How to Get the Best Possible Haircut From Your Barber


“I haven’t liked the last couple of cuts I’ve gotten from my longtime barber. Should I tell him? Or maybe bring him pictures of what I want? And if that doesn’t work, can I switch to a different barber in the same shop or is that crass?” – Rodger D., London, CT

No, it’s not crass. We have a joke in our shop: You’re not cheating if we’re under the same roof. But try to talk it out first. If he’s a reputable barber, a professional, he’ll take criticism. After all, it’s your fucking head. You have to wear it.

So just talk to him like a human being. Say, “Hey, the last couple of cuts weren’t exactly what I was looking for. So I brought a couple of pictures…” Maybe he’s laxed up a bit and will get better. I tell my clients: We guarantee what we do. If you’re not happy, let us know.

You could also go when you know he won’t be there. But be honest first. We do have egos. If you don’t talk to me and go to another barber, I’m gonna be upset.

The one thing you don’t do: Don’t be passive aggressive and go write me up on Yelp, or bitch on social media. That’s crass. And they’ll find out. Then you can’t go back—they’ll think you’re a dick. Some barbers (not ours) will fuck your hair up just because you’re an asshole.

So grow a set of balls and talk it out. If you’re honest, and treat it like business, I’m gonna do what I can to help you.

Shorty Maniace is the owner of J.P. Kempt Barber & Social in San Francisco. Email him at


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