Not too long ago, a haircut meant only one thing – a trip to your local barber shop; one ‘short, back and sides’ later and you were out the door.

Luckily, modern men have discovered there’s a multitude of cuts available, and are happily experimenting with their hair like no generation before them. As such, you’d be surprised by the number of cutting establishments that are now trading in male trimming and grooming.

So, what options are available to you when it comes to getting coiffured? Where can you go, and what can you do, to ensure a premium hair style each and every time?

Image: Craig JewellThe Barber
This is the option that most men are familiar with. Barbers generally specialize in creating a range of strong masculine styles and classic cuts. That said, fresh-faced ‘male-salon’ barbers are beginning to enter the scene who understand the need for more contemporary styling and will often give younger ‘looks’, and more fashionable cuts, to their clients.

Independent Stylists
Independent stylists are becoming more prevalent. Even small towns are seeing an increase in the number of freelance haircutters. Many of these stylists will happily visit you at home, or alternatively, invite you into their own premises. Benefits include a total ‘one-on-one’ service, the guarantee of a consistent cut and (in some cases) an emergency call-out service just in case of an unexpected presentation or job interview. However, always ensure that you are compatible personality wise, else you may find your personal stylist fast-becomes your personal nightmare.

Home cuts
D.I.Y cuts are rarely a good idea, but home cutting is still a popular pastime. Guys sporting buzz-cuts and ultra short hair can often get away with home maintenance thanks to new developments in home grooming equipment. If you do go down the D.I.Y route, always use premium cutters/blades and try to have an assistant on hand for the tricky bits around the back you can’t quite reach.

Image: Chris GordonUnisex Salons
Salons that cater for both sexes are fairly common nowadays. These salons tend to be more approachable than traditional barbers and offer niceities such as hot beverages and magazines. Be aware, though, unisex salons often have less experience cutting men’s hair.

Training salons/colleges
New stylists and hairdressers are being trained every day. Many large colleges and universities provide facilities on-site for students to get the opportunity to cut real hair on real people. These services are usually offered at a discounted rate, but remember those cutting your curls don’t have very much styling experience.

Top Tips For Salons & Barbers

1. Always book an appointment
If you turn up without having arranged a cut in advance you’ll be squeezed in, often at the very last moment. This means you’re not going to have the level of time and attention paid to you required for a fantastic job.

2. Bring a photo along
A picture paints a thousand words. Take a photo to show the stylist what cut you’d like. Better still, take half a dozen different photos of the same style to give the hairdresser an even better impression – just resist the urge to create a billboard-sized photographic montage.

3. Never first, never last.
No one is on top form first or last thing. Your barber is no exception. Try to book an appointment just before or after lunch; these are usually slower times for hairdressers, so make best use of the extra attention by asking questions about your hair.

4. Ask around.
Seen someone with awesome hair? Ask them where they got it done! Some guys are worried to ask such a personal question of someone they barely know (if at all); my personal outlook is: What’s more embarrassing? A potentially awkward two minute conversation, or several months spent repairing and re-styling a terrible cut? Try working your question into casual conversation.

5. Take advice and be realistic.
Just because you bring in a photo of George Clooney or Brad Pitt, doesn’t mean a stylist can give you celebrity bone structure or natural good looks. Be realistic about what will and won’t suit you. Don’t be afraid to ask for your stylist’s input – that’s what they’re there for; they’ve chopped and trimmed enough scalps to know what’ll make you look your most handsome.

6. Give your new cut some time
Finally, if you walk out the salon feeling disappointed by the result, don’t assume that it’s all been in vain. You’ll need a while to adjust to your new hairdo and many haircuts look much better after several days of re-growth and washing.

Want more help with haircuts? Read this great article from ‘Hair Cuts For Men’ for some further advice.

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

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