Getting a haircut in another country, and in another language, can be a challenging experience! But with the right Japanese phrases, you’ll be able to get the look you want.
Use these 26 useful salon phrases to make your appointment, explain what style you want, and more. Let’s jump right in!
Phrases to make and confirm your reservation
1. Yoyaku shite masuka?
→Do you have a reservation?
It is advisable to make a reservation in advance as it might be a bit of wait. In Japan, you can book most salons via website or app.
2-a. Hai, 3(san)-ji ni yoyaku shiteiru (your name) desu.
→Yes, I have a reservation under the name of (your name) at 3.
2-b. Iie, yoyaku shite masen.
→No, I don't have a reservation.
3. Kochira ni gokinyu kudasai.
→Please, fill out the form.
These days, you are very likely to be asked to fill in the form, which is called a karte, to check on allergies, style preference, hair condition and so on, especially when it is your first visit to a salon.
Phrases for explaining what kind of style you’d like
4. Kyo wa dou shimasu ka? / Kyo wa donoyoni shimasu ka?
→What can I do for you today?
5. Kesaki wo totonoete kudasai.
→Can I have a trim, please?
6. 3(San) senchi kurai kitte kudasai.
→Can you cut about 3 centimeters off the length?
Note that in Japan, inches are hardly used.
7. Suite kudasai.
→Can you thin it out, please?
8. Nagasa wa sonomama de.
→Keep the length.
9. Somete kudasai.
→Can I get my hair dyed, please?
10. Highlight irete kudasai.
→Can I get highlights, please?
11. Pāma kakete kudasai.
→Can I get my hair permed, please?
12. Maegami wa dousi masuka?
→What about the fringe?
13. Soroeru dake de ii desu.
→Just a trim will do.
14. Treatment wo shite kudasai.
→Can I have deep conditioning treatment, please?
15. Kono hito mitai ni shite kudasai. / Konna kanji ni shite kudasai.
→I'd like my hair cut like this person. (By pointing at/showing a picture)
As with beauty salons elsewhere, there will be magazines at a Japanese salon which you can refer the staff to. Alternatively, do a quick image search on your phone for the kind of look you're going for and show it to the staff.
16. Kata made kitte kudasai.
→Can you cut it shoulder-length, please?
While having your hair washed
17. Mazu wa shampoo wo shite ikimasu.
→ Let's start with shampoo.
Note that in Japan, a hairdresser likely to put a thin paper over your face during shampoo.
18. Kayui tokoro wa arimasenka?
→ Do you have anywhere itchy on the head?
You nearly always get asked this question while you are being washed your hair.
- Daijobu desu. → No, it’s fine
- Sukoshi. → A little (itchy)
- Kayui! → Yes, it's itchy!
Getting a perm
19. Shimiru tokoro wa arimasenka? / Shimi masen ka?
→ Does the perming liquid sting (your scalp)?
- Daijobu desu. →No, it’s fine
- Sukoshi (shimimasu). →A little (stinging)
- Shimi masu. → Yes, it stings.
20. Atsuku nai desuka? (When a hairdresser uses a hair dryer)
→ Is it too hot?
- Daijobu desu. → No, it’s fine
- Sukoshi (atsui desu). → A little (hot)
- Atsui desu. → Yes, it's hot
The final look
21. Konna kanji de ikaga desuka?
→ Do you like how it's done?
22. Mou sukoshi kitte kudasai.
→ Can you cut a little bit more, please? (And show where you'd like trimmed.)
23. Daijoubu desu.
→ It's fine.
24. Massage shimasu ka?
→ Shall I massage (your shoulders)?
Culturally, it is common that hairdressers will give you a brief shoulder massage after your haircut in Japan. For men, expect that the stylist may give a spritz of menthol on your scalp
25. Otsukaresama deshita.
→ Thank you for your patience – we’re all done.
This phrase is what you expect to hear when everything has done. You can follow it up with our final phrase: "Arigato gozaimasu!" → Thank you!
Now, you know there is nothing to worry about. Nail it with these phrases and get a brand new look on yourself!
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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