Skip to content

Beauty Tip: How To Get Glam For Free In NYC

As many of you may know I do NYC photo tours. Last week, I was taking around a couple from Australia when the woman complained that her straightening iron didn’t work in North American outlets even with her converter, so she had to splurge on a very expensive blowout in the East Village.

“Why don’t you just use Salon Apprentice?” I asked.

She stared at me, bewildered.

Obviously she wouldn’t know what that is being from across the globe. What’s interesting, though, is that even when asking my local New York friends about their experiences with Salon Apprentice many have no idea what I’m talking about.

In this short but hopefully very informative post I’m going to give you my most budget-friendly NYC tip for getting glam: browsing the Salon Apprentice forum for free and uber cheap haircuts, coloring and blow outs. For instance, I recently had the best haircut of my life — complete with scalp massage and complimentary mimosa — at Alibi NYC Salon in SoHo for $0, although I left a $20 tip based on the fact haircuts there are originally $75+.

new york haircuts
Feeling pretty at a BBQ after my haircut at Alibi NYC. I’m the one holding the wine.

Basically how this works is licensed cosmetologists apprentice at local salons to gain hours and experience, allowing them to earn a beauty education beyond their Beauty School certification. This means you can experience highly-rated New York salons, get a professional haircut or treatment, and save a ton of money.

Once in awhile I also see postings that give the “models” — that would be you — a small stipend for their time. These slots fill up quick but are worth a shot if you see them.

Before using Salon Apprentice I had used Lifebooker, an app similar to Groupon or LivingSocial focused on beauty and spa services. I’m not knocking this app as I know a lot of people who love it, and it is a great concept; however, after getting a bad haircut and two bad massages on there and having to pay for them I was keen to try something else. So far, Salon Apprentice has offered me great services and I’ve yet to be charged for any of them.

While most listings are for women, there are a few for men, as well.

Just a quick beauty and budget tip from a New York local for you all!

How do you get free New York haircuts and budget-friendly beauty services?

Jessie Festa standing in front of grafitti wall

Hi, I’m Jessie on a journey!

I'm a conscious solo traveler on a mission to take you beyond the guidebook to inspire you to live your best life through travel. Come join me!

Blogging Courses

Want to live your best life through travel?

Subscribe for FREE access to my library of fun blogging worksheets and learn how to get paid to travel more!



  1. Georgie on at 8:33 am

    My best haircut ever was from an aprentice in London. But he actually came to my friend and I when we were having a coffee opposite to the salon. Although the haircut took like 2 hours, I have never felt better about my hair because I knew that this was done really thoroughly! 🙂

  2. Jonathan Pound on at 8:32 pm

    That’s awesome that you can find postings for “models” where you get paid for your time as well! I’ll have to see if I can find anything like that locally. I knew that cosmetologists had to get continuing education credits, but I didn’t know that you could get discounts if you part of that process.

  3. Rosalee on at 1:53 am

    ohhh, i don’t get it, so unfortunately.

  4. Sophia on at 2:19 am

    I hate paying high prices for haircuts. So I end up never going to get my hair cut then it just look like a mess. I will try to find a salon in my area. Thanks.

Leave a Comment