Many hairdressers offer discounted cuts and other treatments in exchange for your time, a bit of flexibility and your courage. I tried getting a makeover at the Sassoon Academy where a stylish haircut costs only £12.
|Me and my hairdresser for the morning|
A number of salons offer free or heavily discounted haircuts and colours. I decided to try the Sassoon Academy as they were a company I had heard of, are easy to get to (they are on Brook Street near Bond Street station). I booked their first available slot in and spent 7 days wondering weeks time and wondering if I had done the right thing.
On the day I turned up at 9.30 as instructed, paid £12 for a haircut and was given a slip of paper to take to the salon a couple of doors down. In that salon I was given a bit of card and told I was in the "red room" (they have 4 different classrooms). The room looked much like any busy salon with about 10 cutting stations.
There were 4 teachers in my room; 3 overseeing cuts and 1 teaching colour. We were asked who wanted colour and I asked if I could have some (even though I hadn't paid for it). They were happy to give more students the chance to learn some new techniques. The teacher asked me what sort of cut I wanted and when I said I was flexible they decided to go for a jaw length bob. The colourist decided to go for 3 different colours in blocks from light at my parting to caramel to biscuit. This made my tummy rumble but unfortunately I was over 3 1/2 hours away from leaving and getting a chance for some food. Other people were far more specific about what they wanted and the teachers seemed happy to do as asked.
The students were young, spoke no English and shared 2 interpreters between them. I believe they were from South Korea, but obviously there was a shortage of conversation. They were on a 2 day course in London and I have no idea how much previous experience they had, I was too scared to ask.
The teacher talks through each step of the haircut with the student, watches them take the first few cuts and then comes back to check on them. My teacher would frequently check on progress and finish each stage to his satisfaction. The same process was repeated with the colour.
The end result was a good quality haircut. I was a little unsure of the length and the colour of the top layer, but after getting used to them I am really happy with it.
Would I repeat the experience?
Yes definitely. It takes a little longer than a full price cut, but the great price and quality of cut/ colour was worth it. There is a risk as you wont know the experience of the student, but worst case scenario the teaching team will take over and finish it off slightly shorter than intended.
Tips to get the most of the experience
Be flexible, but say if there are things you don't want
Bring food and drink if you are likely to need a snack, they don't offer coffee and biscuits
Bring something to read as it will take a long time.