What I Wish I Learned in Barber School…

Whether you’ve been in the barbering game for years with a ton of industry experience under your belt or you’re a freshly graduated barber with a head full of dreams, there’s always room to learn a little something more.

Maybe you’ve taken all the classes you possible could get your hands on. Maybe you’ve done above and beyond the normal training to get your license. Maybe you think you’ve learned all there is to learn from barber school.

We’ve got news for you – you haven’t.

As vital as barber school is (you have to be certified, after all), there are always going to be lessons that come to you later in life after you’ve put in the time to try, fail, try, succeed, and continue try again. The reality of it all is that barber skill can’t – and won’t – teach you everything you need to know to be a supreme barber. You need industry experience, failure, mentorship, and honestly, time in your profession before you can fully grasp all you need to know.

The beautiful thing? If you’re open to it, you can always ensure you’re learning something new. Remember, being a barber isn’t static. Things change, trends bloom, strategies evolve – you’ll need to stay on your toes and keep an open mind.

With that as your guide, expect your barbering skills to skyrocket.

We thought we’d expedite the process just a bit for you by providing you with a few helpful barbering hacks to boost your knowledge early. Check out a few of the most popular tips and tricks from barbers that they wish they’d known in barber school.

Your Barbering Skills Will Be What Set You Apart

You probably already know this to some degree (if they’re not teaching you this in barber skill, you’re probably at the wrong school, right?). But what they likely don’t teach you is that your commitment to practice and hands-on experience is going to be hugely important.

You can have all the business-know- how, be up-to-speed on all the latest trends, and know how to work with people, but if you’re not constantly working to improve as a barber, you’re not going to set yourself apart. Your thirst for constant improvement, your desire to be the best, and the work you put into perfecting your craft.

Your Business Skills Matter, Too

Okay, so your business skills are going to make a huge difference, too. Being the most skilled and talented barber in the game means nothing if you don’t know how to market yourself, build a business, and grow your empire.

Make sure that you’re consistently working to improve your business savvy.

Take local classes, enroll in an online program, sign up for symposiums and expos with demos and classes, or even go back and get your business degree. However you choose to go about it, know that working to improve your business knowledge is going to make a huge difference in how successful you are – even if they don’t mention that in barber school.

Balancing Trends and Classic Treatment is Vital

Believe it or not, balance really comes into play in your barbering game. 

Whether you want to take a classic approach to barbering or you’d rather go all modern, it’s helpful to understand both approaches. Even if you’re trying to keep it as basic as possible, know that it helps to have a solid idea of what’s hip in the barbering world.

Think about it – do you really want to turn away a client who’s looking for a hot new style just because you don’t know how to do it? And vice versa, do you want to shut off an entire section of your market just because you’re not prepared to provide a classic barber experience? Balancing each of these can provide you with the best of both worlds. 

Check out the differences between modern men’s grooming and classic barbering in this article for a better idea on what you should be keeping up on.

Failure is a Big Part of Becoming the Professional You Want to Be

If you didn’t learn this in barber school, you’re liable to learn it at some point in your profession – and it’s totally okay! While you should never be complacent about failure, it’s important to understand that failing is a huge part of becoming a successful barber.

There isn’t a barber out there who can’t look you in the eye and tell you they’ve never failed – what they will tell you is that they failed and then learned from it. Take your failures on with pride and learn from your mistakes – in the end, that’s what’s going to make all the difference.

You Can Color Hair (and Deep Condition, Too!)

Even though barber school can be super thorough, we’re often surprised by the number of professional barbers out there who don’t know about the tons of services they can actually offer at their establishments. Yes, you can color hair! Yes, you can offer deep conditioning treatments. Yes, there are so many other services you can offer! Want to know about more about what you might be missing out on? We thought you might.

Check out our article about what services you can offer as a barber (that you might not even know about) and why you should consider adding them to your skill repertoire.

How You Deal With Clients is Huge

Maybe you’re the best barber in your city – maybe even in the entire state.

The reality of this? None of that matters if you’re awful at dealing with clients.

Barbering is hugely dependent on dealing with – you guessed it – people. So, if you’re bad at dealing with people and put no effort into improving how you handle your customers and clients, you’re likely going to end up with a lot of disappointment.

Practice your people skills, learn how to handle clients (even the disgruntled ones), and remember that it’s a constantly improving process!

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