Get Treated Like A King – Visiting A Barber In Istanbul
Turkish barbers are known worldwide for their shaving skills. On my recent trip to Istanbul I decided to give it a try and to get my first clean shave after 4 years.
How to find a good barber?
That isn’t very easy in a city like Istanbul. There are thousands of barbers and you will find one around every second corner. Just trust your instincts and look for a barber away from the tourist areas and walk to into one where you can find many locals. You won’t need any turkish to get a shave. Just show with your fingers to your beard and make a sign of shaving and ask how much. They will normally write down a number and you accept or refuse. The price for a good shave is between 15 and 25 turkish lira.
The barber will ask for your jacked and ask you to sit down. Sometimes they will offer you a tea. Now you should relax! The barber will prepare and apply the soapy suds and get the razor blades ready. Close the eyes and let him do his job! After the shave he will ask you to lean forward over the sink and will dip your head in it couple of times and clean your face followed by applying an aggressive after shave. He will give you a nice facial massage and clean your face.
Often they will indicate that you also need a haircut. Ask for the price in advance. Normally they charge another 25 turkish lira for the haircut.
They do a good job cutting your hair, the best thing about the haircut thought, are the additional massages you get. First of all you get a face mask which is gently applied. In Turkey they normally don’t wash your hair before and start cutting it immediately. Make sure you tell him how much you want him to cut off. Afterwards it’s too late!!!
The best thing comes at the end. Some barbers have a little vibrating machine which is strapped to the hand and they give you an amazing massage. Don’t refuse this! You will regret if you do! Close your eyes and relax and don’t be embarrassed if you fall asleep, that is totally normal. It happened to me too
Should I tip?
Yes! You normally tip one or two lira to the barber. If they have a boy sweeping up your hair, tip him too. One lira should be enough though!
Many people, including me, feel weird going somewhere where the price is not indicated. It seems like it is normal in Istanbul. Therefore just ask when you enter. Make sure that you ask how much every single treatment is extra to avoid unexpected cost.
Have you ever visited a barber in Turkey? Would you do it?