I’m so fortunate. Since college, I’ve had some awesome barbers. But, with each relocation, it takes me getting through the not so awesome ones to get to the ones I need.
Over the past decade, I’ve made four moves within North Carolina: Durham > Greensboro > Charlotte > Durham. Growing up, I went to the neighborhood barber. There wasn’t a decision to be made. That’s just what was. Then, when I got to college, I didn’t have a car so I went to this barbershop that was near campus and it was like the one back home. But I wasn’t satisfied. I saw guys on campus with sharper lines than I had. So I asked a few of them where they went and, my sophomore year, I switched to a different barbershop. In between cuts, I would get shape ups from this guy in the dorm who was trying to develop his barbering skills. He got so good (and was so cost effective) that he took the spot of the actual barbershop. That guy from the dorm turned out to be Vince Jamel of Adrian Fanus Grooming in Brooklyn, New York. Now, one of my best friends, I was lucky to have him cut my wedding party and me last October.
Soon after graduating from UNCG, I moved to Charlotte and only heard the name of one barbershop: No Grease. Everyone I asked who had a nice haircut (with the exception of my financial advisor George Acheampong) said the same thing. So No Grease it was. I tried two barbers there. The first did a good job but I didn’t communicate the cut I wanted well enough. So I tried one more and I hit the nail on the head. Currently in North Carolina, Tim Doe holds the crown for cuts in my opinion. Great customer service. Accommodating. And he gets to know who he’s cutting so that he can give good suggestions on what would best fit your style and industry. See, a barber/groomer/hairstylist shouldn’t just be there to do the job. (S)he is a friend and consultant. Shoot, half the time, a good barber is your unofficial therapist as well. When I had friends move to town, I pointed them to No Grease. “Everyone in there can cut well,” I always said, “but see if you can get on Tim’s schedule.” I even had a frat brother come down for a wedding and his barber in DC was out of town when he left but he really needed a cut. I took him to Tim and got him squeezed in. As always, an immaculate cut was given.
You can imagine how hard it was for me to move back to Durham and know that, as much as I wanted to go to No Grease like usual, a 3 hour drive would turn that into a $50-$60 haircut every two weeks, including gas (or, as I like to think of it, at least $1,300/year). So I started the process all over again back home. My old barber was no longer around. At the time, I worked at Nordstrom and one of my assistant managers heard me say I was looking for a new shop so he recommended his, Rock’s Bar and Hair Shop. Now, cutting straight hair and curly hair are two different processes, so I figured “I may check it out but I need someone who knows how to cut black hair.” And I found someone there who does it very well. The customer service there is exceptional and the environment is super cool. Plus you get a free beer with your haircut!
As I said in the first sentence, I’m fortunate to have been blessed with great barbers over the past decade. If you find a good one who knows you, your professional aspriations, and your style, keep him/her. Do I have a favorite over all of them? Of course. But, since they’re all in different locations, you should just try each brand out when you’re in their respective cities.
Photo credit: Suave Visions
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