HOW TO RECOGNISE A BAD HAIRCUT
10 April, 2018
Years ago I was on flight back from the US with a very gregarious and successful hairdresser who sat on the plane and pointed out all the $8 haircuts to me. In those days, I wasn’t initiated in the ways of barbering. I sat aghast as suddenly all the heads he pointed out morphed into hideous cuts. How could I have been so blind? Ever since then, whenever I see a nasty, badly done fade or squint flat-top, I hear Marcus’s southern drawl dripping with disgust.
The sad thing is, too many folk fail to recognise a bad haircut until they get a good one, and so wander through life unable to fathom why style eludes them. Some even put price before a pucker new look. I know – how could they? Obviously, the route to a great cut is to find a great barber, but to find that great barber, you need to distinguish between the good, the bad and the ugly, and so dodge the $8 bullet. Here’s how…
1. The fade is the ultimate barbering skill, tapering short into long in a way that matches the contours of the head and masks any imperfections (just in case you had any). It takes good training, years of practice, good hand-to-eye coordination and a steady hand. Our guys receive ongoing training even after their fades are perfect, because being good is never good enough at Jacks. We always want to be better.
2. Another clear sign of a bad haircut is how quickly it grows out of its tailored finish. Good cuts will last longer, allowing you longer between appointments. Did you know your hair grows at different rates across your scalp? Which is why a cut just doesn’t grow to be a longer version of the original style but instead ends up looking like Worzel Gummidge. A good barber will approach a cut with an eye to how it will grow out. Skilful stuff.
3. I’ve known some guys who are convinced there is nothing to be done about their cow’s lick or sprouting crown, but they are wrong. Camouflaging errant growth patterns is tricky, but it can be done. If your barber just shrugs his shoulders and says, ‘tough, mate’, then you need to find a new barber.
4. The very worst in our profession know only one haircut; they just cut longer or shorter versions depending on the client. Sadly, there are a lot of barbers like this. Doesn’t bode too well if you are after an on-trend look to impress the ladies. Don’t be curtailed by your barber’s lack of skill. Our chaps and chapesses know how to cut hair to suit you and to suit the fashions.
5. The finish to any look is almost as important at the shape, and a clear way to spot a bad haircut is to check out the finish. Is the neck line flawless? Does the hair blend between temple and stubble or beard? These are important considerations when competing in the highly groomed stakes.
6. Finally, how does the hair sit when it’s free of product? Now we love product; you can’t get a pompadour to last through breakfast without some American Crew Super Glue or some beachy bed-head curls without some Jacks of London True Gent salt spray, but sometimes, just sometimes, you will want to venture forth with virgin hair. This is the ultimate test. Only an excellent cut will allow you to sally forth confidently.