If your Chinese skills are lacking, or you are new in Guangzhou, you may be apprehensive about getting a haircut. That the language barrier might have you end up looking like a member of C-pop phenomenon TFBoys is a very valid fear.
You can combat this by bringing a picture of your favorite ‘do (see ours below) to any salon and hoping for the best while you gesture towards the photo and use a combination of "wo yao" and "zhe ge."
Or you can read our guide on professional English-speaking stylists below. These are our top picks for Guangzhouers who are serious about having their locks on lock.
All of our choices have staff who speak excellent English and do quality work. So even if you can’t tell jokes like Archer, at least you can have his haircut. And you won’t even have to bring a picture with you to do it.
1. Joseph Fernandes Hair Studio
Joseph is a Brazilian hairstylist who's well known in the local scene. Quite popular among expats in town, he runs a studio in Guangzhou near the Lujiang metro station.
He's the stylist for many models in town. In other words, if someone is making a Blue Steel face at Duo Club and nodding along to the beat of a house music song, they probably got their hair cut by Joseph. Don’t hold it against him though: he is genuinely talented. Joseph speaks excellent English and is fluent in Portuguese too. Men’s haircuts are RMB130, women’s RMB250.
To book an appointment, call 130 1605 7149 or add Joseph on WeChat (ID: josephfernandess).
2. So'o LK Hair Salon
With 35 branches throughout the city, So'o LK has a large presence in Guangzhou. The branches with English-speaking stylists are located at the World Trade Center (ask for Michael), La Perle Shopping Plaza (ask for Gary, Andy and Kelvin) and the Tianhe Bei Voka Street Shop (ask for Ryan). Men's haircuts start at RMB26, women's at RMB85.
To make an appointment via WeChat, contact a stylist (IDs: fung5093, mike64920).
3. Toni and Guy
Conveniently located on the ground floor of Tai Koo Hui on 75 Tianhe Dong Lu, Toni and Guy offers a range of services in an even larger range of prices. Haircuts range from RMB180-780 for both men and women. The stylist at T&G who speaks English, Wendell, mercifully operates at the RMB180 price point.
To book an appointment, call the salon at 3861 5252 and ask for Wendell.
4. 080 Hair Salon
If you want to see how the fuerdai and other minted Chinese get their hair cut, venture here. The cheapest cur for men will be RMB380, RMB680 for the ladies. The level of English isn't as high here as it is at other locations on this list. If cost correlates with quality, though, you are in good hands indeed.
To book an appointment at the salon, call their receptionist at 2283 5111.
[Images via Brock O'Hurn, Sina Weibo, IMDb, Dazhong Dianping]