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11 Mistakes Your Barber Made (And What To Do About Them)

July 26, 2021
11 Mistakes Your Barber Made (And What To Do About Them)

Barbers are human and humans make mistakes. Whether you’ve tested out a new one or your old and trusted barber has simply let one slip, you’re about to learn 11 common mistakes a barber could make and what to do about them. 

Let’s get to it. 

1. What To Do If Your Barber Cuts Your Hair Uneven 

When a barber cuts your hair unevenly, decide whether you want to ignore it, ask them to fix it for free, or get a refund and visit another barber for the fix. The correction depends on the area concerned, but will often include removing length and weight. 

You’ll probably notice it during or immediately after the haircut. 

mans hair being cut by a barber
Image From Deposit Photos

Most honest barbers will recognize their mistake and will offer to fix it there and then – this is definitely better than needing to give a refund. 

They care about their reputation and also won’t want to lose you as a customer. 

It’s quite likely they’ll know exactly where it’s gone wrong before you bring it up. But if not, it’s important to understand where the unevenness is originating so you can communicate it to the barber better. 

Identify The Specific Area Of Unevenness 

The fix will depend on the area of unevenness

If the top or back is cut unevenly – it’s probably due to one side having been cut shorter. This can sometimes be intentional, especially if you’re looking to comb over to one side. 

But if you wanted a more even cut, the fix will often require cutting everything down shorter to level it out, or removing weight with thinning shears where necessary. 

This may not be ideal, but will probably be preferable to letting it stay uneven when this is not what you wanted. 

An uneven hairline is another common complaint – a “bad line up” is something many men dread and can be tough to fix. 

However, it’s not impossible. 

A good barber will probably have techniques for fixing up a bad line up.

If it’s only slightly uneven, the fix will probably be pretty easy. 

If it’s more uneven, the barber could maybe teach you how to cover it up with your forelock if you’ve got longer hair. This definitely isn’t ideal – but the least the barber could do is help you with damage control in these instances. 

A way of preventing an uneven line up going forward is asking your barber to actually draw an outline of your hairline before shaping it up. Not all barbers will do this, but insisting that they do will reduce the risk.

Tell The Barber Before You Leave The Chair

It’s important to tell the barber quickly when you notice any unevenness. For one, it’s less awkward than visiting a couple of days after to let them know you aren’t happy. 

Some mistakes, such as uneven taper fades, are surprisingly easy to fix and it could just be a case of an extra few minutes to level things out. 

But given the fact that you’re reading this, it’s pretty likely that it’s too late for that. Just remember it if it ever happens again. 

Now, you’ve simply got to choose between asking for a free fix up or a refund. 

Choose Between A Free Fix Up And Refund

As I mentioned, a free fix up there and then would be the better option. A good barber will recognize where he messed up (if he did) and think of how to fix things up as best as he can. 

But what if you’ve lost confidence in this barber and don’t want them to have another go on your hair to fix things up? 

A barber that’s truly made a mistake shouldn’t charge you for the haircut. If they have, politely ask for a refund. 

Try your very best to not get worked up – it isn’t worth it. 

Asking for a refund should be a last resort as it basically prevents you from visiting that barbershop again. Not officially, of course – but your relationship with that barbershop as a whole will be damaged. 

If you simply don’t feel comfortable seeing any other barber in that shop, visit another barber to even things out. 

As with any other professional, they do vary in terms of experience and expertise. Try and visit one you’ve been recommended by someone you trust. 

Although this may cost you more, at least you can proceed with the fix up with more confidence. 

2. What To Do If Your Barber Cuts Your Beard Too Short

If a barber cuts your beard too short, your options include accepting the new length or trimming it even shorter to start from scratch. Unfortunately, not much can be done about the length as removal cannot be undone. Preventing it from happening again should be your focus. 

It can be extremely frustrating when this happens. Several months’ worth of growth could be undone with a few hasty snips. 

Let’s discuss your main options. 


As upsetting as it may be, weeping over your fallen facial fur won’t achieve anything at all. 

It’s annoying – but that beard will grow back. 

There’s always a chance that its shortness looks exaggerated while you’re in that barber’s chair. 

It’s a new look, and new looks can take a while to get used to. 

It may be a length that you come to terms with or even grow to like over the next few days. 

But let’s assume that this isn’t an option you’re willing to accept and you want to take some sort of action. 

Reshape Or Re-Trim

This option isn’t ideal either. I mean, you’re upset about too much being taken off – and this suggests taking even more off? 

It’s worth considering. 

Ultimately, there isn’t much you can do about beard hair that’s already been taken off. There’s no way the barber can magically make it reappear. 

But what they could potentially do is reshape it to your desire. 

Perhaps there are areas you notice are asymmetrical. Or, perhaps you want to try a newer and shorter style altogether. 

If you’ve still got trust in that barber, they should offer to do this for you for free if you weren’t happy with their original attempt. 

Ultimately, it may not be the length that actually upsets you – even though it’s the first thing you see and notice. 

It may actually be the way it’s been trimmed. Perhaps the neckline or cheek lines aren’t quite right. Or perhaps it’s all just uneven. 

Either way, it may be something your barber could fix if you brought it to their attention. 

If you aren’t comfortable getting this done by the same barber, visiting another one may be an option too. 

But what if it’s not the shape or the way it’s been trimmed – it’s definitely just the length. 

It’s just too short. 

Another option would be to trim it all down even shorter. The barber may have trimmed it down to a particularly awkward length. 

Sometimes, trimming it all down even further would actually make it more aesthetically pleasing. It may even allow it to grow back more in line with how you want it. 

But ultimately, it isn’t a fix. 

Acceptance would be the only action you’d be able to take right now. 

But prevention of future occurrences is crucial. 


Let’s face it – that beard is going to grow back and you’re going to need to get it trimmed again. 

If you plan on going to a barber, you’ll want to be more prepared this time. 

At the end of the day, there are plenty of barbers out there that simply don’t know how to trim a beard properly. 

They may be a fade wizard, but beard trimming may well be something they try to learn on the fly. 

Finding a barber that knows what they’re doing with a beard isn’t always easy. Visiting one based on a recommendation from someone you trust is usually the best option. 

Read reviews as well – look for any that specifically mention beard trims. 

One reason for barbers cutting beards too short is that they feel they need to. You’re paying them for a service. 

Any honest professional would want to feel like they’re giving you value for the money you’re spending. 

Sometimes, they may feel as though they’re cheating you if they only trim a small amount off. They trim more than you actually want because they want to feel like they’re giving you a good service. 

That’s why it’s so important to make it crystal clear that you only want a small amount trimmed off. 

Be as specific as possible. Use your hands to point out exactly what you want trimmed and what you want left alone. 

Use exact measurements and be specific with your language – “neckline”, “cheek lines”, “forebeard”, “mustache”, etc. 

Showing them a photograph of the length you want is always great – visuals work so well when communicating with a barber/stylist. 

All of this won’t do much for you this time. But trust me – there are ways of preventing this from happening again. 

3. What To Do If Your Barber Cuts Your Sideburns Off

When a barber cuts your sideburns off you should first assess how obvious it is. Subtle shortening of sideburns can be ignored, while more obvious ones can potentially be corrected by tapering the sides. A more drastic correction would be trimming everything down to a buzz cut. 

It’s quite uncommon for this to happen. 

Sideburns are so important for framing the face that barbers are especially careful with them. 

A good barber would never simply remove your sideburns entirely – the aesthetic is never desirable and it’s usually pretty noticeable. 

It’s worth considering how subtle or noticeable it actually is before deciding how to approach the situation. 

Let’s go through your options. 

Ignore It If It’s Subtle

I mean – this is really only an option if it truly is subtle. 

Removal of the entire sideburn all the way from top to bottom could never really be subtle. 

But if you simply feel that your sideburns are shorter than how you’d like them, it’s worth thinking twice before doing anything more. 

Ask around – friends, relatives, etc. 

Is it really that noticeable? 

If not, give it time. Sideburns regrow. Even light to medium stubble for sideburns is sometimes enough to frame the face and make the lack of sideburn less obvious. 

But what if it definitely isn’t subtle? 

Consider A Taper

If a barber has straight up removed your sideburns, strongly consider whether or not you trust them to give you a taper/fade. 

Sideburn removal that’s obvious is pretty uncommon and you need to consider the possibility that your barber may not be competent or is simply inexperienced. 

Fixing the issue may not be a task you want left in their hands. 

The barber may have noticed the mistake and shouldn’t really charge you for it. If they try to, you’re entitled to let them know you aren’t happy – but try to stay calm and be polite about it as hard as it may be. 

It isn’t an easy situation. 

But let’s talk about how a taper could help. 

Skin fades are a good option because the sideburns are literally shaved off in any case. 

The only difference is that they gradually increase into longer lengths as you go up the sides, instead of the sudden transition from skin to hair you’ve currently got. 

Even a low skin fade could do the trick. 

Just make sure you’re getting it done by a barber you trust. 

Consider A Buzz Cut

I know this won’t be something everyone would consider – it’s pretty drastic. 

But a lack of sideburns really isn’t noticeable when all of the hair is super short in any case. 

Buzz cuts with no guards, or even number 1 or number 2 buzz cuts would be options here. 

I won’t say much more about this option – but check out the links if you want to read more about buzz cuts in general. 

If you’ve ever been tempted by them and you really feel a skin fade isn’t for you, consider a buzz cut instead. 

4. What To Do If Your Barber Doesn’t Listen

If you think your barber doesn’t listen, consider visiting a different one to see if you notice a change. It’s also possible that the instructions simply aren’t clear enough. Using photographs is an excellent way to visually express what you want. 

No one likes bailing on a barber they’ve grown attached to. 

haircut mistake example
Image From Deposit Photos

You could have the friendliest barber in the world, but if they don’t listen to your instructions, they really aren’t providing a very good service. 

A good barber does listen to what you say and takes the time to really understand what you want before they reach for those clippers. 

If you’ve noticed your hair ending up very different to what you wanted despite clear instructions, it’s probably time to switch up your barber. 

A red flag I look out for is if they frequently get distracted during the haircut itself – talking to other barbers or watching the TV. 

Some people are fine with it – but it gets me nervous. There’s no reason why a haircut shouldn’t deserve serious focus. 

But let’s face it – there’s always also a chance that your instructions simply aren’t clear enough. 

It can be tough expressing what you want from a barber, especially when you aren’t too familiar with the technical terms they may be used to. 

Knowing the difference between a 1 fade and a 2 fade isn’t common knowledge to everyone, for instance. 

But once you get to grips with the lingo, communicating with your barber will get a lot easier. 

Another way of making your instructions clearer is simply showing your barber a photograph of the style you want. 

This could be a photograph of your own hair from a previous cut (ideal), or simply one you found online. 

It doesn’t take long to find one. It takes even less time to show the barber before your cut. 

But it makes a huge difference to how well you express what you want. 

If, however, you take these steps and your barber still doesn’t give you what you want, your decision is pretty simple. 

It’s not you – it’s them. 

What If Your Barber Talks Too Much? 

If your barber talks too much, decide whether their results are good enough to make up for it. A lot of people like talkative barbers. But those that would rather have a silent trim need to decide whether to stick with them or switch to a different one. 

There’s never really a polite way of asking someone to talk less. It’s probably even more dangerous when you’re trusting that person to continue trimming your hair. 

It’ll most likely ruin the relationship and it’s not something worth considering. 

Base your decision on results and how much you’re willing to tolerate. 

If the barber’s results are outstanding, talking it out for 20 minutes really isn’t the end of the world, even if you aren’t enjoying yourself. 

You may even get used to it or start to like the company after a while. 

But if you would rather a less talkative barber and the results aren’t that great in any case, you may want to try out a different one. 

5. What To Do If Your Barber Cut The Sides Too High 

When a barber cuts the sides too high, asking the shop to fix it for free would be reasonable. Although the sides themselves can’t be lowered, the transition from the sides to the top can be blended or faded to make it look less sharp and sudden. 

This problem often occurs due to either a barber being inexperienced with fades, or poor communication. 

Even if you wanted a “high fade” where the transition in length occurs near the temple, you probably didn’t want such a sharp and harsh line at this transition. 

The whole point of fades is that they look blended and gradual. 

A “high fade” with a harsh line is bordering on an undercut – probably not what you wanted in this instance. 

If the sides are simply too short and go up too high, there’s really not much you can do about it at this point. 

All that you can do is to ask the barber to blend and fade the sides into the top so that it looks more natural and less noticeable. 

Fading the transition like with this high fade could make it look better.

Image From Shutterstock

If you’ve lost confidence in the barber (i.e the haircut as a whole looks pretty bad), you may want to visit a different one for the fix up. 

How Do You Prevent Your Barber Cutting The Sides Too High? 

Other than going to a trusted barber who is experienced with fades (most of them should be these days), you’ll want to focus on communication. 

Part of this will be learning the lingo. 

A “fade” is a gradual increase in length from the bottom of the sides and back to the top. This blending of different lengths is what gives fades their characteristic appearance. 

Fades can be labeled in terms of their transition point – in other words, how high up the sides the transition from the shortest length to longer lengths starts. 

With “low fades”, the transition occurs around an inch above the top of the ear. 

With “high fades”, the transition is approximately at the level of the temples. 

With “mid fades”, it’s somewhere in between a high and low fade. 

You’ll also need to tell the barber how short you want the shortest length to be. For example, with skin fades, the shortest length (at the bottom of the sides) is literally shaved down to the skin. 

1 fades, on the other hand, have a #1 length as the shortest length of the fade. 

2 fades, have a #2 length as the shortest length of the fade. 

Tying that all together with an example, a “low skin fade” has the shortest length as shaved, and it gradually starts to transition into longer lengths approximately an inch above the ear. 

It’s worth learning this stuff because it makes it much easier to communicate with your barber and less likely that they’ll ever cut your sides too high again. 

6. What To Do If Your Barber Gives You A Bald Spot

If a barber gives you a bald spot, you could either wait for it to regrow or use your hair to try and cover it up if it’s small. A more drastic solution would be trimming a short buzz cut to make the bald spot less noticeable. 

It’s never a nice thing to see. The moment that barber uses the handheld mirror to show you the back of your head and you notice a bald spot staring right back at you. 

Before we discuss the possible solutions, it’s important to consider the possibility that it may not actually be completely the barber’s fault. 

If you’ve asked for an especially short haircut, it may simply have revealed a bald spot at the crown that you may actually have and just didn’t realize when you had longer hair. 

Of course, everyone’s situation is different. If you’re pretty confident that this is a barber’s mistake, it wouldn’t be fair for the barber to charge you for it. 

Also, a bald spot in a random part of your scalp and not the crown is less likely to be down to natural baldness. It’s probably going to be down to a slip of your barber’s wrist. 

Let’s discuss your options. 

Accept It And Wait

A small bald spot is pretty likely to be a lot more noticeable to you than to anyone else. 

It’ll grow back quickly. 

Even a small amount of hair growth over the area will make it look a lot less obvious. Your best option here is just to wait it out. 

It may not be ideal, but there’s always a risk of worsening the overall cut in an attempt to fix a single, small bald spot. 

It isn’t ideal, but it’s a temporary heartache. 

Wearing hats where possible while you can is always going to be an option while you’re waiting for the bald spot to regrow. 

Hair fibers like those made by Toppik are also worth looking into. 

Comb Over If Possible

This would be an option for men with longer hair. 

If the bald spot is pretty small, you may be able to style it out. This is something your barber should help you with if this is noticed before you leave the chair – it’s the least they could do. 

Use the longer hair immediately surrounding the bald spot to comb over it and make it less noticeable. 

Spiking it all up is also an option, hiding the bald spot in between the taller and messy hair strands.

Messier hairstyles are pretty good for hiding thin or bald patches. 

Once again, these are options while you wait for that bald spot to regrow. 

If your hair is too short to do this, it won’t be an option for you. The next one may be. 

You Could Buzz It All Down 

Sure, it’s a drastic measure. But if the bald spot is especially bad and noticeable and you aren’t able to comb over it – this may be a pretty reasonable option. 

It may sound strange, but buzzing everything down super short is actually a good way of making that bald spot less noticeable. 


By reducing the contrast between the bald spot and the surrounding hair. 

For example, when you’ve got a buzz cut with no guard or a number 1 buzz cut, that bald spot is hardly going to be noticeable. 

It won’t be acceptable to some people, but if you’ve ever been tempted by a buzz cut – this may be the perfect excuse to go for one. 

It’s one of the reasons why buzz cuts are good for men with receding hairlines and thin patches. 

If the barber has made a genuine mistake, they should really offer to do this for you for free. 

7. What To Do If Your Barber Is Always Late

If a barber is always late, possible solutions include bringing it up with them to make them aware of it or simply booking the first appointment of the day. Going to a different barber with better time management is an option as well. 

It can be frustrating. 

Men with busy work schedules sometimes book far in advance to try and squeeze in a barber visit into their day. 

Consistently having late appointments is never going to be fun. 

Let’s discuss the options. 

Accept It 

Unfortunately, barbers running late isn’t unusual. In some ways, it’s one of those jobs where it’s actually pretty difficult to stay on time for the whole day. 

You’ve got previous clients running late, asking for revisions, taking a long time to decide what cut they want, etc. 

Even a few minutes late here and there will compound – by midday day they could be running 20 minutes late without even knowing it. 

It’s one of the reasons why many barbers don’t take appointments at all. They operate purely on a walk-in basis. 

Having said that, there are definitely barbers out there who take time management a lot more seriously. We’ll come to that later. 

But if you’re especially attached to your barber and they give you great haircuts, you may want to just accept it. 

It isn’t ideal, but it may be worth it. Finding a barber that’s always on time is going to be tricky. 

Bring It Up

It’s important to do this in a polite and constructive way, but most good professional services would want to know if there’s something they can improve upon. 

Being consistently late is potentially one of these things. 

In an age where time management and booking softwares are all the rage, it may just be a case of needing to upgrade their system. 

Maybe they could adjust their appointment schedule to allow for some breathing space in between appointments. 

It’s worth considering – especially if you’ve already got a good relationship with your barber. 

They may appreciate it if you do it in the right way. Avoid bashing them with bad online reviews – a polite word directly to your barber or even their receptionist should be all that’s necessary. 

Book The First Appointment

Booking the first slot of the day literally doesn’t give a barber an opportunity to run late. 

It may not be an option for everyone. If there’s no way it could ever fit into your schedule, then ignore this option. 

But for some, squeezing in a visit before work could be ideal. 

If your barber is late for their first appointment, there isn’t really any excuse. At this point, your only option would be to accept it or to move onto a different barber. 

Visit A Different Barber

As I mentioned earlier, it isn’t unusual at all for barbers to run late, simply because of the pressures of the job. 

Finding one with perfect time management is going to be tough in the first place. Again – it’s one of the reasons why a lot of barbers don’t take appointments in the first place. 

But there are barbers out there who do take appointments and do try their very best to stay on time. 

Usually, they’re more experienced. They’re quicker at dealing with issues and know how to keep their appointment schedule running smoothly. 

They’ve also usually got great systems in place. This probably includes a good booking software. 

They probably also allow more time for their appointments and may even allow more space in between appointments. 

But bear in mind that because they probably do fewer appointments, they may charge more for the service. 

It’s all about figuring out how important time management is to you when it comes to your barbershop. 

If you aren’t willing to accept one that runs late, just know that finding one that always runs on time won’t be easy. Plus, they may cost more to boot. 

8. What To Do If Your Barber Doesn’t Clean Their Clippers

If a barber doesn’t clean their clippers, strongly consider avoiding them altogether. A disinfectant spray such as Cool Care should be applied to the clippers in between clients. Using a separate pair of clippers on rotation should allow the disinfectant enough time to act without holding up appointments. 

Hygiene is extremely important in barbershops and proper decontamination of tools is essential. 

You are within your right to make a complaint to the barbershop, if anything – for the sake of future clients who may not be willing or aware enough to speak up. 

However, you need to be very sure that they definitely aren’t cleaning their tools before taking this step. It’s quite a serious allegation, after all. 

Every barber should have disinfectant equipment nearby – a pot of Barbicide for the shears and comb, and a spray such as Cool Care or something similar for the clippers. 

If they don’t have anything like this, it’s pretty unlikely they’re cleaning their clippers or any of the tools for that matter. 

If you do notice the equipment, check to see whether they’re actually using them after the client before you. 

But if you still aren’t sure, ask them – but don’t be too blunt about it. You could play ignorant – point to the Barbicide and ask them – “What’s that?” 

“Oh right, and how often do you have to use that? 

A quick blow of the clippers to get rid of excess hair is nowhere near enough to be considered hygienic. 

Yes – disinfection takes time. Barbicide and Cool Care require time once they’ve been applied. But barbers should have a spare set of tools to use on rotation while their other one is disinfecting. 

If you’re sure your barber isn’t following the correct hygiene measures, switch to a different one that does. 

They may be a great barber otherwise – it’s unfortunate. But it’s not something you should ignore. 

9. What To Do If Your Barber Gives You A Buzz Cut

If a barber gives you a buzz cut you didn’t want, one option would be tapering the sides down to make it more aesthetically pleasing. You could also embrace the new buzz cut this time around and focus on preventing it from happening again. 

Buzz cuts are extremely popular. But ultimately, they aren’t for everyone. 

You have to wonder why a barber would give you a buzz cut when you didn’t ask for one. 

We’ll come to that later. But first, let’s discuss your options. 

Remember, there’s nothing you can do to magically make that hair reappear. However, it may be possible to make it look more acceptable to you. 

Taper The Sides

Tapered and faded sides can often make a buzz cut look more appealing. For one, having the hair on the sides a little shorter than that on the top tends to have a slimming effect on the face and jawline. 

In addition, it helps the buzz cut to grow out better as well. It’ll look less like a fuzzball and more natural-looking. 

Tapering or fading the sides and back isn’t a task you’ll want to DIY. 

Either you could revisit the barber you saw to ask for a free fix up – most would be willing given how they’ve left you dissatisfied. 

If you no longer trust your barber, however, it may be worth visiting a different barber to ask for the fix up. 

You’d be within your rights to ask the original barber for a refund if they’ve truly given you a haircut you didn’t ask for. 

Embrace The Buzz

Although it may not be what you’d originally asked for, many men absolutely love the effortless tidiness and ease of maintenance that comes with a buzz cut. 

Don’t get me wrong – if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance the buzz cut you’ve been given is unacceptable. 

In other words – not a good buzz cut. 

A great buzz cut

Image From Shutterstock

But buzz cuts are pretty easy to correct and transform into better buzz cuts. This may involve trimming it down a grade or two shorter and tapering the sides/back down. 

It may sound strange – trying to fix it up by going even shorter. But it may make everything look more even and balanced. 

If you aren’t keen on going shorter or at least asking for a re-do to taper the sides down, your only option would be to embrace the buzz cut and wait for it to grow out. 

It isn’t ideal, but it’s the unfortunate truth. 

Your best bet is to try and prevent it from happening again. 

Prevent It From Happening Again 

At this point, you’ll need to consider why you’ve been given a buzz cut you didn’t want in the first place. 

Once you’ve figured this out, you can try and prevent it from happening again. 

It’s pretty unusual for a competent barber to give you a straight up buzz cut when you didn’t ask for one. 

There’s always the possibility that they simply aren’t very good. 

But there’s also the possibility that your instructions weren’t good. For example, if you asked for a number 3 haircut and ended up with a buzz cut, you can’t blame the barber. 

In most instances, that does refer to a buzz cut with a #3 length. 

But if you asked for a “crew cut”, that’s a little more dubious. Most barbers should know the difference between a crew cut and a straight induction-style buzz cut. 

Ultimately, it could have been a mixture of an inexperienced barber and unclear instructions. 

If you feel as though the barber simply didn’t know what they were doing, strongly consider visiting another one. 

But be crystal clear with your instructions. 

As always, showing them a photograph of what you want is a great way to get your message across. 

It also takes away a lot of the awkwardness of trying to express what you want, especially when you aren’t too familiar with the technical lingo used by barbers. 

10. What To Do If Your Barber Messed Up Your Beard

When a barber messes up your beard you have to choose between accepting it, asking for a re-trim, or asking for a refund. It’s not unusual for inexperienced barbers to mess up beards and so your choice of barber is even more important here. 

Beards can be even more frustrating than hair when it comes to getting them professionally groomed. 

For some reason, a bad beard trim is often just harder to accept than a bad haircut, despite knowing that both of them grow back. 

Bearded men are pretty passionate when it comes to their facial fur. 

But let’s discuss your options once you’ve realized your beard’s just been messed up. 

Stay Calm And Accept It

By no means is this easy. 

A few careless snips could undo weeks or months of growth. Daily brushing, combing, oiling, etc. 

If you feel as though your barber messed up your beard, it can be hard to take. 

But ultimately, it’ll grow back. Those glorious locks will be flowing out of your face once again, probably in just a matter of a few weeks. 

Stick to your grooming regimen and wait it out. 

If this isn’t an option, however, read on. 

Ask For A Re-Trim Or A Refund

If you aren’t happy with your beard trim, it’s worth letting your barber know about it. 

Most barbers are going to be honest professionals looking to provide a good service. They also care about their reputation. 

They may offer to try and fix it for you for free. If you still trust them enough to do so, it may be worth taking them up on the offer. 

Alternatively, you could request a different barber from the same barbershop to do it. 

If the messing up of the beard is to do with the shape and not to do with the length, it may be possible to reshape it in a way that’s more pleasing to you. 

You’ll just need to make sure you’re clear about what you don’t like and what you want fixed. 

If you aren’t open to a re-trim or you simply don’t think it would help, you’ll need to decide whether you’re going to accept it or whether you want to take it further. 

If a barber has truly given you a beard you can’t cope with, you would probably be entitled to a refund. 

But be careful about this, as it should be considered a last resort. You’ll be ruining your relationship with that barber and in a way – that barbershop. 

However, it’s an option. 

Trim It All Off

There are certain beard problems that simply can’t be fixed. For example, trimming the neckline up too high or the mustache too short. 

In these cases, it may be worth considering trimming it all off if you aren’t willing to embrace the new look. 

You’ll essentially be starting from scratch, which may allow the beard to grow out in a more pleasing way than your current starting point. 

Even if you trimmed everything down to heavy stubble or a short beard, it may still be a better option than growing it out from what you’ve currently got. 

It really just depends on how much you dislike the way your beard looks. 

It isn’t an ideal option – no passionately bearded man would ever want to consider this. 

However, you could consider it to be a form of damage control. 

It’ll probably look better than it does right now after you’ve trimmed it all down and you can then play the waiting game until it gets back to how you like it. 

Be Careful With Your Barber Choice 

I need to be fair here. 

There’s always a chance that the client’s instructions simply weren’t clear enough. People are notoriously bad at communicating what they want to their barbers, especially with their beards. 

So be careful with this too. Be extra clear about what you want. 

Learn the lingo or the “beard anatomy” terms that’ll come in useful. For example, “neckline”, “cheek line”, and so on. 

Also, show the barber photographs of how you want your beard to end up. 

But the reason I emphasize why it’s so important to choose the right barber when it comes to your beard is that many barbers simply don’t do it very often. 

Most barbers would be able to trim a straightforward clean-up, trimming everything down to the same length. 

But if you’re a serious beardsman with a serious beard, you’ll need to be more careful with your choice. 

Choosing a barber that really knows how to trim a beard the way you want it is a skill in itself. 

Selecting one based on a recommendation from a trusted, bearded friend is often a good option. 

A crude and by no means foolproof way of gauging whether a barber can expertly trim a beard is if they’ve got a solid beard themselves. 

Ultimately, there’s no way of being sure. Some barbershops have a reputation for being fantastic with beards. Although it’s rare, some even specialize in it. 

But most of the time, you’ll just need to be on the lookout for one. Once you find a great one, hold onto them because they aren’t easy to find. 

11. What To Do If Your Barber Thins Your Hair 

If a barber thins out the hair excessively, one option would be to simply wait for it to regrow to full-thickness while using products better suited to thinner hair. Alternatively, the hair could be trimmed down short to retrieve the previous level of thickness sooner. 

Let’s discuss the options in more detail. 

Figure Out Why

It may well be the case that thinning out the hair was the right thing to do. 

While having a thick head of hair is generally seen as a blessing, it can be incredibly difficult to manage. 

It’s often difficult to tame – brush, comb, style, etc. 

When barbers thin out hair, they usually use thinning shears. These are notched in such a way that they only cut some of the hair short while leaving the rest of the hair untouched. 

This creates a mixture of short hair and long hair that overall gives off the illusion of looking and feeling thinner. 

It can make thick and bulky hair easier to brush, comb, and style. 

Plus, it often produces a more textured look and increases the volume as well, as the shorter hairs prop up the longer hairs to give them lift and fullness. 

So, if your barber has thinned out your hair, try to see it from their perspective. It may actually be in an attempt to make it more manageable, look more textured, or give it more volume. 

If you disagree and you feel that it’s excessive, however, read on. 

Wait It Out

Thinned-out hair will regrow to its previous level of thickness pretty soon. It may not be worth stressing over. 

Just give it some time and wait for the hair that’s been cut short to grow out a little. 

If you plan on going to the same barber, be prepared. Ensure you let them know before the trim that you don’t want it thinned out too much. 

They may insist – thinning out hair is something that a lot of men want. Asking for the opposite may come as a surprise to them. 

But if you really don’t want it, make it clear from the outset. 

While you’re waiting for your hair to regrow, you may want to switch up your styling products. 

There are hair products better suited to thin hair – these include clays, pastes, and volumizing powders. 

They make the hair look fuller and generally make it easier to build texture. They often have a matte or low shine finish, as shinier products such as pomades and waxes can reveal too much of the scalp when your hair is especially thin. 

If your hair hasn’t been thinned out that much, you may not need to worry about this. 

But if you’re concerned that your hair simply looks too thin now, just know that the products you use make a difference. 

Cut It Down Short

If you really don’t like your new thinned out hair, you could ask for a re-trim. A barber may offer to do this for you for free, although this isn’t a guarantee. 

They may not feel they’ve done anything wrong as it’s quite a subjective error. They may thin out people’s hair all the time and never get a complaint. 

Either way, it’s worth asking. 

But getting a re-trim could make it look fuller. Essentially, cutting it all down shorter and more evenly should, in theory, make it look more like your previous hair thickness. 

This is because you no longer have a mix of short and long hairs like the finish produced by thinning shears. 

You’ve just got short and even hair. 

Ask the barber whether this solution would work for your hair – they may have a better idea. Just know that they’ll probably be able to help if you really don’t like what you’ve ended up with. 

Don’t try anything DIY – get a professional involved. 


Being a barber isn’t easy. 

You’ve got to deal with time pressure and at times, demanding clients. Once you’ve found a great one, it’s important to work with them to consistently achieve the look you want. 

Make things easier for them. Know exactly what you want and how to express what you want. 

Learn the lingo. Use photographs. Anything you can to build a great relationship and achieve a fantastic outcome each and every time. 

The issues described in this article do happen. Hopefully, you now know how to deal with them in effective and practical ways once they do.