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Haircut or Trim, What is the Difference?

Posted by Michael Anthony Salon


We get plenty of calls from people who want to know the difference in price between a haircut and a trim. It is a question I love answering. I take seriously any opportunity to educate my clients. It’s important to help them understand the beauty industry and how its trends come and go over time.

In today’s market stylists charge the same price for cuts and trims. Here’s why. When you go the salon, you receive a consultation, shampoo, cut, and blow-dry. Customers look forward to this pampering time in the salon. Although some people think of trim as taking a less off than a haircut, there is no difference in the service provided… a trim is a haircut and a haircut is a trim.

Not just a cut…


In preparation for the cut, the stylist starts by combing and sectioning your hair. Each section is combed in the direction the hair needs to be cut so that the hair will lay in its desired shape and length. This technique is used for the entire process regardless if the quantity being cut is half an inch or multiple inches. As you can see, a haircut and a trim require the same amount of work. 

A little history…

Back in the 70’s and 80’s most salons, to attract new clients, would price their cuts by the amount of hair that was cut. If you got more than an inch it was a “cut,” less than an inch was a “trim.” The price for the trim was always less and, with that, a trend that customers grew to expect was started. Fast forward to the present where, believe it or not, some salon clients still look for the cheaper trim. The problem is that we’re in a new era, and the salon experience has changed.

So, is there a difference between a cut or trim? Yes, but it isn’t the same as it was in the 70’s. Today’s difference is simply the amount of hair that has to be removed to achieve your desired hairstyle. So when you sit in the chair and tell your stylist that you want “just a trim,” be prepared to describe the look you want. That goal will determine how your stylist proceeds. Remember, good hair styling requires communication between the stylist and the client.

One of my mentors once told me, “It’s not how much I take off but what I leave behind that matters.”

I hope my explanation helps. At Michael Anthony Salon DC all customers receive the highest quality professional service and pampering.

Enjoy your hair!