While I was off on maternity leave and barely had enough money to buy food, I still managed to indulge in some fabulous haircuts... for free!
I discovered the world of hair academies. I am lucky and live in Glasgow, where there are lots of amazing salons with great training programmes. One of the best salons for this I have come across is the Rainbow Room International chain. They have several premises across Glasgow, and two training salons in the city centre.
Often, trainee hairdressers need to complete a certain number of cuts and procedures in order to gain their qualifications. They advertise for models on sites like Gumtree most days, and the recipient doesn't pay a penny. On Gumtree today, I notice that Toni & Guy, Rainbow Room, independent stylists and colleges are all offering free haircuts! I tend to go for stylists who are almost finished their training, or have recently graduated and need the experience.
The downside is that it normally takes a bit longer than usual, and a mentor will need to check your new hair to make sure it is up to standard.
I prefer Rainbow Room because they give you the whole salon experience (shiatsu massage and high end hair products) despite the fact you are getting a freebie. If you aren't confident in trusting your hair to a complete trainee, you can pay to book in to one of the academies, where newly qualified hairdressers will do treatments for a fraction of the price. For example, a half head of highlights is £85 in the salon itself, but only £40 in the academy. Bargain!