How to get a haircut in Italy

Picture yourself this scenario: you’ll be spending a few months in Italy on a study trip and you notice your hair’s getting a bit too long. You need a haircut!

But how exactly do you get a haircut in Italy? What do you have to ask to get your hair done a certain way? How about asking how much the bill is?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the different ways you can ask to have your hair cut during your visit to Italy with many native audio recordings so you may never get hair in your eyes. Read on to learn everything you need!

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How do you get a haircut in Italy?

Parrucchiere and barbiere: To each their audience

First things first, let’s list all kinds of hairdressers in Italy and their main audience:

  • parrucchiere (male hairdresser)
  • parrucchiera (female hairdresser)
  • barbiere (barber)

A parrucchiera will almost exclusively cut women’s hair, a parrucchiere will mainly cut women’s hair and a barbiere works almost exclusively on men.

If you are a man, either look for a parrucchiere or a barbiere.

If you are a woman, search for a parrucchiere or a parrucchiera.

Il parrucchiere, la parrucchiera, il barbiere
The male hairdresser, the female hairdresser, the barber

woman getting her hair done

Always make an appointment

Don’t assume that you can walk into the hair salon and find a spot. Always give them a call or personally show up at the place and ask them to make an appointment. If you’re particularly in a hurry, you may find a spot for the very same day, provided you let them know in the morning.

For starters, say…

Buongiorno, vorrei prendere un appuntamento per…
Good morning, I would like to make an appointment for…

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Dying your hair takes a bit more than having it cut, so when you make an appointment make sure you specify just what kind of job you need doing to your hair. Here are a few suggestions you can append to the request above:

… una messa in piega
A hairdo

… un taglio
A haircut

… tingere i capelli
Dying my hair

… una permanente
A perm

… fare dei colpi di sole
Having some highlights done

… una spuntatina
A trip

woman not so satisfied with her new haircut

When will you have your haircut done?

Next, you have to decide when you’d like your haircut in Italy. If you don’t suggest any dates, a hairdresser will browse through their agenda and come up with a suitable date for them. For example, they could say…

Va bene venerdì alle 15?
Is Friday at 3 p.m. okay?

If it’s ok, you can simply say…

Va bene, grazie!
All right, thank you!

If you’d like to have your hair done at a different time, you can ask:

Avrebbe posto per domani mattina?
Would you have room for tomorrow morning?

Avrebbe posto per sabato prossimo alle 17?
Would you have room for next Saturday at 5 p.m.?

When you reach an agreement, they will ask for your name so they can remember you.


Getting your haircut in Italian

Now it’s time to show up at the hair salon! As you enter, greet them with a buongiorno and tell them you have an appointment by your name.

Buongiorno. Sono [name], ho un appuntamento per le 15.
Good morning. I’m [name], I have an appointment for 3 p.m.

When ready, they will ask you to take a seat at one of the wash basins and they’ll wash your hair. They will then guide you to your seat where they will cut your hair (if you need to dye it, they will dye it first and then wash it) and then ask you how you want your haircut done.

Come li facciamo?
How will we cut them?

hairdresser applying shampoo on a customer

At this point, you can clearly state what kind of service you need. If you want a short haircut, say so. If you want a layered cut, say so. Let’s listen to a few prompts you might need when you’re getting a haircut in Italy.

Vorrei un taglio corto e scalato.
I would like a short, layered haircut.

Può farmi la frangia un po’ più corta?
Can you make my fringe a little shorter?

Vorrei tagliarli di un paio di dita.
I would like to cut [them of] a couple of fingers.

Può farmi la riga in mezzo?
Can you part my hair in the middle?

Vorrei tagliare solo le punte.
I would like to cut off only the tips.

woman brushing her hair

At the hairdresser’s you will often find booklets featuring various kinds of haircuts. You can also point at one of them on a page or browse the Internet to find a haircut you like, so the hairdresser will know exactly what you need!


Drying your hair

You can ask to dry your hair straight or wavy.

Vorrei i capelli lisci. Vorrei i capelli mossi.
I would like straight hair. I would like wavy hair.

They will likely also ask if you want some lacca, hairspray.

Metto un po’ di lacca?
Shall I put some hairspray?


Getting your beard cut

If you are a man, you might want to have your beard professionally shaved. You can say…

Vorrei tagliarmi la barba.
I would like to have my beard shaved.

guy who needs his bead shaved

How much is it?

You can ask how much everything will amount to when you first ask for an appointment. Simply say…

Quanto costa una messa in piega?
How much is a hairdo?

Quanto costa un taglio?
How much is a haircut?

Quanto costa fare una tinta?
How much is a hair dye?

And this is it with our lesson on how to get a haircut in Italy! If you still have any doubts, feel free to leave a comment.


What next?

Now that you’ve seen how to get a haircut in Italy, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

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