REAL ENGLISH: Vocabulary and expressions to get a haircut - Videos


Your hair is becoming long and messy. What you need is a haircut. In this lesson, I will teach you some vocabulary and conversation points to use when you need to get a haircut at the hairdresser. We will talk about how to make an appointment, how to describe the style you want, and what to say during the cut instead of awkwardly staring at the mirror in silence. Watch this video to get the conversational skills you need to ensure you leave the salon looking your best. Don’t tell me I need a haircut in the comments!


Hi, there, and welcome to Benjamin’s hairdressing salon. In today’s video you are going to be learning the language for how to ask for a good haircut, and it’s a quite technical lesson if you are perhaps a hairdresser wanting to come over and work in the U.K., which lots of people do. And then we’re going to be looking at some terminology that will help you. So this is for professional hairdressers, and it’s for people coming to get a haircut, speaking in English, to make sure you leave the hairdresser as you wanted to, and not with some totally wildly different haircut. Let’s begin.

First of all, you need to make sure that you get sat down on the chair to get your haircut. Two ways of doing this. Firstly, you could book over the telephone. You may want to check out some of my previous lessons on telephone English. So, if we’re on the telephone, you could say: “Hello, there. Good morning. I was wondering if I might be able to book a haircut?” and then they’ll say: “Certainly, sir” or “Certainly, madam. When were you thinking? When were you thinking?” That means: When do you want to have this haircut? So I’ll say something like: “Tomorrow morning would be ideal. Tomorrow morning would be great.” And then they’ll say something, like: -“Is 9:30 okay?” -“Yup, that would be good.”

Or you may just be walking past a hairdressers, that I was the other day, and you might just go: “You know what? I’d like to have my hair cut now.” So, something like: “Hello. Is it possible to get a haircut this evening? Now?” And they’ll say: “Yes.” If there’s a queue, they might say something like: “How long…? How long am I going to have to wait for?” So we’re using “going to”, future tense: “How long am I going to have to wait for? Going to have to wait for?”

So, you’re there, you’re in the hairdresser, now we need to communicate with them the haircut, the hairstyle that you would like. So, this is not an exhaustive list for women’s haircuts, it’s not something I know a huge amount on, but just a few phrases to get you going. In terms of hair, we talk about the weight in your hair. So if you’ve got thick hair, you’re a lady and you want to remove some weight… You can use this is you’re a guy as well, if you’re a man. If you want to remove some weight, you say: “I’d like to remove some weight.” It makes sense. It’s thick. We want a little bit of a lighter haircut, you say: “I’d like to remove some weight.”

Now, an “undercut”. So, “under”, something is under and we are cutting. This means we have more up here than down here. This can be done in a subtle… So that means not obvious way, quite sort of smooth, but just kind of gradually goes down; or you can have the more extreme example, sort of shaved here, and thicker up here. So that is the undercut.

“Dusting”, my next terminology, next term. If you have some split ends and you don’t want a whole cut, but you just want to cut off those split ends, so the end of your hair, they’re just fraying a little bit, it’s just a little bit messy, you want to tidy up, we call that “dusting”. So if you say: “I’d like just a brief session of dusting. I’d just like you to dust my hair”, hopefully they won’t get a cloth out and start dusting it like you’re some piece of furniture. Okay.

“Point cutting”, this is where we… I know these aren’t proper hairdressing scissors. Point cutting is where they point down, and they’ll just be cutting down like that. This is to just sort of just tidy the edges of the hair, the very end bits up and it kind of gives a slightly softer appearance on the end of those bits of hair.

“Inch”, so I sometimes get in trouble when I go to the hairdresser and I suddenly come back and it’s much shorter than my wife was expecting it to be. So it’s very important that you communicate exactly how much you want to be taken off. In the U.K. we deal in inches. Okay? So: “I would like to have just a couple of inches off”, so that would be… That’s two inches. So make sure you know what an inch is. That’s one inch, that’s two inches.

On to the guys. Okay. So, in London at the moment, as in other places, beards are very on, very in. They’re in fashion. You might want to sort of groom your beard, that means just a little cut of the beard. […]



  1. Perfect Video Content! I'd like to learn others languages in the same format as it is on this video! It is very helpful and easy to learn, ready to put into practice! ^^.
    (German Teachers, Please, Learn A Very PERFECT Way To Teach German! Thank You!)


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