For members


What you need to know about getting a haircut in Germany

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of having a new haircut, but it can be a bit daunting going to a hairdressers if you don’t speak the language fluently. Here’s what you need to know about visiting a hair salon in Germany.

A hairdresser blow dries her customer's hair.
A hairdresser blow dries her customer's hair. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Magdalena Troendle

How to find a hair salon

Like with most other services, Google Maps is a pretty reliable source for finding hair salons in your local area.

The German word for hairdresser is (der) Friseur, and just typing Friseur into Google Maps while walking down the street will usually bring up several places to choose from.

Another popular app for beauty treatments in Germany is Treatwell which you can use to search for making appointments, choosing services and paying in advance without having to call anybody.

The harder part is picking a good, trustworthy salon. For this, it’s advisable to read Google reviews and also the customer reviews on Treatwell.

Making an appointment

For women’s haircuts, you will need to make an appointment at most salons.

If you find a salon that you like the look of, usually you can just make an appointment on their website or on by phoning them.

Don’t expect your hairdresser to be able to speak English, however, and prepare yourself for the conversation beforehand by looking through our vocabulary list below.

They might ask you to specify exactly what you would like done to your hair (what type of cut or colour; whether you want a blowdry; etc).

What about pricing?

Prices vary, and the price for a cut and colour will depend on the length of your hair – the shorter your hair the less expensive typically. Most hairdressers will list their prices on their websites. 

If you’re having highlights (Stränchen) done, most hairdressers will also list the price for an individual highlight, or for having a full (ganzer Kopf) or half head (halber Kopf) of highlights. 

You can count on spending a minimum of €25-30 for just a cut (Schnitt), and this will be considerably more expensive at fancier salons. A cut and blowdry (with a hair wash) often costs around €60 in Berlin. 

People get their hair cut in Kordel, Rhineland-Palatinate.

People get their hair cut in Kordel, Rhineland-Palatinate. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Harald Tittel

In almost all salons in Germany, you will be asked beforehand if you want your hair to be washed before cutting. For non-German customers, this might seem like a purely rhetorical question but bear in mind that this is something you will also be charged for.

However, it’s advisable not to try and get around the cost of having your hair washed by turning up with already soaking wet hair. Not only will it probably get you off on the wrong good with your hairdresser, but it will prevent them from getting an idea of what your hair usually looks like. 


If you’re happy with your haircut, then tipping your stylist between 5 and 15 percent is encouraged. A lot of salons have a piggy bank or box at the cash register with the stylists’ names on them where you can deposit your tip.

Common phrases you might use:

A wash and cut – Einmal waschen und schneiden.

Only trim the ends – Nur die Spitzen schneiden.

I’d like a new hair colour – Ich möchte eine neue Haarfarbe .

I’d like to have highlights – Ich möchte gerne Strähnchen haben.

I would like to have my roots dyed – Ich möchte meinen Ansatz färben lassen.

I would like to have layers cut in my hair – Ich möchte meine Haare stufig schneiden lassen.

I’d like it to be shorter on the sides and long on top –  Ich möchte es seitlich kurz und oben etwas länger.

I’m not sure. What haircut would look good on me? – Ich bin mir nicht sicher. welcher Schnitt würde mir gut passen?

I’d like a perm –  Ich möchte eine Dauerwelle.

Can you straighten it? – Können Sie es glätten?

Can you touch up my roots? – Können Sie mir den Ansatz nachfärben?

I’d like blond overtones/highlights – Ich hätte gerne ein paar blonde Highlights.

I need an elegant hairdo for a wedding – Ich brauche eine elegante Frisur für eine Hochzeitsfeier.

I’d like it to be shorter on the sides and longer on top Ich möchte es seitlich kurz und oben etwas länger.

The key terms

hair treatment – (die) Haarkur / die Haarmaske

hair – (die) Haare

der Frisur (m)/Die Friseurin (f) –  hairstylist

wash and cut – waschen und schneiden

schneiden und föhnen – cut and blow dry

short hair – kurze Haare 

long hair – lange Haare

straight – glatt 

curly – lockig

fringe – (der) Pony

ponytail – (der) Pferdeschwanz

cut in layers – stufig

electric shaver – der Rasierapparat

ends – (die) Spitze

parting – (der) Scheitel

highlights – (die) Stränchen

blowdry – föhnen 

Toner (a semi-permanent colouring treatment) – die Abmattierung

Member comments

  1. The most important thing you need to know about hairdressers in Germany is that THEY ARE REALLY, REALLY BAD.

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For members


EXPLAINED: How do I get a language study visa or permit for Germany?

A language study visa or permit could let you study German in Germany intensively for anywhere from three months to a year. It’s relatively unbureaucratic to apply for, but expect a fair few restrictions.

EXPLAINED: How do I get a language study visa or permit for Germany?

If you’re looking to both improve your German and potentially check to see if it might be interesting to live and work in Germany down the line, the language study visa and permit may be for you.

What’s the difference between the language study visa and the permit?

The visa allows you to stay in Germany for up to three months for the purposes of studying German. You apply for it from a German mission abroad.

The permit allows you to stay for anywhere from between three months to a year for language learning, and you’re required to apply for it from your local immigration office after arriving in Germany.

Who needs this visa and permit?

Not everyone necessarily needs the visa, depending on your nationality.

Plenty of German courses in Germany last for less than three months and nationals of countries like the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Israel and Japan can already visit for up to three months as a tourist with no visa.

Anyone who doesn’t have a visa-free right to travel to Germany for up to three months can apply for this visa from a German mission abroad.

Any non-EU/EEA or Swiss national who wants to stay in Germany to learn German for more than three months needs the language study residence permit.

Nationals who have a visa-free right to enter Germany for up to three months may be able to enter without the visa, but will still need to visit their local immigration office to apply for a residence permit if they plan on staying longer than three months.

“Applications for issuance and extension” is written on a display stand with applications for residence permits. Any non-EU national planning to stay in Germany for longer than three months typically requires one. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Jonas Walzberg

Someone who isn’t entitled to visa-free travel to Germany would have to apply for the visa before arriving and apply again for the residence permit for language learning within three months of arriving—if they intend to stay longer than three months.

With the language study residence permit, you can stay longer than three months—potentially up to a full year. Officials will typically grant it up until the end of the month that your language course finishes.

The language courses applicants are expected to enrol in and complete also need to have at least 18 hours a week of lessons.

READ ALSO: COMPARED: Germany’s Chancenkarte vs. Austria’s Red-White-Red card for skilled non-EU workers

What do I need to apply for this visa or permit?

The documents needed to apply for either the language study visa or residence permit are essentially the same.

You’ll need to find an accredited German course and typically register and pay the course fee. At least part of this fee may be non-refundable in many cases. The language school should then be able to issue you a confirmation of when your course is, that you’ve registered and paid, and how long your course will last. You’ll typically need this confirmation to apply.

Along with your application forms, you’re also going to need two recent passport photos, proof that you’re either reserved or booked accommodation, and a passport that has at least two free pages and is valid for at least three months beyond the end of your stay. Your passport also cannot be any older than ten years.

German language course

Internationals take part in a German course at a language school in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

You’ll also need to prove financial resources and insurance coverage. You’ll need to provide proof of health, travel, and accident insurance that covers you for the entire length of your stay in Germany if something goes wrong.

You’ll also need to prove that you have the financial resources to cover you during your stay in the prorated amount of €11,208 per year. You can submit a number of documents for this, such as a fixed deposit statement from a blocked account, bank statements from the last three months, a guarantee from your German hosts or your parents—if they can provide their salary slips or bank statements, or a scholarship award certificate.

READ ALSO: How to open a blocked account in Germany

If you’re an employee, you may need an official letter of leave from your employer that is signed and stamped.

If you need the visa, you may have to write a letter of motivation for attending the German course and prove your accommodation for the entire stay.

To apply for the residence permit to stay for longer than three months, you won’t typically have to submit the letter of motivation – but be prepared to have most of the other documents ready.

You’ll need to provide evidence that you’re attending the course, such as your certificate of registration or agreement with the language school.

To prove your accommodation, you’ll typically need your registration certificate—or Anmeldung—from your nearest Bürgeramt and possibly your rental contract.

What can’t you do under a language study visa or permit?

Under a language study visa or permit, you cannot study at a university for any qualification other than bettering your German language skills.

You also cannot typically convert your status into one that will let you work or study at a German university for a degree without first returning to your home country, or in the case of some nationalities applying for a new residency status.

READ ALSO: Germany or Austria: Where is it easier to get an EU Blue Card?