Why your local barber or hairdresser is the best mate/friend you never knew you needed.
As society continues to navigate the pitfalls of a covid afflicted world, it presents even more stresses and problems than we ever thought possible. So who’s support are we calling on during this time of need? Who is our best mate/friend? None other than our barber and men’s hairdressers.
It’s no secret that all men need help in the areas of grooming and great hair. Regardless of how financially strained things get, we men will ultimately find a way to fund a visit to our favorite men’s hairdresser. Why? I hear you ask, the main reason is a need to look and feel better so we can best tackle the issues that lay ahead, but beyond that, men desire mateship. For years our female counterparts have been visiting the salon for their regular hair and gossip. This trend has gradually found its way into the world of men, too, and for a good reason.
Many men find it difficult to talk about their feelings during times of stress. Society has designed the stereotype of a man as a hardworking, unbreakable pillar of strength that his family deserves and needs. Still, even the strongest of men need help sometimes – enter the men’s hairdresser.
The importance of touch
Touch has long been known as an essential component of trust. Even in the animal kingdom, touch usually only occurs once trust is established. So it stands to reason that when we men allow someone else to physically touch us and enter our personal space, we further cement the boundaries of trust. The stereotype of a man hasn’t allowed many opportunities for men to experience touch outside the confines of intimacy, so when we allow our barber or men’s hairdresser to touch us by shampooing and cutting our hair, we begin to experience feelings of relaxation and comfort. This feeling of comfort often presents an opportunity to share what’s on our minds. So why share your feelings with the person cutting your hair?
Time well spent
A little-known secret about barbers and hairdressers is that the good ones are often experts in the art of communication. Spending their days cutting hair takes time, and that time is well spent talking and getting to know people. One of the most cathartic experiences as men can undertake is the feeling of unburdening ourselves. While many men choose to seek advice from a close mate or partner, the element of a slightly biased opinion cannot be escaped.
When a big part of your profession is focused on listening and understanding people, as is the case with barbers and hairdressers, they can develop a talent for giving good advice. Barbers and hairdressers are trained to listen to their clients and interpret what they need and want from a hair service. This skill doesn’t usually finish there. So how is it that you may get the best life advice from the person giving you a haircut?
Your barber or hairdresser is completely loyal to you. They are focused on one thing, understanding what you need and want, so you can look and feel your best.
Your barber doesn’t harbor a personal grudge against your girlfriend because she stops you from spending time with your other mates. Your hairdresser isn’t concerned that you might be oversharing information about one mate/friend to another. In most cases, they do not know the people in your life, resulting in a usually nonbiased opinion. This is the benefit of sharing with someone who is completely outside your personal world. They can be well equipped to provide you with a fresh outside perspective.
Hairdressers and barbers are just other people like you. Still, the fantastic thing about finding the right one, and visiting them regularly for your haircut, is that this appointment sets the stage for a unique opportunity of bonding. The hairdresser is there to focus on you and your needs. As touch is a fundamental part of their profession, they establish a type of trust with you by cutting and washing your hair. The time spent performing their services allows you both the opportunity to talk and share. This doesn’t mean you have to discuss your deepest feelings with your local barber/hairdresser or vent about your awful boss, but it doesn’t mean you can’t.
While society is making social advances and breaking boundaries on stereotypes, we still have a long way to go. You might be the kind of man that finds it easy to talk about his feelings and seek help from others. For those of us that feel confined by relationships or culture, your next lifeline could come in the form of your local hairdresser. So the next time you’re feeling like life is getting you down, you could be one haircut away from feeling free again.
Author: Paul James Graham, co-owner of Paul and Paul Salon
Featured Photo by Thgusstavo Santana from Pexels