It’s approaching that time again.. your ends are split, your fringe is obscuring your sight and trying to style your hair has become futile. Time for a haircut. But now you’re in China, will you brave the Chinese hairdressers? Despite a dazzling abundance of hairdressers in China (there is one on every corner) it has taken me a very long time to dare stepping into one of these establishments. I have been avoiding it mostly because stories from other foreigners having terrible haircuts in China have put me off, but also because hairdresser vocabulary did not really come up in my textbooks. So without further ado, let me give you some tips to prepare yourself for the Chinese Haircut experience:
Fancy is not always better.
The layout and appearance of hair salons in China can be misleading, especially since each of them try to outdo each other in terms of grandeur and extravagant decorations. But don’t be fooled, fancy doesn’t necessarily mean better or expensive. The best thing to do is to ask how much your cut will cost before you have it.
Yes, 30 RMB for a decent haircut is actually quite normal in China, even for girls. With the competition being so fierce, you will rarely spend more than 100 RMB for a simple haircut in China. You may be offered different prices dependant on the stylist. To ask for a haircut you can say 我想剪头发.wǒ xiǎng jiǎn tóu fa. To ask for the price you can say 多少钱？duōshao qián?
Head massage included.
Having your hair washed and dried in China does not usually cost extra, and what’s best, the washing part is almost always accompanied by a shampoo head massage. Bliss. You may be asked if you want your hair conditioned, so here is some vocabulary that might be good to remember:
Shampoo: 洗发水 xĭfàshuĭ
Conditioner: 护发素 hùfàsù
Hair gel: 啫哩 zhělí
To the cut!
When you finally get to the salon chair after a relaxing head massage, you’ll firstly be asked what style you want. 你想怎么剪nǐ xiǎng zěn me jiǎn – How do you want your hair cut? Here are some words that will come in handy for your answer:
Cut: 剪发 jiănfà
Trim: 修剪 xīujiăn
Layers: 层次感 céngcì găn
To thin out: 打薄 dăbáo
After your cut, you may be shampooed again, or your hair will be blow-dried. Another interesting experience.
Now go out and test your new vocabulary at a Chinese hair Salon!
Are you interested in coming to China? Find out more about your opportunities here.