Can you teach yourself to be a barber?

So you think the barber’s lifestyle might be the one for you? You’re probably right. It’s a great way to make a living. To do it well, and to do it successfully, you’re going to need to learn the ropes.

You can definitely do it. You just need to know how it’s done. The obvious choice is to take a course run by seasoned professionals, but if you search the web you’ll find that another avenue is open to you. DIY.

Can you really, really teach yourself barbering? In theory, yes. After all, you don’t need a licence to practise. This isn’t medicine.

Teaching yourself comes with one huge advantage: it won’t cost you anything. Apart from a few hundred dollars to purchase equipment in the beginning.

There are endless YouTube videos that will purport to teach you how everything is done. Some of them are good.

You can offer to give free haircuts to old guys in seniors’ homes to get some practice in. You may even have some mates that don’t mind a few weeks of celibacy to let you make your mistakes on their hair. But you’d better have a lot of chaste mates if you want to get the skills you’ll need in anything like a realistic period of time!

There are some free online courses that can give you advice on how to get started (linked below). Everything they tell you will no doubt be good knowledge to have.

Really though? Cutting hair without constant access to, well, hair? It’ll be tough going. When exactly will people have the confidence in you to start paying you actual money if you go down this route? Sure, we all have hobbies, but very few karaoke obsessives have ever had record company execs banging on their doors after a Friday night session (apart from to tell them to stop emailing them).

If you’ve decided that this is the career for you, you need to make sure it’s going to work for you, and that you’ll be the best damn version of yourself while doing it.

You’re going to need practice. You’re going to need expert guidance and feedback. You’re going to need state of the art facilities. You’re going to need the backing of 30 years or more of industry experience. You’re going to need to be trained on the job, in the job, at the job. There’s no point playing around with this. If you’ve decided this is what you want to be – who you want to be – make it happen for real.

Will it cost money? It will. Will it set you up for the rest of your life with a skill – a profession – that you can make work for you for the rest of your days (if you want it to)? It will.

This won’t take years. It’ll barely take months. And then you’ll be able to live the life you want to live. Set your own hours, be your own boss, travel the world in the knowledge that you’ve got a trade in every currency on the planet. Nobody doesn’t need haircuts. Nobody doesn’t need you.

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