at a barbershop (general conversation)

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csicska

Senior Member
hungarian
Hello. Is the following conversation made up by me at barber's common and correct? I presume that there is the numbering system for hair cuts measured in 1/8th of an inch so the number 1 would be 1.8 inch, number 4 would be 1.2 inch and number 8 would be 1 inch.

A: I'd like a haircut, please.
B: How would you like your hair? / How would you like me to cut it?
A: A number 8 on the whole head (i.e. the same size on the sides and on top as well). / A number 4 on the sides, and a trim on top. / etc.
B: Do you want a razor cut or should I use the clippers?
A: A razor cut, please.

Thank you in advance.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hi, Csicska.

    I've never been to a barber shop that used such a numbering system, but your dialog sounds reasonable. Do you have a specific language question? We members are really not allowed to proofread your material.
     

    csicska

    Senior Member
    hungarian
    Hi owlman5. Thank you for your reply. Yes, I didn't mean to ask you for proofreading. To be honest, I am only interested in the second "A:" in the conversation supplied. I have provided the rest as surrounding "context". So if you do not use such a numbering system, would the following be a better request from a man to a barber?

    A: Half an inch on the whole head, please. / The whole head on half an inch, please.

    Is "on the whole head" correct and idiomatic?

    Thank you.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    The phrase "on the whole head" is possible, but I don't think I've ever heard anybody use that particular expression in a barber shop. If I wanted to give this instruction, I'd say "I want you to take/trim/cut a half-inch off."
     

    csicska

    Senior Member
    hungarian
    And "I want you to take/trim/cut a half-inch off." would mean that the result of such an instruction would be hair shorter by a half-inch or hair measuring a half-inch? Thank you.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    And "I want you to take/trim/cut a half-inch off." would mean that the result of such an instruction would be hair shorter by a half-inch or hair measuring a half-inch? Thank you.
    The former. "Leave a half-inch" would lead to the latter.

    As far as numbers go, I tell the barber to use the "number four" on the middle portion of my beard and the "number two" on the rest of it, but I really don't know what the numbers mean; I just know that using the "2 guard on the clipper results in shorter hair than the #4.
     
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