How to get a haircut in Italy

Imagine this scenario: You’re on a study trip to Italy for a few months, and you notice that your hair is getting a little long. You need a haircut!

But how 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 will be?

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

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How do you get a haircut in Italy?

Parrucchiere and barbiere: To each their audience

First of all, let’s list all the types of hairdressers in Italy and their main clientele:

  • 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 will almost exclusively cut men’s hair and beard.

If you are a man, look for either 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 you can walk into the salon and find a seat. Always call or go in person and ask for an appointment. If you’re really in a hurry, you may be able to find a spot for the same day if 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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Language: English / Italian
Publisher: For Dummies
Pages: 672

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Dying your hair is a little more involved than getting a haircut, so when you make your appointment, be sure to specify exactly what you want to be done to your hair. Here are some suggestions you can add 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?

The next step is to decide when you’d like to get your haircut in Italy. If you don’t suggest a date, the hairdresser will look through his or her schedule and come up with a date that works for you. For example, they might 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 another 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.?

If you agree, 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 they are ready, they’ll ask you to take a seat at one of the sinks and they’ll wash your hair. They will then lead 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 would like your haircut.

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 cut, say so. If you want a layered cut, say so. Let’s listen to some of the requests you may need when 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 brochures with different haircuts. You can also point to one on a page or search the Internet to find a haircut you like, so the stylist knows exactly what you need!


Drying your hair

You can ask for your hair to be dried straight or waved.

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

You will probably also be asked 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 may 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 cost 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 that’s the end of 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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