I hesitate to ever talk cheap (or in many a beauty editor's experience, free) haircuts, because it's kind of like playing Russian Roulette with your hair. After years of bouncing around every hair salon in town—with, I'm sorry to say, often disastrous results—I now happily fork over the big bucks to get the haircut I really want.
(You may think I am totally insane for paying $150 per cut, but I justify it because I only go 2-3 times a year, get free bang trims and think he's a genius on the level of any boldface hairdresser that works with celebrities. Except way cooler. Bill Angst is his name, but unfortch he almost never takes new clients. I got in 10 years ago, long before I even got into this industry. Obviously, I was destined for a career in beauty. Ha!)
Anyway! All of that being said, I know there ARE ways of getting a decent cut on the cheap. Have a look at my response to this question from reader Pria—and if you have any other tips, leave them in the comments!
I live in [the] Toronto/Mississauga area and need to find a good hairdresser. I have been to sooo many places and can't seem to stick with one hairstylist that I like. I have paid $10-$55 for a haircut at different salons and I am now looking for someone reasonable, perhaps $40 or under, that does a great job. I always find hairdressers either cut too short, or don't cut enough off, and they don't seem to understand the styles that I want. Please help!
Here's what I would do.
Try calling different reputable salons (eg. Marc Anthony, Fiorio, Civello, Coupe Bizzarre, Donato) and explain what you want to pay (i.e. no more than $40 or $50). Ask them if there is a junior stylist or apprentice who could do your hair for you.
Why this is a good idea: Your cut would be supervised by a more senior person, so I don’t think you’d be risking a botched job. (Which I fear is what might happen if you go to a hole-in-the-wall place, where ALL the cuts are at cut-rate prices and there is nobody to make sure you're not walking out of there with a bad cut.)
Another option: Go to a hair school. This might mean you'd need to spend more time while the student gives you the cut, but again, you’d be supervised—probably even more than if you went to a salon. Most hair schools seem a bit cheesy so the one I’d try is the Aveda Academy. Haircuts there start at only $35.
(You could also try the L'Oréal Academy. Their site doesn't specify any prices, but I know they always need models to practice on, and again, it would all be supervised...)
Readers: any other tips for Pria? How much do YOU pay for your haircut?