Not all of us can bring an entourage with us wherever we go, not all of us care that much about our hair to spend loads of money on it. I prefer fast and/or cheap, preferably both. I recall an issue of Men’s Health magazine I read in college that had an article (with illustrations) by Dennis Rodman (who probably did not draw the cartoons) about how to choose a barber. The first step was “Look for the pole.” If it has a barber pole, it’s a barber shop, otherwise it’s a salon. Barbers typically cut men’s hair (ignoring their history as early surgeons), and so might have a better idea of what a man wants. That’s pretty much the only rule I follow when looking for a barber.
Of course, I have my regular guy (whom I visited yesterday), whose barber pole was destroyed by vandals years ago. He may have had a fake wooden or color printout for a while before giving up on that. You’d never know it was a barber shop if you drove by, you’d have to look intently through the shop window to see the barber chair. During my time in Bermuda, I found two different barber shops, and frequented one more than the other, because the other one was a singular guy who had a horrendously unpredictable schedule. Both were much more expensive than I would have liked. I don’t mind paying for quality, but I didn’t get it there, often deciding to wait until I flew home or somewhere else to find a barber shop.
While living in Bermuda, I made two separate trips to Boston, one year apart, and hoped to be able to get a haircut for cheaper (which I did). The first year, I found a barber shop outside Harvard University, the second year, I used the one inside the MIT Stratton Student Center (adjacent to the Coop Bookstore). I think I liked the cut from the MIT shop better. Before my last trip to Australia, I had spent nearly five weeks on a ship, and I was going to spend another three weeks in Australia, so it was time to find a barber shop somewhere. I ended up finding a training center in Sydney and had a cheap haircut, didn’t care too much for the result, as long as it was shorter and cleaned up.
For my 8 day trip to London and more recent 3 weeks in Europe, I planned the last haircut shortly before I left because I didn’t want to spend time looking for a barber shop. I spent about a day looking for one around Pittsburgh, but never saw the pole, so I gave up.