Despite the fact that I have been desperately watching my money lately, dissertation and job-hunting stress made me think that a facial + massage were in order (for the sake of my bank account I should probably stop feeling so entitled). I perused the websites of innumerable Central London salons only to find that facials run between £45 – 60 (on the low end) and massages are about the same. I cannot justify that. Back home, there are a few local student salons that offer treatments for incredible prices and I thought that maybe — just maybe — there were student salons here, too! Fortunately, there are actually a few and the prices are incredible!
Today, I hit up The Ray Cochrane Beauty School on Baker Street after booking just a couple of days ago. I grabbed a Dermalogica facial for £20 and two body treatments for £20. Add in some waxing and the grand total was £44! They do manicures, pedicures, hot stone massages… even electrolysis! The value for the money is great. The girls working there are definitely trying to learn and there’s a teacher/head master that checks in to make sure each treatment is a learning experience for them. If you’re looking for a super relaxing, posh experience, this is definitely not the place — there’s not a lot of privacy, the lights are a bit harsh and the students occasionally have to ask questions, etc. The outcome is quite the same, though: glowing, health(ier) skin but for a fraction of the price. If you need the basics taken care of (facial, manicure, pedicure, etc.) and you want to save some serious cash, definitely worth finding a student salon! Most of the students are really there to learn, too, so they want to do a good job!
There are actually a number of other student salons in London that look pretty awesome (in terms of pricing). Here are some to check out if you’re on a budget, too.
1. Ray Cochrane
118 Baker Street, W1U 6TT
Closest Tube: Baker Street
+44 020 7486 6291
2. London College of Beauty Therapy
47 Great Marlborough Street, W1F 7JP
Closest Tube: Oxford Circus
+44 020 7208 1302
3. London School of Beauty and Make-up
London Esthetique Student Salon
Ground Floor, 48 Margaret Street, W1W 8SE
Closest Tube: Oxford Circus
+44 020 7636 1893
4. South Thames College Hair & Beauty Salon
Wandsworth High Street, SW18 2PP
Closest Tube: East Putney (Zone 3)
+44 020 8918 7777
** This place does hair, too!
You can get highlights for under £20!
I can’t lie — I’ve heard horror stories about student-run salons, but my experiences (in California and here) have been more than fine! You realize when you’re paying £20 for highlights or a facial that there’s a trade-off, but if you’re okay with less posh and more savings, they’re worth a try! If the thought of spending £20 still makes you want to die, check out some handy DIY facials!
Are there any other student salons in London that I should know about?