How to Talk with your Barber - Complete Barber Guide

From price to getting the exact style that you want to the hygiene of the shop and the barber’s skill…

Who would have thought that finding a good barber can be so challenging?

If you’ve ever picked a cheap barbershop only to get an entirely different beard style than the one you’ve shown in the picture, you’ve experienced this on your own skin.

If your chosen barber trimmed more than indicated, didn’t trim enough, gave you the wrong style, charged you an entire fortune… you also know how much the choice of barber matters.

Why would you leave the barbershop angry, unsatisfied and regretful when you can have the style you want, for the price you can afford?

Allowing another person to cut your facial hair, after weeks or even years of growing it out requires a special bond of trust and some extremely effective communication skills.

To help you go into your next barber appointment with confidence, we’ve written this guide.

Inside, you’ll find everything you need to know on how to choose the right barber for yourself.

Why Is Important to Find a Good Barber

While you can trim your own beard at home if you have the right tools, it’s never the same as going to a professional who has training in that specific area. 

Here are a few reasons why you need to find a good barber that you can stick to for the long run; 


A good barber has been trained in all the services that they provide. Your barber would have undergone both practical and theory sessions; hence you can be assured of good service.


A good barber will also be licensed to offer the services that they are offering, whether its shaving or beard trimming. 

Knows the Rules and Regulation

A well-trained barber will know all the rules and regulations of the local government regarding running a barbershop; therefore you know that they are legit. 

Well Versed With the Trends

A good barber will be well versed with the current hair trends and you can expect them to suggest what would work better for you.

They will be in a better position to judge what suits you be it beard shaping, coloring, or just a simple trim. 


A good barer is well versed in the skin as well as scalp diseases since they are part of the curriculum in barber school. 

As such, you don’t have to worry about sterilization and sanitization. They will also have in-depth knowledge about the kind of tools that they need to use. 

Pros and Cons of Trimming Your Beard at Barber’s

Pros and Cons of Trimming Your Beard at Barber’s

While a good barber is trained in all matters that relate to cutting and trimming hair, there are still advantages and disadvantages of going to the barber’s shop.


  • They are well trained to cut hair and therefore you can be assured of a good service when you go to the barbershop.
  • You no longer have to keep experimenting with different styles when you find a good barber. 
  • They will know what style best suits you and they are more versed with trimming your beard to fit the shape of your face. 
  • There is a social impact to trimming your beard at the barber’s shop. When you are there, you get to form deep connections with not only your barber but the people who come there often.


  • If they have no idea what they are doing, you might end up with the worst trim of your life.
  • It’s hard to know who is experienced to cut your hair and who is not.
  • It’s easy to pick up skin and scalp diseases at the barber’s shop, especially if the tools are not well sterilized. 

Factors to Consider When Looking for A Good One

When it comes to finding a good barber who you can count on for a good trim now and then, there are certain things that you need to consider. 

Good Review Score

The best way to find a good barber is by checking out what other people are saying about them. Once you have narrowed down your search to a few barbershops, then you can go ahead and check their reviews.

Today, it’s possible to review services that you receive and you can tell a good barber based on their review score.

If they have a good review score and people seem to be saying only good things about them, then that’s the barber you go to.

Personal Referral

Another way to find a good barber is through a personal referral. Have a friend or family member whose beard always looks luscious and well kept? Then you can use them to find a good barber.

Such people will be able to suggest which barbershops you need to visit and which ones you need to avoid based on personal experience. 

How to Recognize a Good Barber Shop

Finding a good beard barber that you can trust to carry out your desired look can sometimes feel impossible, but it is so worth it. Many people find their beard barber through personal recommendations.

However, there are certain general tells as to whether a barbershop is worth checking out.

For starters, you will want to go to a barber that has a lot of experience, specifically cutting beards.

This means finding a licensed master barber that offers a beard-cutting service on their menu. Many wrongfully assume that all barbers have a license, but this is not always the case, and even of those who are licensed, many only specialize in cutting the hair that is on your head.

Next, you will have a better chance of receiving a pleasant experience if your barbershop has established a beardsman clientele.

How to Recognize a Good Barber Shop

This clientele indicates that the barbershop has a positive reputation for their beard trimming and styling services, and it will also give you a chance to ask other beardsmen about their experiences with the barbers.

Another thing to consider when searching for a barber is fair prices.

Though pricing isn’t always the perfect tell of a shop’s quality, in general, you get what you paid for.

Any barbershop offering suspiciously low prices may lack experience and qualifications in beard trims.

In general, you should expect to pay between $15-$40 for a well-qualified beard barber, as they will need to spend a decent amount of time on your facial hair rather than rushing through the process.

If your prospective barbershop is lacking many of these credentials… you may be better off taking your beard and running.

However, once you find a good barber, you should never let them go, as they are often hard to come by.

Identifying Your Desired Style and Look

As mentioned previously, it is essential that when you go to the barber, you have a clear vision of your desired style.

Leaving your look up to the barber can result in a disastrous experience that you will likely regret, but you can prevent this by simply doing a little bit of research before your appointment.

To start, you will want to determine the length and fullness of your ideal beard, and whether you also want a mustache and sideburns. The best part about beards is that you get to decide whether you want it to be the centerpiece of your look or a finishing accent that brings it all together.

In addition to knowing the length of facial hair that you are comfortable with, you will also want to think about what style you are going for, whether you want a dapper hipster beard, a grizzly lumberjack beard, a red-carpet clean look, a modern goatee, some short minimalistic stubble, or another unique style.

Identifying Your Desired Style and Look

At Beardoholic, we offer plenty of information on beard styling and care, so that you can get inspired by your favorite look and know how to maintain it.

If you love having a full beard, check out our article on the 24 Best Long Beard Styles.

If, on the other hand, you want to keep your facial hair short, you are bound to find a style that you like in our article titled “47 Short Beard Styles for Men of All Ages and Face Shapes.”

If you can find a picture of exactly the beard style that you are going for, this will make it much easier for your barber to understand exactly what you want and produce stellar work.

How to Find a Good Barber 

Step 1 – Create a list of barbershops

The first thing you need to do when trying to find a good barbershop is to create a list of all the barbershops within the vicinity who can cut and trim beards. 

Step 2 – Visit the shops

Start visiting the shops to weed out the mediocre from the good ones. You don’t have to get a trim even. 

You can tell a good barber from a bad one by the way they treat their clients and how they do the beard trimming or cutting. 

Step 3 – Ask around 

Once you have visited a few barbershops and have an idea of who is good and who is not, then you can make things easier by asking around from people who get trims at these shops. 

Step 4 – Check out the barber’s beard

Once you have found a place, ensure that you check out the beard of the barber if he has one. Ideally, he should know what he is doing is he has a great looking beard himself. 

Step 5 – Ask questions

Once you have settled on a specific barber, you need to find out more about them. As such, you need to ask questions such as whether they will be able to shape your beard and how much trim will cost you.

Finding a good barber who fits into your budget is the first step to a long term relationship and you can finally say goodbye to generic salons.

Important Things to Keep in Mind When Communicating

When it comes to visiting the barber, communication really is key, and there are a few extremely important things to keep in mind when talking to the person who has the fate of your beard in their hands.

For starters, if you do not want to cut the length of your beard make sure you ask for a “shape up” rather than a trim. This language is important so that your barber doesn’t immediately start chopping off your beautiful locks.

You will also want to explain to them exactly what parts of your beard you wish to trim, if any and emphasize what parts are not to be touched.

For example, you will want to explicitly specify if you would like the sides of your beard to be tapered or not, if you want a nape or not, whether you want sideburns, and exactly what type of texture you are going for with your facial hair.

The more detailed you are when communicating, the better. You need to specify exactly how much you want to cut off the end of your beard, rather than using vague terms like “a little trim” which are subjective and could be misinterpreted.

If you are worried about the barber cutting your beard too short, you could ask them to start off a few millimeters longer and work their way shorter.

We hope these tips will help you have an epic barber experience.

And if you find a good barber, make sure you don’t let them go, and tip them well for helping you look awesome!

How to Tell Your Barber What Kind of Beard You Want

How to Tell Your Barber What Kind of Beard You Want

Step 1 – Find the right picture

There is so much you can do with your beard if you can just visualize it. The first step to getting a good trim is finding a good picture of the kind of style you are going for.  

Go through pictures online and in magazines or even at the barbershop and pick something that suits your personality as well as facial features. 

You can then show that picture to your barber and tell them exactly what you are going for. 

Step 2 – Be very specific

Give specific descriptions such that your barber can visualize the style in his mind. Use your hands to guide him towards the areas that you need to be trimmed more and those that require less trimming rather than expecting them to fill the gaps on their own. 

Step 3 – Describe the length

When the barber begins cutting and trimming, tell him whether he should stop or keep going. You should always have it at the back of your head the kind of length that you are going for. 

Step 4 – Show them how you style your beard

It will help if you can show the barber how you style your beard on a typical day and the kind of products that you use.

This way, they can tell you what is possible and what kind of limitations you are likely to face based on the style that you have chosen. 

Step 5 – Defer to the barber if possible

Once you have done your research and have it at the back of your mind what you are going for, ask for suggestions from your barber.

They are more experienced and you should listen to them if they tell you that something may not work and do defer to their opinion. You need to trust their experience and that they have your best interest at heart.  

However, there are times when your gut tells you otherwise and when that happens, you should stand your ground. After all, this is your beard and you are the one paying; therefore, they should listen to you first. 

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do ensure that you suggest the kind of style you are going for. If you trust your barber, however, you can have them suggest a style that will suit your face shape best.
  • Do arrive early for an appointment to avoid setting your barber back on his schedule for the day and forcing him to choose whether to cut your beard or not.
  • Do remember to tip them well if you end up rescheduling your appointment. Remember that they had set that time for you and you not showing up, sets him back on his day’s schedule. 
  • Do ensure that you are polite. Even if you are not the chatty type, ensure that you are polite and at least respond to his attempts at small talk. 
  • Don’t just keep quiet if the barber doesn’t meet your expectations. If you are not happy with what he did, then mention it and next time, he will be more careful to meet your expectations.
  • Don’t just go to a generic salon where a different person shaves your beard every time. You need to find a good barber who you can stick to. 

Beard Barber Styling Tips According to Face Shape

Besides the regular trim or shape up, there is so much you can do in terms of styling when you are sitting on that chair in the barber’s shop. 

We all have different face shapes and the first rule to shaping your beard is shaping it according to your face shape.

The first thing you need to do is to determine your face shape. If you have a rectangular face, for instance, you are better off with shorter sides for the beard to even out the features. 

Round faces, on the other hand, are great for tapered angle and slick beards. When it comes to oval faces, any style fits well. This is something that an experienced barber can pull off.

Quick Tips

Quick Beard Barber Tips

  • When you are looking for a barbershop, do ensure that you check out their work through online reviews or personal references. 
  • Don’t just find a barbershop but go for a specific barber whom you can form a long-lasting relationship with. 
  • If you know a person who is always rocking a great beard, don’t be afraid to ask him for referrals of his barber. 
  • Have a picture when you go to the barbershop, clearly showing the style that you are going for.
  • Be very specific when it comes to style, as well as the length of the beard you are looking for. 


What should I say to my barber?

When you walk into a barbershop, first be very polite and respond to their attempts at small talk. Have a picture of the style you are going for and be open to their suggestions. You also need to tell them about the length you want after the trim. 

How much does a beard trim cost?

How much a beard trim costs will depend on the specific barbershop, but generally, it can be as low as $8, with the average being $15.  

Can a barber shape my beard?

Most barbers nowadays offer beard trimming services, so you need to find a barber who has the expertise in that area and that’s where online reviews and personal referrals come in. 


Whether you have been growing a beard for a while or have just started and want to have a trim at the barbershop, you need to find a good barber. Finding an experienced barber who knows what they are doing is the first step to a long-lasting relationship. Rather than going to generic salons where someone different trims your beard every time, you are better off finding a good barber who fits into your budget and sticking with them.

Vinnie - Barber

About the author: Vinnie – Barber

Vinnie is one of the members of the Beardoholic writers team. He’s also a barber and hairstylist for 15 years now and he has a kick-ass beard of his own, so he surely knows what makes a magnificent beard and hair and how to achieve them. He’s our go-to guy for all the latest beard and hairstyle trends and he always has a tip or two on how to grow and style a thick beard fast.

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