1. Thou shalt not go "big box" salons: Look, we get it. Getting your hair cut by a lovely young lady in a referee outfit while she smashes her boobs on your noggin seems like a good idea but barbering as a profession is a sacred art, and thusly, those looking to purely turn a quick profit with gimmicks shouldn't be taken seriously. A barber truly worthy of the esteemed title is a confidant, adviser, comedian, and provider of fresh cuts all in one. Don't sacrifice that for sex appeal, or cheap prices, or both, as tempting as they may be.
2. Thou shalt not under-tip: As stated before, barbering is an art, and it's not always easy making a dude look sharp (or, maybe, less ugly). But time and time again, your barber answers the call and you leave the shop with an exponentially greater chance of getting lucky that night. He deserves more credit than a simple thank you. Shoot them 20% minimum tip on top if your cut is nice and watch your place on his VIP list continue to rise. And in all honestly, do you really want to shaft the person who takes a straight razor to your scalp on a regular basis? We think not.
3. Thou shalt not take the empty chair: New to a neighborhood shop? You might want to scan your surroundings first. If there's a crowd and still an empty seat in a particular's barber chair, don’t do it. The seat is empty for a reason. A reason that you should hope you never have the misfortune of discovering. Unless you enjoy your hairline getting pushed back to Stephen A. Smith levels of struggle.
4. Thou shalt be vocal in terms of needs: A true professional will understand and be open to some instruction as you get cut. The operative word there is, "some." Don't wait until the end of your cut to tell him to make major changes and don't be a micromanager during the process. You're paying for one cut, not several and trust in your barber’s knowledge and skills is paramount.
5. Thou shalt not attempt touch-ups at home: Depending how long you go in between cuts, sometimes the mane can get a bit shaggy. Sure, there's a lot of electric razors out there that come with trimming tools for the scalp, but don't kid yourself. Leave the trim jobs to the pros. This isn't an oil change we’re talking about here. One slip up, and your hair might look so bombed out and depleted that the Red Cross will start airdropping care packages to your front door. Then try explaining to your barber that YOU tried doing HIS job for him.
6. Thou shalt clean your damn hair beforehand: Common sense, as it turns out, isn't so common. Wash your hair it first and ditch any product before you come in. If anything, bring a picture in of your hair already styled to give the barber a better indication of what you're looking for. You wouldn't tell a chef to un-cook a meal and then cook it again, so don't expect the same from a barber. And trust me when I say that an oily, sweaty scalp is something that barbers never get used to.
7. Thou shalt mind the clock: Be on time. Always. Your barber might run a bit late on occasion, and that's ok. Sometimes cuts take a bit longer than usual, and appointments usually run in immediate succession. Miss your designated slot and you might be screwed until the next day. It sounds unfair, but your barber (if he's a good one) doesn't need you as much as you need him. Keep that in mind.
8. Thou shalt not move your head: Nodding off, being too expressive with body language, or suddenly jerking your head to get a better look at what's on TV are all cardinal sins to the temple of barbarism. A still head is a neatly cut head, so keep yourself in the chair and try to move your noggin only at your barber's instruction.