If you’re looking to save some money on the everyday, it’s a great idea to cut out unnecessary expenses. That includes expensive haircuts! Because actually, you can get a pretty great haircut for free if you know where to look. We’ve put together a full guide on how to get a free haircut so that you never have to pay over the odds to look and feel great.
From trainees, to charities, to hair modelling (no modelling experience required) we’ve got a list of the salons, academies, and training school that offer haircuts completely free of charge. AND some extra ideas about how to get a haircut for free.
How much is a haircut in the UK?
A haircut in the UK is typically £30+ for women, and £20+ for men. There are some cheaper salons that will do a ‘dry cut’ for less (£20+ for women, £10+ for men), but these are now harder to come by than ever.
If you spend money on a haircut three times a year, you’re looking at around £100 as a minimum- just for haircuts! This figure increases depending on your location, and in London, you will often struggle to get a haircut for less than £50.
That is, unless you know how to get a cheap or free haircut! Luckily we are breaking everything down in this post so that you can wipe ‘haircuts’ off your budget for years to come.
Will I get a bad haircut?
You are very unlikely to get a bad haircut from a trainee. Why? Because they are supervised by a more senior member of staff who will constantly check their work. Also, trainees have usually trialed haircuts on fake hair, before they are trusted to cut someone’s hair for real.
When you get a free haircut as part of a seminar, you will probably be getting a haircut from a senior stylist who is demonstrating a technique to students. With this in mind, you might even be getting a premium haircut for free! Do remember though, that in these instances, you will usually be applying to have your hair cut in a certain way.
How to get a haircut for free
So without further ado, let’s get into how you can actually get a haircut for free- whether that’s a DIY job or a wash, cut and colour with a top hairstylist…
Do it yourself
If you have a low-maintenance hair type or haircut that you prefer, you could try cutting your own hair. Another bonus? You could also cut your friends’ hair too! Youtube has a wealth of videos about how to cut your own hair, and your only investment will be a pair of hairdressing scissors.
If you wear your hair curly or wavy, this might be an especially good option, because any mistakes are not as obvious as they are on poker straight hair.
But if the DIY option isn’t for you, don’t worry- we still have a ton of other ideas on how to get a free haircut.
Rely on friends or family
If you don’t want to cut your own hair, do you have a friend or family member who does theirs? Would you be willing to put your hair in their hands?
For those that dye their hair, enlisting the help of a friend or family member instead of going to the salon could save you hundreds of pounds every year. Make it a fun evening where you both help each other with the hair dye- and make it a social occasion!
Have a charity haircut
The Little Princess Trust is a well-known charity, and they have partnerships with salons across the UK. If you have long hair (longer than 12 inches) that you would like to donate, they will cut your hair for free.
You can check out their list of salons and find your nearest one using their salon finder. Not only will you be saving money, but your hair will be going to a good cause, and you’ll be doing something lovely for children having treatment.
Be a hair model
Thankfully, there’s no modelling experience required if you’d like to be a hair model. You just need to be willing to have your hair cut! Often, training colleges, academies, and individual salons will be looking for hair models- either for trainees to practice, or for demonstrating a new technique.
Due to this, the haircuts that you will receive as a hair model, are usually specified in advance. For example, an academy might be looking for a model to demonstrate cutting a bob hairstyle. Or perhaps someone that they can demonstrate a brown to blonde hair colouring.
Other times, they will be looking to give standard haircuts. It’s really a case of keeping an eye out for hair model vacancies, or contacting salons individually to ask whether they offer trainee haircuts.
Where to get a free haircut
Here’s our list of salons, training academies, and colleges that offer free haircuts. However, there will be many more like these across the country. So if you have a local training college near you, or a salon that you go to frequently- do ask what their policies are- you may be surprised!
Use Google search
Try searching ‘free haircuts near me’ or ‘free haircuts in [town name]’ to find free haircuts locally. You’ll usually find that results will come up for most major towns and cities.
You can also search for your local college that offers hairdressing, and check what their policies are regarding haircuts. You may be able to get a free, or very much reduced haircut or colour at your local college.
Gumtree or Facebook
Believe it or not, trainee and junior hairstylists will often post on Gumtree or Facebook looking for hair models. In the past advertisements on Gumtree have been spotted looking for hair models for top salons like Aveda, Hersheons and Trevor Sorbie.
Freefor Haircuts Facebook Group
Check out Facebook group Freefor Haircuts where salons, stylists and trainees will list their requirements for hair models across the UK.
The person posting their request will always specify the location, and will usually give a time, the salon name, and what cut they need to do. It’s definitely worth joining to see what comes up in your area. Put notifications on your phone and you won’t miss a post!
Free haircuts in London
London is home to lots of top stylists and salons, and many hairdressing students will train among the best in London as part of a rite of passage. Due to this, there are plenty of training academies in the capital, and lots of training salons too.
Here’s a short list of salons and academies in the capital who regularly offer free haircuts. But for the full list, head over to our free haircuts in London post to find out all the details, with salons all over London.
Percy and Reed- Shoreditch
Percy and Reed is a well known hairdressers, who also have a premium haircare range. Their hair model nights are Tuesdays from 5pm.
To enquire about being a model email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. When they have an opening for your hair type and length, they will give you a call back. Be sure to send your phone number and include a photo of your hair in your email.
Aveda Institute- Holborn
Aveda is another well-known haircare brand. And although the insitute don’t offer walks in for trainee models, trainee cuts and colours will usually be on Mondays, and they do post on Facebook when they need hair models.
Trainees at Aveda Institute will be looking for models with particular hair types or lengths- so keep your eyes open for opportunities, or get in touch with them directly.
Hari’s- King’s Road
Hari’s on the King’s Road in Chelsea offer regular free hair cuts. A standard price for womens haircuts at this salon is £60-150, so it’s a real treat to get your hair done here completely free of charge!
Check their website to make your booking online, and be sure to choose the correct day for your hair length. Please do note that if you’re having your hair coloured, there will be a £10-25 charge to cover costs.
Windle & Moodie- Covent Garden
A haircut at Windle & Moodie is completely free with an assistant stylist, with a colour coming in at £15-20 to cover costs. This is a serious saving compared to the usual prices at this salon, so do snap up the opportunity to be a hair model if you can.
London School of Barbering- Farringdon & Liverpool Street
London School of Barbering is a hairdressing academy that offers free men’s haircuts with a junior barber trainee, or haircuts for just £3 with a senior barber trainee. Head to their website to book online at one of their two London salons.
Rush Academy- Covent Garden
Rush Academy is another popular salon, and they offer free haircuts for men, and charge £5 for women- which is still an absolute steal for a haircut!
You could also have an Ombre or Balayage treatment for just £25. Head to their website to fill out their model form and someone will be in touch.
Top tips for scoring a free haircut
Keep an open mind
If you have an open mind, or you’re someone who doesn’t mind a bit of change when it comes to their hair, you are the ideal candidate for a free haircut at a training academy.
Whether it’s a new colour, or a dramatic styling change- you’ll be a trainee hairdressers ideal hair model!
Leave enough time for the appointment
Trainee haircuts can often take 3-4 hours, so make sure that you leave enough time for the appointment. The reason that trainee cuts take so long is that the haircut must be checked by a senior member of staff frequently.
This is to make sure that you don’t go away with a bad haircut! And if you’re a hair model for a seminar or something similar, the tutor will be going through every step of the haircut, and explaining their process to the students, which also takes some time.