Hair and Beauty
If you are particular about what you put in your hair or anywhere on your body, bring your own stuff. One of the biggest inconveniences is that Italy is very particular with the items that they sell. Something you may be used to at home might not be sold here. Especially conditioner. But that goes with lotions, soaps and other various products like that. Also, the ones that you do find are a bit pricey so in order to save time and money, we must reiterate: bring some of your own stuff. When you run out, you can probably have someone from back home ship some over. If you AREN’T particular about hair products, there are tons of One Euro stores where you can get decent stuff for cheap.
Hair-Dryers, Curlers, and Straighteners
Forget what you've heard about them being too expensive to buy in Europe. You can, AND WILL, find decently priced hair products if you're willing to do a little bit of searching. If you're in Florence: Check out stores underneath the train station, search on via Nazionale (near the train station), or on Via dei Neri. There are tons of stores where buying these gadgets won't rob you of all your study-abroad funds. However, if you need to be prepared, it is possible to order European hair products on Amazon by doing a quick search like this one.
Waxing, Tanning, etc.
There are several places to stop in to get your usual beauty treatments, but the best one we've found so far is Body Care. They have a ton of services you'll be missing like waxing, manicures, pedicures, and tanning. Unfortunately, you can expect American prices but it is definitely one of the better-priced salons in town. It is located across from the popular Plus Hostel on Via Santa Caterina d'Alessandria, 10 / A - 10 / A. A word to the wise - if you're having waxing done, be very clear about what you would like to have done and how. If this means researching how to say "not too thin" or "I don't want you to remove all of my eyebrows" in Italian, DO IT.
If you’re into makeup and can’t live without it, by all means bring as much as you can, BUT there is a Sephora RIGHT next to the Duomo as well as many other stores that sell a wide-range of cosmetics such as OVS (Oviesse) and H&M. Kiko is a great alternative for those who wish to spend a little less for pretty great cosmetics. Nail Polish runs around 2 - 6€ and they have tons of varieties of everything you need.
Also, Avon is also popular in various places all over Europe. If you're in Florence - contact Letizia, a local Avon rep who can hook you up with awesome cosmetic deals. Best part? She'll deliver the goods right to your door.
Still got questions? Don't hesitate to ask me!
Enjoy this semester - you're gonna have the time of your life!