Day in and day out barbers shoot the breeze with the wide variety of men who walk into their shops. As these men settle in the barber’s chair and get a trim, they share tidbits about their lives, their problems, and their observations on the world today. Since barbers spend so much time listening to and talking with other men, we figured they might have accumulated some pearls of wisdom on how men can live life well. So we asked 8 barbers from a wide range of ages, experience, and backgrounds to answer this question: “What’s your best advice on being a man?” The responses we got range from the philosophical to practical style advice. Soak it up, and go have an enjoyable conversation and a relaxing shave with your local barber.
Drew Danburry – Danburry Barber Shop | Provo, UT
Drew Danburry just got into barbering a few years ago and shared his experience of transitioning from being a touring musician to opening up his own shop in our So You Want My Job series.
Even though on most days you’ll find Drew cutting hair and giving hot shaves in downtown Provo, he’s still cranking out the tunes on the side.
Craig the Barber – The Grooming Concierge | Hollywood, CA
“As a barber, one of the greatest aspects of my job is that I get to talk to my amazing clients throughout the day and I learn something from each one of them. Throughout the years we’ve touched upon a slew of different topics, and I would have to say the best advice I’ve gleaned from them, which I love to share with others, is to live life with as few complications as possible.
Whether it relates to your relationships, hobbies, or even your personal grooming routine, simple does not have to mean boring! Focus on your end goal and purpose at all times and let the superfluous aspects fall to the side. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity of interacting with men who live their lives operating in the space of what society suggests that they HAVE to do, which always seems to be “more” — accomplish more, acquire more. And without fail it doesn’t take long before they feel miserable and trapped. But, the men who appear to be content are the ones who found a way to escape the sounds and pushes to “fit-in” by ignoring them, and focusing on what made them happy. Those guys are always the ones I learn and grow the most from. Not to mention, enjoy servicing them as clients!”
Craig the Barber has been cutting men’s hair for over a decade and counts many of Hollywood’s heavy hitters as his clients.
Be sure to check out Craig’s website where he offers grooming tips for men.
Frank Vitale – Vitale’s Hair Styling | Pittsburgh, PA
Frank Vitale is a 91-year-old barber who has been cutting hair for over 63 years. His dad told him “if you don’t want to go to school, be a barber. You will not be rich but you’ll never be out of work.” After a stint in the Army Air Corps during WWII, he took his dad’s advice, learned the trade, and opened his first shop in 1951. He still cuts hair 15-18 hours a week, and always comes to work with a dress shirt and tie.
For more on Frank’s story, check out this great feature the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did on him.
Thad Forrester – Hudson Hawk Barbers | Springfield, MO
“As my friend Matt Baldwin says, ‘A good pair of jeans is the most important piece in your wardrobe.’ Every guy should take a pair of raw selvage denim from stiff and uncomfortable and watch them fade and soften until they tell the story of your life. It’s a great rite of passage in the quest to Stay Sharp.”
Thad is the co-owner of Hudson Hawk in Springfield, MO. Hudson Hawk is an old-school barber shop with a modern twist. They offer high-quality, classic haircuts, hot shaves, and shoe shines, all in a comfortable, masculine environment. Since I’m only a few hours away, I definitely want to pay them a visit sometime!