Updated: Nov 21
Is your haircut a purely perfunctory experience or does it hold more meaning for you? Not to deny the value of a quick trim but the experience of connection with your barber or stylist can provide value on a number of levels, including mental and social health benefits, confidence and self-esteem.
Do you enjoy destressing in a barbershop with old school charm, leather and wood? Or fixing up in a funky salon, upbeat and modern? Whichever you prefer, likely as not, both types of venue have their own, unique charm. Placed with soul, style and maybe a little swagger. And, a team - of individuals – that offer a blend of skill and camaraderie that elevate the simple act of getting a haircut into a more meaningful ritual.
For some, finding your style – especially in matter of hair - can be tough. Some like to change up their hair on a regular basis. Others, myself included, have our haircut and we enjoy sticking with it. Some might approach the visit with a little dread. A skilled barber or stylist is not merely a haircutter; they are artists, craftspeople and souls with a connection to a world where skill cannot, for now, be replaced by tech.
In the chair, trust is paramount. The relationship between a man and his barber, or a lady and her hairdresser (please mix and match as you will, my barber is a well tattooed lady) has sacred undertones. It is built on a foundation of shared stories, laughter and, most importantly, the confidence that the person behind the scissors understands your vision. And they wield a blade around your neck. There's a unique bond formed when someone takes the time to understand your preferences, an atmosphere of trust that goes beyond the haircut itself.
Western barbers have had a long association with health, since the Middle Ages when they were surgeons. Nowadays a chat, a drink and a haircut suit us just fine!
A visit to the barbershop is a ritual of self-care, free from the pressures of the outside world. The buzz of clippers, the snip of scissors, the scent of grooming products and some lively banter create an ambiance that is comforting. This ritual serves as a reminder that taking care of oneself is not a luxury (although it can be) but a vital aspect of social life beyond one’s usual circle of friends and colleagues. To hear other opinions and worldviews, to feel a connection with broader society curated by the surrounds of the salon itself.
With hair freshly cut, one is not just groomed but transformed. A fresh haircut can be a powerful confidence booster. The newfound confidence is not just about looking good, it's a reflection of the care and attention invested in oneself. Self-care that fosters a positive mindset. Likewise, taking steps to eat right, exercise right, get quality sleep and have positive work-life balance. These are the key pillars of health that support your wellbeing.
So, dear readers, next time you find yourself in the familiar embrace of that chair: savour the experience, relish the transformation and walk out with a renewed sense of self-assurance.
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Blyler CA, Rader F. Sustainability of blood pressure reduction in black barbershops. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2019 Nov;34(6):693-699. doi: 10.1097/HCO.0000000000000674. PMID: 31425171; PMCID: PMC8409221.
Hernigou P, Hernigou J, Scarlat M. Medieval surgery (eleventh-thirteenth century): barber surgeons and warfare surgeons in France. Int Orthop. 2021 Jul;45(7):1891-1898. doi: 10.1007/s00264-021-05043-z. Epub 2021 Apr 16. PMID: 33860853.