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Visiting a Beauty Salon

Visiting a Beauty Salon

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Visiting a beauty salon


Hello! In this lesson, we will practice speaking English in a beauty salon or barber shop. We will concentrate on the common aspects of getting a haircut and style.

When you visit the beauty salon, you might take along some pictures of haircuts from magazines. The more information the stylist has, the better she or he will be able to cut your hair properly. The beauty salon might also have some books of hairdos and cuts which you can look at.

Most large beauty salons have a reception desk. If you go to a large place with a reception area, go to the reception desk.

The receptionist will greet you by saying "Hi, how can I help you?" or "Can I help you?" or "What can I do for you?". You should state your name and the time of your appointment. If you know the name of the person you have an appointment with, you can say that person's name as well. Jennifer might say, "Hi, I'm Jennifer Jones. I have an appointment with Tammy at 1:45.". She could also say, "My name is Jennifer Jones. I'm here to see Tammy.". If she is more familiar with the people there, she might say "I'm Jennifer, here for Tammy.".

Some smaller salons do not have a receptionist. In that case, someone will greet you. Just identify yourself to the person who greets you and tell the time of your appointment." "Hi, I’m Jennifer Jones. I have an appointment at 1:45.".

You might be directed to a waiting area. Someone might offer you a cup of coffee or something else to drink. Some large salons offer a glass of wine. This drink is usually complimentary. The receptionist might say "Would you like a drink while you wait?" You might say "Yes, please." You could ask "What do you have?" or "No thank you.".

When the stylist is ready, she or he will probably come to greet you and walk you to his or her chair. Jennifer introduces herself and says "Hi I'm Jennifer.". The stylist will also introduce himself or herself. You will probably be seated in a chair or at a washbowl. Even if you have not asked to have your hair washed, in some states and in some salons, the stylists are required to wash your hair in order to assure sanitary conditions in the salon.

If you are getting your hair washed, the stylist might ask, "Is the water okay?". She is asking if the water temperature is suitable. You can answer, "Yes, it's okay." or "It's too hot." or "It's too cold." You might also say "It's just right." or "It's perfect.". You might want to say "Don’t rub too hard. I have a sensitive scalp." or "There's soap in my eye.". If you are uncomfortable, you can say "This hurts my neck." or "My back hurts.".

When you go to the stylist's chair, she will put a "cape" over your clothes. She will position you in front of the mirror and might ask "What are we doing today?". You can say "I need a haircut.". She might ask "Do you want a lot taken off or just a little?". You might say "I just want it cleaned up.", which means you want the same style you have now, but you want it to look neater. Maybe you will say, "My bangs need to be trimmed." or "It needs to be layered." or "I am trying to grow it out to one length all over.". What are some other things you might want in a haircut?

"Take a little off the sides / top/ back / bangs.

It is too bulky on the top /sides.

Don’t take off much length.

I want some height on the top.

I want it swept back on the sides. / I wear it swept back on the sides.

I want it to cover my ears. / It should cover my ears.

I want it to stick straight up. / It should stick straight up. / I want it spiked.

I comb it straight back.

I pull it back in a ponytail. / I wear a ponytail.

I like it messy. /I want it to look neat./ I want it to look elegant.

I want a bob / a wedge / a shag / a boy cut.

I wear it long and curly / straight.

I want long bangs/ I don't want any bangs. / I want my bangs to cover my eyebrows.

I want a blunt cut. / I want it feathery. / I want a lot of layers."

You might want to let the stylist know if you have any problems, like "I have a cowlick in the back." or "My hair is thin on top.", "My hair is limp.", My hair doesn’t have much body."," It's heavy on the top." "It sticks out on the sides." "I have many allergies.". If the stylist has this information, she or he will be better able to work with you.

The stylist might ask "Have you ever had your hair cut with a razor?" "Do you want it texturized?" "Do you want layers?". She might say "I'll cut the sides with a razor to get rid of that bulk." "I'll texturize the top to get rid of the heaviness.".

After your hair is cut, the stylist will style it. Stylists often refer to hair styling products as "product". Some examples of "product" are "hair spray", "gel"," mousse", "control paste". You might say "I don't like a lot of product in my hair." or "I am allergic to hair spray." or "I like it spiked with a lot of product.".

The stylist might say "Let's blow it out.". This means that she or he wants to blow dry your hair. She might say "Let's let it air dry.". This means she will not blow dry it; you will sit for awhile while it dries. She might say "Let's roll it up.". This means she will put your hair in rollers." or "Should I put it in rollers?". If you have had your hair set in rollers, she might ask you if you want to sit under a large drier. "Let's put you under a drier." or "Do you want to sit under a drier for awhile?".

After you have been under the drier, the stylist might say "Let's comb you out." or "I'll comb it out now.". She or he means that she will take out the rollers and style your hair. She or he might ask you if you want your hair backcombed. "Should I backcomb your hair?" or "Do you rat your hair?".

Now that we have learned what we can say to the stylist, let us listen to the dialog. In this dialog, Jennifer is sitting in the stylist's chair talking to Tammy, the stylist.

Tammy: I'll just put this cape over you. (puts cape on Jennifer) What are we doing today?

Jennifer: I just want it cleaned up.

Tammy: So you want it in the same style as now, just neater?

Jennifer: Yes. It's a little bulky on the sides.

Tammy: Have you ever had it cut with a razor?

Jennifer: No, I haven't.

Tammy: I'll cut the sides with a razor to get rid of that bulk.

Jennifer: Okay. But don’t take off much length.

Tammy: Do you like your bangs long?

Jennifer: Yes, I like them to cover my eyebrows.

Tammy: Okay! Let's blow it out.

After your hair has been cut and styled, the stylist might give you a mirror to let you look at the back of your hair. If the stylist doesn't give you a mirror, you might ask "D you have a handmirror?" or "I want to look at the back.". You can say "It looks great." or "It's a little too long on the left side." "Can you trim a little bit off the bangs?" "I think it's still too long.". Unfortunately, it will not do any good to say "It's too short.".

You will probably pay at the reception desk. It is common to give a tip of about 15-20% to a non-proprietor hair stylist. It is also common to give a tip to the proprietor, however the situation is a little different. Most non-proprietor stylists are taxed on the basis of receiving a 15% tip, so the stylist will probably have to pay taxes on an additional 15% whether or not you tip him or her. You can add the tip to the money you pay at the desk if you pay with a credit card, or you can give the stylist cash in her hand and say "This is for you." Or "Thank you very much." or "I really appreciate it." or "I really like my haircut.".

Beautiful! Now you are ready to go to the beauty salon. "Your hair will look perfect.".