Getting a Good Haircut in Thailand

February 27, 2014
Getting a Good Haircut in Thailand

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I think it’s fair to say that a bad haircut is every girl’s fear. Ask any of my friends… there have only been a few times when I’ve gotten my haircut and haven’t cried about it. It’s always a little too short or not short enough–or I was given bangs… I am very attached to my curly mane. Imagine my surprise when I got my haircut in Thailand and didn’t shed a single tear.  Sure, I played it safe. But, I actually liked it!

I’ve heard horror stories about getting a haircut in Asia. You ladies know how intimidating this can be! Of course, the language barrier makes it difficult to express what you want done, but our hair texture may also be different from that of a Thai person’s. There are a few women with waves and curls, but most Thai women have thick, dark, straight hair. I’d say this is a fair generalization, just looking around at my students and neighbors. I have medium thickness, curly hair that is frizzy and hard to manage in this weather. My hair just isn’t made for the heat and humidity of this country.

But my hair was growing longer, constantly in a bun on the tippy top of my head, and I needed a change. I needed to get it off my neck. I needed to get rid of the dead ends and tame the frizz. I’m in Thailand for nine more months, and so there wasn’t really another option. I needed to suck it up, prepare to deal with the aftermath, buy a hat just in case, and get my hair cut.

Getting a Good Haircut in Thailand.

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My curly mane

Trusting someone who doesn’t speak your language with scissors to your head is a big deal.

Now, I can only speak for the place that I went to – Red Salon in Central Plaza, Chon Buri. I received an amazing shampoo complete with head massage, haircut, and blow dry for 400 Baht. That’s about $12.50 for a haircut whereas I usually pay around $40 back in the States. With limited language ability, I expressed that I wanted a few inches cut off, which the hair dresser quickly realized while laughing at my awful dead-ends; there is no room for coyness in this country.

The stylist was a 20-something with funky clothes and gorgeous hair, so I knew she would take good care of me. I was slightly nervous when she asked if I wanted my hair cut straight or in a U-shape, but was pleasantly surprised when she moussed up my hair and used a diffuser to, as she said, give me my curls. Though I played it safe with a simple cut, and didn’t go with any layers, I was very happy. Sure, if I was in the States I would have gone for a more drastic change, but my hair feels healthier and no tears were shed.

Getting a Good Haircut in Thailand.

Trusting someone who doesn’t speak your language with scissors to your head is a big deal. Bring photographs for reference if you want a style change, and be exact when showing how much hair you want cut. If you see the stylist begin to pull all of your hair to the top of your head and get out her scissors, make a scene. Run away and find somewhere different. Seriously.

A friend had this happen to her the last time she had her hair cut in Thailand. It horrified me! I made sure to keep my eye on what the stylist was doing, and was ready to shout mai ao, kah (which basically means NO!) if necessary. However, I was well taken care of and appreciated that my stylist recognized my curly hair and wanted to help it look its best.

Red Salon is a chain, and you can find other locations and similar stylists closer to you. If you don’t have one near you, the moral of this story is to not be afraid. Go to any salon and expect the worst! Be vocal, tell them exactly what you want, and if it’s not what you expected you’ll be happy with the result! It’s hair, and it grows back…and hats are incredibly practical in this country!


You can read more about Red Salon here. Top photo by Unsplash.

About Nichole Baldino

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