Getting a Haircut

Hi there, it’s Min 🙂

Getting a hair cut can be a very simple activity but I struggled a little when I first visited a salon in Japan. So I thought it would be helpful to share some commonly used expressions to ensure that what you are thinking of is exactly what you are saying when you are at the hairdresser’s!

Of course the best option would be to bring in a photo of how you would like your hair to be cut, but in most cases we just tell the hairdresser what we want since it is usually not a drastic transformation.

Oh yes! One thing I found really intriguing in Japan was that when I was booking an appointment at the hairdresser’s, there was an option to pick whether you want them to talk with you or if you prefer a less interactive experience. In Australia though, there is no such option and most hairdressers would chat with you throughout your visit, so don’t be afraid to talk a little about how your day is going and possibly what you will be doing for the rest of the day.

So here are a few scenarios and questions that may be helpful when you are at the salon.



How would you like your hair cut today?


Just a trim. (This is usually said if you are wanting to grow your hair out but want the ends more even and neat)


You: I’d like to get around ___cm/inch off.


However, if you are not sure how you want it cut yet and would like to ask the hairdresser for their opinion, you can say:

“What do you think suits me?”

“What do you think suits my face shape?”


Other common requests:

“I’d like something that doesn’t make my forehead look big.”

“I’m up for anything!”

“I’d like to get half/full head of foils.” (When requesting for hair dyeing and highlights. Foils are the same to highlights, they are just different terms used by different hairdressers)


I hope that has been helpful and would make your visit to the hairdresser’s a little less daunting and jittery!


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Hi, I am Min and I live in Melbourne, Australia. I am a freelance translator and during my time off, I like to run, swim and do crafts.