Porteños spend a lot of time on their appearance, whether that means visiting their stylist for the latest cut, getting weekly manicures, or investing in plastic surgery. Because services tend to be relatively inexpensive, most locals and expats take advantage of salons and spas for a range of services from a blow-out, to a facial, to a massage. Tipping is not necessary; if you do tip, be sure to give it directly to the person who treated you, otherwise it is considered a tip for the owner.
A few chains in Buenos Aires have locations all over the city. Their prices are a bit higher, but they tend to have at least one person on staff who speaks English. Because the service industry is inexpensive in the city, few people who work in these industries speak fluent English. However, most people will be very patient with you and understand hand gestures very well!
Llongueras has several locations, with hair cuts starting around $80, manicures around $50.
Paulino Acosta also has locations all over the city, and has similar prices as Llongueras.
If you venture to some of the smaller neighborhood salons, the rates decrease considerably, with manicures starting at $25, and cuts for $50.
One favorite spot is Angela Dalle Nogare spa in Belgrano (Av. Cabildo 2970, Piso 1 “C”; tel. 4541-0945). You can get a one-hour facial for $115, and the service is impeccable. The owner, Angela, speaks a little bit of English and she is very helpful. They are also expert waxers, and at the prices there’s no reason to ever buy a razor again. A full bikini costs $60.
All spas offer ‘depilación’ (waxing), and there are many local waxing-only salons throughout the city. They are small, privately owned, and all use the Spanish system of waxing which is done without the use of cloth strips.