Hair reflects our personality. It’s one of many ways a woman expresses to the world her identity. Walking out the doors with a botched dye job or dealing with a scissor-happy stylist who took off way too much can be a downright traumatic experience, ending in severe disappointment and sometimes even tears. In China some are so afraid of a trip to the salon that they turn to trimming their own hair—gasp—but the linguistically impaired needn’t resort to this kind of behaviour. Guangzhou boasts many internationally recognized salons, and while they sometimes come at a price, rest assured: “a little off the top” won’t translate to “grab the hedge clippers.” Here is a list of five salons that excel in terms of English-speaking services and top quality products.
Photo courtesy of Toni & Guy
Although signs boasting Toni & Guy are sometimes as ubiquitous as fake Louis Vuitton and Gucci products, Guangzhou does host two, legitimate options. I stopped by the one located on the 2nd floor of the Sinopec Tower in Tianhe, and despite the fact they were preparing for a big show the next day, Alex invited me to sit down for a chat. Alex worked with Toni & Guy in England for four years and has over eight years of experience working with Western hair. According to him, “Western hair is very different from Chinese hair, and it's important for a stylist to understand that in order to take the best care of it and be able to give you the look you want.”
Walk-ins are accepted but reservations are recommended to make sure your stylist is ready the second you arrive. If Alex is booked, he also works with Tony, Ronny, and Simon (the senior technician), all of which speak English. By the way, Mondays this March provide 40% off color treatments, and there is a 50% student discount (with valid student ID).
Toni&Guy View In Map
Add: Shop 245-246, 2F, Bercy plaza, Sinopec Tower, 191Tiyu Xilu, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 3892 2110
Opening hours: 10:00-21:00
Price: Cut, 580 RMB; Colour/highlight,450 – 1000 RMB; Perm/hair treatments, 300 - 1500 RMB
Getting there: Take Metro line 3 to Linhe Xi and turn right on Tianhe Beilu from the station. The Sinopec tower is on the opposite corner at the intersection of Tianhe Beilu and Tiyu Xilu.
Additional locations can be found at www.toniandguy.com.cn
2) Luis Kraemer Artisan Coiffeur
If you don't shy at the idea of a hefty price tag to accompany your new look, Luis Kraemer may just be your stop. Although it wasn't the priciest place we visited, a simple cut will still run you well over 200 RMB, but that may be well worth it if you are familiar with their salons in France, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Morocco, and Thailand. One of their stylists, Kenny, grew up in Toronto and speaks soft but excellent English; however, you may also ask for KK or Alvin. The salon is on the 5th floor of the La Perle shopping center and you can stop by Louis Vuitton for an authentic bag on your way out. The salon boasts a classy and elegant interior with dark wood accents and attentive staff. Products used include Kerastas, Nioxin and the all-natural line by Macademia. These people know how to care of your precious tresses.
Luis Kraemer, Artisan coiffeurView In Map
Add: 5/F La Perle Shopping Center, No. 367 Huanshi Donglu, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 8331 3466
Opening hours: 10:00 – 22:00
Price: Cut 238+ RMB; Colour/highlight, 400-900 RMB; Perm/treatment, 900-1500 RMB; Styling, 260-680 RMB.
Getting there: Take Metro line 5 to Taojin, exit B
3) Magic Hair Salon
Magic Hair Salon is located on the 2nd floor of the Guangyi Building (right next to the Paddy Field), and in keeping with its name you are transported to a magical place where hair salon and social hot spot come together in perfect harmony. Magic boasts a pleasant, open atmosphere with a bar, ample seating area, modern dark wood and white interior that just screams class, and you can enjoy all this without distraction due to their magical ability to mask the typically pronounced scent of hair. They are a bit more affordable and offer services beyond just hair, with manicures or a bikini wax also appearing on their list of services. English speakers should request Vince.
Magic Hair SalonView In Map
Add: 2/F Guang Yi Building, Huale Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 8356 1730
Opening hours: 11:00 – 20:00
Price: Cut 10+ RMB; Colour/highlight, 400+ RMB; Perm/treatment, 400+ RMB; Manicure, 80+ RMB; Bikini Wax, 150+ RMB
Getting there: Take Metro line 5 to Taojin, exit A. Walk forward to the staircase. Head down and continue going straight. Turn left when the road ends – the Guangyi building is approx. 100 meters ahead on your right.
4) Sunny House
If you are looking for some hair care that's both affordable and impressive, try David over at Sunny House. David's English isn't as smooth as some of the other stylists interviewed, but he has been working with Western and Chinese hair since 2003. Sunny House is even easier on the wallet but still uses Western brands such as Bed Head to give your hair a little TLC. Sunny House has ample space and, if lucky (or have requested it), you could probably get a chair near one of their many televisions while David takes care of you. Sunny House offers a full range of hair care options and enjoys repeat business from foreign clientele.
Sunny HouseView In Map
Add: 35 Huale Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 8382 4913
Opening hours: 10:30-22:30
Price: Cut and blow dry, 48 – 280 RMB; Colour/highlight, 180+ RMB; Perm/treatment, 168+ RMB
Getting there: Take Metro line 5 to Taojin, exit A. Walk forward to the staircase. Go down and continue heading straight. Turn left when the road ends – the Guangyi building is approximately 200 meters ahead on your left.
5) Raymond Hui 080 Hair Salon
Last, but certainly far from least expensive, is the 080 Salon located in the Jianguo Hotel. If you refuse to have anything other than products such as Shiseido or Schwarzkopf come anywhere close to your head, this is the place for you. Although the level of English spoken wasn't quite as impressive as with stylists such as Alex or Kenny, Jimmy Chan, the salon manager, will make sure to take good care of you. Bring a lot of cash – a cut will run you no less than 330 RMB.
Raymond Hui 080 Hair SalonView In Map
Add: 6/F Jianguo Hotel, No. 172 Linhe Central Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 2283 5111
Opening hours: 10:00 – 22:00 (call in advance to schedule appointments before 10)
Price: Cut, 330 RMB; Colour/highlight, 680 – 1580 RMB; Perm/treatment, 500 – 2000 RMB; Softening, 180 – 900 RMB
Getting there: Metro line 3 to Guangzhou East Railway Station, exit F. Turn left and walk straight 500 yards until you see the Jianguo Hotel. Elevators are to your right as you enter the lobby.
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Keywords: where to get haircut Guangzhou Expat friendly hair salons Guangzhou best hair salons Guangzhou
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