Best Way To Explain Your Haircut To A Barber - Fast & Easy! Cyclops Brand

Best Way To Explain Your Haircut To A Barber – Fast & Easy!

Learn How To Talk To your Barber.

Using these Terminologies will help you to get the most out of your barber during your next visit to the barbershop!

Missing The Mark:

A lot of men find it difficult to explain their haircut to the barber. Don’t feel bad, barber’s have developed their own terminologies over the course of their career to give clients a ‘sure-fire method” to tackle any task you throw at them.

The only problem is, “barbers” talk to “barbers” using these keywords and phrases to explain their craftsmanship to one another. Leaving clients out of the loop entirely. We as barbers wonder why clients can’t give us a straight forward answer on how they want their haircut. But in reality it’s because barbers need to allow clients into their circle of “terminology”

Lack Of Communication:

So, in turn, 70% of  “Bad Haircuts” are really due to miscommunication and the other 30% is left to the “listening” and “technical skills” required to get the job done efficiently.

Finding The Right Barber For The Job:

So, let’s settle this once and for all! – I’m going to share with you a few basic “barber terminologies” to close the gap between barber & client. But first, we must find the best barber for the job!

Barbershop Haircut

Finding A Good Barber.

It can be overwhelming, if not downright challenging to find the perfect prospect to cut your glorious locks. You want to find a good barbershop but not one that’s too costly. Much like anywhere you go, “What you pay for is what you get.”

If your Thinking of spending a quick $7 on a haircut, Don’t be surprised if that barber leaves your fade with enough “Lines” that would make a “College-ruled notebook” look appealing.”

Find The Right Barbershop:

It’s best to find a shop that has a healthy balance between both prices & reviews. This can be checked by simply typing the phrase “Barbershop Near Me” on your smart phone, doing this will give you a list of all the local barbershops near you to pick from.

Alternatively, better yet, ask somebody that you like the way their haircut looks, and ask them what barbershop he got his hair done at.

This is an easy way to know for sure because the “Proof” of a good barber is in the “Pudding!” and that pudding is on top of that guy’s head staring you right in the face.

Basic Terminologies:

Now that we know the “Where” & “How” to find a good Barber, we can start talking about getting that “Perfect haircut” using these barbering terminologies I’m about to mention.

Learning the basics will help you paint a better picture of how you want your haircut to look in the mind of the barber. Think of it like connecting “Legos” or “Building Blocks” that create a layer one on top of another.

Adding these terminologies using the right formula will help create the masterpiece. So, let’s take it one step at a time.

Terminology #1

Low, Mid & High Fade. (Skin Fade.)

Here are the images that go with the terminology:
Now chose which one of these images best fits your look.

Diagram of a high fade haircut



Terminology #2

Knowing The Guards by Their Numbers:

As the guard numbers increase, they will leave more a larger gap between the clipper and the head, which means the larger the number that is used, the more hair that will be left on the head. These Guards range from #1 – #8.

Anything after the number #8 can be handled using the Barbering Shears or “Clipper Over Comb” cutting method. Which is basically free-handing the comb and using the clippers to even out any extra weight line found in the haircut.

#1 is shorter than a #2 and so on. If you think a #1 isn’t short enough, you can always go shorter by asking for a “.5” or “1/2” guard.

Moreover, if you would like the super close, “Sandpaper” type feel, (but not completely skin.) You would ask for a “0” meaning no guards at all. Which is essentially the barber’s clipper blade set to the closest function.” Giving you the most intimate haircut the clipper can physically do, without shaving your head to the skin. 

-Still “picking up” what I’m “throwing down?” good, let’s keep this terminology train running like a fat man on a treadmill and continue forward.

Terminology #3

Explaining The Types Of Sideburns:

Based on the “Ear” for estimated measurements. dealing with the “Side Burns is rather simple to explain.

Do you prefer the sideburns to be cut lower than the earlobe? About the middle of the ear? Or no sideburns at all.

This method is rather simple & easy to explain to your barber because there’s no specific terminology — just basic human knowledge of where the side burn needs to be cut, using the ear has a guide.

Images of The Types Of Sideburns:

1. Earlobe Length.

2. Middle Of The Ear.

3. No Sideburns. (Usually for people that wear Eye-Glasses.)

Pointed Side Burns:

The same measurements apply for “Pointed Side Burns” these rules are as follows: The Bottom of the Earlobe”, “Middle Of The Ear” Or “Short Points” as shown in the image below:

Diagram Of pointed sideburns 

Terminology #4

Back of the head & neck area.

Round, Straight across (Boxed or Squared off.” Your choice on the wording all three mean the same thing.) then you have the taper & blow out.

Here are a few images to better explain their unique differences.

1. The Rounded back.

2. Straight Across.

3. Taper.

4. Blow Out

Terminology #5

“Finger Length”

Finger length (Is an approximate measurement of the barbers’ fingers.) Let say you made the “Peace Sign” with your fingers and you pulled out the hair on your head straight up. Then slide your fingers back down to your scalp.

Finger length” would be the distance between your scalp & top of your finger — roughly about 1/2 of an inch.

Using the “Finger Length Method,” it would be how much hair you had left on top of your head to work with — making it great for short spiked hairstyles.

Here’s an image of a haircut after using the “Finger length” method:

Insert image here*

Terminology #6

The Types Of Styles For The Hair On Top.

This part is the easiest out of all the terms we’ve been going over thus far. Your barber is trained to know every hairstyle that comes their way, So take aim..And Fire Away!

Being that you’re not a professional barber you don’t need to stress over things like “the best way to hold the shears, layering, texturing, clipper over comb, parting the hair, blending fades” along with many more terms playing around in your barbers head. The barber is  subconsciously creating a visual outcome inside their mind based on what you asked them to do.

Here’s the thing, This is the part where the barber & the client get lost in translation. At the exact moment the barber knows exactly how to perform any and all haircuts. So if the “Client” does not explain exactly what they want. 

The barber will try their very best to figure it out as they go based on their many years of experience. Unfortunately these tasks could be down right impossible if the client is closed lipped and says one repeating phrase over & over each time the barber askes what he would like to have done. this phrase maybe something as board as saying: ” Just cut it down” Or “Lower it”…

Now all of a sudden it’s a guessing game. 

A professional barber will do their very best to pry the client for just a bit more “wording or information” but if the client continues saying: ” I want it Lower!” 

Our guess is as good as dirt.

The barber will then grab a clipper guard and cut it “lower” and have the client upset. why? because there’s more than one type of “Lower” there’s actually over 20 ways to “Lower the hair.” such as; To the skin? just a little off the top? perhaps maybe just a #2 guard all the way around? how “low” is “low”?

turns out he wanted a #3 and never said it because of his lack of knowledge. Which gave the barber a bad review on something he never,  in a million years be able to know in the first placed. – – Barbers are amazing, just not mind-reading amazing.

See the problem here? With this list we hope you will be able to find the right barber and explain to them in a way it’ll be easier for both parties.

It’s in a barbers best interest to give clients the best haircuts possible. Knowing these basic terminologies will better assist you in dealing with the situation.


Now let’s play a game to test your new found knowledge!

Here’s an image of a hair cut.

Using everything you just learned previously, can you explain to the barber exactly how to create this haircut in only a few words?

Remember to think in layers. Start with the type of fade, or perhaps just the number of the guard. Then the Sideburns, followed by the back of the neck.

Finally, what technique was done to the top of the hair that made the haircut look flawless and clean? How much length was left on the head using “Inches” as your primary form of measurement?


Cyclops Brand Is a World-Class Barbering Website Dedicated to Educating our Readers with Informative Articles related to the Barbering Industry. Bringing High-Quality Supplies & Apparel to Professional Barbers All Around The World. We want to Thank You For Reading Our Blog Posts & We Hope to Bring you value as a Tonsorial Artist! - Cyclops

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