How Do You Describe Your Haircut? How To Talk To Barbers - Japan Scissors

How Do You Describe Your Haircut? How To Talk To Barbers

Communicating with the barber is the key while you are getting a haircut or a shave. However, most of us don’t have any idea of what to say to a barber. 

How to translate your idea of a perfect haircut into something your barber will understand isn't as hard as it sounds!

Here in this article, we would be helping all the men out there who are not sure how to talk to their barber.

The top 10 ways to talk to your barber for the perfect haircut or beard trim!

A man explaining his haircut to a barber

1. Explain what type of style you want

When you first sit down in the barber chair, try to explain, in your own words, what style of haircut do you want. Are you looking for a business casual, a buzz-cut or a face, or simply wanting to look like Tom Cruise?

This gets the conversation going, and it helps them picture exactly what you need.

2. A picture is worth a thousand words! 

After explaining the general idea, don't hesitate to simply pull out your phone and show the barber a few pictures of what kind of hairstyle you want.

They can also help recommend a hairstyle that will suit the shape of your face. This helps you avoid making a mistake when choosing a new hairstyle.

Showing the barber, a particular hairstyle photo works better than your words. But before you arrive at the barbershop, make sure to have some photos ready to be shown. 

You can always take some sort of hints from the photos like the tapers, bangs edges and let your stylist know about your liking. 

Your barber can really bring out all those elements in order to create the perfect look that you are after.

3. Tell your barber how much hair you want to be taken off, and where!

There are different variations of most hairstyles, so whether you are asking for a trim, or a brand new look, its important to explain how much hair you want to be taken off, and where.

This helps you avoid any miscommunication that could lead to a really short fringe or any other hair surprises. 

Common terms when asking how much hair your want taken off are:

  • a little off the top and sides = "please keep the same style, but trim it back 4-8 weeks"
  • give me a trim = "take off a few cm all round"

More accurate ways to explain how much you want to be taken off would be:

  • Please use the clippers and give me a 3 on the sides and 4 on the top.
  • Take one or two inches off the tops and sides, please.

After receiving a trim or cut, you can ask your barber how much hair they cut off and where, so you can remember next time.

4. Understand what type of hair you have 

Remember, every person has a different set of hair. Not only your hair colour, but also in thickness (coarseness), texture, or moisture.

Knowing your type of hair can be of great help in understanding the kind of cut that works best.

Apart from that always take help from your barber as they are the best person to tell you if the haircut that you are asking for would be a good fit for you. 

5. Use the right words and terms when talking with your barber

By the word right terms, we mean no terms. Try to avoid any words or sentences that you have heard from somewhere else or you have learned from the internet. 

You can ask the barber what they are doing when cutting or trimming, so you remember what to ask for next time. Don't worry, the barber terms you need to remember are not difficult!

You might not be knowing the actual meaning of the word texture, no matter how many times you have asked for it. Remember that there are only a handful of things that you can do to instruct your barber. 

6. Learn what a taper is for barbers

A taper is where the length of hair gradually shortens as it moves from the top of your head to your neck.

A taper is similar to a fade haircut, as the length of hair shortens and gradually fades the lower it gets.

The main types of taper haircuts a barber will perform are:

  • a long taper
  • a shorter taper

The alternative to having a taper in your haircut from your barber is to have your hair the same length all around your head. If your preference is to avoid tapers, then be sure to let your barber know.

7. You don't need to remember the clipper number system

You might be thinking that only adhering to a type of number settings on a trimmer can get you a perfect haircut. But it is completely false. 

It is actually impossible to get the exact same cut from different hair stylists or barbers. 

A clipper setting can be of great help in providing reference but indeed not a good example for someone to whom you have never been before.

Remember, each barber may have a different set of clippers, different interpretations, and a varying idea of what is a short and long haircut. Hairs are never similar to a mathematical equation.

8. Talk to your barber about your neckline

With shorter men's haircuts, the neckline (nape) plays an important part in your hairstyle. Most people don't look too much, but your barber uses a mirror to show the neckline at the end of your haircut.

There are two main neckline styles you need to talk to your barber about:

  1. Blocked neckline: where the end of your hair on the neck is straight and even
  2. Tapered neckline: the end of your hair on your neck is naturally curved and faded out. The gradual fade begins below your ears on the back and ends on the nap of your neck.
  3. Rounded neckline: the end of your hairline on your neck has rounded edges. 

The most popular neckline for men is the rounded and tapered style. This is due to it looking more natural, so the focus is on your main hairstyle and not the abrupt end of your hairline with a blocked neckline.

9. Learn what the difference between a haircut and a style is

Try thinking about the type of hair you need. Now think about what you are willing to do to get that type of hair. Are you going to use several products? Are you ready to blow dry every day? These are very crucial information that you must inform your barber before your styling. Remember, a haircut is just a component of maintaining a hairstyle, but it isn't the complete thing.

In case you are interested in knowing more about hair-styling, beard styling, or anything else, please feel free to log on to our website.

10. Tell your barber if you want any texture in your hair

Traditional men's haircuts were quite simple, a quite cut and shave, and you're done! In a modern barbershop, your barber will talk to you about having texture in your hair.

Texture is the characteristics of your hair, and there are four main types you can ask for with your barber.

Thinned out hair texture

For people with thicker hair, talk to your barber about having thinned out hair texture. Thinned out hair texture is especially good in summer, as its much cooler.

Your barber will take out a pair of thinning hair scissors and thin out thicker clusters of hair. 

Depending on how thick your hair is, your barber may thin out your hair every visit, or every second or third visit.

Layered hair texture

For people with long hair, having layered texture means to have different lengths of layered sections of hair.

The result is having longer layered sections resting on top of shorter layered sections of hair. Layered hair texture gives more character and volume to your long hairstyle.

Razor hair texture

For people with really curly hair, you might want to talk to your barber about having a razored hair texture.

Your barber will use a straight razor or texturizing razor to cut the ends of your hair. Razored hair texture helps keep your hair-ends from curling up.

Choppy layered hair texture

If you are looking for a textured look with volume, then talk to your barber about using a choppy layered hair texture. Choppy layered texture works better with medium to long hair.

Your barber will take their haircutting scissors and use the point cutting technique to make different lengths in certain sections for a more volume and textured hairstyle.

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