Be careful what you ask for.

So here’s a question that’s easy to overlook: How is a hairstylist supposed to cut your hair? “He’s supposed to cut it like you tell him to” seems like an obvious answer, but then again so does “He’s supposed to cut it so it looks good.”

In a perfect world, those two methods would always overlap, but reality isn’t always so simple. For example, Twitter user @qin_tokyo, who was born and raised in Shanghai but now lives in Japan, recently retweeted some photos he found on Chinese social media. The photos show a man who went in for a haircut somewhere in China and who came out with an equilateral triangle shaved into his head.

And no, this isn’t some trendy new fashion craze that’s caught on among hip and cool Chinese youth. So what happened?

Well, in the above tweet, it’s only the two photos on the top that show the customer. On the bottom left is a video of a hairstyling model that the customer showed to his stylist, asking him to replicate the cut from the video.

Unfortunately, the stylist apparently looked at the paused video, with the transparent triangular play icon in the middle of the screen prompting the device’s user to restart the video, and thought that the customer wanted that same skin-toned geometric shape gracing his right temple, and followed the visual direction he’d been given exactly.

Reactions to @qin_tokyo’s tweet included:

“People are totally going to want to tap the side of his head.”
“Too bad he can’t hit ‘rewind’ on his haircut.”
“What if the player had shown the pause icon instead? Would the stylist have shaved two vertical lines into his head?”
“I think his new haircut actually looks pretty good!! (〃ゝ∇・)ゞ♪”

Regarding the last comment, just as its sometimes the man that makes the clothes, there’s a certain circa-1990 flair to the customer’s new ‘do, and if he paired it with a baggy suit in a flashy color, perhaps purchased from this Tokyo fashion landmark, he just might be able to pull it off. And baffling as the stylist’s interpretation may have been, the customer’s hair is indeed expertly and neatly trimmed.

Still, this is probably why it’s a good idea to avoid napping or staring at a smartphone or magazine for the entire time the stylist is cutting your hair, just in case you need to make some corrections to your request.

Source: Twitter/@qin_tokyo via Jin