I have extremely mixed feelings about the rise of barbershops. Basically, I would think they were awesome if I were a male hair stylist, but as a little woman, I feel left out.
It is incredible to watch the explosion of male hair fashion. The every day man isn’t afraid of looking awesome. Their masculinity isn’t in question if they choose to take time and spend money on their hair. That is pretty awesome.
As a stylist, I value my male clientele. I have a fairly high percentage of men who come to me for cuts, many of which are happy to pay a little more for a dependable, quality cut. My conversations with my men tend to go differently than my ones with my female clientele. With my women I usually talk about fashion, art, sometimes books or movies and whatever is causing them stress in their life. With my men I generally talk more music, their (diverse) careers and current events. They are often more trusting about their hair, yet more opinionated about other matters. I adore all my clients, but I welcome the variety and would be devastated if I lost all of my men to barbershops.
Additionally, I love cutting men’s hair. Men’s cuts are incredible because you get to stay true to what the hair wants and work with it to get the desired results. It is such an honest and exploratory experience. I love working cowlicks into a style, finding creating ways to manipulate hairlines and cutting more or less texture into different hairstyles. Plus, styling is usually easier than a woman’s cut so as long as I send them home with proper product, I know they probably won’t be walking around town like a complete mess.
Barbershops are super cool. That is without a doubt. Which, on the one hand, makes cool cuts even cooler (good for me), but on the other hand, they are very enticing. In this world of integration, a barber shop is a chance for men to be around just other men, and thus is a unique experience in this day and age. And this fact frustrates me because I could never be a barber, because having a tiny female there would defeat the purpose.
I have clients who have strayed, coming back filled with sorrow, exclaiming, “I will never cheat on you again!” And every time I win over a barbershop I am grateful, despite all of the barbers I follow devotedly on Instagram. But it is difficult because I can provide great conversation, I can cut a good head of hair and I will take the time to understand desires and deliver quality, but at the end of the day, even in pants I look dainty, and sadly, I could never truly be a barber.