This is a very interesting topic to say the least. There is a lot of anxiety among barbers and cosmetologists when it comes to cutting young boys hair. One thing to always remember is that customers notice everything. This is especially true for young boys. The younger they are the less likely they are to hide how they feel. Except for the occasional uncontrollable boys haircut there are many things you can do to make the young boy’s haircut experience go much smoother for him and you.
In this blog I am going to cover how to make your young customer feel comfortable with you. For most kids getting a professional haircut is a new experience. They usually start out with mom trimming their bangs and curls in the kitchen or their dad giving them a buzz cut in the garage. Now they are in a new place with a stranger coming near them with sharp objects. Children are used to and love a routine. It is up to you to help establish a new one to make them feel comfortable.
A few ideas to set young boys at ease in the barbershop:
- Introduce yourself to them with a big smile and a high five. This will help to put you at their level, not just another authority figure.
- Promise them a gift if they are good. A traditional tootsie pops work great.
- Have a special haircloth just for them. There a lot of different kinds to choose from. Check with your local barber supplier.
- Get them involved in the haircut. Let them hold a comb, help you turn on the clippers, and help sweep up the hair when you are done.
- Give them another high five at the end of the haircut and tell them you can’t wait to see them next time.
If you are at ease there is a good chance that your young customer will be at ease. If you are afraid and full of anxiety your young customer will be afraid and full of anxiety. Get in the habit of practicing these simple things and you will definitely have a customer for life. I have been cutting hair for 20 years and these little guys are now college guys who always stop in to see me for a haircut or to just way hello when they are home on a break or visiting family.
So you want to become a master barber or cut hair like one. What next? First of all you need and excellent barber education. Next, you need to learn about the best barber tools and how to use them correctly.
There are three different types of clippers you will need to be efficient in barbering/men’s haircutting:
- The detachable blade clipper – This clipper has a strong motor with metal blades that are removable. The advantage of these clippers is they are very powerful and will move through thick wet hair with ease.
They are excellent for fades and tapers. As you use an arcing motion away from the head the blades will still cut avoiding sharp lines of demarcation. In my opinion the best detachable blade clippers are the Oster Classic 76, Oster Titan, Andis BGRC, and Andis MVP.
- The adjustable clipper – An adjustable clipper has a lever on the side that adjusts the blade size. This type of clipper is ideal for tapered hairlines and skin length fades because you are not constantly changing blades. They are also great for clipper over comb or cutting with an attachment on light to medium density hair. In my opinion the best adjustable clippers are the Andis Master, Andis Envy, Oster Fast Feed, Oster Topaz, Wahl Designer, and Wahl Senior.
- The trimmer – This is the clipper you will use for outlining, edging, and shaving the neck and sideburn area. It has a 00000 blade which is the closest cut before using a straight razor. They come with a narrow blade (size of the clipper casing) or a t-blade (wider than the clipper casing). In my opinion the best trimmers are the Oster T-Finisher, Andis T-Outliner, and Andis Super Liner.
After providing 100,000 haircuts personally in my career I can tell you for certain that becoming proficient with using all 3 types of clippers is a must. Each one has its purpose and by using all 3 you will increase the quality and efficiency of your men’s haircutting.
Throughout my 20 year career as a barber and an educator the most common question I am asked is “how do you fade hair without leaving a line?” My answer is simple. If you don’t make a line in the first place you won’t have to worry about fading it out. I want you to repeat this statement to yourself every time you are about to begin a fade. FADING HAIR IS SIMPLE. IF I DON’T MAKE A LINE I DON’T HAVE TO FADE IT OUT.
Now I will explain how to make your job as a barber much easier. Start the haircut on the top instead of the bottom. The first advantage of this technique is you are removing length so you can see your work better. When you start the fading technique with the clippers you won’t lose site of the cutting blade in the excess hair. The next advantage is the clipper will cut through the shorter amount of hair much easier. As the head rounds in at the top take an imaginary line parallel to the side of the head until you run out of hair. This one technique will save you an enormous amount of time and improve your fades drastically.
This technique works best with the Oster 76, Andis BGRC, or Andis MVP. These are all detachable blade clippers with metal blades. The power of the clipper plus not having any of the teeth covered with a plastic attachment allows the blade to move through the hair with ease. It also works very well with a powerful adjustable clipper such as the Andis Master or Envy, Oster Fast Feed or Topaz, and Wahl Senior and Designer. Make sure the attachments used with this clipper fit extremely tight so you don’t run the risk of it falling while you are fading the hair.
If you follow these steps, not only will you be giving better fades, you will be able to work slower and more relaxed while finishing your fade haircuts faster.