Ultimate Guide To Getting A Haircut In Spanish (Men & Women)

  • Jada Lòpez
    Written byJada Lòpez
    Jada LòpezSpanish teacher, translator
    🎓 B.A., Translation and Interpreting English and Spanish, Universidad de Granada
    🎓 M.A., Formación de Profesores de Español como Lengua Extranjera (ELE), Universidad Pablo de Olavide

    Passionate language teacher and translator. Wife, mother of 3 and amateur surfer.
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Ultimate Guide To Getting A Haircut In Spanish (Men & Women)

Need to get a haircut in Spain or Latin America?

In this guide, I’ll run you through the most useful Spanish words and phrases you’ll need when going to the hairdresser or barber.

If there’s anything I’ve missed, drop a comment below and I’ll get to it.

For a list of great Spanish courses that cover this topic in more detail, see this list here.

Essential Spanish words and expressions for haircuts 💇

Let’s start with the most essential hair-related terms you will need to know, beginning with the most obvious:

How do you say “hair” (and “haircut”) in Spanish?

The word for hair in Spanish is cabello. However, you may also hear the word pelo, which is more commonly used in everyday conversation. Both words are generally used interchangeably, but cabello is sometimes used when referring to hair on the head specifically, while pelo can refer to hair anywhere on the body.

A “haircut” in Spanish is generally referred to as corte de pelo or corte de cabello. If you want to specify the gender, you can say corte de caballero for a men’s haircut and corte de dama for a women’s haircut.

Keep reading for other essential vocabulary and expressions when getting a haircut in Spanish.

Basic Spanish vocabulary for hair

This is by no means exhaustive, but here are a few of the most common descriptions for hair you’ll hear:

HairEl cabello / El pelo
Blonde hairEl cabello rubio / El pelo rubio
Black hairEl cabello negro / El pelo negro
Brown hairEl cabello castaño / El pelo castaño
Red hairEl cabello rojo / El pelo rojo
Short hairEl cabello corto / El pelo corto
Long hairEl cabello largo / El pelo largo
Curly hairEl cabello rizado / El pelo rizado
Straight hairEl cabello liso / El pelo liso
Frizzy hairEl cabello encrespado / El pelo encrespado

Now that you have some basic vocabulary for describing hair, let’s move on to the hair salon or barbershop nitty gritty.

Basic Spanish phrases for haircuts

At the very least, memorize these few phrases here.

Whenever you walk in the door of a hairdresser or barber, you’ll likely want to use one of these:

Listen to audio

Me gustaría un corte de pelo.

I would like a haircut.
Listen to audio

Me gustaría que me lavaran el pelo.

I would like a hair wash.
Listen to audio

¿Podría recortar mi pelo?

Could you trim my hair?
Listen to audio

Me gustaría cambiar mi peinado.

I would like to change my hairstyle.
Listen to audio

¿Puedes peinar mi pelo?

Can you style my hair?

Start by using these requests the next time you’re at the salon or barbershop and read on for deeper dive into the vocabulary and phrases specific to hairdressers and barbershops.

Hairdressers and barbershops

Alright, now that we’ve got the basics covered, let’s go a bit deeper into the vocabulary you’ll need when you find yourself in a hair salon or barbershop.

Spanish terms for hair salons and barbershops

Hair SalonLa peluquería
BarbershopLa barbería
Hairdresser (general)El/La peluquero/a
BarberEl/La barbero/a
ScissorsLas tijeras
HairdryerEl secador de pelo
CombEl peine
BrushEl cepillo
ShampooEl champú
ConditionerEl acondicionador
Hair sprayEl laca
Hair gelEl gel

Hair professionals and their roles

Knowing the different roles in a hair salon or barbershop is important too.

Here are some you may encounter:

Hair StylistEl/La estilista
ColoristEl/La colorista
Shampoo AssistantEl/La ayudante de champú
BarberEl/La barbero/barbera
Barber (alternative)El/La peluquero/peluquera

Verbs that you’ll need to get a haircut

These verbs are versatile and can be used in many different situations, but they’re absolutely essential in the context of getting a haircut.

It’s a good idea to memorize these verbs.

arreglartidy up
degrafilarthin out
peinarcomb/style your hair

Other nouns you may need

Above I shared some basic nouns with you, but the following nouns are a little more advanced.

It’s also a good idea to learn these.

canagrey hair
corte a capaslayered cut
corte de caballeromen’s haircut
corte de damawomen’s haircut
corte de cabellohaircut
corte militarcrew cut
corte rectoblunt cut
cuero cabelludoscalp
grado unograde one
fijadorhair gel
melenalong hair
la parte de atrásthe back of my hair
peluqueríahairdresser’s shop
puntas abiertassplit ends
raya del pelohairline

Making haircut appointments

Now, you have an arsenal of vocabulary to describe hair and navigate hair salons or barbershops.

The next crucial step is to be able to make appointments.

Let’s look at some helpful phrases for booking appointments, rescheduling, or cancelling when necessary.

Phrases for booking appointments

Here are some key phrases you’ll need when booking hair appointments.

Listen to audio

¿Tiene una cita disponible hoy/mañana?

Do you have an opening today/tomorrow?
Listen to audio

Me gustaría hacer una cita con [nombre del peluquero].

I'd like to make an appointment with [hairdresser's name].
Listen to audio

¿Hasta qué hora están abiertos?

What time are you open until?
Listen to audio

¿Podría venir el [día] a las [hora]?

Could I come in on [day] at [time]?
Listen to audio

¿Está disponible [nombre del peluquero] el [día] a las [hora]?

Is [hairdresser's name] available on [day] at [time]?

Rescheduling and cancelling in Spanish

Life can be unpredictable, and sometimes, we need to adjust our plans.

Here are phrases to help you make changes to set appointments:

Listen to audio

Necesito reprogramar mi cita.

I need to reschedule my appointment.
Listen to audio

¿Puedo cambiar mi cita para el [día] a las [hora]?

Can I change my appointment to [day] at [time]?
Listen to audio

Lo siento, pero tengo que cancelar mi cita.

I'm sorry, but I have to cancel my appointment.

With these phrases under your belt, you can make, reschedule, and cancel appointments in Spanish.

In the next section, I’ll go through explaining your preferences to ensure you get the haircut you want.

Explaining how you want your hair done

You’ve set and arrived at your appointment, and now it’s time to express what exactly you want from your visit to the salon or barbershop.

This can be quite a personal and detailed process (I can’t possibly cover every scenario). This should get you started in any case.

Length and style preferences

Sometimes, it’s easy to just point at a picture and say you want to look like that, but that’s not teaching you anything!

Here are phrases to express your preferred hair length and style:

Listen to audio

Me gustaría mantener mi cabello largo/corto.

I would like to keep my hair long/short.
Listen to audio

¿Puede cortarlo más corto?

Can you cut it shorter?
Listen to audio

Quiero mantener mi cabello del mismo largo, solo recorte las puntas.

I want to keep my hair the same length, just trim the ends.
Listen to audio

Me gustaría capas.

I would like layers.
Listen to audio

Quiero un corte bob.

I want a bob cut.
Listen to audio

Me gustaría un corte degradado.

I would like a fade cut.

Specific requests and special instructions

Every haircut is unique and sometimes you may have special requests or instructions. Here are a few more:

Listen to audio

Quiero que me adelgacen el pelo.

I want my hair thinned out.
Listen to audio

Me gustaría mechas.

I'd like highlights.
Listen to audio

¿Puede rizar/alizar mi cabello?

Can you curl/straighten my hair?
Listen to audio

Quiero una raya al costado.

I want a side part.
Listen to audio

Quiero flequillo.

I want bangs.

Now you’re well equipped to explain exactly what you want from your haircut or hair style.

Sample dialogues

Below you’ll find some sample snippets of conversations in Spanish.

Let’s look at a few scenarios and how those conversations might unfold in a Spanish-speaking hair salon or barbershop.

Conversation 1: Making an appointment

Listen to audio

Hola, me gustaría hacer una cita para un corte de pelo.

Hello, I'd like to make an appointment for a haircut.
Listen to audio

Claro, ¿cuándo le gustaría venir?

Sure, when would you like to come in?
Listen to audio

¿Tiene alguna cita disponible este viernes por la tarde?

Do you have any openings this Friday in the afternoon?
Listen to audio

Sí, tenemos una cita disponible a las 3 pm. ¿Le funciona?

Yes, we have an opening at 3 pm. Does that work for you?
Listen to audio

Perfecto, nos vemos entonces.

Perfect, see you then.

Conversation 2: At the salon

Listen to audio

Buenas tardes, tengo una cita a las 3 pm.

Good afternoon, I have an appointment at 3 pm.
Listen to audio

Sí, por favor tome asiento. Su peluquero estará con usted en breve.

Yes, please have a seat. Your hairdresser will be with you shortly.
Listen to audio


Thank you.

Conversation 3: Describing the haircut

Listen to audio

¿Qué puedo hacer por usted hoy?

What can I do for you today?
Listen to audio

Me gustaría un recorte, ¿y también podrías adelgazarlo un poco?

I would like a trim, and could you also thin it out a bit?
Listen to audio

Claro, entiendo.

Sure, I understand.

Conversation 4: After the cut

Listen to audio

¿Cómo se ve?

How does it look?
Listen to audio

Me encanta. ¡Muchas gracias!

I love it. Thank you very much!

With these scenarios in mind, you should be prepared for a smooth and successful visit to a Spanish-speaking hair salon or barbershop.

Dealing with haircut problems

Now I’ve prepared you to have a great haircut experience in a Spanish-speaking environment, but it’s important to also address how to handle potential challenges or dissatisfaction.

It’s not always easy to express dissatisfaction, particularly in another language, but having the right Spanish phrases on hand can help you navigate these situations.

Expressing your dissatisfaction

If your haircut doesn’t go as planned, it’s important to express your feelings so the hairdresser or barber has an opportunity to rectify the situation.

Here’s how you might do that:

Listen to audio

No es exactamente lo que quería.

It's not exactly what I wanted.
Listen to audio

Está demasiado corto.

It's too short.
Listen to audio

¿Podrías arreglar esta parte?

Could you fix this part?
Listen to audio

Creo que está desigual.

I think it's uneven.
Listen to audio

No estoy contento/a con el color.

I'm not happy with the color.

Asking for adjustments or corrections

Sometimes, a small adjustment can make a big difference.

Here are some phrases that can help you communicate what you need:

Listen to audio

¿Podrías cortar un poco más de la parte de arriba?

Could you cut a little more off the top?
Listen to audio

Creo que el flequillo está demasiado largo.

I think the bangs are too long.
Listen to audio

¿Puedes hacer los lados más cortos?

Can you make the sides shorter?
Listen to audio

¿Podrías alisarlo de nuevo?

Could you straighten it again?

Clarifying misunderstandings

These phrases can help you clarify your original instructions:

Listen to audio

Quería capas, no un corte recto.

I wanted layers, not a blunt cut.
Listen to audio

Pedí un recorte, no un corte corto.

I asked for a trim, not a short cut.
Listen to audio

Me refería a mechas, no a color en todo el cabello.

I meant highlights, not all-over color.

Communication is key, even in difficult situations.

Put what you’ve learned here to use and go get a haircut

Haircuts are one of the best opportunities to practise Spanish.


Because you’re just sitting in a chair for an extended period with a native speaker who loves to chat! What better opportunity is there? 😊

Good luck, and if I missed anything, comment below.

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