Discount Spa and Salon Services
The current economic situation is causing a number of people to reevaluate their spending habits and look for frugal options. While spa and salon services are often regarded as a luxury and, therefore, less necessary, it is still very important to look after yourself. Finding ways to unwind and reduce stress will help you to get through difficult times by improving your health. Appearing neatly groomed is always helpful when seeking jobs. If you are willing to be a bit flexible regarding time and styles, you can get some wonderful results with very little money. Many of these services are geared toward women, but many salons need male cut models as well. With that in mind, here are a few tips for finding discounted services.
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Tip 1: Discounts
Many salons and spas offer discounts for students, seniors, or new patrons. Salons also frequently offer discounts on certain days of the week. Check websites and make phone calls to see if any of these apply.
Tip 2: Training Days/Evenings
Many salons offer in-house training to new stylist or estheticians or offer on-going education to their staff and require models for cuts, styles, and colors. This can be an opportunity to receive a free or discounted service so long as you fit the requirements – usually related to the type of cut or style wanted, color services, etc. Again, call around or check salon websites in your area for more information. Keep in mind that these services may take longer than usual as your stylist or esthetician will be checking with a certified instructor to be sure he or she is doing things correctly. Many people are nervous about this sort of thing, but the students will be supervised and if you aren’t pleased the salon should do whatever they can to fix the problem.
Tip 3: Schools
Like in tip 2, you can avail yourself of the services of stylists, massage therapists, or estheticians in training at a beauty school, either a nationally recognized school with various campuses or a local training center. The students typically will not be allowed to work with patrons until they have had extensive training with mannequins and will be closely supervised by qualified instructors. These services are usually not free but are offered at a greatly discounted rate. Those offered by well-known salon companies like Paul Mitchell or Aveda will typically use those salon products during the services, which can be an additional treat.
How to find the deals
Your best resource is the internet, followed closely by your local yellow pages. Here is a list of some of the best resources:
Yelp – http://www.yelp.com
If your local area is covered by Yelp you can search for things like “free or discounted salon services” or “beauty schools.”
Craigslist – http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites
If your local area is covered by craigslist you can search for “free” or “discounted” for services of your choice. Typically, you will find the best results under Services>Beauty, but searching in For Sale can also be useful. Postings often ask for models, but rarely does this mean of the runway variety. As in all online interactions, do be cautious – confirm the existence of the salon, call ahead to confirm if the hours seem odd, do not give out extensive personal information, do not agree to meet outside of an actual salon setting (such as at someone’s private residence).
Salon Apprentice – http://www.salonapprentice.com/
-If you live in the New York or Chicago areas this is a wonderful resource to find hair services. You can search by local area, by hairstyle desired, and can examine multiple different options.
A few companies have established their own beauty schools and part of the training involves putting students out on the floor to perform services once they have had training. The students are supervised by trained, experienced instructors. Probably the best known are Paul Mitchell the school (http://www.paulmitchelltheschool.com/pmsp/) and the Aveda Institutes (http://www.avedainstitutes.com/), though there are a variety of others – searching for beauty or massage schools plus your zip code or home town on Google or Google Maps is a good way to find them. These places are often run more like a typical salon, though prices for services are greatly reduced, and often have more typical hours. Paul Mitchell and Aveda schools are located in numerous locales – visit the web pages and see if you can find one near you, then look for information about “client services” or a similar term to find information about how to make an appointment.
A few other tips
As you will typically be receiving services from students, try to remain patient and kind. While the service is likely to take a bit longer, it is typically worth it as these men and women are trying very hard to do their very best. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask to check with the instructor, but try to be polite when doing so.
Do be prepared to tip (many salons prefer you tip their staff in cash), especially if the service was entirely free. A $20 tip for a haircut that would ordinarily have cost $70 is still quite a deal and in many places is still far, far less than most women would have to pay for a good cut at a nice salon.
If you like your stylist but don’t know if you could afford to see him or her at typical rates, ask if you might qualify for a discount. It may not be possible, but it doesn’t hurt to ask – especially since you have done them a bit of a favor by agreeing to be their “model.”
Ask about cuts or colors that require less maintenance or that can be maintained at home as another way to save money by cutting down on salon visits. Most stylists should be understanding and students may have some interesting ideas for this having a more “fresh” perspective – it will also be helpful for students to begin preparing for those sorts of questions as they begin their careers.
Just remember, you do need to take care of yourself regardless of your economic situation, and with a little creativity and ingenuity, you can do so without spending a huge amount of money.