When you arrived in Buenos Aires, you had perfectly trimmed and coiffed locks. After just a couple months, however, the air pollution, sun and sweat have left your do dry, damaged and dingy. It’s time to go to the salon, for sure! But what’s a girl to expect of salons in Buenos Aires? Well, much like shopping in this city, you’ve got plenty of options. The following is a short guide to finding the right salon, what you can expect from your experience, and how to ask for what you want.
Where to go
There is no shortage of salons in Buenos Aires. With so many choices, you’re going to have to do a little homework before you decide which will be the best for you. Start by reviewing the LandingPadBA.com Short List of hair salons. All of the salons on this list have been thoroughly researched by yours truly and are a good starting point. Since every woman has her own style and her own budget, however, it’s best to do a little more research. So ask around. Have a friend with a cute bob? Ask her where she goes. See a woman on the subte with well-trimmed layers? Ask her too (but don’t forget to compliment her first). Once these recommendations start to overlap, you should feel comfortable heading out on your own.
What to expect
In general, a trip to the salon is similar to that which you’re already accustomed. Some salons will allow you to make an appointment, but others will expect you to show up and wait. In some of the busier salons, this means that you can expect to sit in the lobby for a while before getting that for that Saturday afternoon cut and color. To avoid this conundrum, either choose a salon that will make an appointment, or plan your visit sometime during the regular work week.
How to ask
Once you’ve gotten through the door and you’re in the chair, you’ll then need to explain what it is that you want. If Spanish is your second language, this can be the most daunting of tasks. Even the most confident ex-pat can make mistakes. So don’t be too brave. If you’re not entirely confident, either choose a salon with English-speaking staff (such as Roberto Giordano) or ask a local friend to accompany you. Also, bringing a photo is never a bad idea.
To help you on your way, check out this short list of hair-salon lingo.
Before you leave
Once you’re done, you’ll need to settle your bill. If you take the exchange rate into account, salon services are much cheaper in Buenos Aires than they are elsewhere (a reasonable ballpark figure for highlights, shampoo, cut and blow-dry at a nice salon will be around $300 pesos, or about $85 US). But be careful! As you proceed, you will be asked to select your preferences from a variety of products. These products affect the price of your salon visit in the end. So if you’re on a budget, and you’re given the choice between L’Oreal and Keratase, don’t choose the latter. And unless you’re getting a cut from the owner of the shop, don’t forget to tip your stylist (the standard 10% rule applies with hair salons too)!
There you have it. A trip to the salon in Buenos Aires isn’t just easy, it should be fun. So with a little research and some help from your friends, you are well on your way to that new do!
The Short List: Hair Salons
To some, there is nothing more daunting than trying out a new salon. Well, LandingPadBA.com has your back! Here’s our short list of recommended salons in Buenos Aires:
Juan x Fin, Honduras 5174 (4831-3015)
Juan x Fin is a beautiful salon with great service. Very popular with the young, hipster crowd, you can count on good service here.
Salon Roho, Republica de Indonesia 66 (4901 3292)
A little rock and a little glam, a trip to Salon Roho is fun and funky. And don’t shy away from ordering a trago from the bar if you wind up having to wait for a while.
Cerini, Marcelo T. de Alvear 1442 (4814-0718)
Cerini is a frenzy of activity, but comes with the best of recommendations. It’s fun, it’s hip, and you won’t be left waiting all day long!
Roberto Giordano, Guemes 3553 (4826-6194)
A more tame salon, Roberto Giordano is the best option for those who are not confident with their Spanish. Just tell the English-speaking receptionist what you want, and s/he will translate.
Cool Cuts, Marcelo T. de Alvear 1984 (4815-9575)
One of the newest salons in town, Cool Cuts is re-Fashion!
Is your favorite salon not on our short list? Don’t be shy! Leave a comment with your own suggestions.
Hair Salon Lingo 101
Just a trim: corteme sólo las puntas
I want it short: lo quiero corto
blowout: brushing or secado
even (uniform length): parejo
greasy roots: raices grasas
hair dresser, stylist: peluquera, estilista
hair salon: peluquería
in layers: en capas, a capas
lighten (hair): aclarar
lighter: más claro
shade (of color): tono, matiz
short hair: pelo corto
shorter: más corto
shoulder-length: hasta los hombros