How to Get Free or Cheap Haircuts

Cheap haircut at a beauty school
Photo: Africa Studio/Shutterstock
Some might say “you get what you pay for” when it comes to free and cheep goods or services, for others it is a smart way to stretch their budget and to make the most of what they have.
Of course, it is a pleasant and luxurious experience to get pampered and beautified in a posh salon, but there are more affordable and even free ways to get a new look for your hair or a refreshing update of your current style.
The first place to inquire is your local beauty school. Students always look for models to practice on. Those services can be free or, in some cases, only cost a minimal amount. You can get the latest cut and coloring service, updos, highlights, in short – everything you can get at any modern salon.
One thing you can expect at a beauty school are eager students who will work hard and do their best to do a good job. They are motivated and often more enthusiastic than established veterans in salons. Also, you will enjoy the latest techniques and trendy input. All of this, coupled with some extra effort to please you and give you the best head massage ever when washing your hair, outweighs the risk that comes with a lack of experience.
There is a slightly higher chance of something going "wrong" in a hair and beauty school than in a salon, so I would not advise to go for any complicated colorings but to stay on the safe side with a stylish haircut, a simple color application, and perhaps some highlights.
Another option for a free haircut and style is to check in with your larger, local salons to see if they are scheduling new employee training workshops. Especially in larger cities, there are many salons that do this on a regular basis, and of course, models are needed. The advantage here is that you might be under the hands of an already experienced stylist; a disadvantage could be that the type of hairstyle isn't up to your choice.
Photo: Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels
Check out your local barber! If all you need is a trim, a simple maintenance cut or your hairstyle is already on the gamine side (for instance, a pixie cut), it won't hurt to join the guys at their temple of handsomeness. Prices are usually much lower, and the service is quick, friendly, and professional.
Ask a friend! Do you need your bangs trimmed or a touch-up of your tips? A friend with a steady hand and a good eye will be able to help you out for a cup of coffee and a batch of brownies. Even a simple color application is easy and inexpensive with store-bought hair color and two extra sets of hands. Just make sure to perform a strand test before you dye your entire hair and follow the instructions in the package closely.
Wherever you go and whoever works on your hair, make sure to follow the number one rule when it comes to haircuts and styling: define your needs and wants and communicate them clearly.
See also:
How to save on haircuts and hair care
Hair economics
Beauty on a budget
Free haircuts in New York City