When I was living in the States, I had a friend whose father was the auto mechanic instructor for a nearby school. Whenever my car had any problems or just needed routine maintenance, he was kind enough to let me bring my car to his school where he would have his students work on the car as part of their training. I would always bring him and his students goodies and treats while thanking them profusely, and he would always tell me that I was actually doing him a favor since the school was in constant need of “practice vehicles”. Since he personally inspected all the cars, I had the assurance that the work was acceptable (and I saved an unbelievable amount of money!)
Be an Experimental Hair Model
Unfortunately, I’m not aware of a similar service here in Singapore (except for maybe cheap dental services provided by students at the NUS School of Dentistry), but I did come across a Hairdressing School that provides a wide range of services that higher-end salons provide but at very reasonable prices. A standard shampoo and cut for hair of any length is only $6 if done by a student trainee at Kimage Hairdressing School. To have a recent graduate perform the same service, it will cost double ($12).
A few people who have had their hair cut at Kimage have commented about the varying skill levels of the trainees. As one patron put it, “some of them can be efficient and extremely skilled, while others can be unbearably slow and lack confidence.” But many have also commented on the attentiveness and level of service the trainees and their supervisors provide.
Kimage Hairdressing School Services
The hairdressing school also does perms (including digital perms), hair colouring (including balayage & ombre), straightening, and intensive hair and scalp treatments. The prices for perms start at just $23 for short hair to $55 for a digital perm of long hair. Hair rebonding ranges from $35 to $55, depending on hair length. Other full-service salons will likely charge at least double these amounts.
If you’re not pressed for time, do not require a fancy or complicated hairstyle, want to have that “full-service salon” experience, and are willing to be a “test model”, then you might want to try out this hairdressing salon. It’s probably not that risky, since the school has been in business for about 2 decades and their students have even been invited to style models and celebrities for major events, such as Singapore Fashion Week.
If you have a bad experience, your hair will always grow back. But the potential upside is that you might get your hair cut and styled by the next superstar stylist, all for less than the cost of a fast food combo meal.
How it Compares to QB House, EC House, Kcuts, and Others
I know that there are a few other places where you can get a haircut for even less than $6, but I’ve also heard that many people have complained about the poor service and hygiene of these places. There are also some chains, such as EC House, that provide a quick, no-frills haircut but they do not provide other services such as washing, blow drying, styling, perms, balayage/ombre colouring, or even the ability to book appointments.
When I had my hair cut at Kimage, I found their service to be quite exceptional. They pay careful attention to details. Their supervisor checks and rechecks the trainee’s progress.
Their “classroom space” is very clean and the receptionists is delightfully friendly and welcoming. Here is their price list and a photo of their classroom:
Kimage Hairdressing School
Marina Square #03-319/320
Book Online here