Cleanliness is a big part of your experience with barbers and there's been a lot of publicity recently about how some barbers aren't following correct protocol.
The majority of barbers have been trained in the correct procedures and have plenty of experience in dealing with this, but with so many shops opening, there can be some that slip through the net.
Especially in the UK where barbers aren't required to undergo training or get licenses before cutting hair or opening a shop.
Obviously we have to assume that most barbers do have hygiene as a priority, but if you are worried about your barbers hygiene in store, what can you do?
First of all, get educated on how barbers do clean their tools and stations.
For those of you that don't know, most barbers will use Barbicide (the pot filled with blue liquid) to disinfect and clean their combs, scissors and clipper heads.
They will also likely have spares that they use in between, if their tools are being disinfected.
Barbers will also often use a disinfectant spray on their clippers between clients, which will get them ready for use on you!
And as barbers are almost always using hair styling products for hairstyles, they will likely be washing their hands between cuts anyway!
As these aren't neccessarily clear ways of cleaning, sometimes it can be hard to spot.
It's not as if your barber will spend 20 minutes giving a thorough spring clean in between clients, so blink and you may miss it!
And because it can be hard to spot, we would never say to directly question a barber about their hygiene in the store as that could come across as rude, especially if they do follow the protocol, what we would say is if you are worried then just drop it into conversation.
Play dumb and ask your barber how they keep things clean or what they do to ensure their tools are kept fresh. Or if you see spares or the Barbicide then ask what that is for and follow on with how often do you need to use that?
Keep it polite and try to find out what they do this way.
Also become Sherlock Holmes and keep an eye out for Barbicide and disinfectant spray, have a look at their stations to see if they have spares sitting on the side, and see if they have some tools sitting in the Barbicide.
Just remember that most barbers will follow the correct hygiene protocol as they are trained professionals, even if they haven't gone through formal qualifications they will have likely been trained by other barbers or their stores in this.
But if you are not happy with your barbers answer or you don't see signs of cleaning and are still worried about your barbers hygiene after all of this, then find yourself a new barber.
It's better to be safe than sorry!
Yes you may be losing a good barber who can cut your hair, but if you're even reading this post then it's likely hygiene is a huge priority for you, so don't risk it.