As a self-proclaimed traditionalist, I’ve kept the same haircut—a simple take on the high-and-tight—since early high school. That said, variety is the spice of life, so I’ve also developed a trick for keeping my go-to style fresh: Giving the exact same simple instructions…to different barbers.
Most stylish dudes with enviable haircuts will tell you: “Find your barber, and you’re set.” I don't use much product in my hair and am pretty low maintenance, so I’ve taken the opposite track: I stick with one style, and now I experiment endlessly with barbers.
In truth, there isn’t much to it. I just walk into my barbershop without an appointment, and schedule a cut in the first available chair. The instructions I give are the same each time: “Take 2 inches off the top, and get as close as you can on the sides without showing skin.” Your directions should be simple enough to replicate the cut, but vague enough to allow for some creative interpretation.
The results, as expected, may vary. After all, “2 inches off the top” leads to a variety of lengths, especially if I waited an extra week between cuts. “Without showing skin” is also a shot in the dark: Some barbers leave a good half an inch, while others shear the hair within a millimeter of the skin. One in particular, an enthusiastic apprentice, kept the top so long and the sides so short that my coif resembled a Nick-Wooster undercut—a shocking divergence that ended up as one of my favorite summer cuts. After all, what fun is life without a few surprises?