How Regular Trips to the Barbershop Can Improve Self-Confidence
Self-confidence is an inside job – or so the story goes. A quick Amazon search turns up a mind-boggling 4,000 titles on the subject. One promises to reveal hidden secrets of the great business tycoons. Another uses Navy SEAL techniques to help you overcome your fears and smash through your limitations in just 30 days. This one can do it in just 21 days. No wait! This one does it INSTANTLY! Who are you supposed to trust and how can you believe them?
There’s probably a grain of truth in all of them, to be honest. Lasting self-confidence doesn’t come overnight (or INSTANTLY, for that matter). But sometimes it can come from the little things – small actions we can take in the here and now. Despite well-meaning platitudes, appearances do count for something and we all judge books by their covers. Why else would you bother suiting up for a job interview? Why else own an iron? Why bother to filter your Instagram snaps? We all care how others see us to some extent, but we’re also our own worst critics. When it comes to building self-confidence, making an effort to look good for yourself is not a bad place to start.
For us and for many of our clients, self-confidence comes from taking a bit of extra care with our grooming and appearance – whether that’s a completely new hairstyle or just a proper shaving brush that feels good in the palm of your hand.
But regular visits to a trusted barber can be so much more than scissors and shaving foam. A good barbershop is a like a small community where men can talk openly to other men without fear of judgement and ridicule. At their very best, they are about brotherhood and a sense of belonging. Mental health and suicide aren’t pretty subjects, but we can’t afford to ignore them. 76% of all suicides in the UK are by men – in fact, suicide is the number one killer of men under 45. The pressure we feel to “man up” and hold it all together is literally killing us.
Pall Mall Barbers is a proud supporter of the Lions Barber Collective, an organisation on a mission to challenge the stigma surrounding men and mental health by transforming barbershops into safe and welcoming spaces where you can talk to your barber about whatever’s on your mind – especially if it’s weighing you down. It makes a lot of sense to talk to your barber. They tend to be good listeners, and men are more likely to confide in them than in their GP. The Lions Barber Collective’s pioneering programme Barbertalk works with mental health and suicide prevention charities, training industry professionals to recognise the symptoms of distress, listen without judgement, talk candidly and point their clients towards help if needs be. Barbertalk isn’t about replacing councillors and mental health workers, but about building trust, creating dialogue and challenging the toxic notion that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Barbertalk wants to make it okay to say you’re not okay. Next time you’re in the chair, know that you can talk to your barber about what’s really going on. It sounds like such a small thing, but it really does save lives.