Get the Perfect Haircut: How to Talk to Your Barber

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With style icons like David Beckham having substantially increased the demand for male grooming services – not just haircuts and colouring, but also manicures, tanning and waxing – men are able to benefit from a drop in prices. It was reported earlier this year that the price of a men’s haircut had fallen from an average of sixteen to twelve pounds over the past twelve months, an impressive drop of twenty-five per cent! As a new hairstyle is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to change and enhance your look, it’s important to be able to know how to talk to your barber so you get just the look you’re going for. We got some tips from a few hairdressers that work with Rock Pamper Scissors.

Be friendly

We’ve probably all had at least one bad experience at the barber’s, from a cut that’s been way shorter than anticipated to something so unsuitable it’s had to be shaved off completely to avoid further embarrassment. Communication is essential in getting the perfect haircut, and the first vital element is to be nice. Okay, so you might be having a bad day, or equally, your barber might seem rather aloof, but always slap on a smile and be friendly and respectful towards your stylist as you need them to view you in a positive light.

Know what you want

You’ll also need to have an idea of what sort of style you’re aiming for because if you don’t know, your barber won’t either. If you’re stuck for inspiration, have a flick through some magazines or newspapers – they don’t have to be specifically hair orientated as you can just check out what your favourite celebrities are sporting in news articles or the like. If you can, take a photo or a cutting with you to the salon so you can show your barber exactly what you’re after. Try to be specific about how much length you want taken off as ‘just a trim’ or ‘a little off the sides’ may mean vastly different things from barber to barber.

Listen to your barber

Your barber is an expert in hair, so if they have suggestions or indicate that a certain style may not be the most flattering for you, take note and don’t be afraid to go with what they propose. If they start using terminology you don’t understand, ask them to explain and they should be happy to clarify as they want you to be a satisfied and returning customer.


There are a few words your barber might use to find out how you want the cut around your neckline. Unless you want your hair all the same length, you may want a taper, which means the hair will be shorter at the bottom of your neck and get gradually longer towards your head. Your barber will want to know how you want the shape to be at the base of the neck. You could have a ‘blocked nape’, which is a straight finish along the bottom of the neckline, and this is perfect if you have a slim neck as it will make it look wider. Disadvantages are that you may need to get a weekly tidy-up to sort out the re-growth beneath the neckline, although you may be able to learn how to do this yourself. If a square finish is not your thing, you could go for a ‘rounded nape’, which is the same as ‘blocked’ but with smoothed out corners. A ‘tapered nape’ will follow the natural hairline and has a slimming effect on wider necks.

Your barber will also want to know if you want texture in your style, so if you’re after volume, ask for ‘choppy’. If you have curly or really thick hair you could ask for it to be ‘razored’, which will reduce bulk and make your hair lie flatter. Another option for bushy barnets is ‘thinning’, which reduces volume. On the other hand, if your hair is on the thin side, you can get it ‘layered’ to add depth and volume. Ask your barber’s opinion if you’re not sure what would work best.

Make friends with your barber

Okay, so you don’t need to be best buddies with your stylist, but once you’ve found a barber you trust and can rely upon to get you the look you’re after, stick with them and you’ll soon be enjoying the manly ritual of going for a haircut, and you won’t need to explain your preferences every time because your barber will know them! Finding a good salon may be the hardest step, so ask around and if you’re in the Leeds area then check out Rock Pamper Scissors, which provides an innovative online service that matches you with the nearest salons that cater for your needs – amazing! If you’re not based in the Leeds area, don’t panic, as Rock Pamper Scissors will be expanding their fantastic service to towns and cities across the UK soon, and you can still message them to receive a notification of when they’ll be heading your way.