So You Want My Job: Barber

by Brett & Kate McKay on April 28, 2011 · 63 comments

in So You Want My Job

Once again we return to our So You Want My Job series, in which we interview men who are employed in desirable jobs and ask them about the reality of their work and for advice on how men can live their dream.

Given our great love for barbershops, I can’t believe it’s taken this long to interview a barber for our So You Want My Job series. But better late than never! A barber finally stepped up and volunteered to answer our questions, and we thank him for that. He’s really a perfect interview subject for this installment. Drew Danburry was a touring musician and decided to give up the road to become a barber. A younger guy in a graying industry, he just recently completed barber college and opened up his own shop in Provo, Utah, the Danburry Barber Shop. And he’s a guy who’s trying to revive the old fashioned barbershop experience of yesteryear, with great haircuts, a handsome shop, and of course, good old fashioned straight razor shaves.

I’ve always had a dream of making my second act in life that of a barber. And this interview only strengthened that conviction. What an awesome job.

If you’re in the Provo area, go pay Drew a visit and tell him Brett sent ya!

1. Tell us a little about yourself (Where are you from? How old are you? Describe your job and how long you’ve been at it, etc).

My name is Drew Danburry. I grew up in Huntington Beach, California. I’m 31 years old, and I have been a barber for about 6 months now, today. I opened an old fashioned barbershop in downtown Provo, Utah very recently, and I love it.

2. Why did you want to become a barber? When did you know it was what you wanted to do?

To be honest, I wasn’t sure I would like it. But I wanted to try and find a career that I wouldn’t hate. Something I could support a family with and I wouldn’t feel stuck in a rut with my life decisions. After a few months, I knew I’d love it. It’s the best thing ever because I offer services no one else in the area does and I end up hanging out with friends all day long. I cut hair and make people look just the way they want, and I get to meet new people all the time. It’s fun, creative, and I like feeling satisfied with my work. I’m pretty good at it, and I like being able to offer something that brings happiness to other people.

3. How does a man become a barber? You chose to go to barber school instead of a cosmetology school. Why did you make that choice?

Short answer: I went to barber school because I wanted to get the kind of instruction and experience that would prepare me for cutting the kind of hair that was cut both currently and way back in the day. I was taught by people who have been cutting hair for over 50 years, who went to barber school when they were my age (and younger). I specifically wanted to learn the dying art of classic barbering. I cut and shaved over 1,000 clients when I was in school, and I can cut any kind of hairstyle any person wants. Male or female.

Long answer: With the huge influence the Beatles and the hippie movement had on men growing their hair long in the 60s, rather than military short, the popularity of barbers decreased considerably. Barbering and cosmetology had originally been two different licenses. Barbers focused on cutting men’s hair and doing hot lather shaves for businessmen, rather than perming and dying long hair. But by the time the 70s rolled around, barbers and their style of haircutting had waned so much in popularity that most state licensing departments just decided to combine the two separate licenses. Also, because barbers weren’t as popular, and a lot of people were wanting to learn how to dye and perm hair, less people were attending barber schools and going to cosmetology school instead. It wasn’t until just a few years ago in the state of Utah that they even separated the licenses again and a barber school was started to teach the art of barbering. The old-fashioned way. How to cut men’s hair. How to shave with a straight blade.

Honestly, it’s a bit hard to explain all the differences because I never went to cosmetology school, but they seem to be completely different. Girls I meet that went to cosmetology school have a very different way of cutting hair than I do.

Some cosmetology schools teach some of the barbering techniques, like the straight razor shave, but most students at cosmetology school as well as their instructors have never actually shaved someone, and if they have, they haven’t done it often, on a daily basis. At the barber school I attended, not only were the instructors experienced, but we were given plenty of practice shaving and cutting hair. One thing I do to stay in practice, is to shave myself with a straight razor often, which is a lot harder than shaving someone else, and follow up each haircut by shaving the neck with a straight blade.

5. Once a barber has the necessary schooling and credentials, what is his next step? Is it possible to open up your own shop right out of school, or do most barbers first spend time renting a chair at someone else’s shop?

Most people spend their time renting a chair at someone else’s shop. But I wanted to open my own shop, so I did. It’s a lot of work, and an investment is required, but if you want to have your own space and not have to deal with a boss, it’s the way to go. There are a lot of laws and health codes you have to be aware of; thankfully, the school I went to had all the answers to the questions I asked, so by the time I was graduating from school, I was already finished with my state exams and busy getting the shop set up. When you decide to go with renting a chair in someone’s shop, it can be more frustrating because you’re under someone else’s roof, under their rules. You can be building clientele and saving money at the same time, and opening your own shop is more of a gamble, BUT really it’s a matter of what a person wants and is willing to risk.

6. How hard is it to open your own shop? What does a man need and need to know if he wants to do it?

Opening your own barbershop is a lot like opening any other business. You need a barber license, you need insurance, you need to be legally covered to cut hair and shave faces. You need to know what you’re doing, in terms of cutting hair, you need to know how to get the word out, and I think you need to be patient. Because when you first open, you do a lot of sitting. I generally spend any free time promoting online or making sure that the barbershop has an online presence. That Google and Yelp register its existence. I offer a lot of free services to people who’ve never had a shave or a haircut by a barber. It’s an experience every man should have, and if they haven’t, I want them to at least know what they are missing out on. Pretty much everybody who’s sat in my chair is very excited to come back.

Basically: Treat others as you’d like to be treated. Give people the kind of quality haircut and service they expect. And let word of mouth take care of the rest.

7. What is the best part of your job?

Hanging out with great people. Listening to music and talking with friends. It really is like hanging out with friends all day long. The only difference is that I happen to be cutting their hair while we talk. Which is cool, because the client and I both get excited when I give them a haircut they love.

8.  What is the worst part of your job?

I don’t know just yet…the great thing about offering high quality service is that if someone doesn’t appreciate the value of what you are giving them, they don’t come back. I do a good job with everyone’s haircut, and I treat everybody like a friend because I really appreciate everyone’s business. It makes my existence possible. If someone comes in and doesn’t want to pay the price I’m asking, they leave. If they get in my chair and don’t feel my services were worth what it cost, then they don’t come back. I really love my shop because I’m not catering to cheap people who only spend five dollars on an uncomfortable haircut that they’re gonna complain about anyway. I give a quality service, at a reasonable price, and I think everyone gets what they want. Plus, I’m my own boss and I do whatever I want, so I’m still searching for the worst part of my job.

9. What’s the work/family/life balance like?

Simple, I’m open 10-6 Tuesday-Saturday. I stay late if people need haircuts, but otherwise I’ve got Mondays and Sundays off to spend with the wife. It’s a good way to live. I go home and relax each evening, and I never wake up to an alarm. I love it.

10. What is the biggest misconception people have about your job?

I don’t know what anyone’s misconceptions would be….I don’t know of too many very rich barbers. I’m a one man shop. I’m gonna stay that way because it’s a decent living and I don’t want to deal with employees. It’s not an extremely rich or poor source of income. I’d like to live comfortably and not worry about money, but I don’t need any toys other than my skateboard and my guitar. And I already got those. It’s a simple way to live and provide for a family.

 

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bryan April 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I’m trying to imagine the gentleman in the photo riding a skateboard.

2 Gary Keith Chesterton April 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Charlie Brown’s dad was a barber.

3 Earl April 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Good on you Drew. I’m actually undergoing schooling right now and should be getting my apprentice license in August. Then I’ll be working in my hometown Reno trying to maintain that level of excellence and tradition that is sadly dying away. Nice to see other gentlemen of my age doing the same.

4 Curt April 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I live in Syracuse and work in SLC. May have to make a trip down to Provo and say hi.

5 Maru April 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Reading this makes me agree with Brett, that maybe my second act in life will be running a barber shop. The other option that I’d thought of for a long time now is running a pub. Either way, it’ll be something that allows me to meet interesting people on a regular basis while listening to good music in a comfy, cozy, old fashioned atmosphere.

Best of luck to you, Mr. Danburry. If I’m ever in need of a shave or a hair cut while in Provo, I’ll look you up.

6 Jeff! April 28, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Awesome! I was walking around here, and went past the ‘hair saloon’ near the sub shop I frequent. Got me to wondering about barbers. Definately not a field for me- I’d be terrified to ruin someone’s hair, or worse their face. Still, very cool to see some younger guys interested in this.

7 Michael B April 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm

My dad’s a barber and has owned his own shop since the get-go 27 years ago. I’m a teacher but there have been many times I’ve thought about getting the liscence and enjoying cutting hair next to him in his shop every day. Great article!

8 Scott W. April 28, 2011 at 5:11 pm

The straight razor shave. When my barber retired, I lost the straight razor shave: neck, behind the ears, everywhere hair grows on a guy that shouldn’t. I have yet to find a proper barber and no one I have tried has a straight razor. They only use electric clippers. I end up going in for a touch up just for unsightly hair than a do a full cut. Oh how I miss, thee, straight razor… and hot towel, and hot soap foam for the shaving. We really need more barbers. I only hope the short time my then young son got to enjoy the barber was enough of an experience for him to remember.

9 PapaThompson April 28, 2011 at 7:03 pm

This is the coolest. I had no idea there was any such thing as barber college. Glad you did this interview. Great information. Enjoyed this. Thanks.

10 Aaron Round April 28, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Congratulations on opening and running such a fine establishment. Best of luck Drew!

11 Horst Macelroy April 28, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Great to see new blood in the profession.

Perhaps artofmanliness.com could interview a veteran barber to get his/her take as well…

You are not a “Barber” for the first 3 years on the job. I’m 19 yrs. in and learn something every day. At six months, I barely knew how to hold my shears.

Cheers!

12 Zach April 28, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I’m 25 and just recently went to a barbe that actually used a straight razor on my neck, I loved it! Best haircut I’ve had in a while, for only 7 bucks! If you’re in Harrisonburg, VA area, give Hair Corral a shot!

13 Black and Blue Man April 29, 2011 at 6:39 am

Great interview.

All the best, Drew! :)

14 Carson April 29, 2011 at 6:45 am

A great interview—very good to hear about younger men entering the profession. The two men at the barbershop I went to in college and after were both 65, at the least, and the barbers at my local shop now are the same. I’ve wondered what I’m going to do when they retire.

15 OldSoldier April 29, 2011 at 7:06 am

It is a shame that Barbering is almost a dead art. Here in Columbia South Carolina it is hard to find a good barber cut or a barber at all. We no longer have a barbers school and about the only thing left is going to a salon. Salons are not barber shops, PERIOD. If you are able to find a good barber here, they only do hair cuts and shaves are no longer the item of the day.
Good barbers of the past were like good bar tenders. You could set down and have a conversation, relax, enjoy yourself and in the end when you leave you would feel refreshed and anew.

16 Scott sales April 29, 2011 at 8:55 am

Nice article and as a barber I would say spot on. This article inspires me to open shop again, it truly is the one “job” that I love to do. If every job paid 2 dollars an hour I would still be a barber.
Way to go Drew, very nice shop!

17 Guy April 29, 2011 at 8:58 am

Best of luck to you Drew. If I’m ever in the area I’ll look you up.

18 Zach April 29, 2011 at 9:39 am

Great interview, Brett! I’m glad the classic barbershop is getting a new lease on life. I was just complaining to my wife the other day that I can’t stand going into a “salon” where they spend more time styling my hair than they do cutting it. Seems like they are more interested in selling you “product.”

I remember my hometown barber would give me a princeton or flat top for $7. Opinions about politics and last night’s game were free. Butch wax was an additional $5 if you wanted your own tin. The barber shop was a refuge for men – a man cave, if you will.

19 Murf April 29, 2011 at 9:48 am

This article couldn’t have been posted at a better time. For weeks, I’ve been looking for a traditional barber shop in my area…one like the one I grew up going to…one where I can get a good straight shave. There aren’t any. Sure, we have So-and-So’s Barber Shop, but they just aren’t the same (and NO ONE shaves anymore). I’ve been thinking that I need to open the real deal.
I’m 26, and I’m supposed to go back to school in a few weeks to work on a career change; maybe this would make a better one.

20 Charlie April 29, 2011 at 11:55 am

I miss the barbershop badly. The shop I used to attend had a couple of old rummies, sports on the TV, nudie mags on a table – weights and a curling bar in one corner of the place.

Drew Danburry seems like a great guy, he’s really got it together.

21 Victor B April 29, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I used to hate going to the barber back in the 50s and 60s. Mostly because that vibrating electrical clipper on my neck sent raw chills down my spine. Too ticklish I guess. But now’s a different story. Old school barber is the only way. What other job allows a guy to work in a man cave and talk with manly men all day about manly man stuff? You sit down in a big ol’ comfy chair, talk politics, sports, guns and girls. The smells still bring me back to that first short boy’s haircut gotten so long ago in 1950 something. The only thing missing today is the stack of Playboys on the rack and girlie calendars on the wall.

My barber is close to retirement age and I’ll have to find someone just as good to cut my hair. Luckily in our area of the Pacific Northwest there are still a fair number of guys able to do the proper barber cut. The guy who cuts my hair says that he was once approached by a local female hair stylist who had so many gentlemen come in for a regular cut that she really needed to get skilled at old school cutting. Having owned a barber college at one time, he was happy to show her how to do it.

I’ll definitelty check your article on finding a good barber. Old Mike will be a tough act to follow…

22 Jake Wilson April 29, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Hey AOM, nice article…Time to showcase barbering colleges throughout the U.S.A.
Part of a Barbering series?
Best of luck to you Drew. Doing what you like for a living is where it’s at

23 Bud Andrews April 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm

25 bucks for a haircut? a bit steep for me

24 w. adam mandelbaum esq. April 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Great to see a guy who contributes professionally to an almost lost art of manliness–the old time barbershop–and has the wisdom not to sacrifice his life in sole search of the unholy dollar. Obviously you are a “cut” above the rest. Bravo.

25 Jeff Tabor April 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Florida is just too far away… All the best to Mr. Danburry! You are just the man for the job!

26 Therese April 29, 2011 at 4:13 pm

The best thing about my (now ex-)husband’s appearance was his hair due to his insistence on a barber cut. He got used to them when he was in the military and would have no other kind of haircut. Beautiful hairline all around, beautiful layering, better than any “stylist” could do it.

27 Steve April 29, 2011 at 4:17 pm

I am fortunate enough to go to an old fashioned barber shop that is minutes from my home. The current owner’s dad took over the shop from the original owner, and he took it over from his dad. The shop is the oldest continually-running business in town (a suburb of Columbus, OH); it has 5 barbers (all men), haircuts are $15, haircut + beard trim is $19, both include razor shave on back of the neck. It’s a great manly place to get a manly haircut. To top it off, I see my barber three times a week as we both work out at our community rec center. It’s kinda neat to share the showers with your barber and then shave next to him at the sink. We’ve become good friends and my monthly appointments with him in the chair are a real treat.

28 TM April 29, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Great interview.

I too go to an old school barber. The shop has been around for about 80 years, and my barber has been working there for about 50. The haircuts are great and inexpensive (only $12), and he puts in the care that “stylists” just don’t do. If you ever go to a Supercuts or Sport Clips, you’ll understand – they leave hair everywhere, they won’t give you a straight razor to the back of the neck and around your ears. It’ll be a shame when he retires and the community loses his years of experience.

I’ve promoted barbers to all my friends, and they’ve all been converted. Hopefully there will be a new movement among young men to choose the barber instead of the cosmetologists…

29 Will Littell April 30, 2011 at 12:06 am

Here in Powell Wyoming we have a real barbershop, still does straight razor trims and shaves as far as I know, great place to go!

30 Joe April 30, 2011 at 4:22 am

I hate to be a party pooper, but I don’t see the purpose of interviewing a barber who has 6 months experience. The question I want answered is, ‘what is the worst part of your job?’, and the barber answered: “I don’t know just yet…” If anyone does not have enough experience to tell me what he dislikes about his job (there is something to dislike in all jobs), then he cannot possibly illuminate me on whether I want his job or not (which is the title of the article). Sorry, but the interviewee was a poor choice. Why not interview the guys who taught at his school and had been barbers for 50 years? What stories they could tell.

31 Jeremy April 30, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I don’t understand complaining that he’s not more experienced. Would a veteran barber have a different perspective? Sure. But the perspective of a young, new barber is a valuable perspective too. Yes, an old guy with 50 years on the job could tell you about the old days, and how he bought his shop for few dollars and how barbering college was the only option would be interesting. But I want to know if being an old school barber is a viable option for a young guy and how a young guy found his way into the business in our current times. Which is exactly what this interview offered. So many thanks Drew!

32 A Sharper Razor April 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I really wish there were more barbers these days. I don’t need or want a perm or hair color. I just want my hair to look presentable when I go outside.

The art of the straight razor shave was kept alive by these people and a few die hards. It is good to see more barbers entering the workforce and opening businesses.

@ Joe, I think he did answer the question in an indirect way. He did say that opening his business and sitting around doing nothing was really hard. I would imagine that is the worst part of the job. It is for me, I’ve been honing razors professionally for other people for a couple of years now, but only recently opened up my own shop. The waiting and advertising costs are definitely the worst part of the job for me right now.
Additionally, he did say that when you rent a chair from someone else, it would more or less be unpleasant for the reasons he stated above.

33 Bill G April 30, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Very cool article. I would love to see more barber shops open up – and I think they will as more men start to look for these services. I find it a little uncomfortable being the only man at the nearby salon reading the tattered 8-month old copy of Sports Illustrated while listening to “girl talk”.

34 OKOK April 30, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Would be great to have a BARBER GUIDE similar to the wet shave post !

35 John May 1, 2011 at 11:37 pm

I have a Barber I discovered up in Eureka, CA that’s done the exact same thing. He’s gone from the corporate world to opening a 1900′s style gentleman’s barber shop. Every time I in NorCal I get a cut.

36 Bob V May 2, 2011 at 11:26 am

Can’t wait to stop by, I live about 30 miles away

37 Eric Upchurch May 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm

This was an interesting take on being a Barber. I have been a Barber for 9 years and have owned my own shop for the last 3 years. Having seen my view on things change over the years, I would like to see a follow up interview at some point in the future.
With that said, Drew, good luck to you and I am proud to see others joining our field, I am 28, and it is great to have other people my age working to revive this career field.

38 Mike May 3, 2011 at 5:51 am

You know, I’ve often been frustrated about not being able to find a real barber. Becoming a barber is an option I should keep open for when I retire.

39 Marlena May 3, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I hope he doesn’t mind but lately he has been my favorite musician.

http://www.youtube.com/user/drewdanburry?ob=5

40 bMac May 3, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Great post. I wish I lived in Provo… I’d be there tomorrow. I gave up with hairdressers in my 20s, when barbershops were failing…. and my wife has cut my hair since. She does a great job… but I miss the barbershop of my childhood… and would love to have a professional, classic, barber’s shave.
Speaking of my hometown barbershop. My Dad and I went to Al McCormick in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. David Chilton, a writer in Sarnia, wrote The Wealthy Barber… a story about a small-town barber who used disciplined saving and investing to amass a cool fortune. It’s a great read.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wealthy_Barber

41 Robert May 4, 2011 at 1:35 am

I love the classic barber shop, and have been going to the same barber for almost 20 years. (I’m 37) He doesn’t even ask anymore how I want it cut… he just cuts. And it is always finished with a straight razor.

He’s been in business for almost 50 years, and I don’t think his shop has changed much in that time. (Although there was some controversy a few years ago when he raised his prices from $7 to $8.) His shop is always busy, and welcoming. You can stop in for a haircut, to read the paper, or just to sit and talk. There should be more classic barber shops.

That being said…
The new trend of “classic” barber shops seem too pretentious, and no better than a salon. They appear to be worried more about looking like an old barber shop than they are just being a barber shop. I want a haircut and a conversation. I don’t need to feel like I’m re-enacting the past.

42 Tom May 11, 2011 at 7:52 pm

I’m glad I came across this article. After years of wife-induced bargain haircut hunting, I decided to go back to the old neighborhood barber shop. This guy has been in business for 42 years and you get the works; straight razor edge trims, eyebrow trims, bear touch-up, quick neck and head massage, tonic on the shaved areas, etc. I loved the experience and can’t wait to go back. It was the manliest thing I did all day.

43 Greg May 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I live in Tennessee, and we still have a few very good barbershops in our town. My barber will be 81 years old this year and has been a barber for 61 years. It is a two man shop and it is great to go in and listen to the fish stories, farm updates, local sports….etc. He has been my barber for a long time, although I have tried a couple of girls at local salons a few times, just for a back-up, but I will never go back again unless I have no barber option. Sitting in there watching women walk around in rollers, and listening to them talk about their husbands and boyfriends, and the smell of all of that “perm”……no thanks. For an earlier comment about $25 for a haircut….what do you think it will cost at a “beauty shop salon”? It won’t be $10, I guarantee that. If a choice of $15-25 for a barber or $15-25 for a salon, the barber wins….hands down. My barber charges $8 for a cut or $8.50 for a flattop….all finished with a straight razor…..outstanding! I too, thought about becoming a barber, and still do. A barbershop is as American as baseball and apple pie, and I hope it makes a roaring comeback! Great article.

44 Vera May 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm

My husband and I have thought of becoming barbers for a few years now- I am 52 and my husband is 55 – Something we could do for the next 10 years. After reading this howerer, I am thinking that most men want a man to cut in a barber shop? hmmm…. What do you all think?

45 Day May 23, 2011 at 2:31 am

Maybe I need to re-try barbers. Went to one in university and it wasn’t a pleasurable time. Guy always played eighties hair metal and had a ponytail himself. Pethaps that should have been a clue.

Now I must defend stylists against all this hate. My sister is one and no one gives me a better cut. Maybe I’m biased because I usually get a cut after hours and can pull out some beer or whiskey.

46 Jennifer December 13, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Hi, looking for a friend and found this article. He’s a young buck looking for a purpose and keeps coming back to being a barber. So my boyfriend keeps telling him to just do it! My question is, and I’m sorry if I missed it in the article or comments, is WHICH barber college? I think most of what you find online are probably scam schools and fake beauty “colleges”. Which one did the interviewee go to or recommend? Thanks!

47 debra January 12, 2013 at 8:46 am

hi there, i notice you use the term men, and man barbers, i am a female barber, going on 33 years now. And yes, I AM A REAL BARBER! I get asked that all the time… The best part of my job is working with MEN all day verses working with WOMEN. Men are much easier to get along with.

48 edvin rumble January 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm

i found me a real good barber his name is lee he works in houston tx at a barbershop called uppercutz barber shop. omg he had everyone asking me where i got my hair cut from. i even got a promotion. he is young but nice and he ask alot of questions about my hair its like he wants to find my dislikes and likes. call him if your in houston 832-382-3546

49 Matt Russell March 27, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Where did he go to school? Seems like all you find are cosmetology schools, and this is a fairly specific specialization. I know it’s only recently that they have differentiated between the two, seems like there would be some specialty schools around by now.

50 mike April 10, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Good article. I am a barber as well. I came to Australia from Huntington Beach years ago. I had my first barber shop in Sydney and now operate a smaller one down the street from my house. The shop Ive taken over is 60 years strong and many clients have been coming in since their first haircut. Lots of military vets including US special forces boys stationed here, police, lawyers and many other professionals. Add to that Irish, German, Indian men you name it, I never get bored everyone is interesting. The benefit is the camaraderie, no matter our superficial differences were all just the boyz in the hood and we all got each others backs. Im friends with these fellas and the perqs in fishing, sailing and hunting are great and you always know someone at the pub. In fact, on vacation not long ago, I ran into three of my clients. You wont get rich but you dont starve either, its a humble profession deserving of respect. The downside is that it can be messy and you have to work very hard to keep yourself and equipment clean.

51 Matthew July 25, 2013 at 10:58 am

This is an excellent summary of how to become a barber (and I loved the part about the Beatles. I have an old-school barber and he *still* talks about that).

One thing that confuses some people who want to become barbers is where they should go to school. That’s a pretty common confusion—some states have barber schools, and some don’t. If you live in a state where there are no barber schools, you’ll have to get your barbering education at a cosmetology school.

Thank you for posting! Excellent article.

52 Tom Hinson August 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I live in Northern Florida and am a licensed barber. Cut some hair as a teenager and when I joined the Navy. I’ve always worked full time though and cut hair on the side there are just TOO many barber shops in the area i’m in. I was taught to use all the tools and I love to give the razor shaves and the military taper with the razor touch up in the back (lost art). Most of these guys don’t respect the trade they just treat it like another hustle all they know is clippers and edgers. Maybe I should consider finding a town in need of a good barber with all the skills Drew, my man you’re a class act.

53 David November 2, 2013 at 8:18 am

I learn some barbering under a barber (OJT) in my teens with an apprentice licence and have renew it ever since. Now i’m considering retiring and this is one of the options on my list to persue to keep me busy and engaged. Must be faith a ran into this great article! Best of luck Drew.

54 Adam November 12, 2013 at 9:18 am

im 17 and im looking into barbering, its a dying tradition but its very intriguing and i would love to learn more im glad theres still men out there that are bringing back the dying art.

55 Josh E December 6, 2013 at 1:55 am

I was looking for a local barber in my hometown, and I couldn’t find one. Then I found this article and I think I’d like to go to barber school.

56 albert December 6, 2013 at 11:00 pm

does anybody know about famous and prestigious barber schools. basically which barber school is the Harvard or Yale of all barber schools. if im going to be trained i want to be from the best

57 Karen December 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Seems the isn’t a Barbering school in my area. Is Cosmetology as good in regards to wanting to Barber?

58 Bones January 14, 2014 at 11:49 pm

I’m 26 and have completed 4 years of service in the Marine Corps, as well as worked good paying jobs since high school, but at this point in my life I cant think of anything I would rather do than to be a barber. I was doing research when I found this article and it is very appealing. I plan to attend barber school within the next month.

59 KidEternalE January 29, 2014 at 11:36 am

First off, to the McKay’s, excellent article. Secondly, to Danbury, awesome way to take charge of one’s own life. I’m in my late twenties and have dropped out and returned to college several times. I haven’t been able to balance work and school well, which is why I find myself in limbo – I’m a bit of a slacker, may as well be honest here. I’d love to finish what I started and reading this article, for me, serves a further affirmation that barbering is work that I’d enjoy and be comfortable doing on an extended basis; even after I graduate sometime hopefully in the near future. I can’t say that I don’t dream of being rich, but if life has taught me one thing, it is that the pursuit of wealth, working in order to be rich, is a futile, unhappy, and ultimately degenerative way to live. I’ve learned that in working torwards something, it helps to embrace the possibility that you may never achieve it, although, lately I seem to have become a little TOO embracing of that idea…lol. I have been cutting my own hair, efficiently, since 2006 and my nephew’s since his birth four years ago. I have only ever cut about five other people’s hair, mostly family. I got a call from an acquaintance recently who needs an extra barber in his shop. I regrettably postponed the venture because I don’t feel I’m ready. I’ve never had any formal schooling but I’m going to give it a real shot. I do not want to look back later and regret that I didn’t
give it a real shot.

60 Divyanshu Mishra February 28, 2014 at 2:03 am

Super Like

61 John Waldron March 11, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Great article and more power to you Drew! Although it took awhile, I did teach myself how to shave with a straight razor and can do touch ups on my high and tight 2-3 weeks after it’s been done. For those guys missing the classic shave experience, buy a quality badger brush, mug,soap and DE razor. Not as nice as the straight razor, but pretty darn close! My dollars worth:)-John

62 Sam Whiting March 18, 2014 at 10:02 pm

I was stuck in cubicle limbo, dead end office, typical 9-5 job. I always thought that is what you had to do. I needed more, and had been feeling it for awhile, and simply going through the motions. i knew something had to change, I knew that the need for me to be happy was greater than the need for me to work in an office, and one day back in Oct’13 I came across this article. I have been going to the same barber since the age of 6 (now 38), and I decided I would talk with him. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. We talked for hours about what he liked and disliked about the job, and not once did he mention a dislike. He loves the fresh faces, and “repeat offenders” as he stated. As luck would have it I was recently laid off from my position, which happens in the corporate world, and I could think of nothing else I wanted to do. I have been having conversations with my barber on a weekly basis, and will be starting school in June of ’14. I cannot wait! Thank you very much for a great article, and amazing pathway to a new career.

63 Randy Basilio April 9, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Very inspiring! Currently going through a change of heart with my career as a wildland firefighter. Going to pursue my passion and possibly try and follow in your footsteps. Thanks. best of luck

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