How to Talk to Your Barber and Get the Perfect Haircut?
Have you ever been to your barber with a vague idea of what you want and because you couldn’t quite explain the exact haircut you desired ended up with a cut you were less than satisfied with?
It’s easy to blame the barber. After all, you figured that he would know best and rely on his instincts to give you the best haircut. However, perhaps the reason you didn’t get the cut you wanted was because of a lack of communication and something got lost in translation.
Yes, haircuts and styles have a language all their own. While barbers and stylists don’t expect you to know it fluently, it’s best that you learn the basics if you want to best communicate the exact cut and style you want thus avoiding any future disappointments.
A general description is sometimes enough for the barber to go on. It would be ideal for you to bring a photo of what you want. If you have your phone with you, search for styles you like or maybe there’s a celebrity whose haircut you feel would suit you. Showing your barber this image will save you a lot of time and more importantly, frustration.
However, keep in mind that not all haircuts will suit you or look the same on you as it does on your idol. Remember that head and face shape play big factors in how particular hairstyles will appear on a person.
Here are some terms you should know the next time you visit barber:
Specify exactly how much you want taken off. “A little” is vague and can lead to a cut much shorter than you’d hoped. “An inch” off the top or “half an inch” off the sides, lets your barber know just how far to go.
Taper or Fade?
Taper and fade are often used interchangeably, but essentially they mean that the hair length will gradually shorten from the top of your head to the nape of your neck. The fade, however, is a bit more distinct than a taper as it has a fading effect as the hair length transitions to the shortest.
Or consider that you may want neither and keep the length the same all over.
While you may not be able to see your neckline, your choice will determine the overall look of your haircut. There are generally three choices for a neckline:
• Blocked – This gives the appearance of a squared block and can give the illusion of a wider, thicker neck.
• Rounded – This neckline is basically the blocked neckline minus the corners for a rounded nape.
• Tapered – The tapered neckline gradually shortens as it gets closer to the bottom of your neckline.
Whether you have thin, thick, or curly hair, your barber can texturize it. Here are textures to consider:
• Layered – This is more common for longer hair, and you can ask your barber to give you varying lengths which create the appearance of depth and volume.
• Razored – This is ideal for curly that needs to be managed and less edgy. Razored texture will help the hair lay flatter to your head and reduce the bulk of the curls.
• Choppy – This look is if you want it to appear texturized and grown-in. The barber achieves this by cutting at different lengths at 45-degree angles.
• Thin Out – If you have particularly thick hair and want it reduced, ask your barber to thin it out by removing some of the hair’s volume.
There’s a space between your hairline and your ears. They’re called arches, and they require trimming too. They are:
• High arch – This is really a preference for some men who like the look of a higher arch.
• Natural arch – Most men want to keep a natural arch, and all it needs is a bit of cleaning up and defining.
Choose one of the three most common sideburn lengths:
• Top of the ear
• Bottom of the ear
Your relationship with your barber is really like any other relationship. Miscommunication can lead to disappointment and heartbreak. So save yourself the frustration and future dissatisfaction by learning how to speak the barber basics.