I’m the type of person who puts off getting a haircut in fear of a hairdresser butchering my hair. This fear is magnified in a country where I can’t communicate properly with the man holding the scissors – which is my fault, but that’s not the point. Getting a haircut in China involves repeatedly showing the same photo while everyone in the salon stares at you like you’re an alien.
Some unexpected facts about Chinese hair salons (at least those in Huaqiao):
- 90% of the hairdressers are men! In fact, the closest salon to my house ONLY has male hairdressers and they are all great (and super stylish.)
- Haircuts are insanely cheap, usually between 20 and 40 RMB (an average of $5).
- Men and women pay the same fee for a haircut. My husband and I went in together, my knotted hair required three washes and 5x as more product and took four times as long as his trim. We each paid 30 RMB…
- Many long-haired Chinese women get their hair washed at a hair salon. Our Chinese friend was shocked when I said I washed it myself. His wife goes for salon washes 2 or 3 times a week.
- While haircuts are insanely cheap, hair coloring is extremely expensive in comparison and depends on the length of hair. So while a haircut will cost 30 RMB ($5), dyeing a full head of hair will cost around 1,000 RMB ($150). Luckily, you can do it yourself using quality products for around $10.
- They don’t rush to sweep cut hair off the floor the way they do in the West. Expect to see piles of hair on the floor when you walk in.
- There are as many salons around China as there are pubs in Prague!
If you hate getting your hair cut like I do, just know that you have nothing to worry about in China. As long as you explain exactly what you want, they will do exactly that. So far I’ve had better experiences here than in Prague where they always cut too much or Hawaii where they refused to cut as much as I asked them to.