It’s essential to know your hair type. You can choose products and cuts designed for your specific needs to maintain optimal health, condition, and style. As a barber, determining hair type will determine what tools and products I use to achieve the desired cut or style. While you can ask your barber or stylist to help identify your type, there are some easy ways to figure it out. Using some common categories, we can describe types by texture, porosity, curl pattern, density, etc.
Porosity is the measure of how well your hair absorbs moisture. High porosity means that your hair absorbs a lot, but it doesn’t retain it. Medium porosity is a steady rate of absorption and retention. Low porosity is when your hair has trouble absorbing moisture, but once it’s there, it stays well.
Low porosity typically looks healthier and shinier and is not as prone to split ends. High porosity hair would greatly benefit from creamy butters and rich oils to help retain and lock in moisture.
Hair density measures the strands per square inch…so how thick is your hair? We say it is either low, medium, or high density. To measure your density at home, generally, a medium-average is a ponytail that is 2-3 inches in diameter. Less would be considered low, and more would be regarded as high.
Ethnicity can affect the average person’s density. (Measured at the crown) The typical density of Caucasian hair is 1,458 hairs per square inch—Hispanic averages 1,148 and African at 961. Age is a factor; as we age, we lose density in our hair. Healthline has a great article on hair density for further reading, “What Is Hair Density and Why It Matters.”
With low-density hair, product weight, and residue would be a concern. With high-density hair, you would want something with good hold.
A lot goes into typing your hair correctly. By identifying your hair type, you can be sure to use products that will work for you and your specific needs to help you reach your styling goals! You will be able to create a realistic, easy to manage grooming routine for your everyday needs!
Knowledge makes you sharp on the inside. Applying it makes you sharp on the outside!
The consultation holds great importance in the relationship between a barber and their client. This is the time for a friendly greeting to welcome the client to the chair and set the tone for the overall experience. The consultation is also a prime opportunity to understand the client's desired haircut and style. By having a conversation and gathering information about their lifestyle, job, hobbies, grooming preferences, and any problems or concerns, the barber can effectively determine the most suitable cut, style, and products for the individual.
Truth about Communication
Communication can sometimes be a challenge when dealing with clients from different regions. For instance, when someone walks into my barbershop in Indiana and asks for a "Philly Fade," they really mean a high fade. It's not uncommon for clients to be unsure about the specific numbers they want for their haircut. They might request a 1-2 fade but based on my expertise and their description of their lifestyle or desired style, I can tell it's too short. In these situations, I find that using pictures can be incredibly helpful. As the saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Showing clients examples of different haircuts puts their minds at ease and allows me to understand their preferences better, ensuring a successful outcome.
Truth about “Do Whatever”
Sometimes, a client will plop down in the chair and casually say, "Just do whatever," or "What do you think will look best?" But let me tell you, my friend, these situations are never as simple as they seem. There's always some guidance provided during the consultation. As a barber, it's my duty to understand that the client has a vision in mind, and it's crucial for me to know the boundaries. That's why I always ask two vital questions: How short is too short? And what's the plan for the top? By getting these details, I can quickly whip out some pictures showcasing different styles, turning what could be a lengthy 5-10-minute consultation into a snappy 2-minute chat. Trust me, it's all about efficiency and ensuring you leave the shop looking sharp and satisfied.
Truth About Clients
Truth about End Results
Knowing how vital this consultation is, we strongly encourage our clients to speak up and let their barber know precisely what they want and how they want their hair to feel. We want to encourage barbers to educate clients on their needs to help everyone save time in the future and get the desired results quicker. Knowledge makes you sharp on the inside. Applying it makes you sharp on the outside!
Aaron & Kristi Brown, Authors
Aaron Brown is a Master Barber, Cosmetologist, Educator, and Entrepreneur. As a shop owner and product developer, he has a passion for promoting healthy hair and scalp. He loves to connect with others and share knowledge on industry trends and products to solve common problems with the hair, scalp, and skin to help clients look and feel their best.