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Picture this. You’re at the barbershop. Your barber takes a few final snips to clean up some stray hairs around your ear line. He takes off your cape and swivels your chair around so you’re facing the mirror. Then he holds a handheld mirror up behind you so you can see the back of your head.

With a big smile on his face, the barber asks, “So what do you think?”

What you think is that it’s a terrible haircut. The worst one you’ve ever gotten in your life. You’re going to have to walk around with a paper bag over your head like Charlie Brown. 

But instead of saying that, you mumble “It’s fine,” swipe your card to pay (even adding a tip for the butchering, cuz you’re such a nice guy), and walk out the door.

There’s a better way to handle getting a bad haircut. And to learn what that is, I talked to my barber, Thad Forrester, co-owner of Hudson / Hawk Barber & Shop (locations in KS, AR, and MO). Here’s what he told me.

Prevent a Bad Haircut From Happening in the First Place

The best way to manage a bad haircut is to avoid getting one in the first place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and all that jazz. 

Thad recommends that before your barber gets anywhere close to your head with a pair of clippers, you do a thorough consultation with him or her about your expectations — especially if this is the first time that they’ll be cutting your hair or you’re changing your usual style. “If your barber skips this step,” Thad says, “it might be time to look for a different one.”

This pre-cut consultation should be a two-way conversation; not only should you fill in your barber about what you’re looking for, Thad says a good barber or stylist should ask you the following questions:

How long has it been since your last haircut? Is this normally how long you go between cuts? (Gives the barber an idea of how much length to take off.)Are you wanting to stick with the same basic style or are you looking to change it up? (During this time, the barber should also be combing through your hair, looking for any bumps, potential problem areas, difficult growth patterns, etc.)How much time do you spend styling your hair? or What’s your morning hair styling routine look like? (Gives the barber insight into whether you blow-dry, use product, etc., allowing him to recommend an appropriate look or recommend a different style.)What do you like about your current hairstyle? Is there anything you don’t like or would like to change? Any areas of your hair that give you issues? (Lets the barber know areas that you’re particularly sensitive to, such as a difficult swirl in the back that sticks up if it gets too short, ect.)

Clear communication with your barber will go a long way in preventing a bad haircut from happening and ensuring you get a final result you’re happy with. Make sure to read our guide on how to talk to your barber so that you’re on the same page with him.

Be Assertive and Speak Up During Your Haircut

According to Thad, a good barber will check in with you periodically during the cut to make sure he’s cutting your hair in accordance with your desires. Again, this is especially true if this is the first time he’s cutting your hair or you’re changing up the way you normally get your hair cut. 

When your barber asks you these in-progress questions, be honest. Don’t just mumble your assent because you’re shy/passive. 

If your barber doesn’t check in with you during the cut, be assertive (which doesn’t have to mean jerky) and speak up when you see him doing something you don’t like. If he’s cutting your sides too short, let him know right away. He might be able to course correct a bit. Even if he can’t, it’s feedback for him to use next time.

What to Do When Your Haircut Is Finished, and It’s Still Bad

Let’s say you did all of the above, and you’re still not happy with your haircut when the barber does the final reveal and asks you how it looks.

Thad says to be honest: “If there’s an area you see that needs to be addressed, tell your barber and ask if there’s anything he can do to correct it. A good barber wants honest feedback and won’t get offended. We want to keep polishing our skillset.” A good barber wants you to leave his chair completely happy with your haircut. 

To correct a cut, usually you’ll need to go shorter.

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Sunday Firesides. Sometimes the Critic Counts



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“It is not the critic who counts.”

If this line from Theodore Roosevelt’s famous “Man in the Arena” speech is taken to mean that the individual who takes action has far greater worth than he who merely casts stones from the sidelines, then it can be adopted as an unassailable truth.

If, however, it’s taken to mean you should never listen to your critics, then it’s a mantra that cannot be universally applied.

T.R., after all, was a critic himself, and when he called individuals “fragrant man swine,” “little emasculated masses of inanity,” and “beings who belong to the cult of non-virility” — you can bet he wanted to be listened to (and probably should have been).

While adopting a blanket “f**k the haters” mindset may anesthetize the pain of receiving negative feedback, it comes at the cost of two key things:

First, you surrender a potentially helpful perspective.

We’d all do well to heed our inner voice and scorecard over that of the crowd. But we can lose track of that voice or allow ego to convince us we’re doing a better job than we are, and it can take an external observer to point that out.

Second, you forfeit — at least if you apply the “never listen to critics” standard with integrity/consistency — the right to be heard yourself.

Because if people shouldn’t listen to anyone else’s opinions, they shouldn’t listen to yours, either.

Little credit belongs to the masses of heckling, grandstand-riding spectators, who nine times out of ten, have nothing valuable to say. But to avoid developing what Teddy called “a mind that functions at six guinea-pig power,” it’s wise to recognize that sometimes the critic can count: when he’s someone you respect; when he’s someone who also has skin in the game; when he’s someone who’s got, well, a point.

The post Sunday Firesides: Sometimes, the Critic Counts appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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How to Diagnose and Treat Heat Stroke & Heat Exhaustion



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It’s been freaking hot around the world this summer. Here in Oklahoma we’ve had more than a dozen days in July alone with temperatures over 100 degrees. 

The chances of suffering a heat-related illness like heat exhaustion and heat stroke go up during extreme heat. According to the CDC, between 2004 and 2018, an average of 702 people died annually from heat-related causes, and thousands more ended up in the hospital. Small children and adults over 65 are most susceptible to heat-related illness. However, it can hit anyone who works or exercises vigorously in the heat. In fact, heat stroke is one of the three most common killers of soldiers and athletes in training. 

Below we share how to recognize heat exhaustion and heat stroke and what to do to treat both conditions. 

How to Recognize & Treat Heat Exhaustion 

Heat Exhaustion Symptoms

Heat exhaustion occurs when your body can no longer cool itself down through sweating due to a loss of water and electrolytes. Heat exhaustion needs to be treated as soon as you recognize it in yourself or others. Left untreated, it can develop into its more severe sibling: heat stroke.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: 

Heavy sweatingCold, pale, and clammy skinFast, weak pulseNausea or vomitingMuscle crampsTiredness or weaknessDizzinessHeadacheBrief fainting (passing out)

How to Treat Heat Exhaustion

The goal of treating heat exhaustion is to cool the sufferer down and restore their fluids.

Move to a cool room. If you don’t have access to an air-conditioned room, at least move to a shady spot.Take a cold shower or bath. If that’s not possible, drape (do not tightly wrap — this will trap heat) cool, wet towels/cloths on the body. Turn a fan on these towels if you can. Remove extra clothing.Sip cool fluids, like water and Gatorade.

If heat exhaustion symptoms continue for an hour despite your treatment, seek professional medical assistance.

How to Recognize & Treat Heat Exhaustion 

Heat Stroke Symptoms

Heat stroke is the most serious of heat-related illnesses. With heat stroke, the body has lost its ability to cool itself down, resulting in a dangerously high internal body temperature (above 104 degrees Fahrenheit). High internal body temperature is potentially life-threatening as it can cause seizures, organ failure, and rhabdomyolysis. Even if you recover from heat stroke, you can still suffer long-term damage to your heart, brain (creating cognitive deficiencies), kidneys (requiring lifelong dialysis or a transplant), and liver (also requiring a transplant). Heat stroke victims often die months after they’ve “recovered.”

To guide me on the intricacies of identifying and treating heat stroke, I talked to Dr. Sean Langan, a research assistant at the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut. The Korey Stringer Institute specializes in research in preventing heat stroke deaths among athletes. 

Heat stroke symptoms include: 

Central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction:ConfusionAggression/agitation (Dr. Langan says you frequently see heat stroke victims bite and punch people)DizzinessFaintingSeizuresVery high body temperature (104 degrees F or higher)Red, hot, dry skin (no sweating). Sean notes that you rarely see dry skin in people with exertional heat stroke (caused by exercising or working in the heat). Those exerting themselves in the heat may still be sweaty, and you’ll need to be on the lookout for other symptoms, particularly CNS dysfunction.Throbbing headacheNausea/vomitingRapid breathingRapid pulse

According to Dr. Langan, the critical heat stroke symptom to be on the lookout for is CNS dysfunction:

You can have really fit people who have an internal body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit at the end of a marathon who are fine. Their body is adapted to having that high of an internal temp so they don’t have any CNS dysfunction and they cool down quickly after they finish their race. 

You can also have someone who has an internal body temperature of 103, but they’re experiencing CNS dysfunction. This person has heat stroke and needs to be treated. 

If you see someone who’s been in the heat who’s showing signs of CNS dysfunction, your best bet is to start treating that person for heat stroke. To confirm, take their temperature with a rectal thermometer (it will give you the most accurate reading)

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Podcast #678 Physical Benchmarks Every man should meet at every age



As men, we all want to be physically capable. We want to be able to save our own life in two ways: in the more metaphorical sense of wanting to preserve it in healthy, fit form for as long as possible, and in the more literal sense of being able to make it through an emergency unscathed. How do you know if you do possess that kind of lifesaving physical capability?

It’s time to do more than wonder, and really check in with yourself. My guest today has some helpful benchmarks that guys from age 8 to 80 can use to see if they’ve got an operative level of strength, mobility, and conditioning. His name is Dan John, and he’s a strength coach and the author of numerous books and articles on health and fitness. Dan walks us through the fitness standards the average male should be able to meet from childhood to old age, beginning with the assessments he gives to those who are 55 years old and older, which includes carrying their body weight, a long jump, and something called “the toilet test.” We then reach back to childhood, and Dan discusses the physical skills kids should become adept in, which were inspired by a turn-of-the-20th-century physical culturist who thought every individual ought to be able to save his own life, and which can be broken down into the categories of pursuit, escape, and attack. We end our conversation with the physical standards those in the 18-55 range should be able to meet, including how much a man should be able to bench press, squat, and deadlift, and the walking test that’s an excellent assessment of your cardiovascular conditioning.

My first and second interview with Dan“10 Things Every Lifter Should Be Able to Do”AoM Article: Don’t Just Lift Heavy, Carry HeavyAoM Article: Take the Simple Test That Can Predict Your MortalityAoM Article: The 10 Physical Skills Every Man Should MasterAoM Podcast #663: How to Achieve Physical AutonomyAoM Article: The History of Physical FitnessAoM Article: Every Man Should Be Able to Save His Own LifeAoM Article: 12 Balance Exercises You Can Do on a 2×4Shaker PlateAoM Podcast #508: Break Out of Your Cage and Stop Being a Human Zoo Animal

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Brett McKay: Brett McKay here, and welcome to another edition of The Art of Manliness podcast. As men, we all want to be physically capable. We wanna be able to save our life in two ways. First in the more metaphorical sense of wanting to preserve it in a healthy fit form for as long as possible. And second, in the more literal sense of being able to make it through an emergency unscathed. How do you know if you possess that kind of life-saving physical capability?

Well, it’s time to do more than wonder and really check in with yourself, and my guest today has some helpful benchmarks that guys from ages eight to 80 can use to see if they’ve got an operative level of strength, mobility, and conditioning. His name is Dan John. He’s a strength coach and the author of numerous books and articles on health and fitness.

Today on the show, Dan walks us through the fitness standards the average male should be able to meet

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