How to ask for haircut

how to ask for a haircut

The average growth of hair, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, is about half an inch a month – which in metric terms is 1.25cm.

This average, and whether you fall above or below it, depends on your genetics, as well as your nutrition.

With 4mm of new hair being created each day, it will be inevitable that a haircut is in your future, at some stage.

Knowledge is power, so let’s talk about how to get what you want in the barber’s chair with our luxury hair care experts.

If you’ve never made an appointment for yourself, the first step to your fresh new cut is to phone our salon during opening hours and book a time with our friendly staff.

They’ll ask questions like your name, your contact details, and set up a time based on the type of cut you’ve been eyeing off. If you don’t know exactly what you want, the most important information is where your hair is starting (short, medium or long), and where you want it to be.

Cutting long hair into a short style requires more steps and time than refreshing a buzzcut, so we’ll want to make sure your appointment is the right length (just like your hair!).

How to ask for a haircut

Once you sit down, your hairstylist will ask what you’re looking for.

This is where you can have a discussion and tap into the expert knowledge our stylists are trained in.

If you have a specific hairstyle in mind then simply asking for a “short back and sides” or an “undercut” should get you the look you’re wanting.

If you’re dramatically changing your style, and don’t know exactly what to ask for, you can describe the way you want to look and feel to your stylist.

A confident hairstylist is a master of interpretation and will choose elements that will flatter you and fit your style.

How to talk to your barber

Your hairstylist will be friendly and well-mannered, and when thinking about how you should talk to them, many of the principles of basic respect come in. For some men, it can feel awkward to make small talk, but questions such as “how long have you been cutting hair for?”, and “what was the best/most fun/most challenging cut you ever did?”, along with “have you ever cut a celebrities hair?” can build a rapport between you and your barber, as well as give you information about their background – allowing you to be confident in their abilities.

How to ask for a specific haircut (+ types of haircuts for men)

You’re in the barber’s chair. You’ve got an image of your goal hairstyle in your head. It’s going to be cool, sophisticated, fresh and on-trend. Now, how to turn that image into reality? Let’s get you speaking the language of hair.


If you’re after a subtle undercut, you might be planning on keeping quite a lot of hair on the crown of your head and using this style to reduce the bulk of hair around your neck. Alternatively, you may want to pair the undercut with a shorter crown and create a more dramatic and visible difference between the two sections.

How to ask for an undercut hairstyle: “I’d like an undercut with only a little/some/quite a lot of length on top. I’d like for the undercut to be subtle/quite dramatic.”

undercut hairstyle


A buzzcut is generally one of the three lengths mentioned above. 1 is shaved extremely close to the head, whereas 3 gives a fuller but not fluffy look. You may not be able to see the neckline of your hair yourself but, for others, this feature is telling of whether your hair is groomed regularly. Your hairstylist can advise as to what style of buzzcut will suit your best.

How to ask for a buzzcut hairstyle: “I’d like a buzzcut at a number 1/2/3 with rounded/squared off lines.”


A crewcut is shortest at the mid-to-back of the hair, and longest at the front. It can be combined with a fade and, with its versatility and ease of styling with products, it makes for a great, clean looking daily cut.

How to ask for a crewcut hairstyle: “I’d like a crewcut, short back and sides at a 1/2/3 with a fade. Can we keep a bit of the length in the front – maybe about a 5 so I can spike it with wax?”

Caesar cut

A caesar cut is similar to a crewcut – but instead of becoming longer towards the front of the head, the Caesar cut is a more traditional short back and sides cut. Along with it’s particular suitability for curly hair, this cut has the added advantage of growing out into an effective slicked back hairstyle.

How to ask for a caesar cut hairstyle: “I’d like a short back and sides at a 1/2/3. Can you leave the top nice and curly – perhaps a 5 all over the top?”

French crop

When asking for a french crop, make sure to discuss with your hairstylist what your usual routine is. A french crop styled with product can look dramatic and create a lot of flair. If you’re looking for something more low maintenance, something with more defined shapes may create that flair without product – but only if your barber knows what you want to do with your new cut.

How to ask for a french crop hairstyle: “I’d like an undercut with a lot of length at the front – enough to give that bit of flick. Can we do a fade up from a 1 to a 3, then do a cut at the top, and leave about 2 inches?”

Comb over

Comb over hairstyles can be effective and stylish. They work with the direction you naturally style your hair, as well as the direction your hair grows – your stylist will be able to discuss with you what will flatter you best.

How to ask for a comb over hairstyle: “I’d like to try out a comb-over hairstyle – I tuck my hair to the left.”

comb over hair cut

Side part

Like comb over hairstyles, side parts work best with the direction you naturally style your hair, as well as the direction your hair grows. The main difference is where the style draws attention to – this style draws the eye upwards, towards the defined part. The top can maintain a longer or shorter length and can be styled in a variety of ways, particularly for straight hair.

How to ask for a side part hairstyle: “I’d like to highlight a side part with a lot of length on top – I tuck my hair to the right.”


The most notable carrier of a pompadour hairstyle is Elvis Presley – and this can be a memorable way to make sure you get what you want. There can be a number of different combinations of short back, sides and fades that can be used to make your style unique to you, but this smooth gathered bulge of hair creates a dramatic and head-turning look. The primary difference between a pompadour and a quiff is the gathering of the hair at the front of the head. Feel free to indicate with your hands how you envision your hair to look to make sure you get what you want.

How to ask for a pompadour hairstyle: “I’d like an Elvis hairstyle with a sharp fade.”

Fades: skin and bald

Fades gradually get shorter as they reach the neck. This can be taken to a short shave or can be right down to the skin.

How to ask for a fade hairstyle: “Please can I have a short/skin fade down to 1/2/3/.”

fade haircut hairstyle


The primary difference between a pompadour and a quiff is the gathering of the hair at the front of the head. Use different combinations of back, sides and fades that can be used to make your style unique to you, and let the dramatic quiff of hair draw attention to your eyes.

How to ask for a quiff hairstyle: “I’d like to have a quiff style – longer at the front and top, not too short on the sides and back.”

Slicked back hair

A slicked hairstyle often needs product to look impressive – those with a widow’s peak may find this to be a very dramatic and bold look. For those with thin but dense hair, a deliberate thinning of the hair on the top of the head may create a smoother style.

How to ask for a slicked hairstyle: “I plan on using product to comb my hair back. I’d like to lose some of the bulk of hair at the top – could you please thin it out a little? I’d like the length to fall just under my ears.”

Faux hawk

The faux hawk style is the more socially acceptable mohawk. With a faux hawk, the entire crown of the head is left long, and gathered into a pyramid in the centre. The longest part of this hairstyle lies down the middle of the head, and the gentle spikes of this style soften the hawk style, while flattering those with narrow faces.

How to ask for a faux hawk hairstyle: “I’d like a faux hawk (‘foe hawk’) – nice and short on the sides.”

Spiky hair

Spikiness can be a part of most hairstyles – often most effective with half an inch of wavy hair, or inch long straight hair. Asking for this texture will involve your stylist breaking out the scissors – so make sure to mention your desire for additional spikiness early on.

How to ask for a spiky hairstyle: “I would like to be able to spike my hair up using product, so please leave a bit of length on top to do this.”

Curly hair

Curls – you’ve got them, or you don’t. If you’re working with natural curls, this texture is best suited to an expert in that form of curliness. Feel free to ask if your stylist is familiar with styling curly hair – as this texture can be challenging. Our experts are trained in techniques to style any hair and are always learning and improving their techniques. A good cut that follows the natural twists of the hair is a priority.

How to ask for a curly hairstyle: “My hair is naturally tight/loose/afro curls so please can you cut in a style that will follow the natural twists of the hair?”

curly haircut hairstyle mens hair

Asking for a haircut FAQs

How do you ask for the haircut you want?

Be as descriptive as possible – the more specific the better. The more information you can give our expert hairstylists, the more likely you’ll be to walk out with a cut you love, not just like.

What should I ask for a haircut?

Asking for a haircut can be daunting. No matter what stage you’re at, you can follow the step by step guide above to book an appointment, all the way through to the barber’s chair.

What do I say when I want to cut my hair?

Being friendly, polite and specific makes your hairstylist’s job easier – feel free to have a chat and find out your stylist’s history and training. The best way to tell your stylist you want to cut your hair is to come out and say it!

What do I tell my hairdresser for cutting?

If you need advice, telling your hairstylist what styles you’ve tried in the past and whether they worked for you can be a great help. We recommend taking a photo of any new haircut, so you have reference photos.

What should you not tell a hairdresser?

Remember that your hairdresser or stylist is a professional and has done years of training to develop the skills to cut your hair efficiently and well. Keep conversation respectful and recognise that you’re speaking to an expert in hair.

How do I ask for a layered haircut?

Layers can add depth to any haircut and are a great way to enhance a quiff style – ask your stylist if layers would work for the hairstyle you’re aiming for.

Book a haircut at Lux Hair Lounge

Walking into a new environment can be a big deal – and when discussing hair, there’s a whole language developed that can help you communicate what you want out of your next hairstyle.

Come in or give us a call now and help us create your new look, and lastly, if you’re ever unsure, please ask. We’re always happy to help.