How to Talk to Your Barber to Get the Haircut You Want

How to Talk to Your Barber to Get the Haircut You Want

by Justin Bullock
Hair /

Gentleman, let’s be honest: we may not be the best communicators out there. Whether with our partners, our work colleagues, roommates, or even our parents, we just struggle to express how we feel or what we really want at times.

And sometimes, all we really want is a decent haircut.

But alas, there we are, walking into barber shop we found online, intending to tell the barber all about our grand ideas of what our hair should look like, but, instead, we keep our mouths shut and end up walking out of there looking like a bit of a goof.

And as it turns out, these types of occurrences are more common than we might think: we spoke with our team of barbers across the U.S, and they confirmed that many of their male customers have trouble communicating what kind of hair cut they want, which is a big deal because most barbers want nothing more than to make their customers happy.

So, how can we help? Luckily, we spoke with Wallace Barlow from ‘V's Barbershop’ about how to deal with the issue, and what you can do to drop some hints to your barber as to what kind of haircut you’re searching for.

A Picture Tells a Thousand Words

Think about your hair for a second, and then try to explain it to someone and what you want to them do with it. Difficult, right? Gone are the days when this was a big issue. Today, all we have to do is show the barber exactly what we want on our mobile device.

So, next time you’re furiously Googling “how to communicate with your barber”, shift gears and start looking for pictures of haircuts instead.

By collecting a few pictures of your favorite styles, you’ll be able to provide your barber with a better idea of what you want by showing them a cut or style you’ve been digging from your favorite Instagram model or athlete.

Trust us, your barber will be happy about it, and if they can’t do it, it’s because of the next tip.

Know Your Limitations

Everyone’s hair is unique.

Whether it’s curly, straight, fine, thick, blonde, grey, black, or brown, it’s all different, and knowing what hair you have makes it a lot easier for you to understand what kind of cut will work.

Your barber will be able to give you advice, but it always helps to be realistic as well.

Making Sense of Barber Terminology

Barbers use terms you may have picked up from time-to-time. Do us a favor – forget about them.

The thing about barbering is no two barbers use the exact same terms for everything. Fringe, bangs, texture, volume, shine, sweep, razor part, executive hard part – the list just goes on.

You’re not in an interview, you don’t need to be right or wrong, so don’t try too hard to fit in and ruin your experience because you’ve said the wrong thing through a mis-communication.

Cut or a Style? Know the Difference

Think about the hair you want and if you’re willing to do certain things to keep it.

Will you blow-dry every morning? How many products do you need to achieve the look? How often do you need to go back to the barber to keep the cut looking its best? These are all things you have to consider when choosing a hair style.

We hope these simple tips help. We know how frustrating it can be to have a communication breakdown. But remember, a barber can often become one of your best friends. Someone you depend on, not just for a good hairstyle, but for a good talk. Just make sure you’re speaking the same language.