How to Talk to Your Barber

Aug 13, 2021

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Having a fresh cut can make you feel more confident. It’s vital to be prepared to communicate with your hairdresser so you walk away with exactly the style you want. Here are some tips to effectively talk to your barber. 

1. Have a Photo Ready

Do some research before you even arrive at the barbershop. Browse through magazines and the internet to get an idea of the style you want. You may even find inspiration from publications inside the shop. You want to look for a cut that flatters your bone structure and facial features. When determining your ideal hairstyle, the shape of your face plays an important role.

Here are some of the best haircuts for your face shape to consider:

  • Square shaped: If you have straight hair, go for a short back and sides. You may need some length on the top. For wavy hair, ask for clean lines around your hairline, leaving enough room on top. 
  • Round: You will want a shorter back and sides with about 3-5 inches of length if you have straight hair. For wavy hair, stick to around 5-6 inches. 
  • Oval: Straight-haired people should either go for a shorter crop or some length on top and sweep the rest back. Those with wavy hair might want to grow it out and trim the sides lightly.
  • Triangular: About 3 inches all around is best for straight hair. Wavy hair should be slightly longer, with the back and sides soft.  

Remember that you may have different features than the guy in the picture. When talking with your barber, emphasize the specific parts of the haircut you want to replicate. Make sure you’re clear about your expectations upfront. 

2.  Be Specific About What You Want

Use specific terms when talking to your barber. You want the hairdresser to be able to visualize what you imagine inside your head. Use your hands to help guide them to key areas that need more or less trimming. The more precise you are, the more likely you’ll be satisfied with the result.  

Here are some vague terms you should try not to use:

  • Take a little off
  • Just a trim
  • Whatever you think works best

3. Describe the Length 

As the barber starts to cut, be mindful of how much you want off. Be sure you are communicating this throughout the process. When determining the style, you also want to be sure to consider your ideal length. Let your hairstylist know this information ahead of time. 

Be as specific as possible with your measurements. Consider breaking down how much you want off the side, top and back to make the process smoother. Let your barber know if you’re unsure about the length of any specific area. They can try cutting off a few inches first to see how you like it. 

When determining the ideal length for your hair, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much time do you want to spend maintaining your hair?
  • How often do you want to change your look? 

Shorter hair requires minimal maintenance and styling. However, you may need to visit your barber more often. Longer hair is more versatile but requires extra attention. 

4. Show Exactly How You Style Your Hair

You want to let your barber know what your hair looks like on a typical day. This way, you don’t have to change your hairstyling routine. Have the barber refer to the photo you brought explaining the possibilities and limitations of the style. You might have to make some adjustments if your hair doesn’t work fully with your intended look. 

Also, when you talk to your barber, let them know what products you use for hair. Some items can impact the texture. Letting your hairdresser know this information beforehand can ensure there are no surprises when they start to cut. They can recommend additional products that work best for you. Besides products, there are other ways to keep your hair looking fresh naturally. 

Here are some tips to keep your hair healthy and stylish:

  • Take lukewarm showers
  • Look for sulfate-free products
  • Shampoo less often 
  • Use conditioner 
  • Be gentle when towel-drying your hair

5.  Defer to Your Barber

Once you have clearly stated what you want, it’s time to hand some control back to your barber. Ask for feedback and suggestions from them. Remember, they are the experts. You want to put your faith in them. This is why it’s essential to find a barber you trust. 

Here are ways to find the right barber:

  • Look for one that asks questions
  • Make sure they want to know your feedback 
  • Give them a trial run
  • Check out their social media pages 
  • Ask them questions related to your hair type

How to Talk to Your Barber the Right Way

You want your hair to look and feel good. Getting the perfect haircut can help with that. During your next appointment, follow these tips on how to talk to your barber to get what you want.

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Jack Shaw is a senior writer at Modded. Jack is an avid enthusiast for keeping up with personal health and enjoying nature. He has over five years of experience writing in the men's lifestyle niche, and has written extensively on topics of fitness, exploring the outdoors and men's interests. His writings have been featured in SportsEd TV, Love Inc., and Offroad Xtreme among many more publications.