While you may think the title of this article a bit odd if you’re a fluent speaker of English, those who are just learning the language can have a difficult and even embarrassing time trying to communicate in the simplest situations. Yes, scheduling an appointment or communicating what you want with a stylist can be difficult when the stylist speaks English and the client’s skills are very limited. Our Hawaii English language school has a few pointers we think you will find helpful.
Below we’ve included some common terms and phrases used when you want to get your hair cut or styled.
First , you need to schedule an appointment. Where do you begin? By looking in the local telephone directory or online for a barbershop or hair salon, depending on whether you are a man or a woman. Many hair salons today cater to both.
What do you call a person who is skilled in haircuts, styling, color, and other services? The most common term is ‘hairstylist,’ or simply ‘stylist,’ although some people still use the older term ‘hairdresser.’ If you call a barbershop to schedule an appointment, you will be provided service by a ‘barber.’
Once you call to schedule an appointment, you will need to know what to say so that you’re clearly understood. Some of the most common phrases include:
- I would like to get a haircut, do you have any openings today?
- Are there any available appointments today around four p.m. (or whatever time you prefer for an appointment)?
- Can I schedule an appointment for a haircut today (or Tuesday, Friday, whatever day you choose)?
Once you have scheduled an appointment, it’s likely the stylist will ask you a question or two about what it is you want to have done. Some people get their hair cut dry, others prefer it shampooed prior to the cut, some want it blow dried and styled afterward, and some want a trim while others may want several inches of their hair taken off. Expect to be asked questions such as:
- Would you like your hair shampooed (or washed)?
- What can I do for you today? (Haircut, color, or other service provided by the hair salon)
- How short do you want to go?
- How much are we going to take off?
- How long has it been since your last haircut?
Some of the other terms you may hear in a hair salon include trim; wash and cut; wash, cut, and style; etc. Many people use the word “trim” when all they want is to have the tip ends cut off to make a hairstyle that has become shaggy look neat again. A cut could include taking an inch off, or even six or eight inches depending on how much you are wanting to change your look. If you want the works, you will want to ask the stylist for a shampoo, cut, and style. This means your hair will be washed, cut, then dried and styled.
Hopefully these tips will help make the entire process of getting a haircut easier for those who are relatively new and unfamiliar with the English language.
At ICC Hawaii we understand that even the simplest things can be difficult when you speak a foreign language and are surrounded by an English speaking culture. Why attend our English language school in Hawaii? In addition to the fact we offer excellence in education and are dedicated to the success of every student, we are located in beautiful Honolulu!