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Our beards are our pride and joy, an integral part of our personal brand, and for some of us, one of the only reasons we get attention at bars. When you roll up to the barber it's important to show up prepared with the right questions in order to avoid leaving with a hacked up beard and deflated self-confidence. Here we’ll go through just a few of the questions you can ask your barber when you head in for a trim, but before we get started we’ll hit you with a quick pro-tip.

Pro-tip: Bring a picture of a style that mimics the look you’re going for. This will eliminate any kind of confusion that could come about when describing the look you have in your head while the barber tries to recreate that on his own.

What Style Do You Recommend?

Different hairstyles, face shapes, and lifestyles can lead to different beard styles being in play when you head in for a trim. Asking your barber what they recommend is pertinent to walking out of the shop ready to tackle what the next few weeks to months have in store. Bonus insight: Interviewing for a finance job and interviewing to be a lumberjack have different expectations.

How Long Can I Have This Style Before Needing To Trim It Again?

Similar to regular haircuts it’s important to let your barber know how often you expect to get a trim. If you’re looking to grow your hair or beard out for a long time to come, they’ll take a different approach to help you better navigate the “awkward stage” of growth. In contrast, if you’re looking to maintain your current style with more frequent trimming and maintenance, your barber will likely take a much different approach.

Can I Make This Style Work?

As we mentioned earlier in this article, different face shapes can work better or worse for different styles. Taking a specific style image to your barber for your appointment and asking what they think will set you up for a more successful trim. In addition, trust your barber’s opinion since they do this for a living and would hopefully not try to intentionally steer you wrong… if they do, you need to find a new barber.

What Products Do I Need To Style This On My Own?

If you’ve ever gotten a haircut, which we would assume is mostly everyone reading this article, then you’ve likely fallen victim to the “barbershop look” post-haircut. A professional stylist takes the time to style your hair and make you look pristine before you stand up out of the chair. The best way to combat not being able to recreate this look ever again is to ask what products are necessary to keep your hair (beard) styled like this on a daily basis. Keep in mind, however, that this is a lot like taking your car into the shop and hearing that you need new “blinker fluid” when it actually doesn’t even exist. Only buy the necessities and if you want to make sure your beard has everything it needs… you could always read up on our four-stage beard care process.

Can I Maintain This Style On My Own?

If you’re not interested in being a regular at the barbershop and rather being able to perform your own maintenance, you might want to ask about the complexity of your style. While some styles involve nothing more than tossing on a specific guard and hacking up the entire beard… others require microscopic attention to detail and the touch of a seasoned professional. Ask your barber about style maintenance before selecting a style that could leave you in front of your bathroom mirror with a razor questioning your barbershop decision-making skills.

Like many things in life, preparation is key to walking up to a challenge with confidence. When it comes to your pride and joy (your beard) and allowing another human to hack off bits and pieces of it, being prepared is important. Don’t be that guy in the waiting room of the barbershop looking through “hairstyle” catalogs who picks a random one when hopping in the chair. Show up prepared. Ask the right questions. Leave looking like a boss and with the tools necessary to keep looking like a boss for weeks to come.

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