down bulk.
Fade (if needed).
Line top (upper line and moustache)
Blow hair off of cape.
Lay client down.
Line bottom (throat)
Place shave towel.
Apply hot towel
Get rid of hot towels in bin
Apply shave gel
Shave outline for cheeks, moustache, chin and neck
Clean face from shave gel with towel placed
Place towel in bin
Place razor in sharps bin.
Disinfect razor.
Apply aftershave.
Apply beard oil with massage.
Prop client back up.
Clean hands on towel that you use to wipe hair off.
Explain product as you put it in.
Style hair.
Explain how you are styling hair as you proceed.
Finish the hair (extra five minutes)
Mirror. For face and haircut.
Aftershave on neck.
Something luxurious. Hot towel, massage, etc.
Take cape off,
Place neck strip in garbage.
Use towel to wipe hair from their face and neck.
Place towel in used towel bin.
Blow hair off of wherever needs it with blowdryer, off of shoes.
Give them a business card.
Deal with money.
Replace all tools where you’ve taken them from directly after using them. Don’t rush this.
Clean tools as you use them.
FORDS model. Family. Occupation. Recreation. Dreams. Sports. Conversation starters.
Replace razor blade before next client.

This is a long list, I realize this, but it is something that can be broken down into steps, or shorter checklists, that you can use to help you change and organize every single part of the service.

Feel free to tailor, or use this list for yourself. If you think that it can be improved on, please feel free to leave your lists in the comments below because I would love to see them.

As an owner, give this to the people in your barbershop, allow them to look over it, and discuss it. I believe that having a house style helps everyone deliver a similar service, something that people can talk about, something that will help differentiate you from others.

This idea has already had a profound affect on how I cut hair, and how I approach customer service.

Try it, tell me what you think.


Tools I Use and Love:

Andis Slimline Pro LI

Andis Cordless Master

Andis Magnet Purple Guards

Andis GTX Cordless

Wahl Cordless Senior

Wahl Cordless Magic Clips

Babyliss Pro SnapFX

Wahl Professional Guards

Andis Profoil Shaver

Feather Razor

Parker Razor

YS Park Cutting Comb

Babyliss Pro Hair Dryer

Denman Paddle Brush

Denman Vent Brush

Barberology Clipper Comb

Barber Pro Mat

Electric Tool Duster

All links are affiliate links that help the creator of Barberhack earn commissions.

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