Shear Genius: A Guide to Barbershops

How to get the style you want, hipster beard-growing tips, and the gear you need to stock your medicine cabinet.

The Cut of Your Jib

To get the style you want, you’re going to need to speak the language of your barber. Here, a few common terms for some of the most popular current haircuts.

Illustrations by John Kenzie 



Out of the Shadows

So you’ve decided to grow a beard. Welcome to the club, hipster. Here, some locally sourced tips from Marcus McMahon of Brick & Mortar Barber Shop.

Do Think Twice

“If you can’t grow a full beard, don’t try to rock a full beard. You might look better with a mustache or a nice goatee. Work with what you’ve got.”

Don’t Fret

“Give yourself a full month. Let nature take its course. Your face will itch—that’s inevitable.”

Do Seek Help

“Forget about trimming it yourself and go to a barber. Getting it trimmed every haircut or every other haircut goes a long way toward making sure it looks the best it can. Believe it or not, your beard will look fuller.”

Don’t Lose Faith

“All hair, even the stuff on your face, goes through different phases of growth. If you’re patchy in a spot or two, be patient. Getting a regular trim will help your beard to get out of its resting phase.”

Do Use Product

“A little beard oil will make your beard soft and shiny, and beard balm will help you tame those wild hairs. But those can get expensive, so, if you’re cheap, just use some coconut oil.”


This article is part of Indianapolis Monthly’s May 2016 Shear Genius barbershops package. For more slick advice, a crop of local grooming products, and buzzworthy barbershops, click here.