I don’t normally justify myself but this one time I’ll shed some light. This was difficult for me to write because although barbering can be a very rewarding job, it is also a job of extremely high expectations. From yourself as an artist and your clients expectations of enhancing their outward appearance while truly searching for something within themselves. After five years of legitimate blood, sweat, and tears these are the honest truths I wish someone had told me in the beginning of my career.
If you want to become a barber because you think it’s cool and a “hype” thing to do, don’t. Being a barber requires passion.
If you want to become a barber because you think you’ll make a lot of money, don’t. Being a barber takes far more in energy currency than it gives you monetarily.
If you want to become a barber because you think it gives you freedom, don’t. Being a barber does give you flexibility but nothing in life is free.
Becoming a barber requires many long hours. To build up your clientele requires more than skill. Being the first one in the shop and the last one out will give you those extra couple of clients over the barbers that sleep in late and leave early.
Becoming a barber requires you to be “on the clock” without pay. When you’re on commission or chair rental, if you ain’t cuttin’, you ain’t making money. You can’t sit and wait and pray for clients. You have to hustle. Hand out business cards and shake hands (or bump elbows in these weird times). Regardless of what you do, don’t sit. Make plays.
Becoming a barber requires you to understand you are the closest thing most people have to a therapist, but most people don’t have a therapist because of the price. This will also be reflected in what people are willing to pay for your services and the value they feel you add. Hair holds trauma and you will end your day covered in other people’s hair. Energy transfer is real. Be mindful of how you adapt your energy and what you allow yourself to take on.
For all my feminine identifying readers, girls may run the world but we’re living in a man’s world. Becoming a female barber has its moments of feeling objectified and sexualized. Your sexual orientation and your relationship status will be questioned. In far too many and often circumstances, your looks will be praised before the diverse set of skills you have to offer.
Becoming a female barber requires setting and holding your boundaries. It requires having a thick skin and talkin’ yo shit. By this I mean speaking your truth, which, when you do so, people unwilling to look at themselves will feel like you are indeed talkin’ shit. Becoming a female barber requires you to stand in your power. This includes knowing when you deserve more and when to walk away.
The best way to become a barber in 2021 is to realize that your opportunity is you. People won’t offer you things. You have to seize what you want to create. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no.
3+6 = 9 but so does 5+4. There are multiple ways to end up with the same results. In the age of the internet, from Instagram and YouTube to online academies, the information you seek is readily and abundantly available. Find an efficient system that works for you and get your reps in.
Before you can break the rules, you need to understand the fundamentals.
The best way to find success as a barber in 2021 is to remember that barbering is about the people in your chair, not the people in the audience.
Photo via West Island Co.