How Long Does a Haircut Take for a Man or Woman?

A man in a barber shop getting a quality haircut on his 2C straight hair with an electric trimmer and scissors.

Will you be going to the salon or barbershop in the near future? Then, you’ve got a few things to plan for – including how to get there, how much money to take, and more.

But one of the most mystifying things to figure out prior to your appointment is how long your cut will take. Knowing this information will help you plan out your schedule and manage your expectations.

In this article, we’ll tell you how long you should expect a haircut to take, as well as several factors that affect how long you’ll spend in the stylist’s chair. Let’s get right into it. 

How Long Does a Haircut Take?

On average, a haircut takes between 15 minutes to an hour or more. As you can see, the range is pretty sizeable. There are several reasons for this, and we’ll break them down for you next.   

A black man getting a hair cut and special hair treatment has short hair slightly longer than a traditional buzz cut.

The Difficulty Level of the Cut

Some haircuts are easier to do than others; these will take less time than more intricate cuts. 

Where You Get the Cut Done

At certain salon chains, stylists are required to cut hair quickly. Other salons don’t have strict rules in place regarding how long to spend on a single cut. So, you can expect your cut to take a little longer at these types of salons. 

The Experience Level of Your Stylist

Newbie stylists are still learning the ropes. They may take longer to execute a cut than a veteran stylist would.

How Much Your Stylist Cares

Some stylists aren’t as thorough as others. One that cares a lot might take a little extra time to clean up your hairline or blend your fade. On the other hand, one who’s just trying to get you out of their chair might not take those extra steps.

How Busy the Salon Is

A salon that doesn’t get a ton of business may take longer on your cut simply because they have time. This won’t usually be the case in salons that have an extensive clientele and loads of appointments. 

Whether You’re Getting a Wash

Not every salon or stylist will wash your hair during your appointment. If they do, your appointment will take a few more minutes than it would otherwise. 

Whether You’re Getting a Trim or a Full-on Cut

If you’re simply getting a trim to maintain a particular cut, you’ll be in the chair for just a few minutes. That won’t be the case if you’re getting a whole new cut.

A man getting a proper men's haircut from a professional hairstylist after a shampoo and hot towel treatment.

How Much Time to Set Aside for a Haircut

Given all this information, if it’s your first time getting a haircut, it’s wise to set aside about an hour for your cut. The vast majority of cuts will take less than an hour, but it’s wise to be prepared in case it takes longer than that.

You don’t want to be late for an engagement or obligation because your haircut took longer than you thought it would. 

Do Women’s Haircuts Take Longer? 

In some cases, women’s haircuts do take longer. But this isn’t guaranteed to happen. Oftentimes, women want more complicated cuts than men do. And, let’s face it, women tend to be harder to please than men when it comes to their hair. 

But those aren’t the only reasons why women’s haircuts take longer.

Women are also more receptive to salon conversations, giving chatty stylists free rein to slow down and talk more. We’re not saying that this happens across the board, but it’s relatively common. 

African American man with long hair on his beard getting a scissor cut to create his desired style and line shape.

How Slow is Too Slow for a Haircut?

Let’s go back to our range of 15 to 60 minutes; anything longer than one hour is thought to be a long haircut. Most haircuts shouldn’t take anywhere near an hour, so going over an hour is uncommon and quickly becomes an inconvenience. 

But, of course, there’s an exception.

If you’re someone who has a hard time finding someone who can cut your hair the way you like it, you might be open to a long haircut from someone who knows their stuff.

So long as you get up from the chair satisfied, you might be able to forgive the stylist for taking too long. 

On the reverse side of that is the stylist that takes too long and doesn’t do that great a job. In that case, you can speak up and ask them why it’s taking so long or how much longer it’ll be.

You might turn them off, but timeliness is incredibly important for many people.

If you don’t like the answer, be ready to either find a new stylist or overlook the inconvenience going forward. 

A light-skinned black dude wearing a dark-colored haircutting cape while getting a professional shave.

Should You Tip a Stylist that Cuts Hair Too Slowly?

When you go and get a cut from someone who cuts hair slowly, it can be tempting to leave without tipping. Should you?

Tipping is usually reserved for those who provide outstanding service.

If the speed of the haircut spoiled the experience for you, factor that into your decision and only tip if you feel your stylist deserves it.

If the speed of the cut was annoying but the cut was amazing, consider giving your stylist kudos in the form of a tip. You may not give them as much as you would if they worked quicker, but most stylists will appreciate a small tip over no tip at all. 

Is a Fast Cut Good? 

When it comes to haircuts, faster isn’t always better. Surely, there have been countless instances in which a stylist zoomed through a cut, and the client hated it.

In cases like this, if the stylist had taken more time on the cut, the end result might have come out better.

A few minutes can make a dramatic difference in how well a cut comes out. So, the answer is that a fast cut is good as long as the result meets or surpasses your expectations.

A stylish tattooed barber creates a great haircut on a black man with longer hair that takes roughly 45 minutes.

How to Make Your Cut Go By Faster

After you go for multiple cuts, you’ll get an idea of how long it will take going forward. If your cuts usually take a long time, you don’t have to be upset about it; prepare for it instead.

Here are a few ways to pass the time at a hair salon: 

  • Charge up your phone. When you’re waiting for your stylist to work their magic, your phone can really come in handy. You can play your favorite games, read about current events, watch YouTube, or check out anything else that piques your interest. 
  • Read. Some people find it hard to find time to read. If that’s you, you can use your hair appointment to indulge in a new book.
  • Get to know your stylist. Gauge whether your stylist likes to chat. If they do, strike up a conversation – not only will it help you pass the time, but it could also win you a new friend. 
  • Take a nap. If you feel comfortable enough in your surroundings, you can catch some Zs while your stylist works their magic. If you nodding off makes your stylist’s job harder, close your eyes instead and relax. 
  • Do some puzzles. Bring your favorite puzzle into the shop if you’re not into any of the other options mentioned earlier. Sudoku, word searches, and crossword puzzles are all fair game.

Having prepared for your lengthy cut, you won’t be half as worried about how long it takes.

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So, there you have it – everything you need to know about how long a haircut takes. We hope you found the information you were looking for and that your next hair appointment goes off without a hitch.

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