31 Days
Day 4

A Faster Haircut = A Better Haircut

Volume 10

There are a few professional relationships in a man's life where things can get fairly deep. Your doctor knows you inside and out and you've likely told the bartender at your local watering hole all kinds of sorted secrets. Then there's your barber. Every few weeks, you sit down and literally put your head in their hands. There's a lot of trust there—which is perhaps why he's so comfortable peppering you with questions.

Depending on the place, maybe he'll offer you a beer and sit you down. Then ask about the cut you want (whether this is your first or your 15th time in the chair). Once he gets going, there's the idle chatter about the weather, politics or various sports. Maybe he'll ask about your relationship or your job or your dog. And don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want an unfriendly barber wielding a blade while running his hands through my hair. But there's also something relaxing and meditative about a nice haircut. And that feeling can be ruined when you're constantly talked at for 30 to 45 minutes.

I don't mean to sound like a dick, but I like to get my pleasantries out of the way in the beginning and then enjoy the cut in relative silence. Everything goes quicker and the results are usually better too. The bad cuts are always by some dude who was too busy chatting about his last trip to Lollapalooza to realize he cut my sides unevenly and took way too much off the top. Herewith, a few suggestions to keep the conversation light the next time you sit down for a cut.


Keep your answers brief. When your replies to the barber's questions are simple, one words answers, he should get the message that you're not looking to chat. They're often taught to maintain a friendly conversation, but they're not (usually) looking to pry.


Ask him what he's doing. If you feel like your barber is paying more attention to his own storytelling than on your cut, politely interrupt and ask him to explain what he's doing with your cut. "I never know how to explain it," you can say, "so it'd be great to know how you're cutting it." This will bring his attention back to the job at hand.


Level with him. Tell him that you're just not very talkative today. And apologize for being "out of it." As long as your barber knows that it's your preference not to talk (and not something that he's done), he shouldn't have a problem with letting you simply sit there. When the cut's done, thank him for letting you relax.

Volume 10   //   2018

31 Days is back ... And 2018 marks its tenth iteration. When we started this a decade ago, we never imagined that these daily guides to being better men would take off and become one of Valet.'s most popular series of all time. So thank you for your continued support and belief in our mission. This year, we're focusing on productivity—ways in which you can streamline and improve your days to make your job less stressful, your work more efficient and your life run just a bit more smoothly. It's time to raise your game.

  • 1
    Get a Jump Start
    on Your Day
  • 2
    Slow Day?
  • 3
    The Power of
    Saying "No"
  • 4
    Faster Haircut =
    Better Haircut
  • 5
    Casey Neistat on
  • 6
    Your Sneakers
  • 7
    Save Money
  • 8
  • 9
    Stay in
  • 10
    The "Good Day"
  • 11
    Get Bumped ...
    for Good
  • 12
    Tim Ferriss on
    Doing It All
  • 13
    Style Hacks
  • 14
    Get a
  • 15
    Shit Done
  • 16
    A Successful
  • 17
    Your Focus
  • 18
    Your Grooming
  • 19
    Jeff Bezos on
    Making Decisions
  • 20
    Fixing a
    Bad Haircut
  • 21
    Learn a
    New Hobby
  • 22
    Dress for
  • 23
    Success at
    Any Age
  • 24
  • 25
    Get Out of
    a Meeting
  • 26
    Jay-Z on the
    Keys to Success
  • 27
    Bad Breath
  • 28
    Master Your
    Credit Cards
  • 29
  • 30
    The First
    5 Minutes
  • 31
    Be Better at