Get the Perfect Haircut: How to Talk to Your Barber

by Brett on August 25, 2010 · 50 comments

in Dress & Grooming, Hair

Think back to your last haircut. How’d you feel about it when you walked out of the shop? Disappointed?  While your disappointing haircut might have been due to poor barbering, it’s often the case that your poor communication with the barber was at least partly to blame. Barbers can’t read minds. If you don’t tell them exactly what you want, you’re going to get whatever haircut the barber feels comfortable giving. For example, I knew an old barber (and I’m talking old) who’d give every customer a crew cut if the customer didn’t explicitly say exactly how he wanted his hair cut.

If you want to avoid this fate, you have to learn how to talk to your barber. But telling a barber what you want can be intimidating for a man, especially with all the special lingo they throw around. Well, never fear. I called up registered master barber Steve Hankins from Red’s Classic Barbershop in Indianapolis, IN to get the scoop on how to confidently communicate with your barber. With his tips, we’ve created a comprehensive guide on what to say to your barber so you get exactly the haircut you want next time you plop down in that chair. Let’s get to it.

Tell him what general style you want

When you first sit down in the barber’s chair, try to give him a general description of the style you want. Are you looking for a crew cut? Are hoping you to look like Don Draper? Perhaps you want a more modern style. You might want to bring in a photo of the look you’d like to achieve. Once you’ve got this covered, you can then get into the specifics.

Tell him how much you want taken off and where

After you tell your barber what general style you want, tell him exactly how much you want taken off. Don’t just say, “Give me a trim, Mac” or “Just a little off the top.” One barber’s trim is another barber’s close shave. To avoid getting your hair cut too short, Steve says to be specific with how much you want taken off. “Short and long are all relative from barber to barber,” he says. So say things like “an inch off the top” or “a quarter inch off the side.” If you don’t know exactly how much you want taken off, let your barber know you don’t know. What he’ll probably do is just cut a bit off to see if you like it. Then if you want it shorter, you can go shorter. If you’re a clippers man, memorize the numbers of the guards you use. Then you can just walk into the barber and tell him “I want a 2 on the sides and a 3 on the top.”

Tell him if you want a taper

When you’re at the barber, you’ll likely hear the word “taper” thrown around quite a bit. If you’ve been nodding your head all this time and saying “Yeah, give me that!” even though you have no idea what a taper even is, here’s a quick rundown on what a taper means when it comes to haircuts. A taper gradually changes your hair length from the top of the head down to the nape of the neck. The taper usually starts off long at the top and gets shorter as you go down to the neck. The length of the taper can vary. You can have a really long taper or a short taper. Most men’s haircuts involve some sort of taper, but some men prefer that their hair length be the same all around their head. Make sure to tell the barber your preference.

Tell him what kind of neckline (or nape) you want

A lot of men don’t think about how their neckline looks because they hardly ever see it, but the masses of people who walk and stand behind you get to eyeball it every day. If you don’t keep it clean and trim, a great haircut can suddenly look unkempt. When choosing what sort of neckline you want, you have three options: blocked, rounded, and tapered. Each has their pros and cons.

Blocked. A blocked nape means cutting a straight line across the natural neckline. When done correctly, your neckline will have the appearance of a squared block. If you’re self-conscious about your skinny chicken neck, a blocked nape can give you the appearance of a wider, thicker neck. If you already have the neck of a drill sergeant, go with another type of neckline. The biggest drawback with blocked napes is that they will appear untidy as the hair grows out. Once the hair begins to grow under the neckline, the new hair growth sticks out like a sore thumb. If you decide to go with the blocked neckline, it’s recommended you go back into the barber once a week to clean it up. Or better yet, learn to do it yourself.

Rounded. A rounded neckline simply takes the corners off a blocked nape finish. Like the blocked neckline, the rounded nape can start to look untidy once hair starts growing below the neckline.

Tapered. Instead of creating a strong line at the nape of the neck, a tapered neckline follows the natural neckline and gradually shortens the hair as it gets closer to the bottom of the neckline. A tapered neckline can slim a wide neck. However, the biggest advantage to the tapered nape is that as your hair grows out, the neckline remains blended and neat. You won’t need frequent touch-ups as you would with a blocked or rounded nape.

Tell him if you want any texture in your hair

Many of the more modern men’s hairstyles incorporate some sort of texturing. Steve the Barber recommends using these terms with your barber if you’d like to add some texture to your hair:

Choppy. When you need a bit of volume to your hair, ask for choppy.  Choppy hair occurs when the barber uses point cutting. He’ll pick up the hair at different lengths and cut it at a 45 degree angle. You can then run product through your hair and style it as you please. The result is a nice, textured look.

Razored. When a barber razors your hair, he uses a straight razor to trim the ends instead of scissors. “Why,” you might ask, “would I want the barber to use a straight razor to cut my hair?” First, it’s badass. Second, it helps the hair lay flatter on your head and diminishes bulk. “If you have really curly hair, you might ask your barber to trim the edges with a razor blade,” says Steve.

Layered. When you have longer hair resting on top of shorter hair, you’ve got layers, my friend. If you have thinning or balding hair, layers can give your hair the appearance of depth and volume.

Thinned out. If you have a thick, bushy mane, ask the barber to bust out the thinning shears to take some of that volume off your brain canister. Thinning shears look like regular scissors, but they have teeth that cut some hair strands and leave other strands uncut. Men with normal hair thickness will be okay getting their hair thinned every other visit to the barbershop. If you have a giant furry animal living on your head, Steve suggests getting it thinned at every visit.

Tell him how you want your arches

The spaces between your hairline and your ears are called arches. Here’s how you can trim them.

High arch. You can ask your barber to cut the arch around your ear higher into your hairline. That will leave more space between where your hairline ends and your ears begin. Men with smaller ears might consider a higher arch as it can make the ears appear larger. The disadvantage with having a higher arch is that it can look messy and awkward as your hair grows out. And if they’re too high, they make you look pretty dorky.

Natural arch. For most men, keeping their natural arch is the way to go. That’s what Steve the Barber recommends; “It just looks better,” he says. Tell the barber to keep your natural arch and he’ll just clean it up with some short trimming.

Tell him how you like your sideburns

Finally, tell him how you like your sideburns. Basic details you should give him include how long and how thinned out you want them. Possible sideburn lengths include:

  • Top of the ear
  • Mid-ear
  • Bottom of the ear

If you’re not going for the Ambrose Burnside look, ask your barber to trim and thin out your sideburns a bit.

Now quit yapping and listen to your barber for a minute…

After you’ve told the barber what you want, Steve suggests shutting your yap and listening to your barber’s suggestions. “A lot of guys come in with an idea of how they want their hair, but it’s just not possible with their hair type. Or what they’re asking for won’t look good with their face. Customers need to come in with an open mind and they have to be flexible,” says Steve. Listen to what your barber has to say and trust his expertise.

Your relationship with your barber is like any good relationship-communication should be a two-way street. He should listen to what you’re looking for and give you feedback and advice. A good barber will ask you if you’re happy with how your hair looks as he goes along. If your barber doesn’t communicate at all and doesn’t listen to your preferences, it’s probably time to pick a new barber.

One of the best parts of the barbershop tradition is that as you partake of this manly ritual, the barber can become your buddy, someone you’re not only comfortable with, but look forward to seeing. After awhile, all you’ll have to say when you plop down in his chair is, “Give me the usual!”


Many thanks to Steve Hankins from Red’s Classic Barbershop in Indianapolis, IN for chatting with me and offering his barbering wisdom. If you’re in the Indianapolis area, check Red’s out. It’s a classic, manly establishment where you can get great haircuts, shoeshines, and good old fashioned hot lather shaves.

Any other suggestions on how to talk to your barber? Share them with us in the comments!

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Richard August 25, 2010 at 1:41 am

Don’t forget to ask him to trim your eyebrows! Nothing worse than looking like Thurfur Hawat from the Dune movie.

2 Steve Harrington August 25, 2010 at 1:54 am

Excellent article once again. I was recently introduced to your site and have to say that I’m extremely impressed with the great info you guys put out.

My tip would be to make sure the barber doesn’t make your neckline too high up. That’s an easy way to look like a real nerd.

3 Alvin August 25, 2010 at 2:03 am

Barber Shop talk! You get what you ask for. Nice Post Brett.

4 ThomsonsPier August 25, 2010 at 6:18 am

This is a very useful article, especially as my favoured barber shut down a while ago. The problem I now find is that even when going to the same place each time, one tends to get stuck with the next available cutter and things become very variable even within the same shop. This article has expanded my vocabulary most usefully. Now all I have to do is find a shop where they don’t stare at me in incomprehension when I say I’d like the whole thing done with scissors.

Also, I find the phrase “brain canister” highly amusing.

5 Aleks August 25, 2010 at 6:31 am

I’ve used the same barber for 18 years! Nothing better than a barber that knows “you.”

6 Padriag August 25, 2010 at 7:30 am

Finally! While i’ve been pretty much asking the right things when getting a cut, i’ve always wondered how to do it properly and the right words to describe what I wanted. Thanks for an informed article!

On other barbershop news, I’m moving into a new house and my landlord is the local barber. Hopefully i’ve not only got a new house, but a new barber as well.

7 Derek August 25, 2010 at 8:19 am

Good grooming includes keeping sideburns in check. Which, incidentally, can extend the “life” of a haircut.

Much like my erstwhile beard, my sideburns are curly and multi-directional. A $30 grooming set (electric clippers) with guards helps keep them in check between haircuts. Otherwise, I look like my dad in photos from the 1970s. And that’s not good.

Clippers are also useful for keeping the arch in check between cuts, too.

8 Eric August 25, 2010 at 8:51 am

I always just tell my preferred barber, “Cover up the bald spot and cut off all the gray.”

9 Dan August 25, 2010 at 9:35 am

I’ve noticed that guys who brag “I’ve had the same barber since elementary school” also tend to have the same bad haircut they had in elementary school. This includes my 50 year old co-worker. If you’re going to stick with a barber that long, please change the haircut to match the current fashion and your age – and make sure he’s a good barber.

10 Marc August 25, 2010 at 10:32 am

I just followed this advice and got exactly the right ‘Mad Men’ haircut I wanted. Thanks guys!

11 Seth August 25, 2010 at 11:02 am

My trick for keeping track of the length is to use my knuckles as a ruler. When I go to the barber, I can ask for exactly the length I want on top by measuring it with a pre-established finger joint.

Also, scissors cuts are way better than clippers. If you’ve been letting them use clippers on you, try asking for scissors.

12 Ben R August 25, 2010 at 1:49 pm

I don’t go to a barber shop, but a salon. I have a very comfortable relationship with my hair dresser and I usually plop down in my chair and when she asks what I want done to my hair I usually reply with “Something that’ll get me laid” or “Make me look like a rockstar.” She then does a slight variation of a short and somewhat messy textured hair cut that I’m always satisfied with. I don’t think that the “tradition” of a barber relationship is anything unique like the article suggests. Anyone who cuts your hair regularly develops a relationship and personal bond, whether it be male or female.

One of the reasons why I never go to barbers is illustrated in the article: “For example, I knew an old barber (and I’m talking old) who’d give every customer a crew cut if the customer didn’t explicitly say exactly how he wanted his hair cut.” I prefer modern salons because I don’t have to be afraid of getting a default traditional hair cut.

13 Josh August 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm

I’ve been hitting up Strait Up Babershop in Brea, CA for over a year now. I see Roland, a rock-a-billy, hair-cutting genius every month and we are definitely friends now. At the point of just saying the “usual” and I gotta confirm, it’s pretty great.

14 Matt August 25, 2010 at 4:16 pm


Thanks for that comment, I have been out of the country a bit and just moved back to Whittier. I’m pretty shaggy and have been looking around for a barber shop, will definitely check out Strait Up.

15 Aaron August 25, 2010 at 10:52 pm

I insist on a scissor cut, but most people take it to an extreme trying to mimic the same guy cut they typically give customers with the clippers. This often results in a cut high around the ears and awkward in the back.

So taking this article’s advice I adjusted my lingo today. I don’t know if it was the improved communication or if she was skilled in her trade but the results were immaculate.

Thanks again for yet another great tidbit of manly information.

16 CoffeeZombie August 25, 2010 at 11:17 pm

@Ben R I guess I’m pretty much the exact opposite of you, then. I was almost never happy with a haircut until I started going to a barbershop. With stylists, even when I *was* happy at first, the next day I’d get out of the shower, go to comb my hair, and it’d look, at best, so-so. Not what I had when I walked out of the shop. I’m sure there’s some special way they comb it, or whatever, but I’ve never been able to figure it out. Or, they’re good at combing over their bad hair jobs.

My guess is that they would “default” to a textured style or something, that just didn’t work with my curly hair.

As a result, I would go 6 months without a hair cut, because I *hated* getting it cut.

I finally decided to try the barbershop in the old downtown area (what used to be the center of a small town), and, for the first time, not only did I walk out happy with my haircut, but I *stayed* happy the next morning. Nothing fancy that I can’t emulate at home; just a simple hair-cut that keeps looking good (until I need it cut again, of course).

17 J. Sturm August 26, 2010 at 6:47 am

I enjoyed reading your article. My hair is very thin and wavy. For years, I’ve been asking my barbers to proportion my hair to the size and shape of my head. That seems to work. But, now that my hair is very thin AND thinning out, I think I’ll ask for layering.

I finally found a barber who gives me the perfect haircut for my head and face, and also has a family atmosphere in his small mom and pop store. He was trained in Mainland China. Remarkable.

18 derrick August 27, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I’ve been cutting my own hair for almost a decade with clippers. It’s pretty easy after the first time. I donate the savings to charity – I figured out that a $10 set of clippers and guards has resulted in donating $1500 to charity over the last 10 years.

The only part I have problems with is the back. Before I got married, I would get dates by asking a girl to do the back. Now my wife does it. :)

Before that I used to go to the same Italian barbershop where the mayor, fire chief, and police chief of our population 400,000 city went. I went mostly for the conversation with the pillars of the community, when they closed that’s when I started cutting my own.

I’ve had only three minor screwups since cutting my own 50 times, and I always get it cut the way I want.

19 Doc Ellis 124 August 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm

I have been cutting my own hair since about 1986 or so. I started with shears. That works. Then I switched to clippers. That works. I currently use a 1/8 inch comb on my head above my ears, a 1 inch comb on my chin, 3/4 inch on face cheeks, 1/2 inch just in front of my ears, 3/8 inch under my arms and on my eyebrows, 1/8 inch to trim my mustache. When I finish, my hair looks like it grew out from a previous cut. I like the way it looks and I don’t have to put up with anybody getting it wrong.

This was an interesting article. It might help somebody else, but not me.

20 P.M.Lawrence August 28, 2010 at 10:56 am

You get an inch or two trimmed off your elbows every 6-8 months, Billy Badass?

21 Ben August 28, 2010 at 10:16 pm

NIce article. I’v just recently brought my son (he turns one on sept 5th) for his first haircut. Believe it or not the Barber who gave me my first cut is still in buisness and i didn’t mind the 2 hour drive to bring my boy to him for his first.

22 Matt August 29, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Thank you! I am always unsure of how to speak barber-lingo, and as someone else mentioned, I often end up with a different person, despite going to the same shop.

23 Tim Mc August 30, 2010 at 10:20 am

Interesting and enlightening article as most are at the AoM site.

After reading the comments, I have come to the conclusion that I am not alone when my barber of choice is no longer available due to retirement (lost two that way), relocation (lost one), and the barber moving their practice (one more gone).

Years ago (decades) I had to cut my waist long locks in order to become a productive member of society so I went to a high priced full service salon recommended to me by my girlfriend at the time. It cost me a bundle, but it looked good…a classic taper combed back with some pommade.

About a year later I was leaving the salon when I stumbled across a barber shop around the corner and two blocks down from the ritzy joint I had been patronizing. It was like looking into a barber shop museum. Complete with a beautiful turn of the century carved oak mirrored bar back, pedestal sinks, barber pole, and two mammoth barber chairs, I had found my home.

This was a true barber…men’s hair ONLY, trim your eyebrows, nose hairs, straight razor cleanup around the ears and nape with hot shave cream, and for special occasions…a complete straight razor shave.

There was no hostess, no ritzy decorating, no blaring techno music, or incessant chatter. This was bare bones….old school if you will.

The bell that hung on the door rang as you entered, as if the squeky hinges weren’t enough to tell of your arrival. Ancient black and white floor tiles curled at the corners and plate galss windows stretched to the tin stamped ceiling tiles. There was a chalk board that you scibbled your name on before you plopped down on the old leather couch to either read the bevy of men oriented magazines, or sit and watch the women walk by through the windows. In the corner were old photographs of the neighborhood and an antique Coke machine that hummed along providing you an ice cold pop…on the honor system.

As old as the place was, the barber was an astute middle aged man with an occasional assistant (the ONLY woman I ever saw in the joint) who worked the other chair during busy times. If you knew what you wanted, they could do it. If you didn’t, they would ask a few questions and get you on the right track. There were never any ‘default’ cuts or styles. He and his assistant were true masters…artists if you will.

For four years I attended this temple of manhood. Words exchanged were few and far between, I never even learned the barbers name, but I knew him as he did me. I always looked forward to visiting the shop, it was a place for me to unwind, to escape the madness just outside the plate glass windows.

I moved away many years ago and in my time I have found a few good barbers that I liked, but none ever quite matched that place.

24 Bob September 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm

The guy who gave a crew-cut if you did not tell him what you wanted reminds me of the tale of the guy who goes into the barber shop and asks for a Tony Curtis. After about ten minutes the barber pulls up the mirror to reveal a crew cut. The guy in the chair says ” that’s not a Tony Curtis” and the barber says “it would be if he came in here!”

25 Franklin rodebaugh September 13, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Steve is my barber and there is none better.

26 Bob September 15, 2010 at 9:10 am

I’m a pretty conservative guy in my 50′s with a regular haircut. I’ve been going to the same traditional barbershop for years. It was recently bought-out by a young guy who fixed it up. Now decorated with custom skateboards. The barber has major ink on his arms, moonlights as a DJ, and specializes in cutting lines and designs on heads. But he listens, and does a fantastic job. His clients range from guys in their 20s to 90s. He recently changed my hair from a parted style to a comb-back, and I love it, and so does my wife. Change is good sometimes.

I even let him shave off the beard I had for over 20 years. Eventually, my wife preferred the beard, so it is back.

27 jeremy September 22, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Been cutting my hair also for the last few months. Now, I don’t have to make small talk about what I’m doing this weekend, how long I’ve been married, etc.

$25 clippers from Target and I’ve figured I’ve saved $80. Cool. I also ask my wife how I’ve done—-and I remind her to be brutally honest.

28 Braden December 3, 2012 at 11:11 pm

I never know how to describe what kind of haircut that I want. I tell the barber that I want it cut a few inches or so, and they ask how I would like it done and I say, “I don’t know. Cut it!. I’m sorry I didn’t bring any blueprints for you. Just make it look different then it does now.” I just want a hairstyle that’s not too short, one that I can do without using any hair products like mousse, and most of all, a hairstyle that isn’t going to make me look gay. So no, I don’t want to look like Justin Bieber.

29 Salted January 31, 2013 at 3:29 am

It is good article that will ease many people’s life who change thier regular barber. ;)

I recommend that a man should try other barber from time to time. The change will give you a perfect feedback of your style and your prefered barber. Mostlly, the man apperiate his barber more than before, but ,sometime, the man get a shock that he was living in the dark ages.

30 Jake March 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Hey guys. im 22 with a young face and i wanted to get on here because i never have any idea what i want and dont know what means what. this article helped. but does anyone have recomendations on haircuts that maybe just make you look a little more “seasoned”.? thanks

31 Zoe March 24, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Hello! Great article! I am actually a student hairdresser [hoping to be a cutting specialist down the road, targeting men] and if any of you gentlemen go to a salon instead of a barber, where the hairdresser is a licensed cosmetologist, not all of the lingo is the same [but all the clipper guards are :)]! Always feel free to bring in a picture to your stylist or barber! That is A HUGE help to us! Just a little bit from a student stylist point of view :]

Stay Dapper fellows!

32 Retrosexual April 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm

I live in small town of 10 000 and only 1 barber (which i don’t like personally) so cant’ go to. I’m stuck going to hair salons. I’ve never had a styliest who knows how to taper a men’s short haircut on the sides and back. All they do is use a clipper at one length!! How is that tapered??? I WISH we had some other barbershop in this town, it really sucks. Best haircuts of my life when I was younger and went to a real Barber (he passed away many years ago). Damn i miss those haircuts, I looked forward to going him – great haircut everytime. Took his time, tapered the neckline and sides properly, blended in the top, gave the top style as well, spikey or messy, or whatever you wanted. Guess i’m stuck with “speed cuts” so the styliest can get the next victim, um i mean customer on the chair. It has to be at least 15 to 20 years since I had a haircut I was proud of. PLEASE any barbers out there wanting to relocate? I have the perfect name for your barbershop “This Is How You Cut Men’s Hair” or maybe TIHCMH.

33 Aaron May 11, 2013 at 2:05 am

@Jake, go to reddit mfa and ask those guys. most are your same age. some front and side pictures of your head would help them decide better but i know that takes balls.

34 Matthew Palardy May 24, 2013 at 1:06 am

My hair is fairly straightforward, but I’ve twice had a barber cut my beard too short. I usually say that I like the length, just clean it up a little, and I leave looking like a Simpson. Oddly, a stylist tends to do quite a bit better on my chin. Any ideas as to what I should be communicating more clearly about the beard?

35 Eddie Guanajuato June 13, 2013 at 9:07 am

Dear Readers,

I have been to RED’S BARBERSHOP in indy and what you read is accurate. I love going to Red’s. These Barbers are amazing. Especially Dan.

36 ali June 28, 2013 at 4:22 pm

This is an awesome article. Now my barber will know exactly what i want

37 Chris August 6, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Great article as a barber myself I agree with all the points listed here. One thing I might add, if you as a customer truly do not know the specifics of the cut you want it is often helpful to simply tell your barber or stylist the last time you received a haircut.
I’ve learned that most clients who frequent a barbershop relish in the fact that they don’t have to tell there barber what to do, and as such often forget over time what kind of haircut they get.
If I run into this I simply ask the last time they got a cut and can usually determine quite accurately how short to go.

Quick rule of thumb: Hair grows on average 1/2 inch/month with minor variations throughout the year, So if client tells me his last haircut was 2 months ago I would take off about 1 inch all over.

Also, most clipper guard sizes with the exception of Andis, are measured in 1/8 inch increments starting with #1 at 1/8 inch, a #2 at 2/8 or 1/4 and so on up to size #8

38 Liam Howell August 21, 2013 at 6:05 am

Being a young man from the UK, and a quieter area at that, the want for a decent barber, and availability of such an establishment are at conflict; what I want, I do not have. In order to make do, I have found that using women’s stylists works far better than I could have imagined; being blessed(?) with thick hair that grows quickly, up until recently I would let it grow long, and have it cut short yearly, in a generic cut. Recently, however, I discovered my local hair stylist (sister’s term) employed some extremely capable hair dressers; they knew exactly how to deal with my hair cut, and were willing to discuss how to best do my hair in an appropriate style, and followed exactly as I asked, to the point where clippers were forgone (a key point, considering my shoulder length hair) and scissors were used, with frequent pauses and checks to ensure the cut was perfect. It is worth a try, especially as more and more such stylists brand as “unisex”, if there is no local barber (a trade I believe needs to regrow)!

39 Chris September 23, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Nice start, but I find it a little narrow in scope especially with regard to those guys (especially us men of color) who depend almost exclusively on clippers at the barbershop and the terminology pertinent to them. The article may have benefitted from the inclusion of fades, shape-ups, more about clipper guard numbers, and a plethora of other information (of which I, by no means, profess any relevant expertise) regarding haircuts for men with coarser hair who almost never get scissor cuts.

40 Thomas September 23, 2013 at 2:19 pm

This is great. Every man should read it. I am a barber myself, and there is nothing more frustrating than a gut that doesn’t know what he wants. Then you end up doing three full cuts on the same head. There is a big difference between Don Draper and David Beckom.

Always Bring a Photo if its going to be a new style for you. Thanks, T.

41 Bob September 23, 2013 at 2:37 pm

The “3 on the top 2 on the sides” suggestion is the one I use all the time. I used to dread having to describe to the barber what I wanted, till I just decided to settle on the nice and simple clipper numbers. Just want 3 on top, 2 on sides, sideburns at the top of the ear, and a blocked nape. Nice, simple, I like how it looks and it’s really hard to get wrong.

42 Em B. September 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm

might thrown in a little ear and nose hair trim too.

43 Dave September 24, 2013 at 2:10 am

I’ve always done everything in this article except bring a hairstyle picture with me. I’m starting to think I need to do that. I’ve been entering into a more professional world and really want to get my crap together with my hair and clothes. It’s always been plain haircuts and fairly generic clothes for me (in terms of work, anyway). I just can’t figure out a good haircut to show them–one that is relatively conservative and isn’t overtly metrosexual (don’t know what other term to use), but has a sense of style. My hair texture is kind of coarse and ‘feathers out’ on the sides and back, so that doesn’t help. Maybe it would be a good idea to Google around for websites with example haircut pictures or further advice for dudes who aren’t looking to overly-stylize their hair.

44 jamiu adedayo November 1, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Am a barber and I need a contract work from europe or asia. Dix ix my number 08102782501

45 Eric February 3, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Does anyone know if there is a similar guide to asking a barber for fades? I know I can’t pull off a “high and tight” type of fade, but still like doing a fade over a taper.

46 Levi February 7, 2014 at 8:24 am

I really don’t talk too much detail to my barber. I just tell him to cut my usual hair style. Maybe next time i’ll be detailed enough.

47 Mike February 8, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Thanks for this great tutorial. I am from now on able to explain to my barber exactly what cut I need. Thanks

48 Jezz February 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Thanks for this excellent post. It can be really a very helpful to people to learn that how to talk with barber for getting a haircut that they really wants to have.

49 The Oracle March 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Thanks but no thanks.

I, like most men, went to barbers into my adult life, and no matter HOW I tried to describe, sometimes in exquisite detail, how I wanted my hair cut, invariably, I never succeeded in establishing any meaningful communication with them. It was as if they just ignored me totally, and cut it however THEY wanted to.

Finally I gave up. I decided that I could screw up my hair as well as any barber, and if I did it, I didn’t have to pay for it. I’ve been cutting my own hair for probably 20 years now, and no one but me and my wife knows. It took a little practice, but I’ve never looked back. It’s nice to have one less thing to worry about. The money saved is a bonus, and now my hair looks exactly the way I want it to (including the “nape”, thank you).

I do use a Flowbee sometimes, but I think enough of my hair, and my own work, that I also invested in a pair of Kamisori shears that cost me $1,250.

50 Keith Power April 4, 2014 at 8:56 pm

This should almost be required reading for guys graduating into manhood. Great, sage advice; just a shame I don’t have so much left to cut these days!

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