London budget tips: How to get a cheap (or even free!) haircut

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London Barber
Getting a new look for your hair doesn't have to cost a fortune in London. Photo: Ricky Leong

You may have managed to find a great London hotel deal, but once you’ve checked in, London does have a way of extracting cash from you at a rate of knots.

While there are ways and means to enjoy cheap food and excursions, I’ve always been stunned at how much you can be charged for a simple haircut in the city. So if your tresses are in need of some TLC, be brave and check out these excellent value options.

Sassoon London

Getting a stylish cut at Vida Sassoon in London. Photo: janire mca

Sassoon Academy

56 Brook Street
London, W1K 5NE

If you’re after something cutting edge, then opt to be a model at the Sassoon Academy, and you’ll get high style at a fraction of the normal price. Appointments are taken from 9:30AM-1:30PM Monday to Friday at the luxurious Bond Street salon, and a cut and blow dry will set you back just £12, while a half head of highlights will cost £30. While your cut will be carried out by a trainee, they are always fully supervised. What’s more, contrary to model haircut horror stories – you will always get to choose what kind of look you want. Phew!

Hob Academy

Unit 38, 28 Jamestown Road
London, NW1 7BY

Located in Camden Town, the Hob Academy is a well-respected training school that offers free haircuts and color from just £15 throughout the week. You need to be willing to let them decide on the kind of cut that will suit you, and then you’ll be set to work on by a qualified stylist under supervision from Hob’s creative team. To sign up, you need to register as a model and send some snaps of your hair as it is now.

Cuts are 100% free from junior staff on Mondays and Tuesdays at Hari's. Photo: tim@sw2008

Free cuts are available from junior staff on Mondays and Tuesdays at the Kings Road branch of Hari’s. Photo: tim@sw2008


Three locations:
Parsons Green (183 New Kings Road)
305 Brompton Road
233 Kings Road

This famous institution offers free haircuts from junior staff on Mondays and Tuesdays at the Kings Road branch, and Mondays in Parsons Green. If it’s color you’re after, you can get a very discounted rate (from £25) at the Brompton Road salon. All services are carried out by third year trainees and, of course, are fully supervised. Plus, you’ll get to tell them what you want so the whole experience doesn’t have to be quite so nerve-racking!


71 Leonard Street
London, EC2A 4QS

One for the boys—the Total Barber academy, one of the capital’s most established barber training schools, offers free cuts and shaves from 10:30AM Monday to Friday. Located in trendy Shoreditch, they promise to give you the cut you want, but are also on hand to make suggestions if you’re not totally sure what kind of style to go for.


This international franchise that originated in the UK has been giving low cost cuts since 1963. Photo: ambernectar

Toni and Guy Academy

71-75 New Oxford Street
London, WC1A 1DGT

This high profile salon has seen many a Londoner on a budget head through its doors over the years. Get you hair cut by a supervised trainee hairdresser from Monday to Friday at either 9:30AM or 13:45PM and pay just £5 for a cut or £20 for color—an absolute bargain when you take into account that normal color starts from around £90 and a cut will set you back £50.

For more affordable hair cuts in London, check out a previous post from our blog.

About the author

Nina Derham

About the author: Nina is a freelance travel writer who will leave no stone unturned in her quest to discover the very best on offer in a destination. She recently relocated to London after spending over four years in Madrid and is currently enjoying rediscovering her home town.

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