Ask a customer how they want their hair cut, and many, if not most, will give you a fairly good description of their preferences. There are also a large percentage of folks who will say, “Just give it a trim”. Those few words say a lot, but you need to understand the term, and probably do a little investigating. So what does TRIM mean?
When they use the term “trim”, they’re telling you their last haircut was to their liking, and they want the hair that has grown out since their last haircut to be cut off–no big changes wanted. When they say they want their hair trimmed, your first question should be: “When did you have your last haircut?”
Hair grows a half inch a month–a bit more for coarse textured hair, slightly less for fine hair. If they tell you it’s been six weeks, you can explain growth rate to them, and suggest cutting off about 3/4 of an inch all over. A month would require a half inch cutting, etc.
Some can’t give you a date for their last cut, but here’s where investigating happens. If it appears they get a shorter tapered cut, look close at the hair on the outline around the ear. Combing the hair down, away from the outline, will show how much has grown out since the last haircut. Whatever that shows you, ask if cutting off that amount sounds right to them. On a longer haircut, comb the hair down and check how much covers the ear. Ask how much hair they want left covering the ear. If the hair covers all the ear and they want half the ear covered, that tells you at least one inch needs to be cut off–probably a little more.
Just because someone isn’t good at describing their haircut desires, that doesn’t mean they want you to “do your thing”. Take the time to dig into this word “trim”. Less than a minute spent here will give you a lot of repeat business.
When I get to be a psychologist, I’ll direct all my patients to go and make something with their hands and give it to someone.