Going to the barbers these days is so much more than a fade and shave. Barbers are engaging with their local communities to see how they can provide high-quality services, outside of haircuts, and focus on forgotten customers such as vulnerable adults and those who experience social anxiety. We take a look at the add-on treatments and services barbershops are offering, from the unusual to the community-focused.
Adding On To Give Back
Steven Chapman, founder at The Hoi Polloi, has used his experience working in the mental health system to introduce silent haircuts at his shop. “When I started cutting hair I saw issues around people with general and social anxiety,” he explains. “I noticed how a barbershop could be a trigger for a lot of these people who may find the barbershop quite an intimidating place.” Steven’s focus is making sure people feel as comfortable as possible and since launching he has noticed there is a wider scope for silent haircuts: “Newcastle has quite a large foreign student population so people who struggle to speak English for the full 45 minutes find it really useful.” Removing the stress from the situation is also a popular option for people with busy work lives or those who don’t want to talk. “We also found that people who would normally put off coming to their barbershop for months because they find it stressful, are now regulars who come in every four weeks,” Steven adds.
“Every barbershop should accommodate their community,” says Craig Henderson who runs Craig’s Barber Shop in Bolton. Craig works with children with additional needs and vulnerable adults who need a tailored approach when it comes to cutting hair. “We are skilled, and we see amazing haircuts online but what about other demographics, are you willing to go the extra mile and make a difference?”
Wax On, Wax Off
Cresswell Barber Co. have also found that creating a comfortable environment for clients interested in additional grooming treatments keeps them coming back. “I wanted to make sure that the shop was gender neutral. I wanted to remove that stigma of, ‘only women get their eyebrows waxed’,” says owner Natalie Cresswell, who offers everything from nose waxing, ear waxing, eyebrow threading and luxury facials to hot towel treatments and wet shaves. Being able to upsell additional treatments is key to their success says Natalie, “We find that nose and ear waxing takes less than a minute and we put it on our booking system as zero minutes,” she adds. “We charge five pounds, and it takes no time at all so it’s just convincing your client to go for it.”
Joshua Grocutt, Barber Barber area manager, agrees, “As barbers we should be looking to increase the services on offer. Including an add on waxing service that’s good for brows, nose and ear hair removal is ideal. It’s a quick treatment that will bring added revenue to our appointments.”
Grooming is Booming
Adding more experiential, not just functional services to your barbershop menu will enable you to cater to a larger client base and attract new customers says Jim Shaw, owner of TONI&GUY Billericay. His salon focuses on the full customer experience, whether that is longer consultations or more of a ‘grooming experience’. “The packages and styling services I brought into the salon were to heighten our clients experience further and to allow them to get their services all in one place,” adds Jim. “I would also advise you to use marketing as much as you can to promote the new services and to shout about your new offerings to clients,” he adds.
Giving men the space to discuss treatment is also key to additional grooming services – Jim has a separate area that’s separate from the main salon. “This allows us to cater to our male clients, where they can feel comfortable to open up about whatever they want, including any hair concerns they may have such as hair loss or hair thinning,” he says.
And what about the more unusual add-on treatments? Drue Mock, director at Cuts & Creps in Bristol, has found a way to combine both his passions under one roof. “At Cuts and Creps, we offer haircuts, sneaker cleans, and we buy and sell new and preloved shoes,” he tells us. When Drue decided to venture out on his own he knew he wanted his shop to stand out from the rest, “Before going out with my friends they would always ask me for a quick haircut and to clean up their shoes because I would always freshen mine up,” he explains. “Back in the 1920’s people would get their hair cut and shoes shined, so I thought it would make sense to revamp that idea and bring it to life with a modern twist!”
However you decide to mix it up, it’s important to be passionate about the service you are offering. Drue says: “It’s hard balancing two services at once. There are only so many hours in the day and only one of you. I found it hard finding the balance but stick at it if you believe it’s going to work. Don’t ride treads and be original, the public like uniqueness.” MB agrees, originality rules.