This morning I went to have my hair cut. I went to a new salon because my hairdresser, who I had been in a serious hair relationship with for years, decided that winning the Icelandic X-factor and pursuing a career in elevator music was more important than me having good hair. I disagree, obviously.
Anyway, this trip to the hairdressers got me thinking how much I missed my Icelandic hairdresser while I was living abroad. Icelandic hairdressers really are top notch and rightfully so since most Icelandic girls I know, and many boys, are obsessed with their hair. You hair is a statement and an important one at that. A tone too blond and your reputation might be ruined.
All jokes aside, I recommend you take a look at the people passing by in Laugarvegur and tell me I’m wrong when I say Reykjavíkians have good hair!
So today I suggest that you walk on the wild side and have your hair cut while you’re in Reykjavík. I know what you are thinking, you only trust one person for your hair and there’s no way you’ll allow some blond Viking mess with your head. I once let a Thai lady boy in a shopping mall in Bangkok cut mine and the result was less than thrilling.
I can tell you though that 99% of the hairdressers in Reykjavík are professionals that have had to go to school for 4 years to learn to cut hair and they take their jobs seriously. Even the bad ones I’ve been to have been pretty good. And with the króna being as completely useless as it is, the star treatment is not going to cost you an arm and a leg.
Where to go?
There’s a bunch of salons downtown Reykjavík and I really can’t tell you which ones are the best. Below you can find what I thought about two that I’ve visited in the recent past. Be advised that most of the time the schedules for these salons are busy so they may not be able to accept walk-ins. Always make an appointment beforehand, just to be on the safe side.
Rauðhetta og Úlfurinn
Address: Skólavörðustígur 8, 101 Reykjavík
This is where I went this morning so I’ve only been here once. It was an overall enjoyable experience. The place is kind of funky, they play nice music, offer refreshments and do everything you expect from a good salon. It normally takes me 3 days at least to get used to a new haircut but this morning I was already happy when I walked out the door which is the best recommendation I can give.
The haircut cost me 6.900 ISK which is not cheap but not the most I’ve spent on a haircut either. Included in the price is a wash and then most of the time they will help you with your bangs for free at least once before you visit them the again. So it’s pretty fair. The Reykjavík Grapevine wrote a review on Rauðhetta og Úlfurinn some years back and agreed that it’s a good place. Will almost certainly go there again.
Address: Bankastræti 14, 101 Reykjavík
Sjoppan is a new and young salon with new and young hairdressers. In my opinion their service level is not quite as high as what I am used to but they make up for it with enthusiasm and coolness. They have a Super Nitendo you can play with while you wait for your turn and they sometimes offer live music.
The best thing about Sjoppan is that they have long opening hours (10:00 – 21:00) so you don’t have to skip a tour or get time off work to get a hair cut. They are also still new and haven’t quite reached the status of being overbooked all the time so it’s relatively easy to get an appointment on a short notice. The reason I left Sjoppan was not that I was unhappy with them, not at all, the hairdresser I booked with and I just didn’t click. People did tell me my hair looked good so you should not feel hesitant about trying them out.
Oh, if you are on Foursquare, Sjoppan offers 10% discount with every check-in.