By Kenneth Prabhakar | Photo Editor
Walking into a barbershop for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. To the untrained eye, it can be a lawless land filled with people from all walks of life. There’s no limit to what can be heard and seen there. From crude vulgarities to contemporary jazz, a new barbershop can be an extremely overstimulating environment. If you don’t come in with an appointment, good luck getting your hair cut; you may be caught in the midst of chaos for hours.
No one truly understands the power a barber holds until after their hair is cut. Behind the clippers and the razors can be a skilled artist who will carefully bless you for weeks to come or a barber-in-training waiting for their shift to end. A barber has the power to revolutionize everything about your demeanor. They can have you feeling on top of the world or scared to leave your house. When you sit in that chair, you are trusting that they will deliver good results.
This trust goes beyond hoping your cut will turn out to your liking. Barbers are the gatekeepers of all sorts of secrets. What is said in the shop stays in the shop. I’ve seen barbers rip tequila shots with their clients in the chair on the day of their wedding. Then, the same barbers will go on to their next client and not utter a word. The bond you form with your barber goes beyond how well they can cut your hair. Although hair-cutting skills are their primary selling point, the vibes they bring when providing their service are all part of the experience.
You’ll know when you’ve found your barber. You’ll find untapped confidence within yourself. Respect the newly formed bond and stay loyal to that barber. If you can’t make their schedule one day, find another time that works with their schedule. Switching up on your barber, especially within the same shop, is a huge sign of disrespect — almost as disrespectful as canceling on them at the last minute. No matter how close you get with your barber, understand that this is how they make their livelihood and is not something to be dealt with lightly. Stay loyal, don’t switch up and cherish the companionship that lies ahead.