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London's best free haircuts

Ten hair salons that'll lop your locks free of charge

Long of hair and short of money? We know the feeling. Fortunately, there are many cutters in the capital who are happy to give you a free or very cheap styling session from one of their trainees.

These appointments are not as scary as they sound – they are always supervised by a senior stylist, and come with a blow-dry to boot. It's the perfect way to get a hair cut in luxury surroundings without having to shell out – and proof that sometimes there is such a thing as a free lunch. Or at least, a free short back and sides.

Hari's

The lively King’s Road branch of this smart west London salon chain is looking for models on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday evenings from 6.30pm every week. Haircuts are free but there’s a small charge to cover the cost of colouring. It’s recommended that you book in a couple of weeks in advance.

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Chelsea

Stuart Philips

If you want a cut or colour at this laid-back but ultra-professional salon book in for a free haircut and £20 colour. The salon doesn’t have set model nights as such so just call to see when they have a slot with a junior available.

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Covent Garden

Windle & Moodie

No need to be intimidated by the A-Lister clientèle and cool minimalist décor of this salon – it’s ultra friendly and you can get your haircut free with one of the assistant stylists (colour with an assistant will set you back £15-£20). Just register your needs by emailing modelsforwam@gmail.com and the model booking team will be able to assist. Please note, all bookings for a model appointment must be placed through the email.

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Covent Garden

Toni and Guy Academy

A long-time favourite with hard-up students looking for a good hair cut on the cheap, the Toni and Guy Academy delivers cuts and colours by trainees from Monday to Friday at 9.30am and 1.45pm. Allow three hours for a cut and four hours for colour. Haircuts cost £5 and colour from £20 to cover costs.

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Covent Garden

Vidal Sassoon Academy

This vast hairdressing school on Brook Street has been training top snippers for decades. You can book in for a model appointment between Mondays and Fridays at 9.30am and 1.30pm. Allow three hours for your cut. The services isn’t quite free – as with other training schools, there’s a small cost to cover fees with cuts from £5 and colour from £13.

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Mayfair

Percy and Reed

Model night is Tuesday from 5pm at the Marylebone branch of this excellent, independent hair boutique but you need to call and register your requirements – a trainee will call you back when they need your barnet to test their skills. Book in with the Great Portland Street branch (020 7637 4634).

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Spitalfields

Jo Hansford

London’s best-reputed colourist hosts training school two nights a week – colour is on Wednesday nights and styling on Thursdays, while they are not technically free of charge – a colour will cost between £20 - £35 and a cut will be £10 – this service is heavily discounted. Those wanting colour will need to have a patch test at least 48 hours before.

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Mayfair
See our guide to London's best hairdressers

Comments

23 comments
Carla W
Carla W

Just type Trevor Sorbie into google search and it will give you all the details you need.

jacquie k
jacquie k

Hi Could you give me the address of Trevor Sorbie?  Do they have an age limit?

Mirko C
Mirko C

I am an italian hairstylist and make-up artist in London now for work I need 24 girls models for vadrial with TREVOR SORBIE is a really good chance for my life...please contact me I will need them for 2nd part of november

07769385199

Mirko C
Mirko C

11 years of experience...mirkocarrarini@gmail.com

Carla W
Carla W

@Mirko C I guess you have put your training scissors down now and picked up your now qualified stylist scissors? Although in essence they are still the same scissors... ;-)


But If you still need to do some timing training with those scissor on hair that is... or know someone at the Salon that does.  I would be interested in a graduated bob cut. 077748 38277


Aisling C
Aisling C

Hi anyone interested in been a model tomorrow morning , Thursday the 17th of September 10am baker St central London please get in touch

I am 11 years qualified and require models for a trade test I need 1 men's haircut and 1 female who has or is interested in Bob hair . This service is completely free

Get in touch +353860554231

aisling.corrigan@hotmail.co.uk

You can get me on what's app too

Thanks ash

Alecia L
Alecia L

You know you're in trouble when the tutor walks over and says to the trainee "Your scissors are very blunt, they need sharpening", and THEN she continues to let the trainee cut your hair with the blunt scissors. I had a very similar experience to both other reviews of Windle and Moodie listed here. I wish I had read their reviews before going to Windle and Moodie for a model cut. I realise it is a trainee but the tutor should have corrected her mistakes before letting me leave. Everyone asks where I got such a terrible cut, and I have to say 'Windle and Moodie!'. Straight across bob, blunt cut, for wavy hair. It literally looks someone put a bowl on my head and cut around it. #windleandmoodiemodels

Aisling C
Aisling C

Hi Alecia sorry to hear about your experience . My name is Aisling I'm 11 years qualified and require a model for a trade test it is possible that I can fix this if your not feeling too traumitised . I need a someone with Bob length hair tomorrow Thursday sept 17th at 10am at hob salon baker St if you think you are interested you can get me on +353860554231, aisling.corrigan@hotmail.co.uk

We can disuse what look you were going for and see if this suits you this service is completely free

Thanks Aisling

M D
M D

I went to Windle & Moodie and would definitely not advise anyone to go there. Having scheduled a cut and blow dry with a trainee via e-mail, half way through the cut it turned out that he didn't have the skills or experience to continue. The teacher didn't seem to be aware of the trainee's lack of technique until well into the haircut and then when he finally saw that the trim was uneven he told him to stop. I had to leave the salon after almost 2 hours with a wonky haircut and wet hair. While I did not expect a perfect haircut I did expect to at least get a cut and blow dry as I had requested. Teachers should be fully aware of their student's level of skill before they are let loose on people's hair. I left feeling very disappointed and angry at the rudeness of the staff there, I have had my hair cut as a model before and have never been treated so badly. The lack of communication and the unstructured nature of the training means that it is inevitably the model who ends up suffering with a poor haircut. 

Faircut U
Faircut U

Plenty of hair salons do model haircuts but finding out about these isn't easy.

Now you can find and book quality model haircuts at top salons / academies with a click on www.faircut.net.

Here's what a typical model cut involves: http://blog.faircut.net/whats-a-model-haircut/

Casey J
Casey J SpammerBanned

Awesome idea about going to a cosmetology school for getting a haircut.  That sounds like a great way to save money on haircutting costs.  My last haircut cost me almost $100!

He L
He L

Please do NOT go there!!! I wanted ombre and my hair was lavender / purple in the end, completely damaged and not what I wanted at all!! When I complained they told me ombre is "too 2012" and lavender is "cool". I don´t f****ing care if lavender is cool. I look like a punk and they did not listen to me neither did they apologize. The WORST experience of my life. If you love your hair, DONT GO!!

Doriane H
Doriane H

I went to Hari's as a model a few months ago and I definitely DON't recommend it! The lady who did my hair was very nice but I don't think she had much experience in cutting my type of hair (afro-mixed race). When I told the hairdresser what I wanted (just a trim), her supervisor came but she didn't even acknowledge me and I was treated as a mannequin rather than an actual human being! I was there for about 3 hours and wasn't even offered a drink of water or anything even though the bar was right behind me. The hairdresser pulled my hair so hard during the blow-dry that I came out of there with a massive headache. 


A few months after that I went to Jones & Payne in Shoreditch as a model and I can't recommend it enough! Ross did my hair (now he's qualified though) and it was the best haircut and finish I've ever had in my life!!! I got offered a variety of drinks including cocktails when I got there. The staff were very friendly. Ross was brilliant. He managed to correct the mistakes from previous hair cuts and cut my hair meticulously! If I could afford it, I would become a regular customer of his. 

Neus P
Neus P

  I had been to Hari's salon for a junior free haircut(I am hairdresser) he was sat there having his breakfast (he is retired)and without  wash his hands put his hand on my hair after been eating with his hands ,he made 2 juniors to give my haircut,one first section the other the second section and so all across , I think  this is abusive and negligible way to treat a client ,or person  that offers him self to let a junior to spoil his hair  for learning.I am agree is a balanced  exchange ,free haircut for free model,but 2 junior stirring my hair is too disrespectful ,Hari's made me feel as rubbish doing that .I will never go back there.

Jackie C
Jackie C

Just called/contacted everyone in this list. Many places were very rude and when they heard that I wanted to donate my hair to the little princess trust (an organization that makes wigs for children who lost their hair because of cancer) most of them were unwilling to cut of my ponytail before the actual washing and styling. The only place that would give me the time of day was the Vidal Sassoon Academy who have still not been able to book an appointment with and Percy and Reed who'd do it but only for 50pounds. This is an unfair price just for the little extra trouble of cutting off a ponytail beforehand. Such a blow to my faith in humanity as I was sure most hairdressers would be happy to participate in what this wonderful organization is trying to do!

londontess
londontess

I just got off the phone with Haris and they were so rude.... and passive aggressive. Why do model evenings and then make the person ringing up feel like crap!

Neus P
Neus P

  I had been to Hari's salon for a junior free haircut(I am hairdresser) he was sat there having his breakfast (he is retired)and without  wash his hands put his hand on my hair after been eating with his hands ,he made 2 juniors to give my haircut,one first section the other the second section and so all across , I think  this is abusive and negligible way to treat a client ,or person  that offers him self to let a junior to spoil his hair  for learning.I am agree is a balanced  exchange ,free haircut for free model,but 2 junior stirring my hair is too disrespectful ,Hari's made me feel as rubbish doing that .I will never go back there.

Beba R
Beba R

I've just come back from Vidal Sassoon Academy In Brook Street where I had an appointment for 9.45am. After turning up at 9.30 and waiting for 45 minutes I was told that they didn't have enough students and couldn't cut my hair! They offered me an afternoon appointment or a free cut some other time, neither of which is convenient. When I asked what sort sort of criteria they used to allocate people to hairdressers - was it the type of hair they had? - I was told that it wasn't. Well, it wasn't the order in which we arrived either as I was one of the first ones there. So, don't count on having a haircut even after making an appointment, spending money on that super-expensive public transport system we have (peak time), paying and waiting patiently for 45 minutes. My money was refunded and I was given a voucher for a free cut but what a waste of time! Maybe it's for the best though - last time I had a cut there the hairdresser was clueless and the tutor didn't see, to care much. I used to go there regularly 25 years ago and it used to be much better. I will definitely never go again. Very disappointing.

Sylvia Hughes
Sylvia Hughes

Great article. Just rang Richard Ward and they were very helpful and courteous. They have a model evening on Tuesdays so I was put in the book to be called for a future appointment.

Sophie
Sophie

Why is TREVOR SORBIE not on here? They are amazing and me and all my friends have been models there! Sometimes u can get a more senior stylist who is re - training there which is really good and they always take into account your ideas - and its free!

michael
michael

@Michael this offer is not valid.

Dinah
Dinah

Re: Windle & Moodle I know I probably shouldn't complain about a free cut (you get what you pay for etc) but I was given a completely different haircut to the one I asked for, and I do feel that the least I could expect was what I wanted - even if it took ages and isn't brilliant. I had asked for a wavy layered bob with a side parting, brought a picture, and gave some instructions as I once worked in a salon and know some of the terminology. I was given a straightened asymmetrical bob with a centre parting, no layers and no consideration of how it would look wavy (my hair is naturally wavy and I don't want to use straightening irons). Basically I came out with a Victoria Beckham haircut, which was not what I wanted at all, and nearly cried. Washed my hair the minute I got home and tried to make something good out of it. A few weeks later it's grown out a bit, and my hair being plentiful, fine and wavy, I now have a fuzzy triangular thing going on as I have no layers to temper the madness - so annoying when I specifically asked for them. Personally I think that one of the basic things a trainee should be taught is to give a customer what they ask for. The trainee's supervisor didn't look at the picture I showed, which I think was the problem as the trainee just asked him where to start with a bob. Try this place if you like (on the plus side, they're very friendly and it's a lovely environment), but make sure that the supervisor sees/hears exactly what you want