There is a trusting relationship that evolves between a man and his barber, over time your barber can become someone that you confide in and take advice from, that you trust with the details of your life like no other person who is not a part of your family or close friends. I know this also applies to women but I see it as especially significant with men as us guys are not always known for opening up to one another. Just letting another guy touch your head takes a lot of trust in some cases. Before I did my training if I had touched the head/hair/beard of any of my friends let alone someone I had just met there would have been a swat of the hand and a “the hell you doing” look. Not that I go around touching guys on the head but it has happened lately during conversations about my being a barber and no such reaction not even with people I had just met. The point is that it’s something for a guy to sit and have another man touch his head and once that has happened and the experience is good and the cut is what they want and the atmosphere relaxes them then it’s a new thing altogether. This initial trust can develop into a relationship where by the barber becomes a confidant and the barber shop a place of refuge, a place where it is okay to talk openly without fear of damaging relationships or offending. It can also be a place to be quiet. Most of all it is a place that once you have stepped out you should feel fresh, sharp and better about yourself.
All this has been written about before and here is a particularly good article I found that tells of one mans relationship to his barber that I think says it rather well.