8 Small Talk Topics That Will Make Conversation with Your Barber or Hairdresser Way Less Awkward
On a busy day, your average barber or hairdresser is going to do around 15-20 haircuts.
Small talk with your barber or hairdresser at a hair salon can sometimes be uncomfortable, especially if you find yourself discussing the same old topics such as the weather and vacations. At Groom+Style, we understand this and have come up with some alternative and more engaging conversation topics to bring up during your visit.
If you’re looking for a new haircut, you might search for “hair salon near me” to find nearby options. However, when you do find a stylist, it’s perfectly acceptable to stay quiet during your appointment and let them concentrate on their work. Some hair professionals might even prefer the peace and quiet. On the other hand, if you do want to chat, that’s also a valid choice. Ultimately, the decision is up to you.
1. Don’t Talk About Anything
You’re not being rude by explaining how you’d like your hair to be cut, then clamming up.
You’re there for a haircut, not an interview.
If your barber or hairdresser asks you the typical small talk questions, answer them, but most of them are pretty good at gauging when a client wants to talk, and when they’d rather keep to themselves.
So, if you’re not up for making small talk, then don’t. It’s alright.
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2. Talk About New and Classic Movies
The first thing that usually comes up when you engage in small talk with your hairdresser is vacations.
If you’re planning on going back to the same salon or barber again and again, then building a rapport about something which you can both share is a great idea.
That’s why movies are a good call.
Pick something that’s playing, or that’s been out for a couple of weeks, and ask your barber if they’ve seen it. Watched something cool on Netflix recently? Tell them about it. If it’s something super popular, you might even kick off a conversation with the other barbers, and when your barber likes you, you definitely get a better haircut.
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3. Ask About Products and Treatments
Barbers and hairdressers love to impart their wisdom about how best to care for your hair.
One common hair service that many people seek out is keratin treatment. While this treatment can be effective in taming frizz and creating a smoother, shinier look, it’s important to choose a licensed salon professional who has experience with this treatment. They can advise you on whether a keratin treatment is right for your hair type and can provide valuable tips on how to maintain the results. Remember, communication is key in any salon appointment, so be sure to ask your stylist any questions you have and communicate your hair care needs clearly. This will help ensure that you leave the salon with healthy, beautiful hair.
When you show that you’re willing to take their advice, they’re going to speak much more openly about things with you, because they’ve got a better sense of the kind of person you are.
Try asking which shampoo or conditioner is best for your hair type, or how often you should wash your hair.
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4. Ask About the Photos on the Walls
Most places will have artwork or photos on the walls.
Often, it’s stock imagery of classic hairstyles and barber shops from way back when. Those you don’t need to ask about. But, if you see something that catches your eye, if you recognize the shop you’re in, in a photograph, then ask about it.
It probably has some history. Maybe the shop belonged to the current owner’s grandfather, in which case, we’re sure that the person cutting your hair will have a little or a lot to say about what they’ve chosen to decorate the walls with.
5. Be a Tourist
Make your small talk topics fun – like this one.
Try asking your barber or hairdresser where’s good to eat in town.
Even if you know the good places to eat, they might have a favorite, and letting them tell you about it is a great way of making genuine conversation about something they’re interested in, other than the weather or where your next vacation will be.
If you happen to follow through on their suggestion and actually go to one of the places they suggest, then you’ve got ammunition to use as a talking point for your next haircut. Pretty sweet.
6. Avoid Politics (especially these days) Unless You Know it’ll go Over Well
You might have some strong opinions, and so might they, and while debate can be good, when you’re sitting in a chair at such close quarters with someone who’s cutting your hair, or shaving you with a cut throat razor, rocking the boat too much just isn’t smart.
If you are going to bring up politics, get a sense of the place first, drop some hints and see what sort of feedback you get. We don’t really recommend this one, though.
7. Inspire Some Nostalgia
If you and your barber or hairdresser are around the same age, then bringing up something you were both likely familiar with as kids, can be a good way of putting a smile on both your faces.
It doesn’t have to be anything serious, just say, ‘You know, I was thinking about […] the other day. Remember those?’
Pogs, tamagotchi, Blockbuster video, there’s loads to talk about, and once you get set foot aboard the nostalgia train, you could be in for a long trip. Guaranteed to put a smile your face.
8. Ask How They’re Doing – and Really Listen to the Answer!
Your barber asks how you’re doing and what you’re up to because it’s polite and good for business.
You can do the same.
Ask how they’re doing, what they’re going to be doing at the weekend, and what movies they’ve seen recently.
Use your trip to the barber or hairdresser as an opportunity to practice asking questions and then listening and responding with more relevant questions, even if you have a busy schedule. You can also take this opportunity to ask for recommendations on great hair salons near you for future visits. Not only will this help you improve your small talk skills, but it will also ensure that you always have a trusted professional to turn to for your hair care needs, even if you’re short on time.
Don’t waste the time you have there talking about the weather (although of course if you are desperate this could be small talk topic suggestion number 9), and like we said at the start, if you can’t think of anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.
3 thoughts on “8 Small Talk Topics That Will Make Conversation with Your Barber or Hairdresser Way Less Awkward”
You made a great point about mentioning new and classic movies that can spark a conversation. My husband loves to go to a barber, but now we moved to Carlsbad, CA, which is across the country from his barber now. He will be sure to keep these tips in mind after he finds a new professional to cut his hair.
I loved your tip about how if you and your barber or hairdresser are around the same age, then bringing up something you were both likely familiar with as kids. My family and I just moved, and my husband has an appointment with a new barber next week and needs tips on what to talk to him about. I will definitely pass along all of your great tips and information to my husband so he can talk to his new barber with ease.
My brother needs to get his hair cut soon and he asked me for advice about how to chat with his barber, so I am glad that I found this article. It makes sense that he should ask them how they are doing and then listen to what they say in response. This is a great way to create a positive rapport with your barber as well as show them that you appreciate the service they are doing for you. I will make sure to share this information with my brother.
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