An urban beardsman goes through many phases when growing his beard. There’s the stubble phase, the itchy phase, the awkward phase, and the “it’s finally getting somewhere” phase. And the last thing on your mind while growing it out is to go to a barbershop to have it trimmed, shaped, and/or cleaned up. You want it to grow, period. And any sort of trimming will get in the way of that goal. But at some point that changes, whether it’s in three months, six months, or a year.
Unfortunately, once you reach that phase, it’s hard to get up the courage to go and get it trimmed. It’s hard to describe to someone who doesn’t have a beard, but it grows on you. And I don’t mean that in a literal sense (though, obviously, that’s certainly true too). I mean that in an emotional sense. And the thought of putting your beard in someone else’s hands is not an easy thing to overcome.
Jumping into the barber’s chair
Yes, reaching that point, as I recently did, can be nerve-racking. Where should you go? Can you trust the person doing it knows what they’re doing!? I remember being worried about someone turning my beard into their own little personal experiment.
Well, I have some good news: there’s one place you can go where you really shouldn’t be worried to go to. And that place is a barber’s shop. Most barbers get professionally trained either at a school or as an apprentice. That means he (or she) knows how to cut and/or trim beards and mustaches.
It gets better. The more popular beards become, the more practice barbers get at trimming them, and the better they become at cutting them.
“When I first started cutting hair 5+ years ago I barely did beard trims, but now they are becoming more accepted in a professional sense. I do between 2-4 a day usually accompanied with a haircut,” said Justin Albrecht, a barber from Chicago. And there’s little doubt that Albrecht, who is a hit on Instagram with over 50K followers, knows beards. He has quite an impressive one himself.
The person who trimmed up my beard, at The Gent’s Place, said she has several bearded clients. And let me tell you, if you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, look that place up. It’s more than just a barbershop. Besides the usual haircut and beard trim, they offer other services such as shoe shines and massages. They also have a complimentary bar, which I found to be a great touch.
Your trim didn’t go as planned
That’ll turn anyone’s mood sour to say the least. If your face art was destroyed beyond recognition, it may be best to start over. Certainly not ideal, but remember that your hair will grow back. And, if you didn’t already think of this, I would highly recommend you not go back to the same place again.
The power of social media
I would recommend doing a little stalking operation on Facebook, Twitter, and the like before jumping in the barber’s seat to get your whiskers trimmed. It’s really quite amazing what you can learn by reading reviews (or posts) online. If that doesn’t satisfy you, call the shops up and ask a few questions. A little legwork can go a long way.
The bottom line is that you don’t need to over-think getting your man mane trimmed, like I did. Yeah, it can certainly be nerve-racking to leave your facial hair in the hands of another, but there are many professional barbers out there that know what they’re doing. And as long as you do some homework, you’ll end up looking better leaving the barbershop than you did when you walked in.