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How To Learn Sign Language

Speaking English – Going to the hairdresser

Hi, my name is Emma and today’s lesson is a fun lesson on going to the hairdresser’s. So, as you’ve seen in some of my videos if you watch my videos, I have had different haircuts. That’s what we’re going to be focusing on today. What do you say when you want to change your hair? Okay? So, the first thing I want to teach you is the difference between a barber and a hairdresser, and a barbershop and a hair salon. Okay? So, notice I’ve written “barber” and “barbershop” in blue. Why do you think I did that? Well, it’s because boys and men go to the barber, who is the person who cuts the hair, and the barber works at the barbershop. So the barbershop is the place and the barber is the person. They deal with men only — boys and men only, so no women. Now, I’ve written this one in red because I didn’t have a pink marker. But we also have hairdressers, so these are people. Where do hairdressers work? At hair salons. Okay, so with hairdressers, unlike with barbers, hairdressers work with both men and women. So they work with both at the hair salon. Okay? So now let’s look at some common phrases we may use when we go to the hair salon. If I want to get my hair changed I may say, “I would like to get”, or I could say, “I would like to have”, so you have a choice. They’re both equal. “I would like to have a cut.” Okay? This means they just cut your hair. “I would like to have a wash and cut.” This means they wash your hair first, and then they cut it. “I would like to get a wash, cut, and dry”. In this case, they wash your hair, they cut it, and then they blow-dry it, and maybe they style it a bit. I can also say, “I would like to get a trim”. So, what is a trim? A trim is a very little cut. So my hair is getting kind of long. I want it maybe to about here. I’m going to get a trim. How much should I get cut off? Maybe I’ll say, “I’d like two inches off.” So that’s a trim, two inches. Okay? Finally, another expression that you may need, “I would like to get a perm.” So what’s a perm? A perm stands for permanent, and permanent means something that doesn’t change. So maybe I have very straight hair, and I don’t like straight hair. Maybe I like curly hair. So I may get a perm, so my hair is always curly. Or, maybe I get a perm so my hair is always straight. So they use chemicals to change your hair so it’s either curly or straight. So that’s a perm. Now one thing I’d like to draw your attention to is, first of all, this is very polite to say, which is good. “I would like”, I can also say – I’ll write it here – “I’d like”. So both of these are correct. “I would like”, “I’d like”, “to get”, “to have”, and what do these five things have in common? They all need an article, because these – a cut is a noun, a wash and cut, a wash, cut, and dry, a trim, a perm. Okay? So they need articles. One other thing I should mention about perms, I said they’re permanent, but when we talk about perms they don’t last forever. So if you get one perm it’s not going to last you the rest of your life. It may last you two months, one month, three months. So even though we say “permanent” it’s not forever. It’s actually for kind of a short time, just longer than a lot of other hair treatments. Okay. So, now we have another phrase. “I’d”, which stands for “I would”, so again, you have that choice. “I’d like to get my hair…”, okay, so notice, before we had “I’d like to get a cut.” Now we’re saying “I’d like to get my hair cut.” So this is another option. You can say, “I’d like to get a cut.”, “I’d like to get my hair cut.” Two different ways to say the same thing. “I’d like to get my hair colored.” So maybe I want to change the color of my hair. I’d go to the hairdresser and say, “I’d like to get my hair colored”. “I’d like to get my hair bleached.” So, what is bleached? Well, I have sort of brownish blonde hair. Say if I want my hair to be very, very, very blonde, so very light blonde, that’s bleaching your hair. So it’s when your hair goes a lot lighter. So I could say, “I’d like to get my hair bleached.” I could also say, “I’d like to get my hair dyed.” Colored and dyed are very similar things. They both mean you want to change your hair color. So I could say, “I’d like to get my hair dyed pink.” Do you guys think this would be a good idea? Or, “I’d like to get my hair dyed black.” Okay, we’ve looked at perm already, but we can add ‘-ed’, because now we’re talking about an adjective. “I’d like to get my hair permed”. Again, I have straight hair. I want my hair curly. I could ask, “I’d like to get my hair permed.” “Streaked”, “I’d like to get my hair streaked.” What does that mean? Well, here is hair, and maybe I like my hair color, but I also want some stripes in it. So I might actually get black streaks. So, some of my hair now is blonde, and some of my hair is now black. Or I might get blonde streaks, which is just slightly lighter than the hair color I have on brown hair. Okay, so “streaks” is kind of like “stripes”, where you have more than one color in your hair. Okay? I could also say, “I’d like to get my hair styled.” Okay? So, maybe I’m in high school. It’s prom, the big dance, and I want my hair to get styled. Maybe I want the hairdresser to make it curly, but not permanent. I don’t want it to stay curly for the next month. I just want it curly tonight. I could get my hair styled. Okay? The next word, “straightened”, my hair actually is curly and I straighten it, meaning it goes from curly to straight. So I could say, “I’d like to get my hair straightened.”, “I’d like to get my hair curled.”, which is the opposite, and finally, “I’d like to get my hair layered.” So, I don’t know if you know who Jennifer Aniston is, but back in the 90s her hair was layered. It’s a very famous haircut, where her hair had multiple levels. So, it wasn’t straight across. There was some hair that was cut to here, some of it lower, some of it lower, and some of it lower. So those are layers. So what do all of these words have in common? If we say, “I’d like to get my hair…”, except for “cut”, these other ones, they all have ‘-ed’. So, make a note about that. So, I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Mary. This is Mary. Right now she has no hair. So, we’re going to give her some different hair styles, and also teach you some of this vocabulary. The first hair style I’d like to put on Mary is an updo. It’s a small “u”. Again, Mary can say, “I’d like an updo”. So what am I going to do? Well, I’m going to put her hair up. So maybe, in some sort of beautiful way, there. So there are different types of updos. Okay? Maybe I could have… I don’t know what hairstyle that is. I’ve just created it. You can call this “the Emma”, but it’s an updo. So, an updo is when your hair goes up. It’s not down. It’s not relaxed. Usually they have to spray a lot of hairspray in your hair to keep it this way. So anytime your hair is up… Usually we do this for weddings, you get an updo, for prom, for any type of formal event you may get an updo. So now what should we give to Mary? Maybe we should give her some braids. I’m just going to erase what we currently have. So, I hope those of you watching can make out what these are. I’ve given her two braids. But braids are when you take a bunch of hair and you separate it into three different parts, and you weave it together. So some people have just one braid. Maybe like, if you’ve seen the movie “Tomb Raider” with Angelina Jolie, as Lara Croft, she has one braid in the back. Some people have many, many, many braids. Other times you get people like, there’s a book called “Heidi”. She has two braids. So these are braids. Sometimes we have very nice braids, where it’s just one and it’s in the back, and we call that a French braid. So these are different types of braids. Okay, so now let’s give Mary some pigtails. Mary may be a little bit old for pigtails. Usually we give children pigtails. My little niece wears pigtails all the time. But Mary, for some reason, she says, “I’d like pigtails.” Okay. So pigtails is when you have two ponytails, which we’ll get to in a second. So these are pigtails. Now Mary wants a ponytail. Okay, so there’s Mary’s ponytail. I’ve done it to the side of the head. Ponytails are often just to the back. Unfortunately, I have quite short hair, so I don’t know how well you can see that, but that would be a ponytail. Just as a reminder, an updo, so she can say, “I’d like an updo”. She could have braids, so no article there. No article for pigtails. But here we have “a ponytail”. So what other styles can we do to Mary? Well, what about dreads? So, dreads are similar to what – well, they are what Bob Marley had. I don’t know if you guys listen to reggae, but Bob Marley was a famous reggae musician. It’s pretty much when your hair — how do I explain this? It’s not soft like this. It becomes kind of rough. Just think Bob Marley. Or if you know what a Rastafarian is, Rastafarian hair. So these would all be dark. If you think of Jamaica, there are a lot of Jamaicans who have dreads. So, there’s Mary with her dreads. Uh-oh. So now Mary wants to become different. She doesn’t want to live a normal life anymore. She’s decided she wants to go against the system. So what does Mary do? She shaves her head. So we get rid of all her hair. She no longer has dreads. So, there’s Mary with a shaved head. So, no more hair, she’s shaved it all off. But I don’t know. I don’t think Mary’s going to get a lot of dates this way. So what can we do to fix it? Well maybe she grows back her hair, and maybe she has a very hot date. I don’t know how all this looks, but… So we decide to give her a bun. So what’s a bun? A bun is usually seen at the back of the hair, and it’s kind of like a circle. When you put your hair tightly in a circle at the back. So in a lot of traditional Asian haircuts you would see a bun. Now Mary wants to add something to the bun. She likes the bun, but she wants something more. So maybe she leaves out a little bit of hair, and she curls it a little bit. These are called ringlets. So Mary has a bun with ringlets. Now Mary decides her hair is too short. She wants long hair. Her hair is too short; maybe this is how long her hair is. So what does she do? She gets hair extensions. So this makes her hair longer. So this part of her hair is not real; it’s been woven into the short hair she has. So hair extensions makes her hair longer. So, here are some other words we can use when we’re talking about Mary. Maybe Mary wants to shorten her bangs. So maybe these are her bangs, so it’s the part of your hair on your forehead. I don’t have bangs, but Mary has bangs, and maybe she wants to get them cut. She could ask the hairstylist, in this case me, “Could you cut my bangs?” There, I’ve cut her bangs. I’ve trimmed her bangs. Another thing Mary might ask me is maybe, and I don’t know if you can see this, maybe this is her part. The part is where your hair splits into two sides. So here’s Mary’s part. But maybe she doesn’t like her part where it is, so she can also have the hairdresser style her hair so her part is somewhere else. A final thing we may talk about when we’re talking about Mary’s hair is ends. So, what are ends? Ends are the tip of your hair. So maybe Mary asks me to trim her ends. She could say, “Could you please trim my ends?” Or “A little bit more off the ends.”, is something common we might say. Meaning, I trimmed her hair. She wants more off. Take a little bit more off the ends. So now let’s look at some common hair problems. When you go to the hairdresser, maybe you want to ask for some advice. You have some sort of problem with your hair. So what are some of these problems people might ask advice for? Well, someone might say, “I have dandruff.” So, what’s dandruff? Dandruff is the little white spots that sometimes cover people’s hair. So if you have black hair it can be really bad, because you have a lot of white spots. So, dandruff usually is because maybe your head is dry. So you might tell the hairdresser, “I have dandruff.” You might also tell the hairdresser, and they’ll probably notice but you might say, “I have split ends.” So what are split ends? Well, if this is your piece of hair and this is healthy piece of hair, a split end is when this piece breaks into multiple pieces, so many pieces. So maybe this hair breaks into this piece, this piece, this piece, this piece. What does this cause? It makes your hair frizzy. So you have lots of little pieces of hair going every which way, all different directions. So these are split ends. So these are two problems. Some other problems you may have – you might say, “My hair is oily.” So what does that mean? If your hair is oily, it’s kind of wet, kind of greasy looking, and usually with oily hair your hair looks shiny, but not in a healthy way, in a greasy way. So this isn’t a good thing. The opposite of when your hair is oily is your hair could be dry. So if your hair is dry, it often has split ends. It’s not shiny. It’s pretty dull, and it looks like you need moisture or conditioner. If your hair is dry you need more conditioner. Another common problem is some people… their hair looks like this. It’s flat. But what they want their hair to look like is this. So they want volume. They want their hair to be bigger, but their hair is very flat. So flat is a problem a lot of people have. They want volume – and I’ll spell volume. So, volume is a good thing. Okay, so how would you ask the hairdresser for advice? Well, if I had any of these problems and I want the hairdresser to help me I may say, “What product”, so by product I mean what shampoo, what conditioner, what hairspray,
what product “would you recommend…” and I can say “for”…
“What product would you recommend for dandruff?” recommend for split ends”? “What product would you recommend for oily hair?” “…for dry hair?” Hopefully, my hairdresser, because he or she is the expert, will be able to give good advice on how I can get rid of these problems. Okay, so I hope you’ve enjoyed our video on going to the hairdresser. If you have any questions or comments, even if you have comments on what I can do for my hair – I’m thinking of getting a cut, but I’m not sure yet – write on the comment board at We will also have some quizzes there so that you can practice your vocabulary, the new vocabulary on these quizzes. So, until next time take care. Learn English for free

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