When you go to the salon, do you ever feel like you say one thing and end up with something totally different?
I’ve definitely had that happen–so when my brother recently told me he was going for his first haircut since moving to South Korea (he does not speak the language yet), I basically figured he’d end up having to buzz his head. But here’s the cute tale of what actually went down, in Joe’s own words.
I walked in, and an available barber hopped up from a chair and offered me a seat in front of the mirror. I produced a Korean English dictionary and pointed to the phrase, “short on the sides and in the back” and he nodded in approval. We communicated with pinching gesticulations to show how much should come off each area (which started out confusing, since I was not sure if I was saying how much I wanted off, or how much I want to have left). When I was happy, he rounded everything off the way any other barber does with the clean up clippers, and tapped the price into his register. It was six thousand won, which is about five dollars!
I think Joe’s experience should serve as inspiration to those of us who live in a country where we actually speak the native language–we should be able to communicate what we want out of a haircut! Of course, there will always be bad stylists, but here are some tips for maximizing the possibility that you’ll walk out of the salon happy:
1. Bring photos, like ones you’ve clipped from a magazine. Don’t rely on those haircut-ideas books they have at the salon (why are they always from 1982?) or your own descriptive skills, however excellent you feel they might be.
2. Ask the stylist how she thinks that haircut will look on you. You’ll probably be able to tell from how she discusses it whether she’s “getting” what you want or is visualizing something else entirely.
3. Ask questions as she works. If you think she’s snipping her way in the wrong direction, it’s fine to say something like “Oh, you remember I don’t want that part layered, right?” Just be nice about it and keep in mind that you might just not understand her process. It’s usually not great to micromanage your stylist, but you don’t have to sit there mum til she’s done.
4. If you’re not happy, say something right away. Better than going home and getting even more upset. The stylist will probably feel terrible that you don’t love your cut and do everything she can to fix it.