How to Ask for a Haircut: Quick Guide

We’ve all done it…

Walked into a barbershop and wondered; how do I ask for my favorite haircut?

The truth is that it can be stressful trying to describe the type of haircut when you don’t know which terms to use.


While most experienced barbers pick up what you want from your description quickly, some don’t.

When that happens, you may have to settle for what you get.


I’m sure, the last thing you want is to walk out of the barbershop with a hairstyle you didn’t want in the first place.

And that’s why, in this post, I’m going to show you how to describe a haircut and the right barber terms to use.

How to Ask for A Good Haircut in 3 Easy Ways

Take it from me (an experienced barber):

The key to getting the type of haircut you want is by using the right words.

In fact, if you are familiar with what to ask for when getting a haircut, it becomes even easier for you to use fewer words in your description.


The smaller the number of words you use to describe your haircut, the lower the chances that your barber will get confused in the process.

So, what are these words or terms?

Well, that what this post is all about.

I’ll highlight the most common haircut terms with pictures so as to ease the process of describing your favorite haircut to a barber.

So, let’s look at a few tips on how to ask for a haircut in 2024…

Know the Name of the Haircut You Want

Yes, haircuts have names.

You’ve probably seen or heard of them at least once in a barbershop.


The good thing about knowing the different types of haircuts and their names is that it takes away the need for a description.

For example:

If you walk into a barbershop and ask for a buzzcutyour barber will automatically know what you want.

Plus, it’s way better than this description:

I want a size one haircut all around.”

Yes! It still makes sense but a lot of words have been used; unnecessarily.

Nowadays, the most common haircut names you’ll come across include:

You can find my list of the best 20 hairstyles trending in 2024. With a hairstyle name in mind, life becomes a tad bit easier.

But what happens if your hairstyle doesn’t have a name?

Come Up with a Short and Clear Description of What you Want

Let’s face it, not all mens haircuts have names.


Well, some of us have very unique hairstyles.

And when that’s the case, a short and clear description is the only way to get your barber to understand what you want.


The only way to come up with a clear description is by using correct terminologies.


Which are these terminologies?

Here are some common examples:

  • A Fade: This is a haircut that has hair reducing in size as you move from the top of the head to the sides and back. In most cases, the hair will become shorter until it “fades” into the skin.
  • Taper: Tapers follow the same principle as fades. The only difference is that a taper has longer hair; it’s not as short as a fade but the top hair is usually longer than the back and sides.
  • Guard Combs: These are the comb-like fixtures that are fitted onto clipper blades to allow the barber to cut hair at very precise lengths. Guard combs are labeled in numbers ranging from #0 (the shortest length) to #10 (the longest).
  • Texture: Sometimes referred to as “layers.” It is the appearance of your hair depending on thickness, how it’s cut, and the amount of curl. A layered texture is achieved by cutting some parts of the hair shorter so that the longer parts rest on top.
  • Thinning: This is simply the process of removing weight/excessive hair to make thick hair more manageable.
  • Neckline: It’s the line just below the back of your head. Necklines can be cut as either blocked, rounded, or tapered. It all depends on what you want.
  • Undercut Fade: It’s a fade haircut that features longer hair on the top and extremely short back and sides.

With these terms in mind, it will be easier for you to know what to ask for at the barbershop.

And you are unable to come up with a clear description, here’s something else you can do…

Use a Picture of the Haircut You Want

I know, right?

Hairstyle pictures can also make your life easy if you’re looking for ways on how to ask for a haircut at a black barber shop.

There are millions of haircut pictures online today.

With a picture, you’ll easily know how to do.

And the best part is that you don’t even need to know the name of the haircut or how to describe it.

Easy, right?

Anyway, as we conclude…

All you need is a haircut name or a clear description of the hairstyle or a picture of the style you want.

Either of these items will help you get exactly what you want from your barber.

Do you know of any other genius/easy way on how to ask for a haircut?

Feel free to post it in the comment section below; I’m always open to learning new ways of doing stuff.

Frequently Asked Questions

The most effective way to tell your barber the hairstyle you want, is by showing them a photo. However, make sure you have the same face characteristics and hair length as the model. Every face shape has compatible hairstyles.
To tell your barber the haircut that you want, tell them the name of the hairstyle. More often than not, the barber knows the haircut. The other way is to describe the haircut. Indicate the length on top and how you want the sides cut or styled. As the barber is cutting, keep checking and let them know if they are doing it right.

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Tomaz Tomaz

Thank you very much by this. Really helped to have my first haircut in the UK! Appreciate!

oran oran

Very useful thank you👍

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