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    Haircuts/barbers

    Hello gents,

    As guys that care about how we present ourselves, I'm sure you all are invested in getting quality haircuts with a reliable barber. A recent college grad, my go-to move has been to go to a high-end beauty school (Aveda institute) to get my hair cut. While it takes considerably longer for someone with less experience and who will be graded to cut my hair, the cuts came out well on a consistent basis and were super cheap for what you got ($25).

    Well, now I've got a full-time job and I just can't spend an hour or two in the barbers anymore, so I'm trying to find the best place to get my hair cut every month.

    I'll rule out Greatclips, Supercuts, Fantastic Sam's, and any other ultra-cheap option right off the bat -- I've got fine blonde hair that doesn't forgive mistakes easily, and my experience with this type of shop has not been good.

    Any suggestions of affordable (under $40) chains to try that you've liked, or even specific barbers in Bellevue/Seattle Washington? If not, how do/did you go about finding a salon/barber you can trust?

    #2
    Can't give any specific recommendations, but I think Yelp can be a good tool for things like that. You can search your area and see what kind of reviews the places have. You'll also get a feel whether it's a cheap place or not based on the reviews and pictures. There might even be some pictures of customers so you get an idea of which kind of people go there and which kinds of cuts that shop does. I'd narrow it down to a couple and try them out. I think you could find something suitable pretty quickly.

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      #3
      I've been going through a similar situation myself. Just moved to the KC area and it was very difficult finding a barber that cut hair great. I did quite a bit of shopping around. I went to four barbers, but settled on one based on the quality of the cut. Sadly, he never took appointments and at times it took hours to get a cut. My current barber is a older guy, offers great conversation, and gives me a very crisp cut.

      So to the original question:
      1. Use Yelp/Google to search for reputable barbers in your area. Barbers/Salons are starting to have an online presence through social media and websites.
      2. Ask friends or coworkers who look like they maintain their hair regularly. Finding my current guy was quite random because I was referred by an older caucasian lady at work (I'm black).
      3. After doing research, give them a try. I've read where some people show the barber a picture of their last hair cut as a way to help guide the process.
      4. Ask if they take appointments. A really good barber that values time should have an appointment book.

      Hope this helps!

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        #4
        Ask some of your stylish female friends where they go. In my experience, salon stylists are a higher quality level compared to the average Supercuts stylist. I've gone to what would typically be perceived as a female salon in the past with great success. That said, in an odd fluke, my current stylist is someone from Sports Clips and she is amazing!

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          #5
          Try to find a "real" barber shop rather than a chain or franchise. Use Yelp or Google, but try to find an honest to goodness barbershop where the barbers are invested in what they are doing. I found that at many of the chains the folks that cut my hair seemed to be "just passing through" and might not be there the next time I needed a haircut.

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            #6
            If time is an issue, you might try getting a haircut with trims in between. It is slightly more expensive, but it takes less time per session.

            I probably shouldn't give advice though as I saw my hairdresser last Tuesday and have another appointment next Tuesday. I also didn't find her, I copied my wife. The people I found before on yelp and such were not so good.

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              #7
              Thanks for the tips, guys. Using yelp I found a promising barber -- I'm hoping to make an appointment for this Sunday but they seem to be fully booked. I guess a busy salon is a sign of a good barber, though!

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                #8
                Pick up a Wahl 5 Star Senior clipper for $60 at Amazon and do it yourself. Check out VickTheBarber on YouTube and you'll be jamming in no time. Two cuts and it pays for itself.

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                  #9
                  For the sake of semantics, there are "barbers" and "hairdressers." There is also technically the "hair stylist" if you have someone other than the person cutting it figuring out how your hair should be cut (has anyone done that?). There are some key differences. More obviously, a barber is in a barbershop, a hairdresser is in a salon. Less obviously, their training and experience is different unless you find someone with many skills. Different tools are used. Barbershops are full of men; salons, women. I'm not saying that men don't go to salons or women never go to barbers, just that it is not the usual scene. The atmospheres in barbershops and salons are distinct.

                  My babershop when I was young had playboy magazines, formaldehyde hair products, and men bantering constantly. The guy who cut my hair reeked of cigars. Light trim, several clippers, straight razor. I enjoyed just going to the barber shop more than the results of getting my hair cut. This type of scene is rarer and rarer.

                  My barber when I was a little older was more mellow. A lot of conversation about the shape of my head, about my wave... someday one side would wave goodbye to the other. He only used scissors. He was quick.

                  My hairdresser when I was a bit older used clippers and scissors, but was most adept with scissors. She introduced me to the concept of cutting facial hair with scissors, something I am grateful for.

                  In the in between times, I tried various barbershops and salons. I probably had at least 5 years without one good hair experience. A lot of the people were nice, but nobody really helped with my hair. I tried going to another barbershop that was all set up like a "real" barbershop (minus the formaldehyde products), but the hair results weren't that great. I even went to a chain unisex salon place... never again.

                  My hairdresser now uses scissors, clippers, and a straight edge razor. I like the conversation and the atmosphere is good enough, but it could be awful and I'd probably still go.

                  I hope that is enough superfluous anecdote to illustrate the difference between barbers in barbershops and hairdressers in hair salons. The lines blur when you have a barber that can handle longer hair or a hairdresser that is also trained to cut like a barber.

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                    #10
                    I used yelp to find barbers in the area and have just been systematically giving them a try. Found one close to work that I have been very happy with. Then they moved me to a different office and i had to start all over again. Recently found a good one though so I am satisfied. I gravitate towards the old school barbers more os than the hairstylists. If my barber cant use a straight razor, I don't want anything to do with them. Nothing finishes off a cut like some warm foam on your neck and a razor shave back there.

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                      #11
                      Not sure if you use tumblr, but I used to follow Classic Barbershops. He has a map of barbershops around the world. I see two in the Seattle area: The Scotch Pine Barbershop, and Radar Hair & Records

                      Hope this helps
                      We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.” ― Charles Bukowski

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by idvsego View Post
                        If my barber cant use a straight razor, I don't want anything to do with them.
                        Totally feel the same way.

                        In many states, one needs a barbering license to legally use a straight razor on a customer. There are also associated health codes. These are the reasons why we don't see everyone using them. Many cosmetology schools offer barbering courses, but not everyone takes the courses and goes through the process (exam and hours) to be licensed. It's a little like logic classes in college... while it would probably be beneficial to society if everyone took these, not everyone does.

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                          #13
                          I used to go to a real old school barber 5 minutes from my house. It was a cool place and cheap ($15 before tip) and they did a good semi-pomp. The guy who owns it is in his 30's and into classic cars and that 50's throwback stuff. It's actually the oldest barber shop in our state, something like 5 or 6 owners over 120 years. The downside was getting there early on Saturdays to avoid the rush, closed on Sundays, and then I moved across town so it was a 20+ minute drive.

                          I tried a few barber shops around my house but they are all terrible. Guys that have no business cutting hair.

                          Then I started getting my hair cut at a higher end men's salon. It's a 10 minute walk from my office and they take online appointments. So I can get my hair but in about 45 minutes total over my lunch break. The stylists are all well trained and being mostly young art school types they know how to do a modern haircut. The down side was the price, which is usually $30-35 before tip.

                          I've been going recently to a Great Clips that's a few blocks from my house. I can get in and out of there in about 20 minutes. They don't do as good a job as the stylists, but the price is $14 before tip and it's a lot more convenient.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by matthewisch View Post
                            Pick up a Wahl 5 Star Senior clipper for $60 at Amazon and do it yourself. Check out VickTheBarber on YouTube and you'll be jamming in no time. Two cuts and it pays for itself.
                            I've been doing this for the past year or so. It saves me the time, hassle and money of going down to the barbershop/salon. Also, because I cut my own hair, I tend to cut it more often than I would if I were having someone else do it.

                            But it's not for everyone. You need to have a short hair style that can be cut almost exclusively with a electric clipper. Also, you need a certain amount of hand-eye coordination to be able to use a mirror and clippers to do the back properly.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by rico1204 View Post
                              Ask some of your stylish female friends where they go. In my experience, salon stylists are a higher quality level compared to the average Supercuts stylist. I've gone to what would typically be perceived as a female salon in the past with great success. That said, in an odd fluke, my current stylist is someone from Sports Clips and she is amazing!
                              I've had the opposite of that at a salon (though my experience could be an outlier). The stylist just didn't know what she was doing with my hair, but she didn't want to ask clarifying questions, probably to avoid looking as ignorant as she was, so I wound up with a bad cut. It wasn't a total catastrophe, but it certainly wasn't what I thought I'd described. The problem was exacerbated by the facts that 1) I can't really see what the stylist/barber is doing while they're doing it because my head just looks like a blur in the mirror with my glasses off; and 2) this lady seemed to just have bad taste all the way around. Her own hair and dress and manner should have been a red flag, but I was dumb.

                              Now I go to a fancy barber shop (it's fancy, but it's actually a barber shop) and my dude has my hair dialed in. He knows exactly what I want and how to do it. He got that way by me being overly descriptive and continuing to go to him so I could offer refinements from one cut to the next.

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