Your Most Important Vocab Lesson: The Haircut

Sick of leaving Turkish hair salons looking like a 50-year-old, overly done-up newscaster? No matter how much you try to tell hairdressers that you’re not going to a wedding or entering a beauty pageant, they refuse to give up their teasing combs and golden copper dyes.

Well, I decided to take the plunge one day and walked into a trendy, Bağdat Caddesi hair salon where the stylists have tattoos on their arms, colorful hair and hipster outfits. I thought my prayers had finally been answered! Picture this: I already have short hair to start with, so any mistake is crucial as there’s not much hair to risk. (Yikes!)

I asked for a very minor trim and for my all-over blonde hair to be only one shade darker. Well, what happened in a few hours was what nightmares are made of!

My shoulder length blonde bob was transformed into a pixie cut that was the darkest of browns…

So now that I’ve shared my hair fiasco, let’s find ways to prevent it! A person’s best friend and best investment is, without a doubt, a hairdresser. With some simple words and phrases under your belt, you can visit a Turkish hair salon with confidence, and leave feeling just as confident with a swinging hair-do.

This is how short my hair ended up being! So I dyed it all blonde to look semi “cool”… hehe
This is how short my hair ended up being! So I dyed it all blonde to look semi “cool.”

Let’s start with the basics — the everyday necessities.

The salon is called a kuaför.   

WASH:     Yıkamak

SHAMPOO:     Şampuan

TREATMENT:     Bakım kremi

BLOW-WAVE, BLOWOUT or BLOW-DRY:      Fön

STRAIGHTENING TREATMENT:       Brezilya fönü


HOW WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR BLOW-OUT?

STRAIGHT: Düz fön

WAVY: Kırık fön  (literally broken blow-OUT)

CURLY: Kıvırcık

PERM: Perma

My hair is clean: Saçım temiz

My hair is washed: Saçımı yıkadım


SCISSOR-RELATED MISSIONS

FRINGE or BANGS: Kahkül (pronounced: kah-kul) rhymes with mule, fuel

LAYERS: Kat kat

PARTING: Saçını ayırmak

If the hair stylist asks you where you part your hair, he or she will ask: “Saçınızı nereden ayırıyorsunuz?”

You can answer:

THE MIDDLE (CENTER): Ortadan lütfen

TO THE LEFT: Sola lütfen

TO THE RIGHT: Sağa lütfen

JUST A TRIM PLEASE:

Sadece   uçlarından    kesin      lütfen

just         ends               cut         please

___  CENTIMETERS OFF PLEASE:

___  santim       kısaltın        lütfen

centimeters       shorten        please

SHORT: Kısa

MEDIUM: Orta-uzunluk

LONG: Uzun

NOT TOO SHORT PLEASE:

Çok    kısa    olmasın   lütfen

Very  short   not be     please


SHORT HAIR

For the ladies like myself who have short hair (at the work of Edward Scissorhands or of your own preference). You are a unique client in Turkey, so here are some tidbits.

USE THE RAZOR: Usturayı kullanın lütfen

SPIKY: Dik dik

NATURAL/MESSY LOOKING: Doğal ve dağınık


COLORS OF THE RAINBOW

BLONDE: Sarı (same as yellow, perhaps that’s why they love having the bright yellow hair?)

BROWN: Kahverengi   (literally coffee colour)

COPPER: Bakır

RED: Kırmızı

BLACK: Siyah

GREY: Gri

WHITE: Beyaz

ASH: Küllü

Then you can have light, medium and dark of every color.

LIGHT: Açık

MEDIUM: Orta

DARK: Koyu

Lighten the color: Rengini açmak

Darken the color: Rengini koyultmak

TONE IT UP!

SHADE:  ton (pronounced: tohn, like the ‘Mon’ in Monica)

Two shades darker: İki ton daha koyu

Two shades lighter: İki ton daha açık


DYE-HARD!

Just the roots/regrowth: Sadece dip boya

Natural: Doğal

Scalp: Dip

Ends: Uçları

Foils/Balyage: Röfle / Balyaj


UP IN THE ‘HAIR’

If you are invited to an event that calls for a chic up-do, first of all, I would like to wish you luck! There may be tears and there may be a lot of yelling, but these key words will help for a smoother appointment. When you wrongly tell a Turkish hairdresser that you are going to a wedding, the glitter hairsprays, the teasing combs, etc., all come out! So do not tell them you are going to a wedding. I usually say that I am going to a friend’s birthday party (never your own). But by all means, if you are a fan of Dolly Parton-type hair, go ahead, it will be a wish come true.

HAIR-UP or UP-DO: Topuz (usually means ‘in a bun’)

PONYTAIL: At kuyruğu

So if you would like a natural looking messy up-do, you would say:

Dağınık ve salaş bir topuz olsun lütfen.

If you would like a sleek ponytail: 

Dümdüz ve şık bir at kuyruğu olsun lütfen.


TALK TO THE HAIR!

It’s really bad!: Çok kötü!

I didn’t like it at all: Hiç sevmedim 🙁

It’s really nice: Çok güzel

I really like it: Çok sevdim 🙂

Here are some funny tidbits I use at the hairdressers when they over-poof, over-tease or over-spray my hair. It’s cheeky, but in an innocent way so they don’t get offended. 😉

I am not going to a wedding!: Düğüne gitmiyorum!

I am only ___ years old!: Ben sadece ___ yaşındayım ya!

I am not a newscaster!: Ben haberleri sunmuyorum!

(Used once when I was given helmet head, never happened again!)


A good option is to go armed with a picture that you can show. (Try to be realistic though.) When you get to the salon, all you have to do is, pull the photo out of your bag and ask confidently:

Please cut my hair in the style shown in this photo.

Lütfen saçımı bu resimdeki gibi kesin

 

Or are you a brave, courageous girl (like I was once upon a time)? Then you could always leave it entirely up to the hairstylist by saying:

What do you suggest?:

Siz ne tavsiye edersiniz?

But please beware, Yabangee accepts no responsibility for the taste of your hairstylist!

capitol-couture

 

 

Well ladies (and gents), that’s all on the hairdressing vocabulary lesson! The productive thing about going to the hairdresser is that it’s something you probably do at regular intervals. So it just gets easier and easier, when you find a hairstylist you can trust.

Have you ever gone for a haircut in Istanbul? How did it go? Do you have any tips for hair salons in Turkey? Let us know in the comments!

 

SHARE
Mira Xavnur Balic
Mira Xavnur-Balic was born and raised in Australia, but has lived in Istanbul since 2009. She feeds her creative side by studying fashion and is passionate about art and music. Check out what inspires her on www.barbarianbarbie.com.

5 COMMENTS

  1. For blonde hair- Soguk (cold) and sicak (hot) are used to describe a blond that is ashy or brassy. Sacim cok fazla sicak, yaaaaa. Daha soguk isiyorum! My hair is too brassy, I want a cooler blond. Also, toner is known as ‘cila’

  2. Thank you for this post. I am positively terrified to get my hair cut here. I have had horrible luck in Los Angeles, and I am a native English speaker. Any suggestions for a decent waxer? I’m not sure what scares me more, haha.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here