Shanghai's best hair salons

Here are Shanghai’s salons that don't blow

Don't let one dodgy cut turn you into a hermit. Here's a list of Shanghai salons that don't blow. Strapped for cash? Find out how to get a free haircut from a trainee at a top salon here.

Best for Parisian glamour for the whole fam

Franck Provost (Anfu Lu)

Franck Provost (Anfu Lu)

With locations in over 25 destinations around the world and five in Shanghai alone, Franck Provost has been a mainstay in the city’s salon scene for the past eight years. Both English and Chinese are spoken by hospitable, skilled stylists who offer the whole range of services from cuts to perms, colouring and Kératase treatments. Price points vary by the level of the stylist you request and the length of your hair. Always dreamed of très chic locks? Man, woman or child, this is your spot. 

Price Women’s cut from 220RMB (fringe for 150RMB); men’s cut from 180RMB; colouring from 780RMB.

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No. 164 Anfu Road

Best chill-out space

ContestaRockHair
Photograph: courtesy ContestaRockHair

ContestaRockHair

This achingly cool Italian salon on Julu Lu is popular amongst Shanghai’s international crowd, thanks to a mix of English, Italian and Chinese staff. As well as a great cut, here you can get a range of technical services – such as scalp treatments and digital perms – but Contesta is probably best-known for its colouring skills. The staff are divided into three classi cations over three price points: Creative Designers (ten-plus years of experience), Master Designers (six-plus years) and Senior Designers (three-plus years). Hair skills aside, the soundtrack and friendly stylists make this one of our go-to salons.

Price Women’s cut from 240RMB; men’s cut from 190RMB; colouring from 500RMB.

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462 Changle Road

Best for the discerning gentleman

Doc Guthrie's (Jingan)
Photograph: courtesy Doc Guthrie's 

Doc Guthrie's (Jingan)

Anna Elliott, formerly of Contesta Rock Hair, heads up the operation at this old-fashioned Jingan barbershop in a former convenience store, and presides over a supremely comfortable atmosphere. Here you can get straight-razor shaves, beard trimming or a wash and style. All services include a complimentary Jameson or Asahi, and there’s vintage rock ‘n’ roll and blues on the speakers to match the classic interior. A haircut and beard trim is most popular, but we recommend combining the high-quality cut with a straight razor shave for a real man-treat, complete with hot towels and two rounds of shaving to leave you better acquainted with your chin than you’ve ever been. The team also just opened a second barbershop in Pudong at Kerry Parkside (1388 Huamu Lu, near Fangdian Lu) to cater to their east-side clientele. 

Price Buzz cut or back and sides from 198RMB; cut from 298RMB; cut and shave from 498RMB; cut and beard trim from 386RMB.

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873 Kangding Lu

Best at braids and extensions

Hair Online

Hair Online

Working out of World Plaza hair salon BEAUTIFUL SPACE, Hair Online is run and owned by Zimbabwean stylist Miriam Mwamuka. Mwamuka specialises in braids, extensions (sew-in weaves, Brazilian knots) and hair treatments, with a portfolio featuring everything from goddess locs and Senegalese twists to dreadlocks and more. Mwamuka has plenty of experience working with Afro, Asian and Caucasian hair, and takes the time to explain the ins and outs of managing the various styles depending on hair type. For a consultation and to book an appointment, add Hair Online on WeChat (ID: haironline2). 

Price From 100 to 2,000RMB, individual consultation and quotation required.

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855 Pudong Nan Lu Dongchang Lu

Best for that familiar feeling

Studio Salon

Steven Buchanan’s Studio Salon is a super-friendly salon that offers excellent cuts and styles at reasonable prices. The good folk at the Studio treat everyone like a returning friend – partly because many of them are – so settle in with a coffee for an hour of chat and celebrity gossip as UK-born Steven and his team whip your tresses into shape. Patrons of Studio Salon will swear by the studio as the place to get your hair cut in this city. Stylists take time to consider the cut, and discuss colour options, and build on customer’s wants with suggestions of their own. 

Price Cuts from 130RMB; colouring from 488RMB.

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133 Maoming Nan Lu

Best attention to detail

Upper Cut

Upper Cut specialises in ‘custom’ haircuts in a bright, clean and friendly environment. These pro stylists pay a particular attention to detail that you just won’t get at other salons, making sure that you leave with your new ’do styled exactly as you want it. Even if you don’t need a trim, stop in and treat yourself to shampoo and styling for 80RMB, to take full advantage of the dreamy head massage.

Price Cuts from 180RMB; colouring from 480RMB.

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381 Panyu Lu

Best when you're feeling fancy

Il Colpo

Il Colpo

If you want deluxe, then there’s Il Colpo. Part of the Hong Kong-based ‘luxury salon’, this swanky IFC studio has been styling the hair of Shanghai’s ‘high society’ since opening in 2010. Il Colpo offers the full range of treatments – cutting, colouring, straightening, perms – carried out by stylists who have up to 15 years of experience dealing with all hair types. Basically, your wish is their command, with a little bit of stylistic input of course. But, it ain’t cheap, starting from 380RMB a cut. Alternatively, there’s Il Colpo Bis (LG1, iAPM Mall, 999 Huaihai Zhong Lu). Though the setting isn’t as refined, the cuts are just as thorough and start from a more wallet-friendly 280RMB.

Price Cuts from 380RMB; colouring from 720RMB.

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8 Century Avenue

Best proof that size doesn't matter

Timi Saimons

Timi Saimons

A relative newcomer compared the rest on our list, this small salon opened up in Jingan last April. Co-owner and chief stylist Timi Saimons trained with Toni & Guy in Bangkok and London, and so has plenty of practice and understanding of diverse hair conditions and styles. Here, it’s about personalising hair styles to suit you – Saimons suggests ideas that work with specific features. Staff speak English and Chinese and are always on hand with drinks, magazines and more.

Price Women’s cut from 180RMB; men’s cut from 130RMB.

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1130 Kangding Lu

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