M49, I tend to go a bit long between haircuts which is on me, but I seem to have a really hard time explaining that I want short hair, like 20mm / 3/4"

I usually ask for a #2 clipper on the back and sides, (which works fine), then take as much as they off the top so I can still brush it straight up, preferably too short to grab onto.

Basically a cigar butt with eyes, shut up it works for me.

Even indicating with thumb and finger, this somehow gets interpreted as just barely trimming the tips off and painstakingly shaping the surface, barely affecting the overall quantity of hair.

How’s that for length?

What no, get in there with fire and the sword, wreak devastation, I want all of this gone.

:carefully trims another quarter inch off:

It’s not just one guy, not just one place, so I am obviously using wrong and misleading words.

How do I ask for the thing I want?

  • Thorny_Insight@lemm.ee
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    3 months ago

    Show them a picture of what you want and let them know for how long it’s been since your last visit so they get a better understanding of how long it’s been growing out. It’s understandable that they rather take off too little because it’s easier to cut more than to put an inch back on.

      • Thorny_Insight@lemm.ee
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        3 months ago

        Let them know you really do want it short and don’t even mind if they cut it too short because it’ll grow back. They’re just trying to cover their asses because there are people who tell them to cut off 2 inches and when they do it’s too much despite it being literally what they asked for and now they’re unhappy and blame the hairdresser for it.

        • Mesophar@lemm.ee
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          3 months ago

          It’s 100% this. Asking for a cut that’s super short, the hairsresser can always take more off but can’t add it back on. Either keep telling them “a little more off”, show them a picture of what you want (preferably a picture of yourself with the style from when you’ve previously had it done), or at the very least give them assurance not only that you are ok with the buzzer size you give them, but that it’s alright if it ends up shorter than expected.

          • kofe@lemmy.world
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            3 months ago

            I wish this were the norm for bangs. Every fucking time I go in with pictures, explain with my widows peak and cowlick on one side it doesn’t take much, and they still cut off too much and I’m stuck growing it all back out for the next year before trying again >.<

      • porous_grey_matter@lemmy.ml
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        3 months ago

        The thing you’re missing is that other people come in and say the same thing as you, and when they listened to them once, they absolutely freaked the hell out, left bad reviews, maybe threatened to sue or something. So you just have to live with that unfortunately.

        • andrewta@lemmy.world
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          3 months ago

          Nah they just need to keep going to different people and different places until they find someone that does what he wants. When they find one that listens then always go back to that person.

      • GrymEdm@lemmy.world
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        3 months ago

        You may just have a bad hairdresser. I put up with “ok” haircuts for months when I moved into a new area, then one month I decided to try a 2nd shop instead. I brought the same pictures to both places but the 2nd place was immediately better and fixed the problems. She even remarked that my issue was something the 1st shop should have recognized immediately because it was a) obvious and b) not hard to remedy. Don’t be afraid to visit another place if you have one available.

      • Monument@lemmy.sdf.org
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        3 months ago

        They’re just cautious. If they mess it up, it could be months before your hair looks right again. I also ease into things when I think the person making the request doesn’t understand what they’re asking. Mind you, my clients are hiring me for graphic design, where my time is billable by the hour, and anything I do can be undone. I can afford to do exactly what they ask. (You know, unless they think I’m fucking with them to pad my time and use another GD. Then I guess I can’t afford it.)

        Have them keep revising the trim until you’re happy, then ask them to take pictures on your phone of the views they as a hairstylist need to see. Show the pictures next time, so they know you know what you’re asking for.

  • rainynight65@feddit.de
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    3 months ago

    If they’re not trimming enough - tell them to keep going. Until they hit the length you want. The job is done when you’re happy with it, not when they think they’re done.

  • thirteene@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    Highly recommend looking up a guide from a hair cutting chain. From the sounds of it you want a crewcut ~20mm 3/4", “blend the sides” so that it transitions well, they might ask what size to buzz the side, you can just say “shorter than the top”. Crew cut will give you the longest time between haircuts as well, take notes of the actual length or clip size so you can be more precise next time. https://www.greatclips.com/lookbook/crew-haircut

    I’ll also drop this in case it helps:

    • AA5B@lemmy.world
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      3 months ago

      Cool thanks, and I think I even have the correct column for my shape!

      It is tough. Apparently some of my haircutters think I look best like ….

    • netvor@lemmy.world
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      3 months ago

      you can just say “shorter than the top”.

      does this mean anything, though?

      I mean, could someone even possibly say “longer than the top” and be taken seriously?

      (And no, no no, stop right there----don’t even think of reminding me that mullets exist.)

      • thirteene@lemmy.world
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        3 months ago

        You can also have a seamless transition, multiple varieties of the fade or a tapered cut. High end barbers also shave art into side of the head. Lots of different options, but generally people do fades.

  • Apytele@sh.itjust.works
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    3 months ago

    Stop explaining shit. Show them a fucking picture. They’re artists more than engineers, they’re visual/spatial people. Find a picture online of what you want. Once you’ve gotten a really good, absolutely chefs’ kiss prefect cut, take a picture each of all four sides and the top, then start showing barbers those instead.

  • netvor@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    Basically a cigar butt with eyes, shut up it works for me.

    I was not planning to comment (i am no better) but even if I was, this line pretty much disabled me for straight 5 minutes.

    I’m a ROFLcopter now…

  • raoulraoul@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    Does anyone speak hairdresser?

    No. Not even hairdressers speak hairdresserese. Like drummers, hairdressers/stylists/barbers will all appear as if all their attention is 100% on your description but they are thinking about something within their social circle (hence the real concern on their face). Like drummers, if there isn’t some kind of natural affinity between you and who cuts your hair, you will never get what you’re looking for.

    That said, many clients haven’t the proverbial “faintest idea” of what actually works for their face shape and stylists, if they’re not suffering too strong of a hangover 🤣, do try to work within those confines.

    You can only go in with your remarkably clear and detailed description —still open to interpretation as your hairstyle is not an airplane fuselage, with precise measurements and tolerances—in hand and still hope for the best. Apologies for the length of this reply.

    DISCLAIMER: my ex-wife was and still is a fine hair stylist.


    !detroit@midwest.social!michigan@midwest.social!music@midwest.social

    • andrewta@lemmy.world
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      3 months ago

      How is it possible to go from

      "I want only want this much left on the top of my head "

      And have them think

      “oh he only wants that much cut off and leave the rest”

      They just straight aren’t listening

  • bowroat
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    3 months ago

    Sounds like you want a flattop? In my limited exp. with the style, barbers expect you back you every 2-3 weeks.

    So per other comments. "Hi, I’m overdue by a month, can you give me a flattop, # 2 / 1.5 on the sides, not skin?

    • bowroat
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      3 months ago

      Also, flattop is an old style, if they ask “crew cut”? They mean short, same length all over (maybe with a taper or fade on the sides (gradual length from stubble low to desired length up high) but not the cigar butt. So be firm :)

  • necromancyr@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    So…you’re close to me. Here’s what you want to say - and it WILL vary from person to person regarding what you get so try to find someone you like and stay with them (or a few of them).

    “Number two, sides and back. Blended in tight. Cut the top down so it just falls back - not spiked, just falling back.”

    The “just falls back, close to spiked” is the key length thing for the top. Also, them thinning the side to blend in better is a good thing and will make it look better longer.

    • Oaksey@lemmy.world
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      3 months ago

      I find the “just falls back” on top to be #5 (5/8 inch) for me. It will obviously vary for each person but if you can figure out that number, you can be more specific and it might mean less trial and error for the hairdresser.

  • Spendrill@lemm.ee
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    3 months ago

    Back in the day you would have asked for a flattop.

    You could always save a picture to your phone and then ask them to do that. They’ll probably still ask if the length is alright but it’s up to you to instruct them from there.

  • RandomUser@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    I’ve avoided the conversation entirely. Ever since the pandemic I’ve done my own hair with clippers. Made a good enough job of it, even if I’ve sometimes needed to do a small adjustment the next day.

    For a simple style it’s not that difficult if you take your time.

    • TrickDacy@lemmy.world
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      3 months ago

      Same. I like it all around, and it saves some money too. Though I will admit I’m a little slow at it, especially at first

  • usualsuspect191@lemmy.ca
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    3 months ago

    Maybe it’s that you’re asking for a style that’s “unfashionable” or atypical for someone with your look so the hairdresser is second-guessing you know what you’re asking for. I bet a lot of the time they try instructions as vague as “make it shorter and look good”. They’ll err on the side of leaving it s bit long knowing they can always take a bit more off and sneak up to the desired length when it’s beyond what the normal style is.

    Just get it to the length you want, then ask the hairdresser what it’s called/how to describe it and take a couple of pictures as well and you should be set for next time.

  • netvor@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    maybe I’m too much of an engineering brain, but I just want to cry when they put fingers in my hair and ask “about this long”?

    Like, I know it’s not a rocket science but come on, that’s like 800% error bar.

    Once, a lady had enough emotional intelligence to explain herself whether she meant “cut above the finger” or “leave below the finger”. I will never go to any other hairdresser (luckily she’s much younger than me so we could actually pull it off). I ain’t got time for these axe throwers.

    • Bob@feddit.nl
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      3 months ago

      Of all the things you could want your haircut to be, it’s precise?

      • netvor@lemmy.world
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        3 months ago

        forget the hair, but the questions must be precise and well-formed :D

        seriously (ish), if the hairdresser holds my hair 2cm away from the skin and asks if this length is ok, and their finger is like 2cm thick, i don’t know if they mean 2 or 4.