Getting a haircut while travelling can be the greatest souvenir ever or the biggest mistake you will have to live with until you get home. It’s more memorable than buying Turkish delights or other souvenirs because it’s really intimate.
One friend strongly advised not to get a haircut in Turkey because Turkish hair is so different from blond that Turkish hairstylists don’t know what to do with it. But it depends on how professional hairdresser is.
But what if you have no choice? Firstly, ask your native friends for the recommendations (Thanks, Ezel!).
When you are seated, the barber will wash your hair if necessary. A cape is fastened around your neck and you are asked how you would like your hair done.
Most hairdressers don’t speak any English, but with a translator (or app) and a lot of hand gestures, body language or pictures in magazines you can reach great results.
After a haircut the hair is washed for the second time. It is a little bit strange, but they make great head massage, so it doesn‘t matter.
To have a haircut for a woman takes about one hour, for a man – two hours, so you have to plan your time before going to hairdressers.
Well, I have to say that the haircuts are made by men. That was a new experience for me.
The apprentices spend many hours just watching, cleaning and preparing equipment before they are even allowed to touch the hair.
Women just serve tea, passes towels and assist if required.
A haircut costs somewhere between 10 – 20 TL (4.5 – 9 EUR). Of course, I paid more – 30 TL (14 EUR). I don‘t know the reason why maybe because my hair is different from Turkish or maybe just because I‘m a foreigner. Well, this time I haven‘t argued because I really love my new look.
Women's Hairstyles in Turkey
Women in Turkey are also known for having hairstyles that are functional as opposed to "stylish". They wear their hair in braids, with a head cover of some type (mainly head scarves). The main reason for this specific style is because of the extremely hot climate in Turkey. This way, women are still able to maintain the long length preferred by Middle Eastern culture while still attaining some level of comfort.
Unacceptable/ unpopular haircuts in Turkey
Styles like mullets or shaved heads (especially for women) are not typically as welcomed as the traditional customs for hair.
Interesting fact: Turks take hair very seriously. So seriously that it is considered a national art form and foreigners are not allowed to be employed as barbers in Turkey.