A Barbershop: So Much More Than a Place That Cuts Hair

Bradley Johnson, Contributor

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What is a barber? There are many simple answers to this question. For instance, one could just say ‘A person who cuts hair for a living,’ while this is true, there is a whole different world to this occupation than just cutting hair.

According to Beauty School Directory, a barber is a professional who cuts, trims, and styles hair for primarily male clients, though many women with shorter hairstyles opt to go to these professionals too. Most barbers also provide facial hair maintenance, custom shaves and other men’s grooming services. The goal of a barber is to make each client feel comfortable and at ease while their hair is being cut or styled. “I was nervous because I have never changed my hair style before and I thought they were going to mess it up, but after it was finished, I felt pretty good,” said Xander Sawyer, a senior at Newfield High School. The barber also seeks to ensure that the client is happy with his or her hairstyle, length and color or his new facial hair style.

At first glance, a barbershop full of grown men can and will be intimidating for young men such as myself, and walking in with mom or dad can shoot down your ego a bit, but once you get comfortable with being in that kind of environment, a barbershop can feel like a second home. “Yes, when you walk in for the first time I felt intimidated, I felt judged, but after going for about a month or two I feel very comfortable with the environment,” said Jesse Zimmer, a newcomer to the barbershop and senior at Newfield High School.

A barber is supposed to be elite in the actions of cutting hair, listening to clients, and build a relationship very similar to a therapist. A usual haircut in a barbershop could take up to 15 minutes to half an hour. This prolonged session allows conversation to hit deeper level than your usual five minute trim at the local salon. “Just from a few haircuts, my barber learned a lot about me. It was strange at first, but after a while I became pleased to have someone so enticed with my life,” said Connor Adams, a Newfield Senior.