Santiago Hairstyles: Fitting in by Standing out

It’s evident that for some here looking good isn’t just a hobby, but a conviction. Some are walking Adidas advertisements matching track jumpsuits with the appropriate three-stripe sneakers. Others could blow up the indie fashion blogosphere with their South American hipster style. If there was any doubt that Santiago strives on personal expression, there is no more entertaining example than hairstyle.

Photo by Kevin Kunitake
Photo by Kevin Kunitake

Almost any street will have mullets, rattails, half-shaved undercuts or other double take worthy hairstyles. The diversity here is incredible. There is no single word or trend that can sum it all up.

“To say there is one style for Santiago is difficult,” said Luka Claudio. “A lot of people keep their hair military short. But this place and neighborhood is very bohemian, so you’ll see different things.”

The place is Love Hair and the neighborhood is Bellas Artes. Claudio is a barber at the alternative hair salon and, it goes without saying, an expert on the latest trends in the city. The top of his hair is an unkempt crown of cotton candy blues and pinks while the sides are natural, short and clean. A tattoo of two green origami cranes around a pink heart sits on the back of his neck. His latest inks, two red broken hearts, rest right below each of his knees.

Photo by Kevin Kunitake
Photo by Kevin Kunitake

“A lot of our customers bring in pictures of what they want,” said Claudio. “A lot of them are actors, musicians and artists. Girls always come in asking for something like Drew Barrymore.”

Love Hair is the place to be for someone looking to switch up styles. The walls are hot pink and the speakers play Amy Winehouse and Cyndi Lauper. For having only been open three months, the salon brings in customers from all over, both locals and travelers, really anyone looking for a quality haircut.

Note that this isn’t the place to find mullets and ponytails. The first mention of them makes Claudio and Miguel Mamani, his platinum-haired boss, scrunch up their faces in a twisting smile, quickly disregarding them as flaite.

Instead, they offer a sopaipilla, as an alternative. It’s short on the sides and long on top. What makes it unique is the horizontal line right above the ears that wraps all the way around the head, aka 'la marca de la chilena'. Why it is named after the popular street food is anyone’s guess, but Luka assures that it’s only semi-flaite.

For travelers in desperate need of a trim, finding a good haircut can sometimes be stressful. If a sopaipilla isn’t appetizing, the staff here can cut just about any style. Or go wild. Let them do what they do, then go ahead and count the double takes.

Photo by Kevin Kunitake
Photo by Kevin Kunitake

Love Hair: Loreto 55, Recoleta, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Love Hair

From the Bellas Artes Metro
- Head left on Monjitas towards Jose Miguel de la Barra.
- Make another left and walk through Parque Forestal.
- Continue past Museo de Bellas Artes and cross the bridge.
- Continue straight on Calle Loreto, it will be past Avenida Bellavista on the right side

No votes yet

Other articles you might enjoy

No related items were found.

Leave a comment