Frugal Foreigner: The Gents Parlour

When we first moved to Bangalore, we drove by this place several times.  I found it odd that a country with taboos around drinking and smoking would have a “Girl’s Gents Parlour” so obviously labeled on such a busy road.

Month’s later, I finally noticed that the sign actually says “Giri’s Gents Parlour” – I was confusing the capital I with an L.

Of course, it also helped that by then I had figured out that a Gents Parlour is actually a beauty salon.  There are tiny barbershops set up in nooks, crannies, and kiosks, but the larger men’s salons do waxing, pedicures, and massages.

Here is Dalton getting a hair cut.  You can see the massage table in the background.

The women’s beauty parlors are specifically labeled as Ladies and Kids Only.  No men are allowed inside because they also do massages, waxing etc.  However, most kids in India get their heads shaved, so I have to take Dalton to a men’s salon (and hope no one else is there) to get him an actual hair cut.

Little kids in India - boys and girls - often have their heads shaved.

I pay 50 rupees for Dalton’s hair cuts – about $1.15, or $1.35 after tipping.  My husband pays twice as much for a hair cut that also includes a head massage and, I think, a shave.  I normally give haircuts to my husband and the baby using clippers.  Cutting their hair at home has saved me hundreds of dollars.  We don’t have clippers in India, but I still trim my daughter’s hair myself with scissors.

How do you save on hair cuts for your family?

Related Forum Discussions:

If you’re new to my posts, read all about what we’re doing in India here! You can read all previous posts in the series here.


  1. Ellie Mae says

    We also cut are hair at home. I haven’t been to a beauty salon in years. Dh or DD trims my hair, Dh does go occasionally and get his hair cut from the barber for about $10 but that is maybe every 3 or 4 months. The girls always trim their own hair.

  2. Wanda says

    I just wanted you to know that I look forward to your posts. I love your frugal foreigner blog! It is by far one of the most interesting things on Mommysavers.

  3. Diane says

    I cannot believe the cost of a haircut in India! What a difference! Dalton is so precious.

    To save money here in the US, I usually try to stretch out my cut by trimming my own bangs. All my girls keep their hair long and only get their hair cut a few times a year.

  4. says

    I also cut my son’s hair at home, although that practice won’t last much longer! As a single mother, I had to learn to cut some corners, so taking the clippers to my son’s hair was a great way to save money. However, although I can cut his hair just fine, I can’t cut it as well as a professional. So, as he gets older he will want a professional haircut. I am just waiting until he demands a professional haircut!

  5. lovecanada says

    YES!!! Just found you. I have cut my husbands hair for about 40 years and could not even try to put a SS amount on the savings. Now he has no more hair on top, so the 1/4 inch clipper does a fantastic job every 3 or four weeks! I cut my own and will go to a hairdressing school for a treat maybe once or twice a year, where an instructor takes care of all “problems” for under $6.00
    We are grateful to be frugal!

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