Essential English Vocabulary for Getting a Haircut

haircut vocabulary

Ever walked into the hairdressers and felt lost in translation? Don’t worry – with this helpful guide, you’ll never have a bad hair day again! Keep reading to discover some helpful English vocabulary for getting a haircut and learn about different types of haircuts.

How to ask for a haircut

A great haircut starts with clear communication, here are some tips and examples of English haircut vocabulary to help you get your desired look:

Details matter

Be precise with your request. Saying “I’d like a trim, please” tells your hairdresser you’re looking for a slight tidy-up, not a drastic change.

On the other hand, “About two inches off, please” gives the hairdresser a clear idea of the length you want to be removed.

Describing styles

Tell your hairdresser what type of style you’re looking for. Saying “Can I have a bob cut, please” shows that you’re looking for a specific style.

However, if you’re looking for something daring, you could say “I’m thinking of getting a short, textured cut”. This tells your hairdresser that you’re after a more modern, choppy style.

Hairdressers are usually very chatty and are more than happy to help, don’t be afraid to ask for advice if you’re not sure what style you want.

Photos speak volumes

Bringing a picture of the hairstyle you want is a game-changer. It helps the hairdresser visualise exactly what you’re aiming for, reducing the chance of any surprises.

Hair colour and colour techniques

If you’re looking for a more obvious change, try asking your hairdresser to colour your hair. Simple phrases like “I’d love to go blonde” or “Can you dye my hair brown with semi-permanent dye” will help convey your desired hair colour.

Remember, permanent dye offers lasting colour, while semi-permanent colours fade over time.

Here are some colour techniques you can ask for:

  • Highlights: Adding lighter strands to your hair for a multi-dimensional look.
  • Balayage: A hand-painted technique that creates a natural, graduated colour effect.
  • Dip dye: Colouring just the ends of the hair for a bold contrast.
  • Lowlights: Darker strands added to your hair to add depth.
  • All-over colour: A uniform colour applied to all of your hair.
  • Money piece: Brightening just the front strands to frame and light up your face.

9 types of haircuts

Discover some classic haircut styles and names and what face shapes they suit best. This will help you confidently choose your next haircut and clearly communicate what you want to your hairdresser:

#1 – Pixie cut

Perfect for those who love minimal fuss, this is a short, layered haircut that’s great for oval and heart-shaped faces.

#2 – Crew cut

Ideal for a clean, athletic look, this is a short haircut where the hair stands up on top of the head – best suited for square or oval faces.

#3 – Bob

Timeless and elegant, a bob cut is the same length all around and usually hovers around the jawline. It’s a versatile hairstyle that works well with most face shapes.

#4 – Undercut

A bold statement, this style features shaved or very short sides and back with longer hair on top. It suits oval and round faces really well.

#5 – Bangs/fringe

A chic style, bangs (also known as a fringe) is hair cut straight across your forehead, normally sitting just below your eyebrow and offering a stylish frame for your face. This style suits a variety of face shapes.

#6 – Curtain bangs

Soft and romantic, these bangs part in the middle and frame the face – a great choice for round or square faces.

#7 – Buzz cut

A no-nonsense style, this is a very short, all-over haircut, fitting best with oval and square faces.

#8 – Faux hawk

A playful, edgy style, where hair is longer in the centre of the head and gradually gets shorter at the side. It’s great for heart and oval-shaped faces.

#9 – Fade haircut

For short haircuts, a fade is a gradual shortening of the hair from top to bottom, offering a sleek and modern look that suits most face shapes.

Spruce up your English as well as your hairdo

With a fresh, fabulous new hairstyle, you won’t just walk – you’ll strut with confidence! And now you have this English haircut vocabulary under your belt, you’ll be turning heads everywhere you go.

But why stop at just hair? Give your English language skills a glamorous makeover too! Explore British Council English Online’s expert courses to help make sure your English language skills are a cut above the rest.

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