As a girl, I have a vision with my haircut. Basically, I want to look good. I usually like short hair but – I don’t know where it came from – there’s the universal image of a pretty girl with wavy long hair with the wind… It’s every girl’s (or boy’s?) dream, I’d say. As far as I can tell, every girl wants to have long hair at least once in her lifetime. I’ve tried to grow it longer for years and years but I wasn’t patient enough. I always quit it and said “I look better in short hair anyway…”


For the last sixth months while I was traveling, I successfully maintained the long hair with only one reason – it’s easier to travel. But I reached the point that I couldn’t do anything with my hair anymore. You know (if you are a girl or you’ve had long hair before), when your hair is not short enough to let hair down or not long enough to tie it up. And frankly, I want some change. So, one fine day in Jinghong, Xishuangbanna, China, I’ve decided to get a haircut. There were at least one hair salon in every two blocks in the town. I supposed they would know what they do.


Chinese hairstyle
Chinese hairstyle and the price
Getting ready to get a haircut
Explaining “That’s the hair I want!”


The problem was, how to…?

My Chinese is not good enough to discuss fashion and most of the people in Xishuangbanna are not speaking Mandarin anyways. For describe what I want more clearly, I pulled out one of my old photo from my phone and showed it to the hairdresser. The process went smoothly. She understood my needs and she looked pretty arty fartsy.


When she was starting to cut my long hair, I saw the problems that maybe we didn’t communicate clearly. Before she cut, she drew something for me to choose. I thought that was for how much layer I wanted. She must have understood as ‘a lot of layer’ because her scissors were moving vertically not horizontally. I needed to stop her and drawing another set of hair on the paper to explain what I want. We looked through 5 different magazines to pick a style that suited me. Chinese hairstyle is not really my taste, to be honest. Some of the were just too dramatic.


getting a haircut in China
Nervous for the haircut
Getting a haircut in China
Getting my haircut in China


It went smoothly after that. I felt bad because it took a long time for all the communicating process. At the end, I quite liked the hair she created. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted but I’m quite satisfied with all the process. I like the hairstyle, but most of all I appreciated her patience. Jinghong, Xishuangbanna was one of a few places that we liked in China. It was not so much easy to travel around China in so many levels, but Jinghong was relatively easy. They must be used to communicate with lots of different types of people – tribe people – and travelers. Maybe that’s why our hairstylist had so much patience to deal with two foreigners who couldn’t speak her language. I’d never thought about a haircut in Guilin or Jiangcheng.

Once again, this is what travel is all about; experience. I was little worried about having a wrong haircut after saw the hairstyles on the wall, but it was a pretty successful mission. Oh! And it only costs me 25 yuan (roughly 3.5 USD) and 15 yuan (2 USD) for Stephen. Ain’t bad, huh?


Haircut it China ain't bad
Chinese hairstylist’s masterpiece

11 thoughts on “Getting a Haircut in China ain’t Bad”

  1. 15 years ago we tried to get haircuts in China. We went into a store with a revolving pole, only to find that it was a professional establishment of a different kind. Apparently the mayor of the town had decided that it was more respectable to have the brothels disguised as barbers shops. I wish they had put an English sign up though! In the end, they actually cut our hair, and very well!

    1. haha that’s quite a story! No they don’t have an English sign but they had glass doors and all the door was open. Two ladies were working there and they had lots of customers – getting a haircut. 😀

  2. I LOVE the new haircut!! I hate getting my hair cut. I hadn’t had it cut in over a year before my Mum visited me in Australia and begged me to let her cut my hair!! I just don’t seem to trust anyone with it, I guess a lot of girls are like that!

    Yours looks lovely though 🙂

  3. Nice haircut! I had my haircut when I visited china qutie a while ago now (beautiful country) however, as the asian race seems to have much thinner hair then caucasians… The hairdresser seemed a little puzzled to say the least hehe, although it wasn’t a complete catastrophe.

  4. Toscana and I both like the new cut! She said, “Check you out getting your haircut in China” and when she saw the reflection of Uncle Stephen taking the photo of you getting your haircut, she said, “Check you out guy, taking a photo and getting yourself in the reflection.”
    We hope the Kiwis and Loon are doing well. Your balmy unplanned destination looks GREAT!! I’m jealous!

    1. Thanks uncle Michael ! (like what Kiwi bros would say). It was a challenge but successful. Quite happy with my new hair. 🙂 But it’s hard to control in the morning, the hair is in every direction! 🙂

  5. You are very brave Juno for attempting do describe a hair style with a language barrier. All-in-all they did a very fine job. We like the new hairdo! 😉

  6. I love that kind of style of hair cut, But the problem is that if I cut that kind of style it’s not fit in the shape of my face.

  7. Juno!
    Love the post and the haircut. I clicked through from Twitter because the headline so reminded me of an experience my son’s had in China getting their haircut. Sounds like yours went much more smoothly. 🙂 Congratulations and looking forward to reading more.

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