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Knippen a Little off the Top

Getting your hair cut or styled in an unfamiliar salon can be nervewracking. Having your hair cut in an new country is even more so. A hairdresser-loyal person myself, it took me 10 months to visit a local salon for the first time. But if you want your hair to look good, you probably want to make the leap some time.  Here are a few tips to make the first visit easier.

When looking for a new salon, you’ll want to find a “kapper” (hairdresser) who works at a “kapsalon” (hairdresser’s salon). Fortunately there are many kapsalons in Maastricht and a quick glance through the window will usually tell you if it’s your kind of place. Prices vary greatly, but are usually posted and I’ve found that the best English speakers are in the middle- to high-end options. If language is an issue, you should keep that in mind. Students can often get haircuts at a nice discount if they shop around. The most important thing is that you can communicate with your hairdresser. I like to walk in and speak with someone in the shop before committing to a cut. Bringing a photo can help too.

Once you’ve decided to have your hair done, most salons will accept you as a walk-in (and many don’t take appointments). My hairdresser has a long bench on which customers can line up. As each person gets up, the entire line just slides down. The staff also keeps tabs on the bench and will “cut off” the line if a person comes in too late to have their hair done before the shops closing time.

Speaking of hair, look for “knippen” on price lists for the price of a haircut. Depending on the location, this price will include basic styling and drying as well. Generally, cuts for men and children are cheaper than cuts for women and some salons offer a “pony knip” which is the price for just cutting bangs or fringe. If you see “va” before a price, it means the prices start at that point but may be higher if you have long hair, want something complex, etc.

Having your hair dyed is “verven”. I’ve been playing with hair color since moving to Maastricht and my salon has been very flexible. I always bring a photo of the shade I want and then the hairdresser helps me select something similar from their color book. Many salons also have prices for “highlights” (highlights), “blonderen” (bleaching), and doing foils.

What about barbershops for men? I haven’t seen one yet myself, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you could find one. Look for a “barbier” or if you’re looking for a shave, some kapsalons may offer “scheren”. Otherwise, most kapsalons serve both men and women.

This article originally ran at Maastricht Region: To Live.

Feature image of the highland cow created by Foxypar4. Used via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

4 Responses to “Knippen a Little off the Top”

  1. Invader_Stu says:

    I’ve had a lot of fun trying to find new places in Holland to get my hair cut and then ending up with a very strange hair cut because I always seem to pick the ones that don’t understand English very well (which I freely admit is my own fault for not talking enough Dutch).

  2. Amanda says:

    You’re braver than I. My hair grows so slowly, I get super nervous about who cuts it. :)

  3. I remember I didn’t have a hair cut for the entire first year, until we went back to India for a visit. But slowly I found my way and have come across a great salon for my hair. I find it funny though that I have to always carry a photo or some written notes to explain what I want!

  4. Amanda says:

    I always figure better safe than sorry with the photo. :)