Useful Japanese Words for Going to a Hair Salon

Here are some Japanese words and expressions you can use on your next salon visit. Feel free to leave questions in the comment section below.

 Common Services

  • カット (katto) – cut
  • カラー (karā) – color
    • グラデーション (guradēshon) – gradation
    • ワンメーク (wanmēku) – one color dye
    • ダブルカラー (daburu karā) – bleach + color
    • リタッチ (ritacchi) – retouch; dyeing only the roots
    • ハイライト (hairaito) – highlights
    • ローライト (rōraito) – lowlights
  • エクステ (ekuste) – extensions
  • トリートメント (torītomento) – treatment
  • パーマ (pāma) – perm
    • デジタルパーマ (dejitaru pāma) – digital perm, often abbreviated as dejipāma
    • エアウェーブ (ea wēbu) – a type of perm that produces looser curls
    • ポイントパーマ (pointo pāma) – perming a part of one’s hair, like the fringe for example
  • 縮毛矯正 (shukumōkyōsei) – hair straightening
  • ヘアセット (hea setto) – hair set (when you want to have your hair done professionally before an event or a shoot)
  • メイク (meiku) – make-up
  • シャンプー (shampū) – shampoo
  • ブロー (burō) – blow dry

Hair-Related Vocabulary

  • 髪の毛 (kami no ke) – hair
  • 長さ (nagasa) – length
    • ボブ (bobu) – bob
    • ショート (shōto) – short
    • セミロング (semirongu) – semi-long or medium-length
    • ロング (rongu) – long
  • 厚い (atsui) – thick
  • 薄い (usui) – thin
  • 軽い (karui) – light
  • 重い (omoi) – heavy
  • 白髪 (shiraga) – white/grey hair
  • 前髪 (maegami) – fringe/bangs
    • パッツン (pattsun) – straight-cut
    • 流す・斜め (nagasu/naname) – sideswept bangs
  • 毛先 (kesaki) – hair ends
  • 地毛 (jige) – natural hair; usually used when referring to hair colors, for example asking if one’s hair color is natural or not
  • ダメージ (damēji) – damage


  • スタイリスト(sutairisuto) – stylist
  • ディレクター (direkutā) – director
  • アシスタント (ashisutanto) – assistant
  • ベテラン (beteran) – veteran

Commonly Used Verbs

  • 洗う (arau) – to wash
  • 流す (nagasu) – to rinse off ( shampoo, treatment, etc.)
  • 乾かす (kawakasu) – to dry
  • 染める (someru) – to dye
  • しみる (shimiru) – to sting (Stylists often ask if you feel a stinging sensation on your scalp when they dye your hair)
  • 伸ばす

Useful Expressions

  • この写真のようにして下さい。(Kono shashin no yō ni shite kudasai.) – Please make my hair like the one in this photo.
  • 明るくしたい。(Akaruku shitai.) – I want a brighter hair color.
  • 髪伸ばしてます。(Kami nobashitemasu.) – I’m growing out my hair.

Questions Stylists Usually Ask

  • 痒いところとかありますか。(Kayui tokoro toka arimasu ka? ) – Is there any spot that feels itchy?
  • 普段しみたりとかしますか。(Fudan shimitari toka shimasu ka?) – Do you usually get a stinging sensation [when you get your hair dyed]?
  • トイレは大丈夫ですか。(Toire wa daijōbu desu ka?) – Would you like to go to the toilet? (Usually asked before they start working on your hair. Getting a perm pr your hair dyed takes a long time, so they ask you beforehand.)
  • 長さはどうしますか。(Nagasa wa dō shimasu ka?) – What length do you prefer?

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