Sometimes it feels like you can’t move for hairdressing salons in London. But affordable ones? That’s another story. Getting a cheap, decent haircut in the capital is no easy task – you need to keep your eyes open for a bargain. Step one is to sign up to Groupon, City Treats, Living Social and Kelkoo Select, all of which offer hefty discounts on hair and beauty services.
If you’ve time but no money, the cheapest way to a new style is becoming a hairdresser’s model. This is especially good if you’re open minded and willing to experiment. But, be warned, it can take hours. Many of the bigger salons, such as Toni and Guy and Vidal Sassoon, have training academies, and Gumtree regularly lists ads from salons looking for models.
Another idea – and one that worked for me – is to find a keen junior at one of the top salons. Stick with them as their career goes stellar and they’ll reward you with permanently lower rates. Failing that, here are some places to go for an affordable cut in the capital:
Vidal Sassoon Academy
If you’re aged between 18 and 50, a trainee Sassoon stylist will give you a wash, cut and blow-dry for just £12. All students are supervised by an instructor who’ll step in if things start to go wonky, but appointments can take up to three hours for a cut and five for a colour. To book, call 020-7580 3323. www.sassoon.com
Alan D School of Hairdressing
Or how about a free haircut? They’ll give you one at this long-standing training school near Oxford Circus. Again, students are supervised and, don’t worry, you get to choose the look. Appointments are Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 4.30pm, call 020-7580 3323 for details. www.aland.co.uk
This Old Street hair and beauty salon offers 25% off a cut and blow dry on Wednesdays, 25% off highlights on Mondays and Tuesdays, and 20% off for students all week long. You’ll also find a load of beauty offers on the website. www.3thirty.co.uk
This salon, specialising in colour and cutting-edge styles, gives first-time customers 50% off. Again it’s handily located just off Oxford Street. The catch? The offer’s only available Monday to Thursday between 10am and 4pm. Simply print off the voucher on the website and take it with you. www.colournation.com
Hair by Fairy
Well, this is something. A trendy salon in Covent Garden that doesn’t charge an absolute fortune. Here, a shampoo and cut starts at just £13. Admittedly there’s small print – you’ll pay an extra £15 for the blow dry. But for an affordable, stylish cut, this seems a good place to start. www.hairbyfairy.co.uk
The award-winning Rush chain boasts nearly 60 salons across London and the south. First-time customers can receive a bargain 50% off cut-and-colour services. I have a friend who’s abused the offer and repeat-booked under different names. Not that I’d encourage such behaviour… www.rush.co.uk
Vouchercloud provides discount vouchers on hairdressing services at a number of top London salons. At the time of writing, it was offering 30% off at Compton in Covent Garden, 25% off at Headmasters, 30% off at Fordham in Soho and 20% off at Nicky Clarke. www.vouchercloud.com
Any other budget barnet tips? Please let us know in the comments!