Do you feel like the cost of everything is going up at the moment? It feels particularly true of haircuts. £55 for a basic cut seems steep, and it’s certainly hard to justify if you’re trying to save money. The truth is, cheap haircuts aren’t easy to come by. That is, unless you know where to look! This is our full guide on how to get a cheap haircut, with top tips that might even lead you to get your hair cut for free.
The thing is, you can get a cheap haircut without getting a bad haircut, and that’s the key to saving money when it comes to your haircare. Because no one wants a bad haircut!
1. Get a haircut from a trainee
When getting a cheap haircut, you will usually be seen by a trainee, or a senior tutor who is demonstrating a certain cut of technique to a trainee. Due to this, it means the haircut is likely to take a while. Possibly between 3-4 hours. However, that of course depends on the cut and or treatment that you are having. If you’re after a trainee haircut make sure you have the time to dedicate to the cut before putting yourself forward to be a model. Usually, haircuts by trainees will cost much less than standard hair cuts. You may even be able to get a free haircut when it’s cut by a trainee stylist.
But will I get a bad haircut?
The key takeaway is that trainees are always supervised by a more experienced hairdresser while they are cutting hair. Trainee haircuts can take a long time because they must check every layer with their supervisor before moving on to the next layer. And if a layer went slightly wrong? You can be sure that the senior stylist will fix it.
The trainee is also likely to be highly focused since they’re having their work checked by their boss. It’s also important to remember that they will have observed many haircuts and trained on fake hair before being deemed fit to work on a real head of hair.
2. Use deal websites
When you’re thinking about how to get a cheap haircut, check sites like LivingSocial for deals on haircuts, styling, colouring, treatments and blow dries. There are usually tons of them! Most of the time you’ll save well over 50% off the standard price.
There are always lots of deals available across the UK, and you can filter by your area. Check out LivingSocial for yourself. Some deals offer as much as 80% off the original price so it’s well worth browsing the site.
3. Switch up your salons
If you’re on a budget, you could try and switch up your salons to take advantage of ‘first-time-customer’ discounts. You could end up getting a great deal by switching your hairdresser every time. Use websites such as Treatwell to browse different salons near you, and be sure to sign up to their new customer offers.
You can also redeem cashback with Treatwell, via TopCashback, and get up to a further 4.25% cashback on your appointment. It’s a great way to stack deals and discounts and pay even less for your haircut.
Percy & Reed is a top salon that offers new customer discounts. When you sign up to their newsletter, you will receive a 15% discount on your order.
And if you’d rather get your hair cut at home? Check out Blow LTD who offer this service in London. Not only can you get up to £4.25 cashback on your order via TopCashback, but you can also make use of their £10 off voucher for new customers. It’s another double saving!
4. Ditch the big names
Independent salons tend to have lower prices. Big name chains have a reputation to maintain, and spend large amounts of money on marketing and other overheads. If you go to a smaller salon, you’ll be spending your money with a small business owner and you may also be spending less money on your haircut.
Try going out of town to get a cheaper haircut, as cuts in central city locations are likely to be more expensive than out of town. Some independent salons may not have a website, if this is the case, use Google Maps to locate the salons, and phone up to find out their price menu. You might be surprised at how affordable they are. You can also try your local Facebook groups to see if any salons come recommended by locals.
5. Look for junior stylists
Check whether your regular salon has cheaper prices if a junior or trainee stylist cuts your hair instead of someone more senior. There’s no harm in asking! Check out the ‘meet the team’ page on salon websites, which may show if there is a junior or trainee stylist on the team. If a trainee is listed as a member of staff, but there isn’t a trainee price listed on their price menu, ask to see if they offer a discount for a trainee or junior stylist hair cut.
Try picking up the phone, emailing, or messaging them on their ‘contact us’ section.
6. Check out standby slots
Standby slots are just for flights! Try and get your haircut on a weekday if possible. Salons will often have ‘stand by’ slots available during the week which can be cheaper than peak times. Do some research and see if there are salons near your home or place of work that offer this. It’ll be more convenient to pop in on your lunch break or after work if they are nearby.
You might even find that a salon in your local area has a loyalty card. Which again could mean even more savings on your future haircuts.
7. Use student discounts
If you’re a student? Find out which salons offer a student discount and use this to your advantage. You’ll find some listed in directories like your TOTUM student card app, however others might not advertise.
Phone or message a salon that you’re interested in, or go in person to ask if they do student discounts (and check the discount amount!). Be sure to check if there are any T&Cs associated with the student discount. You may only be able to redeem the discount on certain days, or in certain locations.
8. Cut your own hair
This tip is one for the brave- cut your own hair! This option is most suitable if you have curly or wavy hair, because you won’t need to have a dead straight line and a few miss-snips won’t look too noticeable. All you will need is an investment in some hair scissors– they will set you back around £7, or even less. (Just make sure you get cashback on your purchase using TopCashback!)
YouTube is a great resource for hair cutting videos. You can search for home haircutting videos and get professional instruction from a hairdresser. Search for your hair type and the style that you’d like to achieve and follow the tutorial. If you get stuck? Ask a friend to help you. You never know, you might end up becoming the friend that everyone comes to, to get their hair cut!
9. Mates rates
Do you know anyone who has trained as a hairdresser? Or perhaps someone who cuts their own hair who might be willing to help you out? Your friend might be willing to cut your hair for less than the going rate at a hairdressers.
You could return the favour by doing a ‘skill swap’ and helping them out with something. Perhaps they need their lawn mowed or some curtains hemmed? Alternatively, you could pay them some cash for their time and help them with some side hustle income.
10. Home visit hairdressers
Did you know that some hairdressers will visit your home? This can be a less expensive way to get your haircut, because the hairdresser isn’t bound by any salon overheads. Also called ‘mobile hairdressers,’ this service is particularly ideal if you are unable to get out to the hairdresser for any reason.
For the best value home visit hairdressers in your area, type into Google ‘mobile hairdressers near me’ and a list of local businesses will be shown in the search results. If they do not advertise their rates online, call up to ask, and ask if they offer stand by slots at lower rates.
11. Use your local training college
Your local hairdressing training college is one of the best places you can go to get a cheap haircut. You may even find that you are able to get a haircut for free! Training academies are often on the look out for hair models. But, sometimes you must be comfortable having a complete change of look (don’t worry- the team will inform you of this before your appointment is made!)
That said, all trainees need to start somewhere, and even the most basic of cuts, colour and highlights will be covered at training colleges. To find appointments at your local training college, check out their website, social media pages, or phone to ask about upcoming appointments. Be sure to ask the price too to avoid disappointment.
12. Check out our recommended list of salons
We have a list of top salons where you can get a cheap haircut. Whether that’s as a hair model or as a model for a trainee. Don’t worry, it’s just the hair cut that the salons are after- you won’t usually have to have photos taken or an impressive modelling portfolio to be a hair model!
Toni & Guy
You’ll likely have already heard of Toni & Guy. With salons all over the UK, and a premium haircare range, you might even say that they are one of the biggest names in hairdressing.
But did you know that you can be a hair model for Toni & Guy? At their London and Manchester academies, cuts and colours are completed by trainees from Monday to Friday at 9.30am and 1.45pm. Haircuts cost £5, and colour from £20, which is just to cover the costs.
You can head to their website to see a full list of trainee prices, or call them on 020 7836 0606 to get a trainee appointment at their London or Manchester trainee academies.
Based in central London, The Vidal Sassoon Academy is one of the most well known academies in the city. You’ll find trainee haircuts are weekdays at 9.15am and 1.15pm. You might pay as little as £3 for a cut if you’re a student nurse, and from £13 for anybody else.
At a Vidal Sassoon salon, you would be paying £66 – £150 for a haircut. So to pay £13 is a massive saving! Head to Vidal Sassoon models wanted page to book in.
If you’d prefer not to get your haircut at a trainee academy, you can book a standby slot with Headmasters. By phoning the salon anytime that day, or anytime after 3pm for the next morning, you can get a haircut and blow dry for £36, or a barber cut for £28. Just quote ‘standby service’ when calling.
These slots are of course subject to availability. You also need to be highly flexible with the times that you are able to go to the salon to make the most of this offer.
The Hob Academy is a training school based in Camden, London. Here you’ll be able to book model slots for their apprentice academy and their graduate academy. The slots are available weekdays, and you can go to their website to register your interest. Cuts are free and colour starts from just £15.
You will have a full consultation as though you are heading to a normal salon, you may even be asked to have a patch test beforehand if you’re having colour or treatment. It is worth mentioning, that if you model for a seminar, remember that you will be required to have a big change or something creative done to your hair. If that’s not for you, go for the apprentice or graduate options instead.