There’s something so satisfying about getting your hair cut. Going to visit the hairdresser (someone who cuts hair) can give you a completely new look if you decide to try a new cut, or can help make you feel like yourself again. But what vocabulary for the hairdresser do you need?

I remember when I first moved to Germany, I didn’t get a haircut for a long time. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to talk about what I wanted or needed and would end up with a bad haircut. I would have loved to have had some vocabulary for the hairdresser to take with me! So this week we’ll give you some words you may need when visiting the hair salon so that you come out looking your best.

Hair Salon / Barber

A good place to start with vocabulary for the hairdresser is to know what to call the place where you get your hair cut. This place has two names in English: hair salon and barber.

While barber is a place specifically for men (meaning only men get their hair cut there), a hair salon is visited by both men and women.

For example:

  • My husband went to the barber today. He got a haircut and he got his beard trimmed. He really needed it!
  • I made an appointment at the hair salon for a haircut on the 21st. I haven’t had a haircut in a long time!

Thick / Thin / Curly / Straight Hair

There are a lot of different ways to describe hair. For example, my hair is curly and thick, but a friend of mine has thin, straight hair. Because of that, we ask for different haircuts and need to take care of our hair in different ways.

Thick hair is when you have a lot of hair and each strand (piece) is fat, and thin hair is when you have less and each strand is not fat. Your hair might start out thick, but thin out (get thinner, less) as you get older.

Straight hair is when it falls completely down and doesn’t have any waves or curls. Curly hair is when your hair looks like springs.

For example:

  • Crystal has straight hair, but Erin has curly hair.
  • My hair is very thick, so the hairdresser thins it out sometimes.

Trim / Cut

Sometimes you only want a little bit of hair cut off, and sometimes you want a completely new look. That is where these two words come in handy!

A trim is when only a little bit of hair is taken off the ends (maybe only an inch or two/a couple of centimeters), and a cut is when a lot of hair is removed. A cut is great when you want a whole new look (a new style/a new appearance)!

For example:

  • I want to grow my hair long, so I just asked for a trim. I don’t want too much length taken off.
  • She’s had long hair her entire life, but wanted a new look. That’s why she asked for a whole new cut!

To Dye the (one’s) Hair

When I was younger, I used to dye my hair a lot. This means that I used to change my hair color a lot. I’ve had dark brown, red, blonde, black, and even blue hair before! I’ve always dyed my hair at home, but it’s best to get it done in a salon.

Some people, like me, like to change their hair color often. Others only dye their hair to cover their roots (where the hair meets the skin on the head) if they’re a different color, or if their hair is turning grey.

For example:

  • I don’t know what color to dye my hair. Should I go for red? What about blonde?
  • I called and made an appointment at the salon to dye my roots. My hair is naturally brown, but I prefer blonde, and the brown is starting to show!

To Grow Your Hair Out

I’ve had short hair for about 15 years. I always loved having short hair, as it felt very “me.” But last year I decided to grow my hair out, meaning that I’m letting my hair grow long. I decided it was time for a new look, and wanted to see how my curly hair would look if it was longer.

Have you ever grown your hair out? What’s the longest (or the shortest) you’ve ever had it?

For example:

  • I grew my hair out for years. It was all the way down my back! But I decided to cut it short when I went to college.
  • Have you ever thought of growing your hair out? I think you’d look really nice with long hair!

Will you use any of this vocabulary for the hairdresser? Is there some important vocabulary you think we missed? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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Check out these other popular blogs: Dating Vocabulary in EnglishWhy You Could Use a Bespeaking ProofreaderItalian Loan Words in English, or these 5 Great Antonyms in English!

Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, and loves using vocabulary for the hairdresser to experiment with new hairstyles!

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