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The Broke Girl’s Guide To: Pampering Yourself

Broke girls needn’t look like broke girls. And there are more than a few ways to pamper yourself and get limbered up in the city without digging too deep into those already shallow pockets. Teaching schools are an awesome way to get the beauty services you seek at a fraction of the price.

If you’ve got a kink in your back that you can’t seem to get out, then head to the healing hands of a massage therapy student at the Sutherland-Chan Teaching Clinic. There are two types of clinics on offer – a relaxation clinic staffed by first year students and speciality clinics for those that might have certain medical conditions. At $39 for one hour of massage time, compared to $82 at the full-fledged clinic, it really is a steal. You should note that these massages aren’t fully private – curtains separate each session and your therapist’s instructor will probably pop in at some point. But rest assured that you can remove as much or as little clothing as you’re comfortable with and can request a female (or male) attendant when booking. Click here to see when their teaching clinics are on offer.  

Now that you are loose and limber, it’s time to get those ratty locks looking shiny and new. There are a number of hair academies like the Aveda Institute which offer cheap cuts from hairdressers-to-be. And unlike some salon schools (and more like legit salons), you get what you pay for at Aveda with graduated pricing. Need a simple cut or trim? Then opt for an institute student – he or she might be a newbie but you could pay as little as $21. If you’re going for something a bit more complex, you might want an academy student, advanced graduate or educator cut which ranges from $40 to $65-and-up. Student cuts can take a bit of patience and might not be for the faint of heart. While you’re free to choose your own style, expect cuts to take two-to-three hours as student hairdressers test out their new skills and wait for instructors to come over and give directions.

Seeking a totally free cut, colour or style? There are a few hairdressers and near-graduates of salon schools looking for models to practice a specific cut or treatment or to pass an exam for school. You’ll be completely at the mercy of the hairdresser as they usually have a certain look they need to achieve. We found a handful of free cuts on Craigslist simply by searching for ‘hair’ in the free category (or you can click on this link).

Salon Services
So you’re looking fine with your new ‘do and now you just need the finishing touches. The George Brown School of Makeup and Esthetics Services  has got you covered. Anything and pretty much everything that your regular salon offers is available here at rock bottom prices. Full facials for $20, manicures for $8 and bikini waxes for $10 are just a sampling of the deals to be had. Massages, body scrubs, makeup application and even IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal and chemical peels are on offer here. Rest assured that you’ll be in the hands of an advanced student as opposed to a total newb.

Remember: broke girls can’t always be choosy girls. These services are offered daily and usually have specific booking slots which can fill up quickly. So make sure to book a couple weeks ahead if you’re primping yourself for an occasion. And while we know that money is tight, students, like everyone else in the service world, appreciate tips for their efforts.

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