Tips for Getting a Good Haircut - Cheap
A good haircut can make or break your appearance. Well cut hair that is styled fashionably can add an air of professionalism and put the finishing touches on your overall look. That's because no matter how expensive or trendy your clothes are, poor grooming will take everything down several notches on the sexy scale.
While women do notice your shoes, I think the first thing that everyone sees is your hair - so think of a haircut as your business card to the world. What message do you want to send prospective clients and dates?
But haircuts are expensive, especially if you're going to salons and trendy boutique type places. Most of us can't afford that. You might not be able to if you are between jobs or just on a tight budget. That's why most of us visit the local neighborhood chain - places like Great Clips. Even though I never pay more than $20 for a haircut, I always manage to look on point. You can too if you know the tricks. Here are few pointers on how to get a great haircut on the cheap.
Price Does Not Equal Quality
Just like any other consumerist good, people often think that if they paid a lot then it must be good. That couldn't be further from the truth. I have had plenty of girlfriends who paid large sums of money for a hairstyle, only to come home disappointed with the results. Get it out of your head that price equals quality.
We all work with people who make the same salary that we do, but complete half the work or at an inferior level. A barber or hair salon is going to have it's share of over and under performers regardless of price point as well.
Guys more than ever are falling for the luxury haircut experience, overpaying for a hipster to cut their hair and coming home with generic styling results. What I have found is that the hipster-style barbershops usually give you the same shaved undercut style that they wear. It's as if it is the only haircut they know.
Scope Things Out
Getting a great haircut for a great price is going to take some patience. That means frequenting the same place over many visits to scope out the stylists and get familiar with their work. Every shop is going to have ones who are mediocre, and just about every place is also going to have atleast one great stylist. You need to find that diamond in the rough and make him or her your go to person.
Find the Coolest Person in the Room
Call me a jerk, but when I go for a haircut I am looking for the coolest person in the room. Look at the stylists - do they look fashionable and up to date? If not, how can they ever make you look good? This is why I avoid anyone who looks like a part-timer, or who gives off an aura that says "this is just a job".
I look for the younger guy or girl who is in touch with modern styles. Often these types of stylists are just starting out, but they have their pulse on things and are using this entry level salon as a stepping stone to a job at the higher end places. Usually, they take their craft seriously and will listen to you.
Don't be Shy
After scoping things out to identify the coolest cutter in the place, never be shy about requesting a particular person to work on your hair. If you see a girl doing finger cuts ask for her. This extra level of detail helps hair to lay better and stay manageable when it starts growing out. Since it takes more time, most stylists at cheaper places avoid the extra work and rely on the clippers to do all the work.
Give Them Something to Work With
Let your stylist know what you do for a living, how you normally comb your hair, things that will impact the look you are going for. The best stylists will ask these questions, but sometimes you need to offer up this information to get good results. Letting your stylist in on your personal style helps them give you a good cut, and they can also be brutally honest if your look is out of date or not working for you.
Avoid the Talkers
You want your stylist to ask questions, but if they take frequent long pauses to finish a story, or tell you about their personal lives - make a mental note and seek out a new stylist next time. It's obvious that they are not focused on the task at hand and are probably hoping that their excellent 'customer service' will earn them a great tip - even if it's at the expense of your hair style.
Reward Good Work
If you just got a great haircut at a great price, there is no reason not to leave a great tip. A tip is the perfect way to show appreciation for a job well done, and will help incentivize the stylist to remember you, and your styling preferences, the next time you come in.
What Makes A Great Haircut?
I am not a stylist, but what works for you is going to depend on a lot of factors like age, head shape, the amount of hair you have, as well as what you do for a living or what hobbies you have. A business man is going to have a different look than the guitarist in a band. You want to be fashionable but age appropriate. This is why a great stylist can take the information you give her and help craft a look that works best for you.
Shaved Heads and Receding Hairlines
A lot of guys think "well, I don't have much hair, so I'll just shave it myself and save money". That can be a big mistake. Even if you are nearly bald, you should visit a salon so that you can have your neck cleaned up and things shaped up. Many salons will do a neck trim for less than the price of a haircut. The price is well worth it.