Like most women, I love to get my hair and nails done. But the price of a manicure, pedicure, or blowout keeps those treats limited to special occasions. At least that’s how I felt until I discovered a way to get the same pampering for a fraction of the cost—by enlisting students from your local beauty or cosmetology school! These future stylists, aestheticians and nail technicians need to practice their craft before they can qualify for their professional license, so beauty schools open to the public to provide a variety of services for hair, makeup, facials and nails at discounted rates.

Average prices for hair services at cosmetology schools

Here are some examples of the prices found at my local Health and Style Institute. These prices reflect the average amount similar services cost across the country.

Hair services

  • Shampoo & blow dry: $5
  • Shampoo, cut & blow dry: $10
  • Haircut only: $5
  • Bangs, beard, neck or moustache trim: $3
  • Updo: $18
  • Highlights: $21

Skin services

  • Facial: $22
  • Makeup: $9
  • Eyebrows: $7
  • Chin or lip wax: $5


  • Manicure: $8
  • Pedicure: $12

Special discounts can apply to seniors

If I went to a salon for any of the above services I would be paying two, three, four or more times as much!

The experience

And don't fret, the work is closely supervised by instructors. But be mindful that these students are learning at the same time, so in some cases you get what you pay for. Remember to be patient and clear with what kind of service you want. If you aren't willing to risk a student cutting or coloring your hair, then stick to blowouts and styling for events. That way if it doesn't work out, you haven't lost inches off your mane. But do know that these students wouldn't be allowed to perform on the floor unless they hadn’t already passed their proficiency tests on mannequins in the classroom. Also keep in mind that it may be difficult to establish a relationship with your student stylists because they’ll eventually graduate, so you’ll most likely work with a variety of students.

Taking pride in your personal appearance can make a world of difference. If you look good you feel good. So pampering shouldn't break the bank.

Find a beauty school near you


This is a guest post by Amanda from Greensboro, NC.

Save on Hair, Nail & Skin Services by Going to a Cosmetology School