haircut / talking to barber [undercut; thin hair]

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HenryLei

Member
Cantonese
HI all, I am an international student currently studying in the UK and I am about to go to a barber shop to cut my hair, but I have no idea how to say to the barber.

I want to do undercut, keep the top part and cut the underneath (side) of my hair. However my hair on the top is too "thick" (or too "dense"), so for the top I want to keep the length, but less "thick".

Any idea how can I talk to the barber?
 
  • Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    For the top part, maybe you want layers - that means you make some parts an inch shorter than other parts, so it makes your hair less thick. You can say 'I want to keep the length on top, but add layers to make it less thick'. Or if this is not what you want say 'I want to keep the length but I want it a little less thick - what do you recommend?' (and leave the decision as to how to do this up to them.

    I'm really not sure what you mean by cutting the underneath - do you mean you want a section of your hair shaved off?
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    My suggestion would be to say what you said to us, to the barber. Since you'll be speaking to him in person, you'll be able to explain it to him better, including with gestures if necessary. If you're in a reasonably large city in England, it's likely the barber would have met and dealt with other non-English native speakers before.
     

    HenryLei

    Member
    Cantonese
    "Undercut" and "underneath" mean the barber will usually tie up all the hair on the top and cut the rest of it. Because if your hair is long, then the top part will cover the side of your hair, "underneath" here I mean both sides of my hair, because it hides "underneath" the top, if you understand what I am saying...... But I will try to talk to him. I am just going to a 5 pound barber shop, not sure whether I can request that much or not, but thanks!
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I think that your explanation to me is very good. I think the barber will understand; he has probably cut that style before.

    However, it is a good idea to bring a picture, as Copperknickers suggests.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, I think explaining 'undercutting' the way you have will work.

    If you hair is too thick, I think you can just ask for your hair to be thinned out. There are thinning shears for this purpose:

    Is that what you wanted? 'Layering' means separating you hair into different layers and cutting each layer a different length.

    Are there still £5 barber shops around?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Undercut hairstyle, which seems to be pretty popular these days:

    adamtheapprentice_by_slick-pomp-undercut-e1441808094258.jpg


    But since the top can be cut in all sorts of ways, a picture would be best, as suggested in this thread. Here's a selection to get you started: Google Images.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    Ah, ok, so shaved off. This is what I suspected, but cutting is not the same as shaving, so I was then wondering whether he meant that he would have 'short back and sides', with a longer length over the top (which mystified me) :D
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I wouldn't call it shaved unless all the hair is gone. It's a buzz cut (for lack of a better word at the moment) – done with clippers and a short guard rather than a razor.

    (Don't mean to be picky.) :)
     
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