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Barbershop Do's and Don'ts

Barbershop Do's and Don'ts

We’d like to think that the lion’s share of Ruffians clients enjoy a lot more than just a good haircut out of their visits.

For some it’s much needed time to chill out away from the madness of endless meetings and imminent deadlines at the office.

For others it may be the time when they can chat to their regular barber about important issues in their life – we can be neutral advisors and sounding boards as well as a sublime snippers!

However, we know that there are also a good few folks out there who find the whole barbershop experience a bit more daunting.

Maybe you’re an introvert who struggles a bit with chatting to someone they’ve not met before. Or perhaps you have trust issues as a result of a previous nightmare trim (we’ve all been there).

If this sounds like you, then fear not, we’re here to help.

Here we’re going to attempt to clear up a few common barbershop posers, which will hopefully help you to make the most out of the experience.




Don’t worry too much about the state of your hair when you arrive, we’re far more bothered about the way it looks when you leave.

Here at Ruffians we will always wash and condition your hair during the service regardless (unless you specifically don’t want us to).

Mainly because it generally means you’ll get a better trim as it’s easier to section, stretch and manipulate wet hair.

Sometimes it’s also good for us to see your hair in the state in which it’s usually styled. It gives us more of an insight into your routine and what products you like to use.

Obviously, we may recommend something different, but it’s always a good starting point to see the way you do it.

Sometimes people will wash their hair, and then put on a hat before arriving for their cut. This is generally more of a pain than hair containing product as it won’t be sitting in its usual shape due to dreaded ‘hat hair’.

It makes it harder for us to see the way your hair sits naturally.

Conclusion: DON’T




I’ve seen many a client gingerly pull out their mobile to reveal a screenshot of Beckham’s latest ‘do or Ryan Gosling’s classic barnet in Drive.

Their cheeks flushed as they almost apologetically explain that they appreciate, even with the finest barber’s touch, the similarities will stop at the forehead.

I’ve also had numerous clients that have later admitted to bottling it. Trying to describe their optimal haircut in any way possible without mentioning the very celebrity that they had intended to show me on their phone at the start of the appointment for fear of judgement.

Well, fear not, for a photographic reference is a barber’s – and client’s – best buddy.

Firstly, there’d be no excuse for getting a style that isn’t your cup of tea. We often find that on the few occasions where clients leave underwhelmed with their freshly shorn lid, the issue often arises from crossed wires.

I remember one client long ago requesting a taper fade and then being shocked how short it was.

When I showed him the Google results for “taper fade” it was in fact nothing like the style of his friends hair, which he coveted so much he’d asked him what he requested at the barbers (still unsure whether it was intentional on his mate’s part or not!).

Secondly, a good barber will know whether the cut will work for your lifestyle, hair type and face shape. So you shouldn’t end up with an unflattering or unobtainable look.

And even if the look won’t work for you, we may well be able to take some inspiration from it and tailor it to you.

Lastly, remember that there’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from others, especially handsome bastards.

Almost everybody does it and it’s how trends progress. Would anyone ever have opted for the faux hawk otherwise?!

Conclusion: DO



Us barbers know hair pretty well – we have our hands in it daily and our clothes are full of it constantly. However, nobody knows your hair better than you.

If your hair sticks up near the crown when it’s cut too short, or if it only sits right when it’s parted on the left, then do let us know. That way we can work with your hair quirks to get you a style that looks good and doesn’t need too much styling.

Also, tell us if there’s something in your lifestyle that affects your hair habits. There’s no point in going for a swept back style if you cycle to work every day and the helmet makes your hair flatter than the earth (according to the those folk on the Netflix documentary anyway).

However, do be sure not to be too over specific. If you feel that your current style is the only one that your hair can handle, or your commitment to your current styling product is unwavering, then you may miss out on something that may suit you even better.

Conclusion: DO

We hope this clears a few things up, but if there’s anything else that troubles you then drop us a line, we’re happy to try and help wherever we can.

TJ, Barber at Ruffians Shoreditch


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