Beauty Schools “Trim” Your Grooming Budget


Aveda Institute.jpgWe BirminghamMoms are lucky to have several options for grooming on a budget. If you don’t have a regular stylist, stretch to afford the services of an established stylist, or just can’t justify a manicure unless it’s really cheap, you should consider the what our nearby beauty schools can provide.

Essentially you are offering yourself as a human mannequin for the student’s practice in return for deeply discounted services. On the down side, you aren’t going to be able to develop a long-term client relationship since the student will be moving on once his/her education is complete. However, an instructor is always at hand and actively checking in to oversee the student’s work.

Of course a student won’t yet have developed the speed and skill of a professional stylist, so you will need to allow for a little extra time. Your services will cost a fraction of what they would elsewhere and, honestly, isn’t the salon the only place you get to really dig into an issue of People magazine?

The Aveda Institute (pictured left) just opened in Hoover, and it must certainly be the Taj Mahal of cosmetology schools in Alabama. The interior is every bit as impressive as any day spa and it’s full of product displays as in any Aveda retail store. The emphasis on natural ingredients in the products is carried out in the sleek interior as well. This former movie theater offers several light-filled styling galleries that feel like a department store sales floor.

A 30 minute manicure at Aveeda Institue is $12, a haircut & style is $15, and a 30 minute facial s $20.  The Institute is closed on Sundays and Mondays. If you’re looking to walk in, Friday and Saturday are not recommended, as these are the busiest days, but earlier in the week your chances are good.

The Xcell Academy, a Paul Mitchell partner school, is also in Hoover just north of I459 on higway 31.

At Xcell, a basic manicure is $8, a haircut & style starts at $10, and a basic facial is $20.

(One important note is that children must be five years or older for services. For safety reasons, they are not allowed on the floor unless they are receiving services, and they can’t wait on you in the lobby. So in other words, this isn’t the place to bring the kids unless you’re bringing them for their own hair cuts.)

Virginia College in Homewood has trained many a local stylist and has been offering bargain prices on grooming for years. Perms start at $30, haircuts are $8 and a plain manicure is just $5.  I recently learned that they have monthly specials on top of their already affordable prices. For example, through April 16th, Virginia College’s Student Cosmetology Services is offering a “bring a friend” buy one, get one free promotion on services priced at $10 and above. Appointments book quickly and can be made at 205-943-2139.

Although students are not paid, they do gratefully accept tips. Who knows, you may discover an up-and-coming stylist you can follow to his or her next salon.

Looks like visiting a beauty school has gotten more attractive.