I love high-end haircuts by skilled stylists and outstanding color by equally skilled colorists, but alas, I only have the budget for cut-rate services. Problem solved. I get my hair services at some of New York’s top salons — but the services are performed by apprentices, who are all graduates of reputable schools and are under the direct supervision of the master stylists and colorists.
If you live in or near New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles or San Francisco, you can take advantage of hair styling and coloring bargains. Go to http://salonapprentice.com/, then choose your city from the menu and check all the offerings for the services you want. The stylists who post will give contact information and tell you the date and time the service is available, as well as the cost. When the stylist or colorist needs something very specific for a test or a class — for example, a bob cut or platinum blond color — the service is generally FREE.
My favorite in NYC: the Arrojo Studio on Varick Street in New York City. If you watch “What Not to Wear,” you’ve seen Nick Arrojo create transformative styles and color. He gets $500 for a haircut — but if you book a cut with one of his apprentices, you may pay $20 or $30 — or it may be FREE. There are similar savings for color — and this, too, may be FREE.
You can find similar bargains if you search the site regularly. If you don’t live in or near one of the cities on this site, pick out the best salons in your area, call and ask if they have an apprentice program or something similar. Aveda runs one such program in most major cities. One high-end salon in New Jersey, for example, offers services for $25, performed by younger stylists they describe as “New Talents.” Your only issue, once these new talents get really talented, their prices go up. Then you may have to find another up-and-coming salon star.