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How Often do You Return the Question to Your Barber? 💈

How Often do You Return the Question to Your Barber? 💈

Posted by Michael James on

The Importance of Community Barbers on Masculinity and Mental Health.

Barbershops are more than just establishments where men are groomed. But a place for networking, exchanging stories, discussing current affairs, and ultimately building a social bond among men with a common interest… looking their best!

Behind the four walls of a barbers trimming and shaving tapestry is the foundation of masculinity and men's mental health. Where the conversation always starts with “How are you?”

Your one-stop shop for news, trims and…fire cupping?

Historically barbershops were the popular stops for daily news and chatter. It wasn't uncommon to stop by your community barber before and after work.

In the 1800s barbers specialized in grooming, dentistry, and surgery. From bloodletting, tooth extractions, and herbal medicines. Barbers were the community medicine men who relied on holistic methods to cure bodily ailments. One of those forgotten holistic therapies was fire cupping, used to drain the lymphatic system to boost the immune system.

In many cultures and societies, a man's first shave was a ceremonial passage from boyhood to manhood. Not only did it build a communal bond among the men but helped form the identity of young men who later carried the torch of knowledge to the next generation.

Barbershops were and are Therapy for Men.

Today's barbers are no longer performing surgery, dentistry, or fire cupping (although I'm intrigued) but the roots of barbering are still alive and strong!

Barbershops are still a gathering point for many small communities.

It's a treat and a therapy for men to go to their local barber, sit down, and disconnect from the digital realm. This small pocket of 30 minutes to 1 hour is enough to relieve stress, talk about life, and clear their mind before heading home for family supper.

The best method to prevent depression and anxiety in men.

Fortunately, barbershops are still wrapped in tradition recognizing men need a space for social discourse and expression of opinions, experiences, and interests. 

Within this tapestry, the barber is the referee allowing men to have a healthy conversation – or debate – and gladly shake on it before they head out.

Unfortunately, suicide prevention for men is at an all-time high and barbers are at the frontlines dealing with men who could be living with depression and anxiety. 

It's a challenging task for barbers to segment styling, mentoring, and therapy for each client. But, barbers are the best choice to build a community of men who can trust one another and ultimately build relationships to prevent depression and anxiety in men.

How often do you return the question?

Barbershops are our home away from home. A place where men could have some time to themselves and shoptalk among men of different generations and backgrounds.

Barbershops aren't only a place to enlighten or relax your mind. But have proven to function as a men's mental health support group and allow men to emotionally express themselves without repercussions. 

The glue keeping this thin sheet together is your barber. Every day, he starts the conversation with “How are you?” putting himself on the back burner and even putting his mental health at risk.

With National Barber Mental Health Awareness Day celebrated every May 19, consider how often you return the question, and if you're up to it, ask your barber… “How are you?”.

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