Beauty Services in Moscow
Beauty is an extremely high priority for Russians (particularly women), and the typical Muscovite will spend significant time and money to look his or her absolute best.
Carefully applied make-up, elaborately styled hair, and manicured nails are considered a must for a professional business woman (as are a sharp outfit and heels). While it used to be rare for men to devote similar time and money to their appearance, of late it is also becoming quite common for men to get pricey haircuts, skin treatments, and manicures.
Therefore, beauty services are very common and easy to find. Although beauty services overall are at least equally or more expensive than in the United States and western Europe, there are many somewhat reasonable options – you can find a salon krasoty – beauty salon – or parikmacherskaya – hairdresser – on practically every corner and in any shopping center. But in the lower price range, the level of customer service may be equally low, and you will not find English-speakers. If you choose this option, bring a Russian-speaking friend or a very good picture of your desired hairstyle! However, at the higher end of the price range, you can find excellent top-of-the-line service, and even several salons and spas with English-speaking specialists.
Salons and Hairdressers
The following beauty salons and hairdressers have English-speaking staff.
- The Expat Salon
Services include men’s, women’s and children’s haircuts, hair extensions, manicures, gel and acrylic nails, pedicures, facials, microdermabrasion, botox, waxing, phot epilations, cellulite and body slimming treatments, treatment of varicose veins and scars, stone therapy, and Thai massage. Has two locations in Moscow, both with English-speaking staff (not all specialists speak English; you may have the receptionist acting as interpreter).Skatertny Per. 23
Closest metro: Barrikadnaya, Arbatskaya or Pushkinskaya
+7 (495) 291-6467Mal. Patriarshy Per. 3
Closest metro: Mayakovskaya or Pushkinskaya
+7 (495) 650-3749
- Beauty Minute
Services include hair removal, eyelash extension and permanent make-up, professional make-up application, massage, body wraps, anti-cellulite treatment, and facials. English-speaking specialists are available.
Bolshaya Cheremushkinskaya Ul 1 (Inside shopping center “Rio”)
Closest metro: Akademicheskaya
+7 (495) 798-7427
- Richi Club-salon (Russian only)
While this salon does not advertise English-speaking specialists, it does have an English-speaking operator and receptionist. Services include haircuts for men women and children, manicures, gel and acrylic nails, pedicures, hair removal, facials, skin care, massage, tanning, and professional make-up application.
Khodynsky Bulv. 11
Closest metro: Aeroport
+7 (499) 740-5905, 999-4351 (English-speaking operator)
- First Spa
Has English-language information about services on line, and sometimes has an English-speaking operator or receptionist. Services include hydro treatments, facials, peelings, body wraps, massage, botox, manicure, nail extension, pedicure, hair removal, haircuts, hair coloring, and solarium.
Ploshad Pobedy 2/3
Closest metro: Park Pobedy or Kutuzovskaya
+7 (499) 148 99 22
- JP Barbers
Has English-language information about services online, and sometimes has an English-speaking operator or receptionist. Services include men’s and women’s haircuts, shaves, manicure, pedicure, facials, peeling, and massage.
Mokhovaya Ul 7
Closest metro: Biblioteka Imeni Lenina; Borovitskaya; Aleksandrovsky Sad; or Teatralnaya
- Tchik-tchik Styling
A hairdresser specializing in children’s haircuts, founded by an American expat. Children’s cartoons play in English and in French.
Bolshoi Yakimanka Ul
Closest metro: Oktyaberskaya
+ 7 (499) 238-31-58
email@example.com to make appointments in English
The following salon has both English- and French-speaking staff:
- Jacque Dessanges
Services include haircuts, hair coloring, hair treatments, manicure, pedicure, massage, facials, body wraps, and in some branches a sauna and solarium. This international chain has nine branches in Moscow. The central one is:
Tverskaya Ul 24/2-1
Closest metro: Mayakovskaya
+7 (495) 669 36 47
A new and unique beauty and health experience to try while in Russia is the banya.
The Russian banya – steam bath – is extremely popular. A Russian steam bath is very different from both Turkish baths and Finnish saunas. The temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees Celsius and the relative air humidity is around 80 percent. Mint, eucalyptus and fir are used to provide an aroma, but the most prevalent smell is the natural scent of hot wood.
The healthy effects of steam baths have been recognized since ancient times. Banyas are particularly useful during the winter, when they help stimulate the immune system and resistance to colds. They are also said to help preserve the skin’s elasticity, smooth out wrinkles, and help with weight loss.
In addition to the health benefits, a banya is a place where friends get together. This is “banya culture” in Russia.
The banya experience may seem a bit odd to a foreigner at first. But don’t let accounts such as this one, by a 17th century German traveler, scare you off: “Russians are strange people. They can endure horrible heat, and beat and rub each other with hot bundles of birch sticks. They get as red as boiled crayfish and then pour ice-cold water on each other; and in winter they wallow in the snow.”
In actuality, the heat, the birch branch beatings (not painful, just add heat!) and the cold dousing afterward make for an experience which is worth trying both for the health and beauty benefits, and the cultural aspect.
Contrary to what is commonly believed and shown in many movies, drinking alcohol in a banya is not tradition and not recommended. Real banya connoisseurs won’t drink anything but tea, kvas or mors (berry juice).
Many Russians have banyas at their dachas or weekend homes outside of town (don’t turn down an invitation if you get one!), but you can also have the banya experience – albeit minus clean snow to jump into afterward – in the city:
- Sandunovskiye Bani
Moscow’s oldest and most famous banya. Traditionally, this is where the city’s artistic elite met; nowadays, it is still visited by politicians, show-biz personalities and businessmen. It is unrivaled in terms of quality and variety, with its luxurious and antique interior (for men; the ladies area is much less luxurious)
Neglinnaya Ul 14
Closest metro: Teatralnaya or Kuznetsky Most
+7 (495) 925-4631
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 8:00 – 22:00
- Bani Na Presne
Stolyarny Per. 7
Closest metro: Ulitsa 1905 Goda
+7 (495) 255-5306 (men’s banya); +7 (495) 255-0115 (women’s banya)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 8:00 – 22:00
Do note that there can be some health risks from too-frequent banyas, including fever, bronchitis, asthma and high blood pressure.