Guide to Getting a Haircut in China

This guide will talk about a sensitive subject for a lot of foreigners in China. Getting a haircut is not a fun experience and tends to go wrong more times than right. We will talk about the difference between an expensive haircut and a cheap one. After this article, you will understand the struggle foreigners go through when cutting their hair.

Researching Where To Get A Haircut

Before deciding a place you can use Baidu ( Chinese google ) to look up reviews to try and make a better choice. I recommend having pictures of yourself or from the internet showing the type of style you want. Secondly, Translate instructions to the person you are working with. For example, how short you want to hair or the colour you like to dye it.

It is also recommended to bringing a Chinese friend to be your translator. You may be thinking why is it so complicated to get your haircut?  I got some bad news, assume you will get a bad haircut. Most Chinese barbers are not used to cutting a foreigners hair due to the hair structure and style. Sometimes they will turn down your business as they do not want the responsibility of messing it up.

Expensive Chinese Barber Shop

Let’s talk about what an experience is like at an expensive location. First, you enter the barber and they will wash your hair and give you a 10-minute head massage afterward dry your hair and begin cutting it. Throughout the service, they probably offer you free drinks and snacks. At the end of the service, they will add fancy hair gels.

The cost varies but 200 RMB up to 1000 RMB for the haircut. Depends on what you are doing. For example, for men, a regular cut will be 200 RMB while for a woman if they get a cut and colour their hair it is closer to the 1000 RMB. The female foreigners tend to dye their own hair at home as they don’t always get a good experience.

Cheap Chinese Barber Shop

At a cheap location, you pay 40 -100 RMB. You still get your hair washed but no massage. I recommend for a fresh blade and pay an additional charge of 30 RMB  for hygiene purposes at a cheaper location. The reality is the skill of a cheap barber and expensive barber is pretty much the same. This is why going to a cheaper location is the best option. The quality is going to be relatively the same. Finding a barber that speaks English is very difficult so if you do manage to find someone that speaks good English then this is someone you probably want to stick with.

This article is meant for places in China that not Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Shenzhen. You have a better chance of getting a good haircut at those places. Overall, getting a haircut in China can be a hit or miss experience. This market has a lot of space to grow and develop the skills it needs for consistency for foreigners hair style. Local Chinese often complain themselves saying it too expensive for what you get. At the end of the day, it’s important to be optimistic and simply hope for the best

Have you ever had a haircut in China before? I love to hear about your experience below.

Relax and Enjoy the day!
Laowai Montana


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