My sole purpose here is to help guide you fellas with finding the right barber who best suits your needs. After reading this, I sure do hope you can find a barber that not only knows how to shape you up well, but also a barber who you can build a solid relationship with and depend on to keep you feeling and looking incredibly sharp, all the time. Let me put you on game.You need a barber who knows the ins-and-outs of your grooming style without the constant back and forths and feeling like you’re taking a risk if you try something new. The professional barber knows proper grooming requires precision, skillsets and extensive knowledge on general grooming, treatment and hygiene of your hair. These are the key steps and components to carry out and look out for:Before you’ve found the barber -Do your googles: First things first, don’t be shy to ask around, man. Talk to your homies, your colleague who always shows up at the office with a fresh line-up, your uncles, the hotel lobbyists typically are required to have a fresh trim so have a chat with them, or even a stranger who has a clean fade. You can never go wrong with asking questions when looking for a great local barber.You must search online too. Look out for reviews and articles on your local barbershop pages, feedback or input shared from customers on facebook posts and the comment sections. These are the typical methods that will aid your journey to finding the right barber and barbershop for you..Once you’ve found a potential barber -Is your mans confident?: From the moment you walk in the shop, if you find a barber who doesn’t give you the time of day, one who carries any enthusiam or at least is excited to help you freshen up for the day? Leave, my brother. He’s not your guy. Confident barbers will maintain eye-contact, beam with assurance, and ‘dap you up’. They understand that they need to make you feel like you can trust them with your dome and absolutely certain that you will leave feeling like the most powerful man in the world after a cripsy-clean shave. These are the type of gents to look out for.Once you’re in the chair, great barbers will not shy away from adding their own two cents. They are attentive and listen to your every request, whilst being able to confidently suggest alternative or more suitable styles that fit your profile, lines or hair texture. They’ll have the cahoonas to step- in and recommend something that may or may not be better for you. At the end of the day, it’s the initiative that counts here.Does your mans have a clean cut himself?: They say check how well groomed your barber is, but I don’t fully subscribe to that. Of course it helps if your barber’s line up is crisp too out of presentation. But I totally understand if they don’t, due to them not having that kind of time.For example, my barber is typically fully booked. He simply does not have the time to trim or line up his own dome. I’ve asked why that is and 1) he doesn’t trust anyone else near his head and 2) he explained how it takes double the time when you’re trying to line-up your damn self. In fact, I am starting to believe that it’s a bit of a red flag if your barber has a really fresh cut. Don’t ask – it’s my own conspiracy theory I am yet to prove – that’s for another article..What’s the actual shop looking like?: The shop doesn’t have to be as clean as a surgical operating room, but it should come close. At least keep in mind the bare minimum. Stainless and dry towels, sterilised clippers that have their individual holsters, brushes and combs that aren’t concealed in hair (especially after appointments), clean floors, tidy and neat table tops and counters, spotless mirrors and chairs that are comfortable and not wonky.Great barbers have refined tools and always ready for the job. Whilst you’re in the chair, look to the side and glance for the appropriate numbers for clippers lined up one after the other, comb, brush and blades – in that respective order and all spread out on a clean miniature-sized towel. This doesn’t show laziness or sloppiness. It shows, attention to little detail, overall organisation and order. It will give you the confidence that your head-top is in the right hands.Does your mans ask the right questions?: Listen to see if the barber asks the right questions. Which direction do you brush your hair? Is this the right length or still needs to go lower? Do you want to switch-up your style? Should I touch-up the beard? I focus on the last question often. Personally, I get irritated at barbers who immediately trim your beard without asking first. My brother, chill. Ask first. The probing and asking of questions go back to paying attention to little detail and making sure your needs are being catered to.Are YOU giving your mans feedback and input?:In order to maintain a good realtionship and level of trust with your barber, you have to put in the work too. Surely, you’ve heard the saying “speak now or forever hold your peace”, yeah, cause it’ll feel like forever until the next time you see your barber once your hair has grown back and after he’s already messed up your fade. You too, have to make sure your guy is doing the right thing, guide him and make sure he is learning how you prefer to groom and shave correctly..Maintaining a consistent and sharp image with the right barber that best suits you is a slow, delicate journey and this should help simplify the process instead of it feel like a whole lot of admin. You should be able to get a good idea if the barber is a keeper or not within the first couple of appointments. Ease into the process and same with the haircuts you choose for him to execute. When first trying a new barber, stick to the more simpler styles and trims to see if your barber has the fundermentals down to a T. If your guy ticks all the boxes, now you’ve got a barber who may become a good pal, one you can be comfortable chopping it up with and look forward to seeing every couple of weeks.