Clipper Care

Andis ClippersClipper Care is one of the most important yet overlooked procedures when it comes to barbering tools. It is extremely important to have the best clippers and to take proper care of them to ensure consistent haircuts as well as extending their life. I strongly recommend that you own and use three types of clippers on all of your men’s cuts: a detachable blade clipper, an adjustable clipper, and a trimmer. By having these three clippers you will also extend their life buy not using an under powered clipper for certain steps causing it to break down prematurely. Each clipper has it’s purpose and specific uses.

The correct clipper care steps are as follows:

1. After each use brush the hair off of your clippers or clipper blade before hanging it back up or putting the blade back in its case. I like for my customers to see this so they know that I will be using a clean blade on the next customer which means I used a clean blade on them. My favorite clipper brush is a soft bristled clipper brush made by Andis.

2. After brushing your clipper off use the high power Andis Dry Care which will blow off any excess hair stuck on the blades or in between them.

3. When starting a haircut spray your clipper blade with Andis Cool Care. Spray while the clipper is running on the front and back of the blade running the spray back and forth twice. Make sure your customer sees this but also be careful to spray in the opposite direction. The Cool Care spray is a coolant, disinfectant, lubricant, cleaner, and prevents rust all in one. When finished gently wipe off the blade with a soft towel.

4. After using the clipper spray you need to oil your clippers. Place one drop of oil on each part of the blade where you see the metal touching and put two drops across the cutting blade. Turn the clippers on so the oil is distributed evenly throuhout the blade. Avoid over oiling or getting the oil into the motor which will clog it up and slow down or do damage to the motor.

5. At the end of the day use blade care to give your clippers a thorough cleaning. This will get all of the hair out from in between your blades which can slow them down and if wet cause your clippers to rust. Empty just enough of the blade care into a bowl so you can immerse just the tips of the blade into the solution. Turn the clipper on for about 10 seconds and then let all of the excess hair drip out. This solution is a coolant, will prevent rust, deodorizer, decontaminate, lubricant, and cleaner.

Like anything else once you get in the habit of the above clipper care steps you they will become second nature and a part of your day. Your clippers will last longer and cut better resulting in better and consistent haircuts.

Low Skin Fade With A Longer Top

IMG_5068The low skin fade with a longer top is one of the most difficult haircuts to deliver. There are many things to take into consideration. A few of them are: How long will the top be?, Where are you going to place the fade?, What type of finished look is the client going for?, and Will you shave the sides or use your shortest clipper?. The answer to a lot of these questions depends on the shape of the clients head, any scalp imperfections he may be trying to cover up, and changes in color or density of the hair.

Low Skin Fade With A Longer Top:

1. Determine the desired length on top and cut the hair accordingly. Start in the center and create your first guide. Follow that guide on the right and left of the center using a traveling guide and keeping you fingers or comb parallel to the floor to maintain a square shape. I prefer the scissor over comb or clipper over comb technique for greater accuracy,

2. Cut the round of the head section using the clipper over comb or scissor over comb technique. This will allow you to remove excess bulk and keep you from cutting too high with the larger blades.

3. Start with the 3/8th’s metal blade or clipper attachment and fade down (not up) to you 1/16th just below the parietal and occipital bones.

4. Create a guide with your adjustable clipper in the fully closed position about 1 inch below where you left off with the 1/16th blade or attachment. Make sure to use a flick of the wrist motion so you do not create a  line.

5. Open up the blade halfway and start the blend by using a scooping motion into heavier area left from the previous step. Repeat by opening up the blade all of the way.

6. Use an outliner to fade up below where you left off in step 4. I don’t start with the trimmer because it leaves a line that is too difficult to blend out.

7. Finish up with a foil shaver to get skin close. Stop a little bit below where you left off in the previous step.

Important Fading Tip: Make sure with each blade or attachment length you leave enough distance between so the fading effect is created without leaving any heavy spots or lines.

 

The Ultimate Barbershop Customer Service Experience – The Professional Barber

Now that we have taken care of every detail from the customer walking in the door, checking in, and relaxing in the waiting area they will be turning their attention to you the barber. As they sit there in the waiting room they are judging every detail and forming an opinion. Keep in mind you have not interacted with them yet and in some case have not even met them if they are a new customer. So what are they judging you on? They are judging you based on your appearance, your technical ability (if they can see you working on another customer), and your communication skills (both verbal and non-verbal). Professional Barber

The Ultimate Barbershop Customer Service Experience – The Professional Barber

I cannot stress enough the point that we are in the personal grooming business. We are selling appearance. Why would someone want to come to us to make them look better if we are not well groomed? Before we dig a little deeper it is important to understand what personal grooming or being well groomed means. A well groomed appearance encompasses your overall appearance from your shoes to your clothes to your haircut. Your haircut is the most important because we are in the business of selling haircuts. How can you sell a haircut if your hair does not look good? I cannot tell you how many requests I used to get in my first walk-in barbershop because I always had a great haircut. It didn’t even matter to people when I told them that I did not cut my own hair. They still wanted to wait for me. But it goes beyond a good haircut. My father who trained me always told me to look the part. Finally I asked him one day what that meant. He told me you are in the barber profession so you need to look like a professional. This was some of the best advice he could have ever given me and I am excited to pass it on to you. Take pride in your dress and overall appearance. Make it a point to always look your best. This is the quickest way to build a level of faith and confidence in your ability in the eyes of your customer. It doesn’t matter how good you are technically if they do not get in your chair. The majority of their perception of you is formed before you pick up the scissors or clippers.

Stay tuned for the next blogs in this series where I explain in more detail what it means to be a well groomed and professional barber….

The Ultimate Barbershop Customer Experience – The Check-In Process Part 2

Providing first class customer service is the key to attracting and retaining customers. In this installment of the blog series I am going to cover what should happen when the customer walks in the front door.

The Ultimate Barbershop Customer Service Experience – The Check-in Process Part 2

An organized check-in system is a must for taking care of the customer properly along with running a successful barbershop. When the customer comes into the shop there needs to be an actual system in place for what they are supposed to do, where they are supposed to wait, in what order they will be taken care of, and who will be taking care of them. There are a few ways to go about this depending on the size of the business. You can use a computerized system with industry software, you can use a numbering system, or you can simply use a note pad to keep track of everyone waiting.

There are numerous industry software packages that have thorough check-in procedures. The computer system we use keeps track of all of our clients by the last four digits of their phone number. When they check in they give the receptionist those numbers and their name pops up on the left hand side of the computer screen which indicates the client is present and waiting. Once their barber is ready to take them their name is moved from the left hand side of the screen to the right hand side and a work ticket prints out. The barber grabs the work ticket and it has all of the customer’s information on it so the barber knows who they are and what service they are getting in.

If you work in or own a smaller shop and do not have the budget for computer a simple note pad will work. In my first shop I had four chairs and did not employ a receptionist. It was not a huge issue because we did not book appointments at that time. I would keep a note pad on the desk and when a customer would walk in the door they would sign in. If they wanted to wait for a particular barber they would write down the name of their desired barber next to their name. This was very efficient. Each barber would cash out their customer and call out the next name on the list.

The simplest system you can have is a number system. You can use a ticket counter like at the deli or you can use a roll of tickets like raffle tickets. When you finish with one customer just call out the next number.

What is not a system though is just yelling out “next” in a crowded barbershop. This is asking for trouble. No one is really keeping track and it can be extremely uncomfortable for everyone in the waiting room. Getting a haircut is supposed to be a relaxing experience. If a customer is uncomfortable at any time during their visit to the barbershop they most likely will not come back.

The Ultimate Barbershop Customer Service Experience – The Check-in Process Part 1

Providing first class customer service is the key to attracting and retaining customers. In this installment of the blog series I am going to cover what should happen when the customer walks in the front door.

The Ultimate Barbershop Customer Service Experience – The Check-in Process Part 1

Once the customer walks through the front door they should be greeted immediately. They should feel welcome the second they walk in the front door. They need to know they are definitely in the right place. They also need to know what to do. With the male customer, never assume they know what they should do when they enter the barbershop. Most men need to be directed or told what to do. We usually can’t figure it out on our own. Directing the customer is the job of either the receptionist or one of the barbers.

If you are a larger barbershop you will most likely have a receptionist. The receptionist should always have a smile on his or her face. Greet the customer with a friendly smile and by name if you know it. Politely ask the customer how you can help them. This is very important and something I have worked hard on in my shops. We take both appointments and walk-ins. Our receptionists were getting into a bad habit of asking customers if they are an appointment or just a walk-in. These were the first words out of their mouth. I was very unhappy with this because it puts the customer on the defensive immediately. Right away they are concerned they can’t get a haircut without and appointment. Also, by asking them if they are “just a walk-in” it gives the perception that they are not as important because they did not schedule ahead of time.

Smaller barbershops most likely will not have a receptionist. If this is the case it can be a little tricky. One of the barbers needs to be designated to greet the customer when they walk in the door. My suggestion is that the barber who is in the chair closest to the door is the person to handle the greeting and directing traffic. You don’t want the barber farthest away from the door shouting over 3 or 4 haircuts and conversations. The trick is to be friendly and not make the new customer walking in the door feel like he is being an inconvenience to the business. With that being said you want to make sure you are not leaving your customer in the chair that you are currently working on for too long. You don’t want to make them feel neglected or that the new customer walking in the front door is more important than they are.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I give examples of a few different organized check-in systems….