Wednesday, April 04, 2012

How to Get your Hair Done for Free or Really Cheap at an Upscale Salon

Model/singer/dj Solange Knowles' career received a major boost when she cut off her relaxed hair and went natural
Brooklynite, Nicole Tommasini, recently asked where she could get a haircut in NYC without the ridiculously expensive price-tag. I suggested she peruse the craigslist beauty services section for FREE or low cost salon training classes by students. "I'm too psycho about my hair to have a student do it" gushed Nicole. 

I laughed at Nicole’s response, but knew it echoed the sentiment of a society that places tremendous value on our hair. Hair as beauty. Hair as self-expression. Hair as accessory. Hair as political statement. Hair as safety net. Hair as man attracter (or repeller). Hair as art. The list goes on and on. 

While the right hairdo can work wonders, a bad haircut can spell disaster for your social life, self-image, and even your professional career. No wonder so many women don't trust students to do something so important as their hair! They believe students are inexperienced people who just started learning a skill… and that is pretty accurate for many hair salons and beauty schools. 

However, at top notch salons students are often people who have been doing hair for years, and now are at the culmination of a mastery level class. These stylists are the PhD's of the hair dressing world; your haircut is essentially their chance to defend their dissertation. That said, there is only a minuscule chance they will f*ck it up.

Most people leave the salon feeling like a rock-star. Bostonian, Chrissy Carroll said “I’ve never walked out from a free appointment unhappy!” She often gets free hair coloring and cuts at salon training classes listed on Craigslist. "I've gotten to go to super ritzy salons with well trained stylists that have worked in other places but are learning the new salon's methods” said Chrissy.

How to get your hair done at an upscale salon for FREE or really cheap:
  1. Visit for your city or town
  2. Click on the Beauty Services section (as I have marked in red in the picture above)
  3. Keyword search what you are looking for. Some common keywords to look for are
    • hair model                                      
    • free haircut
    • hair color model
    • free blowout
    • training class
    • free hair color
  4. Email or call to set-up your appointment. 
  5. Keep in mind that stylists are looking to do the exact thing that is specified in the post. If it says they are looking to for someone for a pixie cut, don’t expect to come in for face-framing layers. 
  6. Follow whatever instructions they give you. Certain salons require you come in for a consultation beforehand, others will want you to send a picture or description of your current hair. 
  7. Be on time. Reliability helps when you want to be added to the salon's mailing list and invited back. 
  8. Thank your stylist and tip if the salon allows it. Some don't allow the stylists to take any money whatsoever.
  9. Enjoy your posh, new hairdo!

Where do you get your hair done? Or do you do-it-yourself? Let me know if you find anything as a result of this post. Leave your comments below.

xX Helene


  1. Good tip. I used Craiglist for my wedding day hair stylist. Not only did I get connected with a very talented, sweet person, I received high quality service at a fraction of the cost.

    For bimonthly hair maintenance, I usually go to a place in Sunset Park that charges $15 for a haircut. I have never paid over $20 for a haircut and am terrified at the prospect. I do realize that some women don't have a choice though.

  2. You can also use its amazing :)

  3. What a great article. Thanks for the tip. I am a little skirt to be used by students though lol

  4. Really interesting. I went through hell to find my new stylist. She's not as expensive as some but she does a good job so I'm happy with her! Thanks for the comment on my blog :)

  5. Carol-- I wish! I go to the salon for a wash and set and it's $40 just to wash my hair!

    Taara-- thanks for the tip... I will check it out!

    Justpatience and Baby Budget Blog-- thank you for reading, ladies!


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