The Ultimate Guide to Getting a Haircut in China 💇🏻‍♂️ Key Words & Phrases

Everything You Need to Know About Getting the Chop in China 💇🏾‍♀️

We know from experience, something that scares our students the most is the dreaded trip to the hairdressers!

One mistranslation and it’s game over…

Haircuts in China – not as scary as you might think!

Let’s be frank, it’s not something we want messed up.

Not to worry, our comprehensive guide is here to make sure you can go to your Chinese hairdresser armed with all the key words and phrases you need to get the exact look you’re after!

Haircut in Chinese – Hair Length in Chinese

Haircut in Chinese – Hair Colour in Chinese

Haircut in Chinese – Hair Texture in Chinese

Haircut in Chinese Asking About the Price

Haircut in Chinese – FAQ’s

Communicating your celebrity inspired hair goals can be a challenge even in your native language, so how exactly are you meant to cope in Mandarin Chinese?

Don’t worry. Let’s start with the basics: how to describe hair’s length, colour, and texture!

Haircut in Chinese – Hair Length

Let’s start off by taking a look at different hair lengths in Chinese:

Short hair短发duǎn fà
Shoulder-length hair及肩发jí jiān fà
Medium-length hair中长发zhōng cháng fà
Long hair长发cháng fà
Hair length in Chinese

So when your hair stylist or hairdresser asks you ‘how would you like your hair cut today? 你头发今天想要怎么剪?’ (Nǐ tóufa jīntiān xiǎng yào zěnme jiǎn?)

You might say you simply want to wash your hair 洗头发 (xǐ tóu fà), or if you’re really treating yourself you might opt for a wash, cut and dry 洗剪吹 (xǐ jiǎn chuī).

You could say you want it shorter, 我想要剪短一点 (Wǒ xiǎng yào jiǎn duǎn yīdiǎn), trimmed 修 (xiū) and maybe also layered 层次 (céngcì). Then, if you’d like to get a fringe, you can say 我想要刘海 (wǒ xiǎng yào liúhǎi).

Hairdresser理发师 lǐfà shī
Hair stylist发型师 fǎxíng shī
Hairstyle发型fà xíng
I want…我想要wǒ xiǎng yào
wash, cut and dry洗剪吹xǐ jiǎn chuī
a hair wash洗头发xǐ tóu fà
a haircut剪头发jiǎn tóu fà
A little shorter短一点duǎn yīdiǎn
a trimxiū
layers层次 céngcì
bangs / a fringe刘海liúhǎi
Haircut vocabulary in Chinese
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Haircut in Chinese – Hair Colour


If you want to get your hair dyed in China, the following sentence will be one to save for later:

I want to dye my hair 我想染发… (Wǒ xiǎng rǎnfà)…

platinum blonde亮金色 liàng jīnsè
ash brown浅棕色qiǎn zōngsè
auburn红褐色hóng hésè
chestnut栗子色lìzǐ sè
copper red红铜色hóng tóng sè
burgundy酒红色jiǔ hóngsè
natural black自然黑zìrán hēi
jet black亮黑色liàng hēisè
Hair colours in Chinese

PS – you can find out more colours with our complete guide to all the colours in Chinese.

How well do you know your colours in Chinese?

What if you would like to get highlights in your hair?

Easy! 我想挑染! (Wǒ xiǎng tiāo rǎn) 挑 tiāo “to pick” + 染 (rǎn) “to dye”.

Haircut in China – Describe your Hair in Chinese

Haircut in Chinese – Hair Texture

First, let’s take a look at the three main hair types:

Straight hair直发zhífà
Wavy hair波浪bōlàng
Curly hair卷发juǎnfà

If you’re off to see a hairdresser, you might be looking to change the texture of your hair. The hairdresser might ask you if would like to have your hair straightened 你想把头发烫直吗? (nǐ xiǎng bǎtóufà tàng zhí ma) or if you want to get a perm 你想烫头发吗? (nǐ xiǎng tàng tóu fà ma).

Haircut in Chinese – Asking About the Price

Finally, how do you ask how much your haircut costs in Chinese?

The most simple way to ask ‘How much does it cost?’ is 多少钱? (duōshǎo qián?)

If you want to ask how all the treatments you got combined cost, you can simply the treatment, for example, “wash and set” and ask how much is that all together? 洗+剪吹。。。一共是多少钱?(Yīgòng shì duōshǎo qián?)

Get practicing and you’ll be a pro in no time!

BONUS: To learn even more Chinese vocab related to money, check out our ultimate guide here!

Good luck at the hairdressers – let us know in the comments if you’ve ever had any hair-raising incidents getting your hair cut in China!

Haircut in China – FAQ’s

How do you say “hairdresser” in Chinese?

Hairdresser in Chinese is 理发师 (lǐfà shī)

How do you say “short hair” in Chinese?

Short hair in Chinese is 短发 (duǎnfà)

How do you say “I want to dye my hair” in Chinese?

I want to dye my hair in Chinese is 我想染发… (Wǒ xiǎng rǎnfà)…

How do I ask for a “wash, cut and dry” at a hairdressers in China?

To have a wash, cut and dry in a Chinese 我想要洗剪吹 (wǒ xiǎng yào xǐ jiǎn chuī).

How would I ask to have my hair straightened in Chinese?

If you would like to have your hair straightened you should say 你想把头发烫直吗? (nǐ xiǎng bǎtóufà tàng zhí ma)

How do you say “straight hair” in Chinese?

Straight hair in Chinese is 直发 zhí fà

How do you say “Chestnut” (as in the hair colour) in Chinese?

Chestnut in Chinese is 栗子色 (lì zǐ sè)

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