I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

What kinds of services, besides a hair cut, can you receive at a beauty salon and barber shop? How is a barber shop different from a beauty palor or salon in your area?

HELPFUL TIP: It is customary to leave a tip for the hair stylist when you have your hair done in the US. Tips are not just for restaurants any more.

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

Listen to the conversation by pressing the “Play Audio” button and answer the questions. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

1. What is one service NOT included in the special price at the beauty salon?

A. a hair wash

B. a manicure, or nail trim

C. a massage
2. What does the customer do for a living?

A. He’s an attorney.

B. He works in the health care industry.

C. He’s employed as a town planner.

3. What is one problem that happens to the customer?

A. The beautician gets shampoo in his eyes.

B. The beautician accidently cuts the man’s ear.

C. The treatment causes the man’s hair to fall out.

4. The customer went to this beauty salon to improve his appearance for:

A. a business convention in town

B. a social event with clients

C. an interview for new employment

5. Why can’t the customer complain directly to the manager?

A. The manager is dealing with another customer.

B. The manager is taking time off from work.

C. The manager is out to lunch.

Score =
Correct answers:

Beautician: Hi. How can we help you today?
Customer: Yeah. I’d like to get my hair trimmed a little. Nothing fancy. Just a basic trim.

Beautician: Well, can we interest you in today’s special?

Customer: Um . . . No . . .

Beautician: We’ll shampoo, cut, and style your hair for one unbelievable low price of $9.99 (nine ninety-nine). Plus, we’ll give you a clean shave and a back massage to help you relax.

Customer: We’ll I don’t know. I don’t have much time, and . . .

Beautician: Best service in town!

Customer: Okay, I’ll have the complete service today, but as I said before, I just want to get my hair trimmed. A little off the top and sides. That’s all. I mean, that’s all.

Beautician: No problem. Relax. You’re in good hands. Okay, here we go. Now, how does this work?

Customer: Huh? Wait. You know what you’re doing, right?

Beautician: Relax, sir, relax. I’ve been doing this for ten [cough] [Ten what?] Sit back and relax. So, what do you do for a living?

Customer: I’m a lawyer, specializing in workplace accidents, and I’m in town for an interview for a new job, and . . .

Beautician: Oops.

Customer: What do you mean oops. Hey, can I see a mirror?

Beautician: Nothing to worry about, sir. Relax. I’m just making some adjustments to the hair trimmer. There we are. Okay . . .

Customer: Ouch. That hurt. What are you doing?

Beautician: Nothing to worry about, sir. Relax.

Customer: That’s what you just said a minute ago, and look at all of my hair on the floor. How much are you really cutting off? And where’s a mirror?

Beautician: Oh. And time for the shampoo. Just lean back, and we’ll wash your hair away.

Customer: You mean what’s left of it?

Beautician: Relax. [Your favorite word . . .] Relax.

Customer: Hey, you got shampoo in my eyes. I can’t see.

Beautician: Relax, sir, relax. I’m almost finished.

Customer: Yeah, just wait til I get finished with you!

Beautician: Okay, now let’s dry your hair, put a little styling jell in it, and now style it with a blow dryer, and brush. voila!

Customer: Hey, what happened to my hair? You butchered it! And what’s left of my hair turned purple. What kind of prank are you trying to pull here? Are you even a licensed beautician?

Beautician: Well, sir. We offer a money-back guarantee on all our work, so if you’re not completely satisfied . . .

Customer: Satisfied? I’m anything but satisfied. I want to talk to the manager . . . now!

Beautician: I’m sorry, but he’s on vacation, and he left me in charge, so if you . . .

Customer: How in the world am I supposed to go to a job interview looking like this? Forget it, forget it. Is there anyplace in this town that can give a decent haircut and fix the damage?

Beautician: Well, my brother works next door, and he offers a complete package for . . . .

Customer: I know, nine, ninety-nine. I’ve had it. Forget I even asked.

Key Vocabulary [Top]
  • trim (verb): cut just a little off
    – He got his hair trimmed yesterday at a beauty salon.
  • fancy (adjective): not plain, elaborate
    – She has a real fancy perm.
  • massage (noun): the action of rubbing parts of the body to help with relaxation (also a verb)
    – Some beauty salons give you a shoulder massage after they cut your hair.
  • Huh? (interjection): What?, showing slight surprise
    Huh? Did you say $50 for a simple hair cut?
  • adjustments (noun): small changes or modifications
    – Please wait a minute. I need to make a few adjustments to the equipment before we begin.
  • lean back (also lean forward) (verb): to move the body backwards and down, recline
    – Don’t lean back too far in your chair, or you’ll tip it over.
  • voila (interjection): an expression to indicate satisfied completion
    – Finally, you should bake the cake for 20 minutes, and voila, you’ve made your first cake.
  • butcher (verb): to kill, and in this case, to cut without care
    – My brother tried to cut his own hair with school scissors and without a mirror, and he really butchered it badly.
  • in charge (adjective): in control
    – She is in charge of the new project.
  • decent (adjective): nice, acceptable, proper
    – The students did a decent job on the class presentation.