Free haircuts in New York City

This one probably belongs on a best-kept secrets list somewhere. You can get a cut or coloring for free or else at an extremely reduced price if you go to salon training sessions. Basically, you agree to have your hair done by cutters or colorists in training. Here's a website that describes the process and has a long list of the salons and styling schools that do it:

http://nymag.com/guides/cheap/haircuts/

The official lingo for it is being a model. You call up and say that you're interested in being a model, and follow their instructions for how to sign up. Each place does it a bit differently. I've had two EXCELLENT experiences with world-class salons and paid a fraction of what they usually charge. However, I've also heard horror stories about students left unattended by their supervisors and making a big mess of people's hair. So be a bit weary. Some of the wait times can be long, so I've steered clear of those places.
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hhusted Jan 09, 2010
Thanks for the link. But I think I will spend $15 to get a professional cut. If I can't afford $15 I'm in serious trouble.
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BroadwayBK Jan 10, 2010
I've had some experience with haircuts at Aveda and I can vouch for them. Though they are students, none have ever failed me.

This feature is great, though; I'm going to try to get an appointment at Redkin Gallerie, so thanks!

@hhusted Just be glad you're not a female; I spend about $100 on average for just a cut in this city.
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Uraniumfish Jan 10, 2010
Yeah the reality is that decent cuts for women come at astonishing prices in the city. Same goes for color treatments. since both need to be done on a regular basis, you can end up spending hundred a month.
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uptowngirl Jan 10, 2010
aye aye @BroadwayBK and @Uraniumfish in spite of the expensive the women in this city are so exceptionally well groomed and so many of them have glossy, silky tresses which can only be achieved with much TLC which of course comes at a price. I personally would be too frightened to try a student cut as I hate having the length cut and I feel when you get one of these freebies you have no control as to what the stylist is going to do to you.
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Uraniumfish Jan 10, 2010
As I said, be wary. The very very good places supervise their students like hawks and make you feel like nothing will happen to you that you don't want to happen to you. Hair is such a personal thing, it can be a real trauma when it goes badly, and yet a good haircut for me is better than therapy.

For what it's worth, I've had a couple of excellent experiences with students who were already very obviously advanced, and close to getting their credentials. I think there's a set number of cuts they have to give before they get credentials. Or something to that effect.
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BroadwayBK Jan 11, 2010
Not only are the students supervised, but they are pretty far along in their studies, so it's not like it's their first time on the floor and they've never seen hair before. At Vidal Sassoon in LA I've even had experienced and licensed hair dressers work on me, because they are just taking the class to further their studies. I've had better cuts at places like Vidal Sasson and Aveda than in many New York City salons.
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hhusted Jan 12, 2010
Women's haircuts are about $100? Wow. No wonder women spend a lot more money to take care of their appearance than men do.
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Jack Santo Jan 13, 2010
Yes women's haircuts are sooooo expensive. My girlfriend get's hers done and it's at least $120 each time.
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hhusted Jan 13, 2010
I wonder why women have to pay more for their haircuts more than a man does. Is it because of the length of hair or because women are more concerned with their hair so they have to go to a specialist? Any ideas for ladies in this forum.
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Uraniumfish Jan 16, 2010
A guy friend tried to tell me this as an explanation: men have to have their hair cut more often, since they typically wear it short. Women don't need to get haircuts with the same frequency. Therefore, he says, the cheaper, more frequent haircuts men get add up to the same as expensive, less frequent haircuts women get, over the course of a year.

Not sure I buy it, though. It still hurts to pay $120 in a salon.
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hhusted Jan 16, 2010
I agree, Uraniumfish. I would never think of walking into a barbershop and pay $120. I think $15 is high. I used to pay $8 at a barber down the street from my apartment, but he is gone now.
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BroadwayBK Jan 17, 2010
@Uraniumfish That actually not only makes sense, but actually makes me feel better.... sort of.

I actually saw a newly-opened salon that was offering women's cuts for only $25. It was on 4th Ave, just south of 14th St. I wish I could remember the name of it to post it here, but am considering going back anyway.
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Uraniumfish Jan 17, 2010
@ BroadwayBK Well send the name when you know it and I'm there. That's a decent deal.
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uptowngirl Jan 21, 2010
@BroadwayBK and Uraniumfish if you want to schelp all the way uptown or if you are ever in my neighborhood you could try comfort zone which offers $25 haircuts for women.http://www.comfortzonesalon.com/salonservices.html.
I have used the services of Benjamin there who was pretty good.
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BroadwayBK Jan 21, 2010
@Uraniumfish I'm going to look for that place next time I visit Trader Joe's.

@uptowngirl You don't know how tempting that is...
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ajadedidealist Jan 22, 2010
Women's haircuts can be more. I used to go to Louis Licari to get cut and color and the prices were OBSCENE (and I wasn't keen about the results; they kept trying to turn my strawberry blonde hair reality-TV-show-star-blonde when I kept asking them to make it redder! And they charged extra for a blowout). Now I go to my "local" - Irene on 97th and Madison - still expensive-ish, but absolutely top-quality. The moral of this story is: prices do NOT guarantee quality - at some of the "best" places, you'll get "artists" trying to turn your hair into what THEY want, not what YOU want, or give you the latest "trendy" cut when you're happy with your old-fashioned style, thank you very much.
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Uraniumfish Jan 29, 2010
Found a Japanese hair cutter at Cooper Square that does women's cuts for $30. Have yet to try them out, though...
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