Back in the day, hairstyles for men were easy. Many men had the same barber from the time they were kids until their favorite barber retired. Nowadays, we are lucky if we have the same barber for consecutive haircuts.
Since it’s likely you’re going to change barbers frequently in your lifetime; it’s a good idea to know how to communicate with your barber regarding the type of hairstyle you prefer. Today, we will give you some tips on how to let your barber know about your preferred hairstyle. For more tips on how to man up, check out the Dr. Squatch blog.
Speaking the Barber’s Language
While you’re not a barber, it is helpful to know a bit of the lingo to help you communicate better with your barber. At the same time, you also have to realize that every barber is different, and you have to compensate for that fact.
For barbers you’re meeting for the first time, you want to be very specific about your desired hairstyle. Don’t just walk in asking for a #3 on the clippers, because this barber’s #3 may not be the same as your old barber’s.
Also, a trim for one barber means a full-blown haircut for another. It is better to go in and tell your barber to take an inch off rather than to give arbitrary clipper numbers. Switching hairstyles? If you do not know how to describe it, take some pictures in with you on your phone to show your barber what you want.
Next, let’s go over some general terminology you should know. This will help you communicate better with your barber.
Napes: Tell the barber what type of nape you want. This refers to your neckline. Here are the three types of napes you can request:
Blocked – The barber cuts a straight line across your neckline. This has a nice blocked look.
Rounded – Similar to a blocked nape, but your barber will trim the corners.
Tapered – With this neckline, the hair is trimmed shorter as you reach the neckline.
Textures: If you want any form of texture to your hair, it’s important to know what you really want. Below are the types of textures you can request:
Choppy – This is a textured look. The barber will cut hairs of different lengths at a 45-degree angle.
Razored – Your barber will use a razor blade to cut your hair rather than scissors. This will reduce bulk and force your hair to lay flatter.
Layered – You’ll have a combination of longer hair on top of shorter hair. This gives the appearance of greater volume and depth and is particularly helpful for balding men.
Thinned Out – If you have unusually thick hair, the barber can use thinning scissors to reduce hair thickness.
Arch around the ear: When your barber is ready to trim around your ears, you can tell him the type of arch you want. If you’re going to keep the natural look, tell the barber to use a natural arch. For those that want some space between their ears and hairline, request a high arch. Some will tell their barber to “lower their ears,” which is requesting the same.
Sideburns: Lastly, you will tell your barber how you like your sideburns. If you want full sideburns, tell him you want them at the bottom of the ear. Generally, this will require just a minimum trimming. Mid-ear will require cutting or shaving the sideburns to the mid-point of your ear. If you want to eliminate your sideburns entirely, tell him top of the ear.
Ask Your Barber For Advice
A lot of men view their barber as a tool for cutting their hair rather than an expert on hair. Barbers have extensive training and licensing in the art of cutting hair and mastering hairstyles for men. In some cases, your barber may have experience working in spas and salons and has forgotten more about styling your hair than you’ll ever learn.
Take advantage of this knowledge! If you are not sure about the hairstyle you want or whether a style will work for your hair type, ask your barber. They can give you solid advice about how to pick the best hairstyle or whether you can pull off looking like your favorite celebrity.
They can also give you advice on the best all-natural shampoo and hair care products to use. If you’re a man experiencing hair loss or are facing other problems with your hair, a barber may be able to offer alternative hairstyles or hair treatments that are suitable for you.
Barbers are not just experts at hairstyles for men, but they can help with your beard, too. They can help you trim and give advice for proper shaving and beard care. They can recommend some of the best beard oils to use or what type of all-natural conditioners will help keep your beard looking its best.
Most barbers have seen it all! They can quickly provide answers to your questions. After all, you’re going to be in the chair a few minutes, so why not make the best use of your time by asking questions to an expert.