Where to get pampered in Barcelona – part 1
Relax by treating yourself to a day of pampering at beauty salons and hairdressers that come highly recommended by Explorer Publishing.
The Catalan ‘work hard, play hard’ philosophy can be daunting when you first arrive, and it can be hard to find time for the recommended eight hours of sleep. For those who need a break, Barcelona offers more than enough respite in the form of massages, gyms and beauty treatments.
Yoga, Pilates and tai chi classes are very popular and reasonably priced. Beauty treatments, in particular facials and massages, are pricier, but this is starting to change as they become more mainstream. In Spain, facials, hair removal and massages are still perceived as treatments for women or slightly effeminate and overly vain men.
Generally, relaxation therapies are common in Barcelona, and no longer seen as a bourgeois extravagance. As a result, the range of treatments is more extensive, and prices much more competitive.
Regular beauty treatments, particularly waxing, are common and regarded as a necessity rather than an indulgence.
Prices have become more competitive, with leg waxing treatments costing as little as EUR 15 and facials EUR 20. Beauty salons are busier in summer, so if possible, avoid Saturdays.
High-street salons in less well-off areas such as Raval and the Barri Gotic may not seem too appealing, but they often offer special deals on leg wax, bikini wax and facial combos that will set you back around EUR 30 for the works.
Laser hair removal and medical beauty treatments are on the rise as weight, vein and cellulite removal treatments become more mainstream.
Botox is also big business in Barcelona and is now found in most beauty salons; Doctor Inma Costa’s centre is a good reference:www.inmacosta.com.
Centre d’Estetica Groc
C/ Topazi, 9
93 218 40 65
This beauty salon in the centre of Gràcia has been in business since 1983, specialising in laser hair removal, facials, peeling and botox treatments. Be prepared to pay a small fortune for treatments though, as this is not the place to come for a quick 10-minute wax. Spa, massage and nail treatments are also available.
Centro de Terapias Naturales y Estética Hera
C/ Maresme, 243
93 313 29 75
Located in Sant Martí, this centre focuses on natural, holistic treatments that draw on Asian influences, such as ayurvedic massages, as well as standard waxing and nail treatments. Acupuncture, reiki and homeopathic therapies are also available.
This place has a more organic and natural philosophy towards beauty treatments. Contact the salon directly as prices vary depending on the length of time you need.
Consultorio Dermoestético Barcelona
Rda Universitat, 6
93 302 57 51
The exterior of this beauty salon is deceptively unassuming. But the centre has all the usual beauty treatments – waxing (full leg EUR 20), rejuvenating facials (EUR 42), uplifting anti-age masks, massages (from EUR 35) – in addition to waist-trimming body wraps and anti-cellulite scrubs. The range of waxes used for treatments is particularly impressive. Watch out for the salon’s regular special offers on beauty packs that include waxing, massage, eye relaxation and facial treatments (EUR 30– EUR45).
C/ Balmes, 44-46
93 272 20 23 |
Zensations lives up to its name; the place is calming and smells lovely. Their specialities are wine and chocolate therapy treatments which include massages, facials and full body moisturising treatments. These start from EUR 45, whereas their standard facial and massage treatments start from €30. The site (part of Holmes Place) is reminiscent of a wood cabin in the mountains, allowing you to leave feeling warm and glowing. Bridal packages, multi-treatments, manicures, pedicures and tanning are also offered.
Hair is a big deal in Barcelona; it is a demonstration of identity, a fashion statement and even representative of a particular political stance. The Catalan mullet is surely the finest – and most contradictory – example of this. Hair styling in Barcelona is avant-garde with a tendency to challenge the norm, and yet it has been home to the mullet since the 80s.
Once a haircut that represented a defiance of mainstream trends, the mullet (and its numerous variations) quickly became über-fashionable.
In terms of salons, Raffel Pages is probably the most well-known Catalan hair salon (peluquería) in Barcelona. While there are an exhaustive number of salons, a strong culture of independent hairdressing exists. Alternative art and fashion magazines distributed in independent boutiques can enlighten you further. Average prices for ladies’ haircuts in a salon are between EUR 20 for a cut and blow-dry with an independent hairdresser or in a small salon, and as much as EUR 50 for a full ‘cut and blow’ in a designer salon. Most salons are unisex (men’s cuts rarely pass the EUR 20 mark) and child-friendly.
C/ Balmes, 5º, 1ª
93 412 51 62
This unique beauty salon and hairdresser combined brings you unexpected massages and aromatherapy treatments. While waiting, you will be pleasantly surprised to enjoy the sound of the waves. Hair is washed with deliciously scented shampoo and a head massage to finish. A basic cut for women costs from EUR 22 and the mini-beauty treatments are EUR 1 per minute.
C/ d’en Bot, 3
93 342 63 39
Bot hair salon has the latest in modern, non-punk Spanish cuts and highlights. Well-groomed stylists advise you on what look complements your facial features and style. This salon’s strongest point however, is the wide range of highlights, lowlights and all-over colour shades that are available. Cuts are on the pricier side at EUR 38 for a cut and blow, EUR 27 cut only (women) and EUR 20 cut only (men).
If you want to pamper yourself silly, the salon has a small beauty salon attached that offers hair removal, manicures and make-up services.
93 215 14 69
This salon is a household name in Barcelona.
There are over 20 branches in the centre and a number of others in the outskirts popular with men and women alike.
Edgy cuts, razor straight fringes and dramatic changes in image are specialities. Prices vary between salons, depending on location.
In the Rambla de Catalunya, 99 branch, a cut and blow-dry starts from EUR 28.90 (men´s cut from EUR 15.50).
Prices don’t include conditioners, hair masks or any styling products that you wish to use on your hair, so watch out for the extra charges.
C/ d’Avinyo, 12
93 302 69 86
Standing out from the crowd is important at Salva G. Sharp layering, punk-esque mullets, off-centre fringes and anything that goes against the conventional is what this unisex salon aims for. A cut and blow-dry costs EUR 36, cuts for men cost EUR 25 and a good selection of highlights and lowlights are available.
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