When I lived in the States, I had a friend whose father was the car repair instructor at 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. And his students would work on the car as part of their training. Since he personally inspected all the cars, I had the assurance that the work was acceptable. I also saved an unbelievable amount of money! Similarly, there are many school that are in constant need of “models”, where the work is free/subsidised as part of their training. And you can be one of them.
Be an Experimental Hair Model
Unfortunately, I’m not aware of a car mechanic service here in Singapore that’s free. And the cheap dental services provided by students at the NUS School of Dentistry has a very long waiting list.
But I did come across a Hairdressing School that provides a wide range of services that higher-end salons provide. But these services are 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 costs $12.
A few people who have had their hair cut there commented on 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. And 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