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I really enjoyed the recent thread on The Best Barber Shops of all time.(https://askandyaboutclothes.com/community/showthread.php?t=62473)

I am a Supercuts/magicuts/whatever client. It's not that I appreciate the high level of skill, or that I'm cheap, it's just that it's pretty difficult to mess up my hair (It gets clipped short, and I have a big enough bald spot that, frankly, shaving it all off to fix a mistake wouldn't be the end of the world). I usually just stop in when I'm driving past, and if there is no wait, I get a cut.

I had been looking for a regular barber for some time, but there were no real men's barber shops in town that I could find. The one location that did exist was never open, and frankly, I didn't really want to park my car outside the door considering it's location.

This weekend however, I went into an upscale hotel to buy my wife a gift certificate to the new Spa located inside, and guess what I found? Hidden in the back was a classic barber shop; old chairs, barber pole, the whole nine yards. Unfortunately, it was closed at the time, and there were no signs indicating price or services. It was obvious that the place was still open for business, however.

So, I'm curious. Are there rules of etiquette for barber shops? Should you pay by cash? How much should you tip? Anything else?

When I stop in at the chain places I usually just plop down a credit card and leave an extra $5 for the stylist. I'm sure everywhere is different, but certainly there must be some guidelines.

I've been going to stylists ever since I was a little kid. I have some VAGUE memories of my dad taking me to a small barber shop when I was tiny, but except for remembering that the barber was old and shaky, nothing rings a bell.
 

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Sounds as if you've found a good one. I've been going to small barber shops my whole life (all 22 years of it) and I've found that most are cash only, closed Sunday and Monday, and open till 12 or so on Saturday.

The one I've found while in school in Norman is as close to perfect as I've seen. Located in an old main street building, old chairs, pole, etc. They will cut your hair and also shave your sideburns, around your ears, and the back of your neck with a straight razor, plus give you a short massage at the end. All of this only costs $11, so I usually give $15.
 

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The rules vary. If it's a small barber shop, they probably aren't set up to take anything but cash and checks. It's possible that the one you saw, being in a hotel, might not only take credit cards but allow guests to charge services to their room account.

At JonPaul's in Atlanta (actually, Duluth, a fairly distant suburb), one puts the tip on the credit card slip; if you had multiple services (manicure, shoe shine, etc.) they allocate it.

At Truefitt & Hill in Chicago, you can put the tip on the credit card, but they hand you back cash to personally deliver to the barber, manicurist, and shoe shine guy. On one hand, this adds to the personal aspect, in that you see these people one last time and they know that you gave the tip, but if they're busy and already moved on to the next person it can be awkward.
 

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My barber here in Madison is quite well priced- but they do only take cash. Compared to the price of a cut in the rest of the city, it's a bargain. But don't go unless you're looking for a traditional style- the barbers aren't hairdressers after all! Tipping, I usually give 3-4 bucks for a $13 haircut. The barbers spend a lot more time on your hair than the guys at the cheap places- usually no electronic clippers!
 

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At Truefitt & Hill in Chicago, you can put the tip on the credit card, but they hand you back cash to personally deliver to the barber, manicurist, and shoe shine guy. On one hand, this adds to the personal aspect, in that you see these people one last time and they know that you gave the tip, but if they're busy and already moved on to the next person it can be awkward.
That's a great personal touch.
 

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My barber here in Madison is quite well priced- but they do only take cash. Compared to the price of a cut in the rest of the city, it's a bargain. But don't go unless you're looking for a traditional style- the barbers aren't hairdressers after all! Tipping, I usually give 3-4 bucks for a $13 haircut. The barbers spend a lot more time on your hair than the guys at the cheap places- usually no electronic clippers!
If it isn't too much to ask, what barber is this? I've been wanting to find a good barber in the Madison area.
 

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...On one hand, this adds to the personal aspect, in that you see these people one last time and they know that you gave the tip, but if they're busy and already moved on to the next person it can be awkward.
Most spas today have tip envelopes to avoid you having to slip the money in the technician's pocket because they're on to the next person, or chase them around after the service to find they're in the bathroom, etc. The presentation of the tip in public is (in my view) vulgar. Tipping should be a private transaction.
 

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Most spas today have tip envelopes to avoid you having to slip the money in the technician's pocket because they're on to the next person, or chase them around after the service to find they're in the bathroom, etc. The presentation of the tip in public is (in my view) vulgar. Tipping should be a private transaction.
Why is an economic rate not charged so that the employee is properly remunerated and this silly notion of having to leave a 30% tip done away with?
 

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Why is an economic rate not charged so that the employee is properly remunerated and this silly notion of having to leave a 30% tip done away with?
I think part of it is the American version of the work ethic - if providing mediocre service earns you the same amount of money as providing excellent service, and providing excellent service means you might find yourself much busier with no additional compensation, what's the point?
 
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