Tired of wearing a hat for a week after you've had your haircut? Then read our guide to communicating what you want to your hairdresser with the help of expert hairdresser, owner of the newly opened barber shop Joe and Co in Soho and ex superstar club DJ, Joe Mills, who's been cutting hair for over 20 years.

Things to remember:

How short is short?

Joe says: There's your version of short, my version and everyone else's version. Start longer and go shorter, ask them to work their way down- if they have to cut it three times then so be it.

Clippers vs scissors

Joe says: Barber shops always used to use clippers. It’s an old school thing, that’s how you’d do a decent short back and sides. You can do it with scissors but you don’t get the sharp, hard line.


Joe says: By all means bring a picture in but realise that there’s only so much hairdressers can do. We always scribble the face out because often it’s that the customer is looking at, and the haircut is usually quite ordinary.

You get what you pay for:

Joe says: If you go to a Mr Topper’s you’re not necessarily going to get the time from the stylist. Regionally, if you spend £20 on a haircut they should be able to spend a few minutes with you and talk through what you want.

Glossary of terms, so you know what you're asking for:

We say feathered, textured and choppy.

Joe says: All these words essentially mean the same thing, which is cutting into your hair. Feathering is usually done with a razor and leaves length but removes weight. Texturising is done either by cutting in to the hair or by using thinning shears, which is the most basic way of doing it.

We say: Thinning out

Joe says: No one actually wants to have their hair thinned out, they want it made more manageable, so never ask for it to be thinned out. Someone who isn’t an old school barber shouldn’t be using thinning shears left right and centre. Once you’ve used them you can’t go back.

We say: Layered

Joe says: Layering hair means breaking it up. If you don't layer long hair, it would just be a bowl. If you layer it you're putting shorter sections in and making it less solid.

Now check out our gallery of hairstyles as explained by Joe so that you know what to ask for.

The newly opened Joe and Co does haircuts and wet shaves for men in Green court, Soho but if you want an appointment, book in advance.