Visiting Italy and need a haircut? We’re hoping this post will help you avoid any misunderstanding when it comes to sitting in a chair and getting your haircut in Italy.
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A stylist or hairdresser is a person who can perform miracles or cause complete disasters. It’s a difficult profession, I don’t think anyone can argue that. For years I held a nail license and believe me – I have quite a few stories of my own.
But hopefully, this post will help you emerge with a fantastic cut and style without any disasters.
How to Find a Salon for a Haircut in Italy
First and foremost you have to find a location. Salons aren’t always located on the main street of town. If you know of someone, ask for a recommendation. Even your Airbnb owner might have a suggestion or, perhaps the town has a Facebook group you can pose the question there.
The word or sign you need to search is “parruchiere” for a woman’s or unisex hairdresser. “barbiere” is the sign or word if you are looking for a men’s barber. Most salons provide services for both men and women.
Making an Appointment for a Haircut
There are few “walk-in” salons in Italy. Most of the time, you need to request an appointment. If you find a place and decide to walk in, start immediately with a greeting… “Buongiorno” or “Buonasera.” Just as a side note, you should always enter a store with a greeting, it’s just proper to do so.
If you want to make an appointment, you’ll need to know the days of the week:
Monday – lunedì
Tuesday – martedì
Wednesday – mercoledì
Thursday – giovedì
Friday – venerdì
Saturday – sabato
Sunday – domenica
I can guarantee they will be closed on Sunday. Almost all businesses such as this are closed on Sunday.
It’s a Matter of the Time
So now you will be prepared to know the Italian words for the days of the week. Next will be about your appointment time. The word “alle” will be used before the time.
The 24-hour clock is much more popular in Europe than it is in the United States, and Italy is no exception. But many Italians will have no trouble understanding you if you use the 12-hour format, especially if you indicate what time of day you really mean by adding these temporal expressions:
In the morning – di mattina
If you’re looking for… In the afternoon – del pomeriggio
In the evening – di sera
At night – di notte
Appointment Day Has Arrived
Finally… you might be a little nervous about your appointment but, consider it an adventure. I know I’m not the norm but I always feel like I might get a better haircut than I thought or… it will grow.
It might be a great idea to bring along a few photos of the haircut you are seeking. But, even with getting a haircut back home – you have to be reasonable. If the photo has beautiful curls and your hair is bone straight… you have to know that without a perm, it isn’t going to happen. I’m sure you know.
Here are a few more terms to help you through the process:
A haircut – taglio
I’d like just a trim – Vorrei tagliare solo le punte
A layered cut – Un taglio scalato
A blunt cut – Un taglio pari
Bangs – La frangia
Color is a whole other thing and I would probably ask someone who speaks Italian to go with you on this type of appointment. Color isn’t quite as easy to deal with as a few months to grow out a cut that wasn’t exact.
The last step is having your new cut styled or blow-dried “fare la piega.” Most Italians would never consider walking outside with a wet head – very superstitious of the draft. So the stylist will ask “Come li asciughiamo?” meaning – how shall he/she dry it? Here’s your choice of responses – depending on your hair, of course.
Straight – lisci
Curly – ricci
To Tip or Not to Tip
This is entirely up to you. Tipping is not expected but is always appreciated. If you had a wonderful experience and you are only just going one time – I would. Living in Italy, I don’t tip for just a haircut and blow-dry. If I were getting color and spending quite a bit of time in the salon, I might think differently.
Conclusion on Getting a Haircut in Italy
Most of all, I hope this post helps you with any concerns or apprehensions you might have while on vacation and needing a haircut. We’d love to hear comments of any major experiences you had in another country getting your new style.