go to a barbershop, not a salon.

4 Jun

Gentlemen, we’re lost in the woods. We’re stuck in a confusing land of exfoliation, mani-pedi’s, “product”, manscaping, cuticle therapy, and $50 hair cuts – it’s time to escape.

In all likelihood, you go to a salon. Your salon probably has one of those über trendy names that means nothing and is, inevitably, followed by a grammatically incorrect period. avenue rust. salon randy. sheer 613. Furthermore, your salon makes you set an appointment for a “styling”, makes you get your hair washed beforehand (uncomfortable and affair-ish), and puts you square in the middle of a conversation between stylists regarding the cuteness of Justin Bieber. Men, your salon is no place for a Grown Man.

But Grown Man, I have a specific hair style that only my stylist can do!

Simple rule: If your cute quiff can’t be maintained an 80-year-old WWII veteran with scissors, a straight edge, and grizzled old-dude fingers – it’s not a haircut fit for a man. Believe me when I say this, women like men who look normal. They’re not looking for faux-hawks, they’re looking for an adult.

Here’s what you need to be looking for as you switch from boutique to barber:

1- Find a random barber in a remote corner of your town. If that place looks somewhat unkempt on the outside and you’re not 100% comfortable leaving your car out of sight, you’re in the zone.

2- No chain hair places. Many chains offer cheap haircuts and will have you “in and out in 15 minutes”. However, a cheap and quick haircut usually looks like, well, a cheap and quick haircut.

3- A good barber can do two haircuts: “high on the sides” (flat-top) and “a little off the ears” (George Clooney). Your barber won’t ask what you want, he’ll cut what you need. Relinquish your type-a-ness (gross) and let the guy work.

4- They don’t take appointments, credit cards, or women. All of these things in their own way are fantastic (and one of them smells good), but none of them have any business in a barber shop.

5- The shop shouldn’t have a name other than [insert name]’s Barber Shop. They do this because a man puts his name on something he loves. Think of it this way, when we’re little and we get a Red Flyer Wagon, we flip it over and scrawl Grown Man on the bottom. When we get married, we totally annoy our wives by asking them to spend five years changing social security cards and drivers licenses just so we can see our name attached to someone we love. A barber shop is a man’s business and livelihood, he cares about it and wants you to know that you can expect a level quality that could only come from his name being on the door.

Grown Men, find a local barber, bring cash, and enjoy updating your look. They’ll remember your name, give you a respectable haircut, and will never – EVER – talk about Justin Bieber.

Enjoy the weekend, and thank you for reading and commenting.

28 Responses to “go to a barbershop, not a salon.”

  1. jameskaufholz 4 June 2010 at 10:19 am #

    Plus you get a straight shave which, as a bearded grown man, I miss very much.

    • You're a Grown Man 4 June 2010 at 10:26 am #

      How could I have forgottent this point! The straight shave is the best part. It’s the moment where, at the end of the haircut, you bestow enough trust in him to put a lethal weapon to your neck. It’s akin to letting the bag boy walk you out – with a gun to your head.

      Great comment “jameskaufholz” – if that is your real name.

  2. mikejmurray 4 June 2010 at 10:28 am #

    Ah, my friend, I must disagree with you on this one. When you have CP, you do not want an 80-year-old man coming at you with scissors. I made that mistake once as a child. Never, ever again. I go to a salon and get my haircut by a woman named Mickey. Nothing fancy, just a number 2 razor across. No shampoo, no hairstyles, no girl talk. In and out in ten. I pay by credit card. Grown Man, whoever you are, you do not want to see me handle cash. It would be a farcical nightmare…

    • You're a Grown Man 4 June 2010 at 10:30 am #

      mikejmurray, you get an exemption. However, you may still not talk about Justin Bieber – though I bet you’d love to.

    • mike thomas 11 January 2014 at 1:07 am #

      you would be retired if you were 80 , my dad is a barber and he still cuts great cuts even at 78 so do not stereo type everyone and a good barber does not cut with plastic guards and all numbers that is the difference in a beauty shop and a real barber, if he uses scissors then he is not a professional, they use barber shears

    • Thomas Shy 5 February 2014 at 12:01 am #

      if you are 80and a barber there are exceptions as I myself am a barber and are retired as my own choice, and by the way real men go to real barbers

  3. mikejmurray 4 June 2010 at 10:34 am #

    I draw the line there.

  4. Pop 4 June 2010 at 11:05 am #

    “mani-pedi’s, ‘product’, manscaping, cuticle therapy, and $50 hair cuts – it’s time to escape.”
    Agree on all except one: manscaping. I’m no proponent of Manzilians (*shudder* hot wax on my boys? No thank you!) but general lawn care is a necessity IMHO. No one likes a lawn where the grass is too long – it just looks ridiculous. But like mowing your real lawn, make sure you don’t cut it too short.

    And totally agree on the straight shave. My barbershop uses warm shaving cream. It feels fantastic!

    • You're a Grown Man 7 June 2010 at 11:18 pm #

      I’ve never been so grateful, in all of my life, that a new paragraph started.

      Can you imagine if you had connected “…don’t cut it too short.” and “And totally agree…”? Comedic disaster.

      Thanks, as always, for reading, Pop.

  5. justenjoyhim 4 June 2010 at 11:27 am #

    Hilarious! Thanks for the laugh today.

  6. Ashley 4 June 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Haha hilarious. Although, most men I know just opt for the hair stylings of JC Penney.

  7. Amy 4 June 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    This blog is worth it’s weight in gold (which, technically wouldn’t be anything, but you get my drift).
    Loving all your advice and as a Grown Woman I can only hope that your blog becomes more popular than Maxim.

    • You're a Grown Man 7 June 2010 at 11:20 pm #

      Oh man, at this point in the economy, this blog might be worth more than gold. (current events joke!)

      I also hope this gets more popular than Maxim. That magazine is total pre-porn.

  8. QueenPinky 4 June 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    I was raised in a town where Super Cuts was a joke ad you only said those words together if you were making fun ao a rotten hair cut. So I have that instilled in me. Only smelly old barbershops for my man. (^_^)

    • You're a Grown Man 7 June 2010 at 11:21 pm #

      Exactly, QueenPinky, EXACTLY!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment… (^_^)

  9. kH 4 June 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    If anybody ever tries to flip me over and scrawl Grown Man on the bottom of me, I will most certainly not marry that person.

    Sorry about the Tim-Tams.
    I’m making it up to you by leaving this blog comment.

    • You're a Grown Man 7 June 2010 at 11:26 pm #

      Readers, I know kH and she is a nice lady. She’s dating a very nice, very tall, Grown freaking Man. She knows a lot about spreadsheets and very warm offices.

      When she refers to Tim-Tams, she’s talking about this AMAZING ritual…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Tam_Slam

  10. lookingforsomethingtofind 4 June 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    When my childhood barber retired, I had the task of finding a new place to get my hair cut. I wanted a plain barber, something Normal Rockwell would appreciate. I found a terrific one, one town over, so much so that now that I am away at school, once a month I travel a while to get there. He does wash one’s hair before hand, but it is forgivable as it is the best hair cut you will ever have, and the place is so friendly and down to earth. If your a barber can’t talk about last night’s ball game, you’re not in the right place.

    • You're a Grown Man 7 June 2010 at 11:30 pm #

      Oh gosh, lookingforsomethingtofind, that’s a perfect story to illustrate this post! Good job not caving to the easy chain and driving back to the “Norman Rockwell” place.

      And, as far as him washing your hair, I’d say it’s not a black and white rule – more of a guideline. When he does it though, it’s more like washing the dog rather than some kind of tip-inducing stylist head massage.

  11. Steph 5 June 2010 at 10:58 am #

    My dad gets the best stock tips from his barber (who could have retired long ago but loves barbering) plus loads of other man-gossip. He won’t admit it, but the gossip is his favorite part of the experience. And Joe does a mean “a little off the ears.”

    • You're a Grown Man 7 June 2010 at 11:31 pm #

      Oh yes, fellas love to gossip – except they call it “catching up on things” and grunt a lot more.

  12. theboywhofoundfear 5 June 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    As usual a spot on post! It all makes sense. I only go to barbers… Hair salons and the like are much too expensive and the conversation has something left to be desired!

    • You're a Grown Man 7 June 2010 at 11:33 pm #

      Exactly. I just don’t see the perk of paying 5 times as much for odd interactions.

      P.S. I took care of the * for you.

  13. moroccomama 6 June 2010 at 5:53 am #

    Please, I beseech you, write a post on “get over your fear of handling raw meat”. Also, my dh of 10 years really needs this: “cook dinner for your family at least once a decade”.

    • You're a Grown Man 7 June 2010 at 11:34 pm #

      You’ve inspired me to start a “Grown Man Mailbag”…it’ll be coming soon so we can get other fantastic requests like these!

  14. c 21 January 2011 at 11:17 am #

    I suppose I’m sexist, women go to beauty shops (salons) and men to barber shops and never the twain shall meet! I don’t like sitting there with my hair in curlers while men are sitting next to me. It’s just weird.

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