Many of us find it hard to describe the exact hairstyle we want when communicating with the barber. Some of us may describe it correctly, yet the barber might end up with flaws. So this post was written to help those who are finding it hard to communicate effectively with the barber and by the time you reach the end of this post, you’ll have a better knowledge on effective communication with the barber.
Let us begin with an example, imagine you have to get an Undercut, the trending hairstyle of this decade (short on the sides and long on the top), when the barber asks you, “Which haircut do you need ?”, don’t tell him just the name of the haircut or the description like ‘short on the sides and long on the top’. Be more specific, for example when you say short on the sides, mention the exact length of the hair you prefer on the sides (sounds complex ?), it’s not complex, all you need to do is tell the length that the barber has to adjust on his trimmer. For me personally, 3mm on the sides is perfect. This mayn’t be the case with you.
“So how do we know what length suits us ?” might be your next question. And the answer to it is, The good hair days and the bad hair days ? The bad hair days teaches you, what doesn’t suit you and the good hair days teaches you, what suits you. You’ve probably had many good hair days and bad hair days so far, so you’ll definitely be knowing the golden words to describe the hairstyle you want.
Without further delay, let us move to the second point. People residing in countryside mayn’t have access to modern day hi-tech salons or global salon brands. In such scenario all that one needs to do is visit a salon where the owner does the haircut. The modern day hi-tech salons may be cool and fancy but they have plenty of pitfalls. The fancy salons are usually subjected to constant change in employees and often you mayn’t find the same barber every time you visit the salon and there is no guarantee to the epicness of a perfect haircut. Whereas the salons in which the owner does the haircut is not subjected to change in barber and you’ll always find the same barber. Moreover the owner never wants to lose his/ her customers. The owner will be knowing the hardships involved in building a brand. That being said, the owner also wouldn’t want the brand image of the salon to fall and will do his/her best to retain the customer. On the other side, from employee’s perspective losing a customer wouldn’t be affecting his/her livelihood on a large scale and he/she always has an option to move to a different salon. The growing need for skilled employees, also increases the opportunities for skilled employees to find a job easily and it’s always the owners who need to worry and not the employees. Which implies, you get a better service from the owner rather than employees.
Moving to the third point, an image of the haircut you want, can save you from the communicational errors. You might be good in your communication skills but sometimes the issue of language barrier may arise and coming to terms might become a hurdle. In such scenarios showing the image of your favourite haircut or a celebrity’s haircut you are interested in can help the barber understand the description in a better way.
The fourth point is simple, DON’T go to the salon during the peak hours. During the peak hours the barbers are under constant stress and there are high possibilities for them to commit a blunder. They also mayn’t be having enough patience to listen to your descriptions. Moreover they might be under the notion, that ‘Time is Money’ and hastiness can lead to mistakes. Another continuation of this point is, DON’T go to the salon during the closing hours. Imagine your office working hours is from 9am to 5pm, but your boss gives you a task at 4:50pm and that task is going to take couple of time to complete. How do you feel ? The same happens with barbers too, after an exhausting day’s work they might be in a happy mood looking at the ticking clock hitting the salon closing time. But your entry into the salon will be a sign of delay to them and an unhappy employee mayn’t be able to deliver his best work. He mayn’t ask you to walk out of the salon but he mayn’t give his 100% in the task. And a short tempered employee might even ruin your haircut to ensure that you don’t hit the salon at the closing hours next time.
The fifth point is to pay the tips. The tip is an indication of a satisfied customer and is also a motivation factor to the barber. Paying incentives sometimes can also get you add on services for free. For example, imagine you go to the salon to get your beard shaved but you may feel that you should also get rid of the stubbles on the rear of your upper neck. A standard shave doesn’t include removal of stubbles on the upper neck or even resizing the side locks. But when the barber knows that you are a good customer who also pays the tips, he doesn’t get annoyed when you ask him for a standard shave and then ask him to shave upper neck stubbles or reshape and resize the side locks. Moreover, such services aren’t a part of the standard menu in most salons, so you can expect waive in the bill on such services when you are a tip payer.
The golden rule is here, the sixth point in effective communication with the barber is to speak gently. Being gentle and calm can prevent the barber from getting annoyed and in turn provide a better service.
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