Barber/stylist shorthand for "short but don't use clippers"?
July 9, 2014 1:54 PM   Subscribe

How to ask a barber to cut the short parts with scissors not clippers?

I showed my last barber a picture of a hairstyle with short back and sides. She asked, "Clipper short or scissors short?" I don't like the prickly look, so I went with "scissors short." I liked the cut.

The next barber I went to, I tried to describe the style. I asked for "scissors short" back and sides. He didn't get it, so I specified, "as short as you can get it using scissors." He still seemed unsure, so I said, "I want it short, but I don't want you to use clippers." It turned out well.

Is there a better way to describe that?
posted by Boxenmacher to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total)
Best answer: "Scissors cut" is the phrase you want.
posted by hollyholly at 2:00 PM on July 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I'm a lady but when I take my son to get his hair cut, I always say "scissor cut only, no clippers" except to clean up around the neck line.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 2:00 PM on July 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I'm a seasoned pro at asking barbers to do weird things to my hair and "scissors only, no clippers" is a not an odd request at all. However, having to explain what you want three times in three different ways is a pretty regular occurrence.
posted by griphus at 2:06 PM on July 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I've used the phrase "finger length" many times - in retrospect it's kind of ambiguous, but it has always worked in the context of describing my haircut. I've also used "as close as you can get with scissors" while miming the act of cutting with scissors along a straight finger.
posted by hootenatty at 2:24 PM on July 9, 2014

I always wind up at different hair places and I'm never sure how to ask for this, but a term I picked up from one barber/stylist that others all seem to understand is "finger length" - which means they take up whatever hair fits between their fingers, and cut off the rest.

On preview, what hootenatty said.
posted by usonian at 2:28 PM on July 9, 2014

"Scissors cut" is the term I've heard barbers use for this style. But I've often described it as "as short as you can without using clippers" and been understood - your barber who found that unclear may just have been distracted/hungover/tired/whatever.
posted by nomis at 5:54 PM on July 9, 2014

"Short but still comb-able, scissor cut" is how I get that. Of course, the best way is to have one specific barber you go to...
posted by notsnot at 6:51 PM on July 9, 2014

"Can you just use scissors instead of the electricity thing?"
posted by oceanjesse at 7:03 PM on July 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

Though honestly, the way you really ought to describe what you want to a barber is by showing them a picture. Bring a picture of your last haircut that you liked.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:04 PM on July 9, 2014

scissor over comb .
posted by hortense at 11:49 PM on July 9, 2014

« Older Northern Nova Scotia/ Cape Breton vacation tips?   |   Help Make Me the Living Tribunal Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.