Grooming For Less

By Megan Last edited 141 months ago
Grooming For Less
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Do you think getting treatments done at beauty therapy schools is a good way to save money, or is the savings not worth sacrifice of quality? -Laura P.

It depends on your budget and standards, but basically yes, beauty schools are worth the savings. Prices for a facial/leg wax/manicure at the London School of Beauty & Make-up start at £11/£10/£6.50, compared to around £25/£20/£10 (or more) for a regular high street salon. Plus you don't have to leave a tip. But the focus is on education, and customer service takes a backseat: the quarters are less luxurious and private than a nice salon, and expect to be chucked out as soon as your allotted time is up. The trainees themselves are capable and have practised on each other before getting near the public, but their bedside manner can be less polished than the pros. In short, if you spend a lot of money on these types of things, getting students to wax your monobrow every few weeks will save you a lot in the long run. Or, if you’re as skint as we are and your monthly budget does not include even manicures, student salons are a cheap place to indulge yourself.

A word of caution though about student hair salons: an amateurish haircut is a lot tougher to recover from than an amateurish leg wax or facial. We once walked out in the middle of an £8 cut at the hilariously snooty yet inept Vidal Sassoon Training Academy, almost certainly failing the poor bloke who had travelled all the way from Japan to study there. But he and his teachers were dismissive of the haircut we had asked for, and getting the trim just wasn’t worth it –not even for less than a tenner. Never let a stylist convince you into something that feels wrong, and especially not at a student salon, where the staff may have less of an expert touch than you expect. If things go bad, the money you saved will obviously be little consolation.

The London School of Beauty & Make-up is open Mon-Fri 9-4:30, and some late Tuesdays and Thursdays (book way in advance for those). Or try Ray Cochrane, open only Mondays 1:30-5:30 and Thursdays 9:45-5:30. And there are tons of smaller local beauty schools; search on >yell.com for the one nearest you.

To get your own question answered, email asklondonist(at)gmail(dot)com

Last Updated 20 October 2005