back to top

This Website Makes Great, Affordable Haircuts Possible In Major Cities

Salon Apprentice was easy to use and incredibly affordable.

Whenever my friends and I discover shortcuts to save money, we check it out and report back almost immediately. That's how I found out about Salon Apprentice.

Comedy Central

My roommate has been debating on where to go and what to do with her hair for a while. She didn't want to spend the typical $80 when she wasn't sure what she wanted, but she heard about Salon Apprentice, where she could get a cut for $20. Sold!

Salon Apprentice is a website where you can volunteer as a hair model for hair stylists-in-training. The price is significantly lower than fully licensed stylists, so if you're broke (or just really responsible with money) it's a great option!

As someone who lives in New York City, the cheapest I've been able to get a good haircut is $50. My roommate's Salon Apprentice cut cost her $15. The average woman's haircut costs $43 in the U.S., so Julia's cut was less than half the price.
Salon Apprentice / Via salonapprentice.com

As someone who lives in New York City, the cheapest I've been able to get a good haircut is $50. My roommate's Salon Apprentice cut cost her $15. The average woman's haircut costs $43 in the U.S., so Julia's cut was less than half the price.

You can bet your ass I signed up to try out this service. First, I filled out a profile on their website.

You fill out all of the important info: Details about your hair, availability, what you're looking to do, etc.
Salon Apprentice

You fill out all of the important info: Details about your hair, availability, what you're looking to do, etc.

Within a week, I received a text from a stylist who was interested in my request.

Because she happened to work at the salon where I regularly have my haircut, I booked with Julie. What better way to test out the differences between Salon Apprentice and my usual stylist?
Emily Rekstis / Via emilyrekstis.com

Because she happened to work at the salon where I regularly have my haircut, I booked with Julie. What better way to test out the differences between Salon Apprentice and my usual stylist?

Because it was the same salon, I also had the same customer courtesies. Namely, they offered me coffee, which I accepted with zero hesitation.

NBC / Via giphy.com

TBH, the whole appointment was basically the same as my usual, the main difference being that Julie's instructor was checking on our progress throughout.

The instructor only came up a few times after our initial consultation. He showed her different ways to part my hair and some snipping techniques, but mainly let Julie do her thing.

After the cut, Julie brought over her instructor to do a final check. It took a couple of minutes, he and Julie fixed a few minor ~finishing touches~ and then I was set to go!

In the end, the cut was good! It was exactly what I wanted– cleaned up with a minimal difference.
Emily Rekstis / Via emilyrekstis.com

In the end, the cut was good! It was exactly what I wanted– cleaned up with a minimal difference.

My roommate has a very different texture — curly and full — and was going much shorter than I was, so her experience was a little different. Her appointments typically take two hours, but this appointment lasted for three.

Instagram / Via Instagram: @monroeloveshair

Her stylist had to get each section approved by the instructor before moving on. So if you're going for something more dramatic or have more textured hair, I'd suggest giving yourself a good chunk of time to get a Salon Apprentice cut.

A note on my roommate's experience: She was in a class of about 15 other volunteers during her appointment. As far as I could tell, I was the only volunteer at mine. It's a risk, but if you're willing to spend significantly less, maybe it's worth it to be in a hair class. You get what you pay for!

Right now, it's only in sixteen major cities– including New York, DC, Denver, Seattle, Miami and Boston – but you can sign up to get notified for when they expand to your area.

Something I highly recommend for anyone on a budget.

Connect with As/Is