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How to Get Expensive Salon Haircuts without Paying a Dime

We all want celebrity-worthy hair. But who wants to pay the huge celebrity-style price tag? Let’s face it — haircuts really can be cost-prohibitive for women, and that’s without factoring in color and other treatments! So how do you get layers that leave people oohing and ahhing over your picture-perfect coiffure without breaking the bank? Read on, and hear your wallet breathe a sigh of relief!

Name brand salons such as Vidal Sassoon and Bumble and Bumble have weekly training sessions for their newbie staff members. That means deep discounts for hair cuts, hair color, highlights, and more. And don’t fret over having your luscious locks in the hands of new stylist. Trainees are constantly supervised by professionals, who may sometimes even demonstrate a technique to ensure accurate results.

The best part is that the volunteers are encouraged to be very specific and to interact with their stylist. This means you don’t have to feel awkward bringing pictures of haircuts you’re looking for, or even letting the stylist know that you don’t feel like the cut is going in the right direction. You might also get to leave with some free hair products! Go to Vidal Sassoon or Bumble and Bumble to find a salon near you.  Or, call another brand name salon nearby and ask if they offer similar services.

Don’t live near a brand name salon? Not a problem. In fact, it’s often at the smaller — yet still trendy — salons where you’ll be able to get a cut for free. Just call the local salon of your choice and ask if they offer this service. It took some calling around. I managed to find a nearby salon that not only offered this service, but was so short on volunteers that they cut my hair at no charge! The same basics apply when you go to a smaller salon. Trainees are always supervised, you’re encouraged to be vocal about your desires, and you get an inexpensive, or free, haircut.

If you’re still not having much luck, you can also try your local beauty school. I have yet to find a beauty school that doesn’t offer free haircuts, and the people are very nice to work with. Simply google your city’s name and “beauty school,” and see what you can find!

There’s nothing better than feeling like a million bucks, for free!

This has been a guest post by Brittany from Sacramento, CA
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!


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17 thoughts on “How to Get Expensive Salon Haircuts without Paying a Dime”

  1. luna says:

    One of the best cuts I’ve gotten was from a cosmetology student at a local beauty school (I should have kept in touch with her). Whenever I go to salons the layers they cut always wind up making me look like Pyramid Head.
    Another benefit of beauty schools is the fact that they are more free to do certain services without racking up costs. I’ve had my bangs razor cut, which I’ve never had a stylist ever offer or try to do. From what I hear razoring costs extra in salon situations.

  2. Amanda Nelson says:

    My boyfriend and I recently started cutting each other’s hair. It’s fun and actually easy!

  3. Bumble and Bumble laughed at me on the phone here in the las vegas/henderson area. There is no training, there is no discount.

  4. Tiffany D. says:

    I personally would never go to a beauty school, but I have hair that is difficult to manage. I consider getting my hair colored a 1-2x/year splurge, and it’s something I’m okay with 

  5. Anonymous says:

    I understand the doubts but we all have to start somewhere. Some one has to be the first. The pros were beginners too at one point. I need the experience if Im going to get better. If you are willing to take the chance my suggestion is to ask the students/trainee who did they’re hair, if you see a cut you like go with said stylist. Or ask who they’re preferred co- student/trainee (if thats a word :/)is. There is usually one that stands out. As a future stylist and make up artist I’ll be relying on those volunteers for a true career. Not that the chain salons are bad but I would like to one day go futher.  Own a salon of my own one day. I’m sorry for those who have had bad experiences but they only get better :D

  6. Has Coupons says:

    This sounds suitable if you are ready to take a chance! You could have a hard time explaining things to a trainee and getting them to understand what you want to do to your hair. 
     I tried it for getting my eyebrows shaped. They charged me $ 4. I left the salon with a bruised brow and cursing myself for letting her try on me. God it ached like hell! 

    My friends tried a free hair cut and it turned out to be miserable too!
    It is not worth it ladies.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I went to Aveda School in Davie, FL (when I used to live there) to get my hair done by the students and a mani-pedi.  I didn’t get my hair done because they charged me the same as a regular salon even though it was done by a student.  The mani-pedi I did get done.  The price was like a regular salon but I liked the fact that you get to keep the OPI nail polish they use for you as well as the nail file with buffer they use.  Only bad thing is that the girl coated the nails so thick and didn’t wait for the coats to dry (besides taking her forever-understandable cause she’s a student) and the next day I had no mani or pedi anymore because it had hair and sheet marks all over and after my shower it chipped…  Boooo :(

  8. I do my kids’ hair because I think $12 for two snips is crazy. However, when it comes to my or my husband’s hair, we go to a professional and it is worth the money at least for me because I only get my hair cute twice a year. 

  9. Lisa Johnson says:

    I got a perm when I was in junior high at one of those places. Because of the learning curve I was there for about 7 HOURS. So not worth it.

  10. I went to the Paul Mitchell school and had my hair colored for $35.  It normally costs over a hundred dollars easy.  And she had to use 3 extra bowls of color.

  11. Tracy says:

    Did the same thing with an ultra sound! They gave me a gift for coming in! 

  12. I’ve always done it. No training, just tools and I’m an artist who just figures it out. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    If you are doing a dramatic cut- and do not color your hair- you can donate your hair to Locks of Love (they make wigs for children with cancer) and the hair stylist will often donate their time, meaning the cut is free. The only catch is they have to cut at least 10-13 inches in most cases. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m planning on donating my hair and I ran into Locks of Love website (before this posting obviously) and they do receive hair tha’s been colored.  So no worries!  And there’s other places that receive hair that has been bleached in the past AND is in good condition now…  ;)