Why Most Barbers Give Up in Their First 3 Years

Why Most Barbers Give Up in Their First 3 Years:

How to Beat the Barber Odds

Barbering has always been around. It’s always been a crucial part of our society—it’s a service that’s never not been important and has never not been utilized. So, you could say barbering has always been popular.

Being a barber? Well, not so much. Not until recently, anyway.

Being a barber is trendier than ever. As a modern-day barber, you’re no longer bound by the nostalgic cliché punctuated by the red, white, and blue barber pole. Now, barbering looks like hip, modern shops, up-scale clients and premium prices, and accessible shops that people often don’t mind waiting in line or making appointments for.

Barbering brings a lot of benefits—you can make great money, the job security is next level (c’mon, people will always need their hair taken care of), there’s lots of customer interaction, and you get to tap into both your creative and business savvy sides. Plus, you’re likely going to be in demand. 

But just because the amount of work available to barbers is booming doesn’t mean that being a barber is a breeze. Not by a long shot. 

Unfortunately, despite these barber benefits, lots of professionals will give up on this industry and their barbering passion in the first three years of their careers. 

*Cue the sad music* 

Just like every industry, barbering has its pros and cons, but we’ve found that often, the hardships, obstacles, and challenges that hit barbers in their first three years tend to be substantial enough to knock even the most passionate barbers off their stools and into a different career. 

But what is it about barbering that makes the first three years such a common turning point for barbers?

That’s precisely what we’re here to explore. Barbering has become increasingly popular over the years. 

Well, let’s back up and explain that a little better.

The Top Reasons Barbers Get Burnt Out 

Barbering Is Draining

You’re on your feet non-stop for 10 hours a day, your back and your knees are killing you. Barbering is an exhausting job and can be terribly hard on your body. Your muscles, your skeletal system, your joints—everything is going to hurt, suffer, and burden you. You’re not just standing, you’re rotating, angling, stooping, craning, and requiring all-out physical exertion to do your job right. 

Sometimes, barbers simply can’t hack it because their bodies can’t handle the intense physical exertion.

Fear, Insecurity, and Subpar Coverage

One of the biggest things that gets to barbers is the substantial pressure that’s weighing on them. Where does this come from? Working up close and personal with people.

Think about it—you’re wielding sharp tools with living, breathing people in front of you and it’s entirely up to you to make zero mistakes. Plus, you’re running a business, so every move someone makes in your shop, every product you use on a client, and every word said in your establishment is your responsibility. 

That pressure can be paralyzing. 

While there’s no quick fix for fear and anxiety, there is something you can do to get the peace of mind you need—invest in quality barber liability insurance. And you guys, trust us when we say you need barber insurance. 

Sure, we’re the insurance company telling you this, so it sounds biased. But even if you don’t end up working with us, we absolutely implore you to work with a quality, reliable liability insurance partner. 

It can help dramatically reduce that fear, anxiety, and pressure you’re feeling and replace it with a beautiful peace of mind.

No Passion, No Progress 

Some barbers find out way too late that the passion they thought they had for being a barber simply isn’t there. It can be hard to talk yourself into a career you don’t love, and sometimes, when passion is gone, stress and exhaustion have a way of winning out. 

Delayed Gratification 

Often, it takes a little time and a little money in order to start making money.

In a perfect world, you’d come out of your barber certification and start making the big bucks ASAP, but often, it’s going to take a little time and a lot of hard work, and that delayed gratification can be absolutely draining. 

Tricky Work-Life Balance 

Every job has some kind of imbalance when it comes to work-life stuff, but barbering is definitely an entirely different kind of challenge. 

For starters, the hours are funky, the clients are demanding, and you need to be available when other working people are available. Often, this means saying bye-bye to holidays, weekends, and nights out on the town. 

Workdays are tough, long, and are hard on your body. You’ll be exhausted and you’ll want to forgo doing the things you love, socializing, exercising, etc. 

Remember Why You Started

We’re not going to pretend we have the ultimate solution for every burnt-out barber out there, but we do have some useful information that might be able to provide you—a tired, overworked barber—with some much-needed insight.

When the road is looking rough and the future is looking cloudy, sit down and make yourself reflect on your why. 

Your why is an abstract idea, but it’s rooted in concrete reasoning. 

Your why is your entirely unique, one-of-a-kind, specific-to-you-purpose behind who you are, what you believe, and why you do what you do. 

AKA, why you chose to be a barber. 

Take the time to rediscover your why to provide yourself with some insight and perspective.

Not sure how to start this process? Check out our post here about remembering your why to get you started. 

Have you felt the barber burn out? Are you unsure if barbering is really for you? If you fall into these categories, we implore you to reach out, ask for help, and self-reflect.

Do you truly love barbering, but are just feeling totally spent when it comes to energy and motivation? Do you think barbering is your passion but you just don’t think you can hack it anymore?

We can’t pretend to know everyone’s situation, but we can say this—if you know, deep down, that barbering makes you happy, that it’s something that you feel passionately about, that it’s part of what makes you who you are, don’t give up. 

In this life, it’s worth it to work through the tough stuff in order to have a career you truly love. If barbering is it for you, don’t walk away from it too quickly. Take some time, get your mental health right, and figure out what it is that’s making the barbering game feel insurmountable.

If you’re a fellow barber and you’ve felt the burn before, share how you overcame this feeling. This community is all about helping out, so don’t be afraid to throw your two cents into the comment section. 

2 thoughts on “Why Most Barbers Give Up in Their First 3 Years”

  1. This is by far the Best Story I’ve read in regards to being a Barber the time & energy you have to put into it. My name is Dante Samson and I’m a Licensed professional Barber for 26years and a Professional Instructor 9 years. Believe me I know, working as a Barber definitely had its ups and downs but you have to stay consistent, working on the quality of your cuts the quality of your tools of the trade and being there for your clients. Being an Instructor allow me to share my experience with my fellow students in being a Barber and helping them pass the State Board. Again outstanding Story Peace.

  2. I agree, work+life balance can be complicated if your spouse or significant other isn’t on the same page. This can be challenging. In my case I’m still learning to accommodate both work+life balance while being successful in my barbering career.

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