Three Skills You Need To Cultivate To Succeed As A Barber

If you are considering changing careers, you may be looking at barber college as a possible avenue. Barbers, along with hairdressers and cosmetologists, are looking at faster-than-average job growth over the next few years. However, being a good barber requires more than just learning how to cut hair and use a clipper. You have to cultivate good social skills as well as other skills that will help you do the best job possible. Here are three skills in particular that you should concentrate on.

Physical Stamina and Dexterity

Not only are you standing for much of the day, but you’re also going to be holding your arms up as you work on the customer’s hair. Your hands and arms will be moving a lot, and you’ve got to be sure you can do that without your arms becoming tired. Your hands also have to be as dexterous at the end of the day as they are during the first appointment so that when you trim someone’s hair or use the clippers to sculpt a hairstyle, you won’t slip and ruin the haircut.

Listening and Observation

You’re going to be making small talk with the customer, so of course listening in general is a skill you need. But you also have to be able to listen to the customer’s description of what he wants for the haircut so that you can give him the cut he wants. You also have to be able to discern whether the customer is comfortable or not as you work by observing their body language. A very young child getting a trim, for example, might not have the language skills necessary to tell you when something does not seem right.

Artistic Skills

Part of the work will involve consultations, even informal ones where a customer simply asks you for a suggestion for a cut or color. Cultivating your artistic eye so that you can match good hair colors to different people, or cultivating your skill at seeing how different cuts and face shapes work together, can help you gain a reputation as a barber with a good eye. Look at color wheels and learn complementary colors so that you can better choose hair dye colors, for example.

If you have other questions about what it takes to be a good barber, talk to barber colleges and find out how many of these skills the colleges teach. Being a barber can be a lucrative, lifelong career, and working on those skills now will serve you well later on.