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How to Get a Haircut in English

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

Getting a haircut from a barber shop has been the classic way of getting your haircut in the past and present. There are many other ways to get a haircut, including salons and barbershops.

Whether you're looking for a haircut from a barber shop or just looking for some fresh advice on how to have your hair cut, we've got you covered. In this article, we will discuss how to get a haircut in English naturally, with real-life examples, and a video showing the whole process. Read on!

Difference Between a Barbershop & Hair Salon

Barber shops and hair salons are two very different businesses. A barber shop is where men go to get their hair cut. Usually, it's just a small space that has a chair and a mirror so you can watch the barber work his magic.

A hair salon refers to a business that provides beauty treatments—hair coloring, highlights, cuts, and styles—to women and men (who find barber shops too basic). They usually have a lot of space for clientele to relax and enjoy themselves.

How to Get a Haircut at a Barber Shop in English

Step 1: Make an Appointment or Just WALK IN

The first thing you need to do is make an appointment with a barbershop. Some places don't accept appointments--they only take 'Walk-ins'. That's easy to remember!

If you're trying to get an appointment, all you have to say is, "Hello, I'd like to book an appointment for a haircut" and they'll be happy to give you available times. When you arrive for your appointment, you can use the word 'under' and 'at' to give the key details. For example: "I have an appointment at 6 pm under Priddy." If you want you can say "for" instead of "under" to give the name.

Once you get there, when it's your turn, the barber might say "have a seat" when they are ready to cut your hair. They may also say "next" although that's a little mechanical and not as common.

Step 2: Decide Which Type of Hairstyle You Want

Barber shops usually have a wide variety of cuts, so they'll be able to help you find something that appeals to your style. But...words matter. You have to be clear about what you want!

Luckily, it's not so hard. Here are a few words that will come in handy when describing the hairstyle you want:

  • Top, Sides, Back

  • Short, Long

  • Buzz, Cut, Trim, Shave

Here are a few examples:

  • Could you trim a little off the top and cut the sides and back very short?

  • Shave/Buzz the sides and back and trim the top, please.

  • Leave about THIS MUCH on top (use your fingers) and THIS MUCH on the sides (use your fingers).

  • Could you take about an inch of the top?

If you want to see these phrases in action, check out my video on this topic. In the video, I go to a real baber shop in Queens to get my hair cut!

Step 3: Pay and Don’t Forget to Tip

After the haircut is over, tip 20% on top of whatever price you're paying for the haircut. It used to be optional, but tipping at a barber shop and hair salon (in America) is now just as common as tipping at a restaurant. Sorry!

I hope these easy-to-follow tips covered in this guide on how to get a haircut in English prove helpful whenever you decide to get your next haircut (in English)!

Let me know if you have any questions, and feel free to subscribe to get updates whenever I post fresh content.


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