On Barbershops


David O’Brien, Editor

Header image: Today I Found Out

I entered the barbershop at 11:00 a.m. There was one customer and three barbers. After entering I approached the nearest barber and requested a haircut. She responded by prompting me, “Do you have an appointment?” I, of course, did not because it was 11:00 a.m. on a Tuesday and clearly not prime time for people to need a haircut. “No,” I responded, “but I can come back another time if you guys are busy.” The barber responded, “Ugh, I guess I have time for you.” Instead of receiving a smile and a thank you for being a valued customer, I was given a grunt and an eye roll.

There is no reason for barbers to require appointments, especially when no one is there. I understand the idea of reserving your appointment, or calling in advance to inform them you are on the way. I understand calling in advance to make sure they have the capabilities of fulfilling someone’s desire for a haircut. However, I do not understand this idea that everyone should have an appointment when they get an incredibly simplistic haircut. I get my hair buzzed on the sides and trimmed on the top and go to the barber in the morning. There is no need for me to call in advance. 

It’s not like going to a doctor’s or lawyer’s office where the reasoning behind going is personal and individualistic, thus you need to provide information in advance so the doctor knows what to expect. A barber is just cutting hair, it should be first come first serve with appointments optional. They shouldn’t be required anywhere. I shouldn’t be ridiculed for entering a barbershop without an appointment. I shouldn’t have to call in advance to book a time for me to have to make awful small-talk with someone I see once a month. Barbershops should have an appointment situation based on the restaurant-structure rather than the doctor-structure. You should make reservations, you should call in advance in case it’s busy, you shouldn’t need an appointment to get some stuff cut off the top of your head.