What To Do When Your Barber Skips Town

I had a buddy reach out to me with a blog topic, and as a man of the people I’m here to deliver.  He’s going through a rough patch that so many of us have been through, myself included.  His barber skipped town.  Just upped and left one day.  No note, no warning, no nothing.  Imagine calling up your barbershop to make an appointment with YOUR BARBER only to find out he doesn’t work there anymore and there’s no word of his whereabouts.  Could be dead.  Could be cutting hair elsewhere.  But the bottomline is the sacred barber-customer bond you thought you had no longer exists.  You question everything you thought you once knew about them.  Has it all been a lie?  Why didn’t they tell me they were leaving?  But then reality sets in.  Now what?  Who’s gonna cut my hair now?  Who’s gonna know exactly what to do with my hair?  Who’s gonna let me sit quietly without peppering me with smalltalk questions?  Who’s gonna have a rapport with the other barbers that I can be jealous about because I’m not “one of them”?

I’ve been through this exact scenario once before.  Back in college this Asian dude Dave Chen used to cut my hair at a place called Scissorhands.  He cut my hair as a walk in, I loved the job he did, and a bond was formed.  I called one day to schedule a cut, guy on the phone says Dave Chen doesn’t work here anymore, he works at Scissorhands 2 our new place.  Great!  I’ve got the same barber at a new location, no problem with me.  Until I called Scissorhands 2 one day to make an appointment with Dave Chen.  I learn that Dave Chen doesn’t work there anymore.  I ask where he works, and obviously the guy says he doesn’t know because he wants my business.  I thought we had something special, Dave Chen… I invited you to a day drink one time.  Did you forget that?  I sure didn’t.  It took me almost two years to find a new barber who I trust.  It’s not easy finding a trustworthy barber.  My guy Raul now knows exactly what the deal is when I sit in the chair.  We’re tight.  If he’s running late, he texts me.  Dave Chen didn’t call or text.

There are really only two options for anyone who’s essentially been dumped by their barber.  Option 1 is to switch barbers at the same place.  It’s familiar, and there’s probably a decent substitute barber.  It’s a place where guys can be guys, and it’s fine for the time being.  Not ideal but you can rationalize it.  If anything, this is a temporary solution until you find something better.  It’s a rebound.  It’ll do until it’s just not good enough and not worth it.  You may find yourself adding in a week or two between cuts because you’re hesitant about the new guy.  I want you to know that this is normal behavior.  Don’t beat yourself up too much for looking like a bag of shit 5 weeks after your last haircut.

Option 2 is to turn to friends for recommendations.  Hey man do you have any single friends?  I’m hurting over here.  Hey man who cuts your hair?  “Dude my boy Andrew gives me fire haircuts and it’s cheap as fuck!  I’ll introduce you bro!”  It’s all one in the same.  It may take a few test runs with different barbers, but your best bet is to ask the people you trust about the people who they trust.  Honestly, it may not work for a while.  Worst case scenario you go to a place that’s adequate and cheap.  It’s an opportunity to re-prioritize about what’s important.  Maybe you can save a few bucks in the meantime while you search for your new barber.  Make sure you complain to your friends, too, about how your barber left you.  People love to hear other people complain.

h/t to Corey for the recommendation.

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