A Bad Shave: What Went Wrong?

OK, it wasn't this bad, but you get the idea.

This past Friday I was having a pretty stressful day.  I had shattered my iPhone 5s the night before, which happened to be the day before iPhone 6 went on pre-order.  So of course I couldn't use my upgrade anymore.  I had a couple meetings on Friday and Saturday that were tough.  I decided I needed a treat.  I wrote a post a few weeks ago about stepping up your style.  One of the thing I recommended was getting a shave from a barber.  I figured I would take my own advice.  I knew I could use a boost, and I thought it would be a great idea.  Of course, as you can guess by the title, it was not.  The shave and a haircut took an hour and forty minutes which caused more stress because I was then late for a meeting.  The shave was not very comfortable.  And worst of all, the shave wasn't even that close. Most of my shaves at home with a DE safety razor are much closer.

Now the easy thing to do would be to blame the barber (he wasn't very good),  but that's not the answer.  I made some mistakes, and I spent the weekend figuring out what those mistakes were.  I decided to share those mistake with you in the hopes you don't make the same ones.

Mistake 1

My first mistake was not trusting my instincts.  The barbershop I wanted to try has Facebook and Instagram accounts, so took a look to see what they were about.  They style of the haircuts and clientele were not exactly my style.  My instincts told me this wasn't necessarily the place for me, but it seemed like a cool place so I wanted to check it out.  I should have realized that if a barber doesn't spend time working with your style, then they probably won't do a good job for you either.

Mistake 2

I love using the Internet for shopping, movie tickets, dinner reservations, basically everything.  So when this barbershop offered online booking, I was thrilled.  After I made the appointment, I was told I would receive an email or text confirmation of the appointment.  Of course I received neither.  Well, I was already downtown, so I decided to go for my appointment anyway.  Not only was there no record of my appointment, but the only explanation I was given was that the online system isn't that good and that it happens a lot.  I didn't expect these barbers to be web developers, but a quality professional only uses quality tools that work whether it's a razor blade or an online service.  Anyway, red flag number two.

This barber is way too young for this guy.

Mistake 3

My barber was young.  Too young.  Mid-twenties.  Now I have to concede that he was licensed and said he had been cutting hair since he was 14.  So he did have some experience.  However, when it comes to someone putting a blade to my face, I would like for that person to have been shaving longer than I have.  I understand people have to learn, apprentices have to train, experience is necessary, etc., I just don't want them learning on my face.

Mistake 4

I did not look around well enough while I was waiting for my turn in the chair.  Had I looked, I would have noticed the lack of shaving brushes, quality shaving cream/soaps, aftershave, real straight razors, etc.  Not that I need a barber stocked with the most luxurious products available, but I would like to have something I recognize on the shelf.  Instead I saw disposable blades from a manufacturer I knew to be low quality, pressurized cans of shaving cream and no brushes anywhere.  At this point I should have been walking out the door.

Mistake 5

Of course the most important mistake I made was that this was my first time there.  I should have come in for a simple haircut first and gotten a sense of the place.  Or, even better, just popped in to take a look before I decided to go.  Once I had made the appointment (allegedly) and gotten the idea in my head to go, I felt like I had committed and had to follow through.  I should not think like this, and neither should you.  It's my face.  It's your face.  No one is going to look out for it more than me or you.

Trust your instincts!


Next time I get the feeling that I don't like what I see or something isn't what I was expecting, I'm going to leave and go somewhere else.  I know it sounds easy, but it's far more difficult in the actual situation.  Most people are sensitive to hurting someone else's feelings or making a scene.  But you should walk out.  Don't be afraid.  Take care of yourself.


Tailor and Barber