By Denise Oliveira
Getting a free haircut and color in New York City sounds impossible, right? Not so. If you’re willing to act as a ‘hair model’ for a stylist-in-training, you can get high quality services at brand name salons including Aveda, Bumble & Bumble and Cutler. Each salon has its own rules for who can participate in the ‘hair model’ program (for example, some want curly hair, some want colored hair) and how much it costs (at many, the customer pays absolutely nothing, and at others, there is a small charge.)
Of course, you have to be somewhat adventurous to sign up: You never know just how skilled your stylist will be, and many of the salons ask that you have some flexibility in the type of cut you’ll authorize. The more research you do about the salon and what they’re looking for, the more likely you are to know what you’re getting into.
My personal experience as a ‘hair model’ has been terrific. I participate in the program at Bumble & Bumble (it just took emailing them a photo and having the kind of hair they were looking for), and my first cut, earlier this summer, was fabulous. The stylist had many years of experience and she was taking a specialization course. They’ve told me I’ll get a fresh cut every three months, so I’ll be back at Bumble & Bumble soon for my second appointment.
All of the the salons I knew that offered such programs were in Manhattan, and I started wondering if any salons in other boroughs offered similar opportunities. I discovered a website called salonapprentice.com, and through that I found a few listings recruiting hair models in Brooklyn and Queens, which we share with you below. Always call ahead for details.
Riva Salon, 32-62 Francis Lewis Blvd., Flushing
A stylist at the salon is looking for hair models for highlights and root retouches. The service is offered on Mondays at 2pm.
Dvir Salon, 99 Bond Street, Brooklyn
Male hair models are being recruited for haircuts on Thursdays after 8pm.
Little Axe Salon, 124 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY
An assistant at this salon was recruiting hair models for a cut and blow dry on July 29; it’s worth checking to see if it’s a recurring opportunity. (We reached out but have not heard back as of publishing time.)
Posh Hair Studio, 81-01 Lefferts Blvd., Kew Gardens, Queens
A stylist-in-training is offering free cuts to those looking for a long, layered look. Service is offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.