Men can feel at ease in these new barbershops, as it is sometimes intimidating and potentially emasculating to sit amongst the fluff of full service salons. The ambiance of being amongst your brethren is enticing, but more importantly the skills of traditional barbering have been modernized. And if you are used to ordering your haircut by a clipper comb numbering system, know you can get expect more skill from a barber, and even get a better haircut than you may be used to.
The other advantage to seeking out a talented barber is that they can also give incredibly detailed beard trims. Depending on where your live (considering the regulations that are placed on industry professionals), your barber may offer a straight-edge razor shave, the closest shave you can possibly receive. Follow your beard trim or shave with a classic men’s facial and you will leave feeling like a new man.
Whether you desire to be a part of a traditional rite of passage and patronize a men’s barbershop, or prefer to have a full menu of salon services available to you all in one place, we all should be a part of the style conversation rather than reciting the number of a clipper comb. Allow your stylist or barber to bring a personal touch to our next haircut. So let me bring you back to hair basics with some terminology (see below) to use when visiting a barbershop (or even salon stylist). Knowing how to describe what you want will help help you avoid any haircut mishaps.
- Buzz – The length of hair is clippered down to be equal all the way around.
- Caesar – This style is to be worn with short sides and nape, textured on top, with the movement of the hair and bangs going forward.
- Cowlick – Where the hair pattern grows in a swirl and typically found at the crown or hairline.
- Crew – A style where the sides and nape are cut very short and the crown is slightly longer, following the shape of the head.
- Crown – This is the top of your head where many cowlicks tend to reside.
- Design – Images are carved typically into a faded cut and are simple to intricate.
- Fade – An extreme version of a taper cut working with very short lengths.
- Flat Top – Just like it sounds, literally the top is buzzed straight across leveling out the crown.
- High & Tight – Your typical military cut with a sort of landing strip going down your crown.
- Layering – A technique used to create dimension in the hair and if not layered, you can end up with a bowl haircut.
- Nape – This is at the base of your neck hairline and can be either tapered to gradually fade out to your natural hairline, or blocked off to have a square or shaped appearance.
- Part – A line that runs through your scalp and is often found in more conservative haircuts.
- Pompadour – The sides and nape are short, while the top is left long then styled forward and brushed back.
- Razor Cut – A straight edge that is used to cut the hair in a choppy, less uniform fashion.
- Receding Hair Line – Where the hairline has moved back further due to thinning or hair loss.
- Steps – Lines are cut into the temples of a faded cut creating a design of steps.
- Taper – Graduating hair-length where it is shorter at the temples and nape and longer at the crown.
- Texturizing – Creating dimension and thinning through sections of the hair.
- Thinning – A technique using special thinning shears that takes bulk out of thick hair.
For more information on barbershops, see my article The Merits of a Barbershop Over a Styling Salon. And if you don't currently go to a barber, you just may be inspired to give one a try.