Your barber is more than just a guy who cuts your hair. He's the wise old man you've been seeing since you were a kid, or the voice of reason after the big game ignoring everyone to stay loyal to the team. It's more than a visit to have your ears lowered; it's an old-school way to connect with the community. Once you find someone who you can trust and who knows what you want, you do not want to let go. Unfortunately, it will not always go perfectly. Sometimes you get home and catch yourself in the mirror and realize the worst has happened: you got a bad haircut. First, relax-this does not have to mean it's time for you to shop around for a reliable trim. By observing these simple tips, you can save the relationship and avoid future mishaps.

Accept Your Part

While your barber is the one holding the scissors, the truth is most cases of style problems because of a communication breakdown. If you tried something new but did not know how to explain it, or if you flat out did not know what you wanted in the first case, your stylist may have had too little to go on to make you a satisfied customer. Their business is comprised of a certain language, which is often visually based. So before you throw your guy under the bus, recognize that the interaction is a two-way street. If you approach the business with this mindset towards potential dissatisfaction, you might get the next cut on the house.

Call Ahead

So you are not happy with your new cut, but you want to salvage your relationship with your barber. You could go straight back to the shop and explain your situation, and certainly they will be obliged to put you ahead in line to fix whatever issues you may have. But remember, this is who you talk to for almost an hour every month. There is a rapport here that requires a courtesy on both ends. Great haircuts are tailored specifically to you based on your lifestyle, details you leave over conversation during that hour in the chair. Respect is key in keeping that conversation running smoothly. If you call ahead and give the business time to adjust their schedule, everyone wins. After all, if your barber is not entirely to blame for the mistake, putting the rest of their clientèle at odds is an unjust reaction.

Learn the Lingo

The hair business runs on a specific and easily recognizable line of communication. You've certainly heard a few words before. Do you want your hair thinned out or layered? Choppy or textured? Being able to say exactly what you want on terms you both speak a great cut. Know the length you want and the fact that barbers deal in inches and clipper sizes. If you do not know the number for the clippers you want, ask him to start longer and gradually shorten as he goes.

Most importantly, remember that your relationship with your hair stylist is not like other business interactions. There is a level of trust and respect that must be maintained. Just because your cut went south once does not mean that bond is broken.