Established 2012

Guide: How to talk to your barber

Do you put off a trip to the barbershop because you get intimidated by the lingo? Do you often look in the mirror at home only to see a haircut or style that’s not quite what you had in mind? Here at London School of Barbering, we understand the importance of good client consultation and the value of a client being able to talk to their barber successfully, so they can get the haircut they want. Listen to professional barbers Luka Chitty and Mich Lange give tips and advice on how to talk to your barber:

We give advice and tips to our students on the importance of trying to get your client to talk clearly about what particular hairstyle they want on all of barbering courses. It’s important to remember, that although a barber will do his best to give you the look you want, he can’t do this without a little bit of input. So don’t be afraid to tell your barber exactly what you want, or at least give him a few general ideas. Otherwise, you may end up with a military buzz cut when what you really wanted was a fauxhawk!

Getting Started

If you know exactly what type of style you want and come armed with a file of celebrity photos to give your barber, that’s great. But don’t worry if you’re not really sure what you want, because the barber will be able to offer suggestions even if you don’t know your Caesar from your Crewcut. When you first sink back into the plush chair of the barbershop, you should be ready to open up with your friendly barber. Have a little chat in order to give a general idea of the overall style you’d like, whether it’s a precise high and tight or a modern layered style.

Be Precise when Possible

One of the pet peeves of many barbers is the all-too-common order of “just a trim.” The problem with this is that a trim can mean many different things to both clients and barbers alike. Some may say the word trim when they really mean a super close shave. Try to talk in inches or centimetres rather than vague terms. If you want a half inch trim, say so. If you can’t describe the length in inches, you could also ask for it in hair clipper guard lengths. So if you usually have a #3 haircut on the top and sides, you can simply ask for this using those precise terms. This is also the time to discuss other issues like tapering. Do you want your hair to be the same length all over your head, or do you want a tapered effect?

Talking Texture

Texturing is the finishing touch that makes a hairstyle distinct. It changes the hair’s thickness, without actually cutting it shorter. The barber may use thinning shears to reduce your hair’s thickness, or use techniques such as point cutting to give you a choppy look. Today’s hairstyles often involve some element of layering, which involves cutting the hair at a variety of different lengths at strategic points for a messy, flattering look.

Finally, remember that your barber probably knows best. If he offers you some pointers or suggestions that may work better with your face shape and lifestyle, try taking these on board. Above all, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have any doubts. Your barber is there to make sure you walk out of the barbershop as a satisfied customer!