How to make the most of a trip to the barbershop
Having cut the hair of over half a million men, the Murdock barbers know a thing or two about achieving not just a great haircut, but in fact the best haircut.
Generally, it lies in a balance of trust and honest communication between you and your barber. Ultimately, our talented teams want their clients to enjoy their experience and get the best quality haircut possible every time they visit, so here are a few key pointers from Murdock Master Barber Alex Glover and Head Barber Miles Wood-Smith to help get the most out of your next trip to the barbershop...
"Bring in photos of the haircut you want to achieve from different angles if you can. It will allow your barber to see a total 360° picture of what you're after." confirms Head Barber in Covent Garden Miles.
"Don’t worry, the barber won’t be rude either - certainly not in one of our shops!" adds Alex. "If the exact style isn’t possible for a customer’s hair then a variation should in most instances be possible. I like working from an image. It’s better to have clarity so that as a barber, you're not worried or thinking in the back of your mind that you might not be giving the customer exactly what he wants."
You may well not have done this since you eagerly presented that David Beckham sticker to your barber in 1999 in the hope of achieving a glorious set of blonde curtains, but showing your barber a photograph for clarity is a great way to help them grasp the exact style you're looking for. As clear as saying "short on the sides and longer on the top" might be in your mind - to a vastly experienced barber, this could lead down hundreds of style avenues.
"It’s always best to arrive five minutes early, so you can make the most of your haircut by being there for the allocated length of your appointment. You need to take the time to have a good consultation with your barber so that you’re both on the same wave length."
"Although it’s thoughtful, and we are grateful if you wash your hair before you arrive, it’s often best for a barber to see hair in its natural unwashed state. That way we can get a clearer picture of what the hair normally looks like in an everyday context and can cut accordingly after it’s been washed in the shop."
A shampoo treatment also comes as standard with our 45 minute haircut service - no disapproving looks and aggressive use of a cold water bottle spray to be expected from the Murdock barbers.
"Make sure you do take on board what your barber has to suggest and their opinions on how the haircut will suit/grow out for you. Each haircut is sculpted to suit an individual's face and head shape and not everyone will look great with a Beckham-esque trim." continues Miles. (We can but only still try and fail to successfully mimic Becks.) "Allow your barber to best tailor your initial request to suit."
Essentially, be as clear as possible and be prepared to take on board any concerns or suggestions that your barber may have. Constructive criticism will only guide you towards a better end result, so do resist denial. They're not going to suggest something to you that will look terrible, it's as much their creative work and both parties should aim to feel proud of the finished style.
"Murdock offer quality haircuts. Quality and care takes time. It’s important to enjoy your experience and not to rush it, especially if it’s your first visit. There’s no such thing as a good ten minute haircut. This should ultimately be an experience to cherish and feel better for."
A Shampoo & Haircut service provides you with 45 minutes of opportunity with a professional who knows their stuff and your barber will only appreciate discussing any queries or concerns that you may have.
If you find yourself sitting anxiously as you let somebody cut at your hair, without the confidence or interest in at least a brief conversation, chances are your ultimate style desires won't be met through lack of investment. After 45 minutes you should feel comfortable at least making small talk with your barber regarding what it is you are looking for and how you're feeling about the process.
It may take a couple of visits before you're discussing relationships and life plans, but your first visit to a new barber should always be a signifier towards the longevity of that perfect style.
"Do be honest with your barber. If you're not going to be using a hairdryer or certain products on your hair at home, just let us know. It'll give us a more accurate idea of your daily routine and we can adapt the cut to better suit this." encourages Miles.
Be it the introduction of a new product, a particular blow-drying technique or a question relating to your daily haircare regime at home. If you feel unsure about anything, do just ask your barber to receive assured clarification.
"Also, don't be afraid to ask for a little bit more off the top." Miles concludes. "There's nothing worse than thinking two weeks down the line, 'I wish I'd had more taken off'. Your barber should always ask you how you feel about a new look before they dust you off, so just be honest and say if there's something niggling you!"
Inquisitiveness goes a long way when it comes to cutting and styling hair, so instead of feeling apprehensive about offering your thoughts, have confidence in confiding in your barber about the process from start to finish and being as honest as possible along the way.
This mentality, gentlemen is what will assuredly lead you towards the greatest haircut of your life.
"Remember that barbers are just friendly, down to earth people (at least the one's here at Murdock). We won’t look down our nose at you. So relax, have a whisky poured and enjoy your experience."