Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cutting your Hair in Brazil

If you came to this post looking for some helpful tips on how to find a good hairdresser or useful vocabulary to help you with cutting your hair while in Brazil, move it along.  You ain't gonna find anything helpful here.  In fact, if you HAVE helpful tips or useful vocab, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD post them in the comments!

It's taken me 2 years trying to find a good hairdresser, trying to build up some helpful vocab, trying to show pictures and explain (at least with actions) what I want.  I've never gone back to the same hairdresser twice.  I've gone back for a re-cut about 5 of the 7 times I've had my hair cut.  I've cried afterwards 4 of the 7 times.  It has been truly traumatizing for me to find a hairdresser.

I think it all started when I was about 8 years old and my mom took me to her hairdresser, a bald European man named Ram.  I cried after that cut because "I looked like a lion and I didn't want to look like a lion".  Damn beautiful mane.  There began my complex.  

The problem is that I have such a SPECIFIC idea in my mind, that no other cut can live up to what I am imagining.  Trust me, I have done serious research so that I can explain accurately the tool needed for some effect, or how high my layering should start (in English, of course).  I am a freak, I know it.  I just wish I could cut my own hair.  Oh, ps.  I've gone home and cut my own hair MYSELF all 7 times I've had my hair cut in Brazil. 

So hair cutting time arrived again yesterday.  I looked for lots of pictures online because this time I was getting a drastic cut.  This time I was going short.  I've had short(ish) hair all my life - I like it better on me and I think it looks way more modern and cool.  This long hair business in Brazil was overwhelming (see: about 80% of women have long long LONG hair).  I tried to grow it just to fit in a bit better.  In fact I've been growing it out for the last year.  But I've been getting sick of long hair.  It's just not me.

So yesterday I went to the salon.

I have this idea that more expensive is better - I don't know if it's necessarily true but I want to believe that they are more experienced or it's more difficult to get into the fancy salons.  I went to a pretty big chain here called Werner's (tip: It's 10% cheaper if you go Monday-thursday and it's 10% more on that if you pay in cash.  But it still costs freaking R$62 after all those discounts.  Ugh).

Fast forward to the end of the cut.  I didn't like it (obviously) but I asked him to fix up a few parts here and there.  Problem is, my vocab is limited to "Eu queria que ele ficar mais curto aqui, Nao queria tao comprido.  Pode usar aquela coisinha (make action of a razer slicing) para cortar este parte aqui?  Na verdade, eu queria mais (make action of different levels in my head implying layers)".  So you see, it's the filler parts , the most important parts, that I have trouble with.

So at home, I started to hate the cut.  That and my husband didn't react with a lot of excitement, so then of course I was in a bad mood for the rest of the night.  I decided to go back today.

I hate going back because they always look pissed off, like I interrupted his lunch (which I probably did since I went in at noon).  The guy said "Fala" when he saw me, so abruptly so I abrubtly said "I don't like it anymore".  Haha, blunt gets blunt!

This time we sat down at the chair and he spent another hour with me trying to decipher my made-up language.  This time, I told him the name of the hair cut I wanted.  Lucky me, he recognized it.  (Tip: LEARN THE NAME OF THE STYLE YOU LIKE!  ASK YOUR HAIRDRESSER BEFORE COMING TO BRAZIL SO YOU CAN TELL THE HAIRDRESSER HERE THE NAME OF THE CUT.  Sometimes they know, sometimes they don't, but it's helpful).

So without further ado, here is a before (a few months ago) and after of my new hair cut!

 Am I cute?


  1. love it! But I'm biased as I am also on team short(ish) hair.

  2. More than cute, you are totally HOT! Good job!!

  3. Ha, I recognize the same thing, although being a man... I got used to the fact that if I want my hear to look really like I want it, I'll have to fly to Europe or the US. Lucky for me, I'm spending at least 5 days/month in one of both.

    It's like they pretend to be listening, but they actually never do.

    Yep I know, not a helpful answer, but at least you are not alone :)

  4. Hey, Lindsey

    I have been following your blog for sometime, but have yet to comment. I am moving to Brazil in 15 short days. I love your haircut. I just got the same style cut!


  5. Funny that you would post this as I'll be moving to Brazil in December and have already been thinking about what to do with my hair! I think I'll get it cut right before I come ;)

  6. Adorable! Meredith has a post about to say 'layers'

  7. Looks super cute!

    Lucky for me I don't really care about my hair, and I can get an older fella to just use clippers set to SHORT and buzz all over my skull. R$12 - out the door.

  8. I think what you're trying to do is "repicar" your hair. I had to ask my aunt that one because all I do at the salon is get my hair trimmed (it was easy to learn in English. I just went to hairdresser and said I wanted to cut this much *showing how much with my fingers* and teehee, he told me it was "trim" that I wanted). :) So yeah, the "coisinha" your referred to, whose name I don't know in Portuguese nor in English, is used to get your hair "repicado."

  9. So Cute! What a daunting experience, sadly I am still getting it done in the US which is only once a year. I need to crossover...

  10. ahahah, madame high maintenance.... hehee. i just cut my hair here for the FIRST time (yes, in 2 years) like 3 weeks ago. i have been cutting my own hair for like 4 years (for serious) i started doing it when i lived in Paris because i was too poor to want to fork out the euros. i dont know why i decided to get a cut here, but i asked a friend to take me to the place she usually goes to and i pretty much said "hey lady, i like it long but to look a little neater. otherwise i dont care" so easy! i really am not a big hair person so usually i always say oh yes very good thanks! ahhahaa.

  11. Meredith posted this on her blog: I was told that the English translation for layered is repicado.

    That helps me A LOT. And tinta is the word for the actual bottle of dye color, pintura for dying hair, and they call gray hair "cabellos brancos" for those of us needing that word.

    And your cut is absolutely adorable!!!

  12. Pretty (before AND after)! Great cut--it's really chic!


  13. I loved the hair cut...

    Btw I'm a Brazilian that lives in California and I NEVER get a good hair cut here... I read your blog and its so funny to see you writing about us... I face the same things living in a different culture.



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