Tuesday this week, I was searching through the talent section of Craigslist as I do daily, in search of modeling gigs. I came across a post titled "Free Blowdry" and it simply stated if interested in getting your hair blowdried for free to reply to the ad with a photo. You may be wondering: Why would someone be offering to hair for free? The answer is simple: students! Hairstylists need to practice and the tradeoff is a volunteer receives a complimentary hair service (people do free color and cuts as well). I hadn't gotten my hair done in a whileeee and I love free stuff (who doesn't?) so I sent out an email and was invited to the salon. I was scheduled to come in at 5:50 pm the following day (Wednesday June 23rd). The address of the salon I went to is 149 5th avenue (between 21st and 22nd street) on the second floor.
I did a little Google investigation of the place beforehand and was pleasantly surprised to see I would be going to a glossy (wouldn't expect anything less for 5th ave) salon called Butterfly Studio. (there were fish in there)
When I arrived, the place exceeded my expectations. I knew it would look pretty and new but I didn’t think it would have snacks! It has a counter in the waiting area with glass jars containing an Asian rice cracker mix and a fruit (dried cranberries) & nuts one.
Water was available, of course. However, there were a few drinks to choose from; I noticed the stylists offering clients their choice of a Coke, Corona, or wine. Fancy! After sitting on an orange couch observing the atmosphere, Veeka, the woman that contacted me, retrieved me and confirmed my suspicion that she would be the one doing my hair.
Shortly after I began to follow her to her station I noticed another luxury feature of the salon: shinny gray robes the clients are given to wear.
Veeka had a brief chat with her supervisor about my hair, took a “before” picture on her phone, then proceeded to wash my hair with (I assume) some expensive lightly perfume-smelling shampoo & conditioner (I like the scent).
She let me know that she wasn’t new to doing hair but was new to the salon. Veeka’s supervisor gave her tips and demonstrations on sectioning techniques, how to work the brush, and the direction to blowdry the hair. I watched most of the progress and took a little nap towards the end. When the process was complete I shook myself out of my snooze and admired my shiny strands in the mirror. Veeka took an “after” photo and then we said our thank yous and goodbyes. I scoped out the chic salon some more and made sure to take a candy from the reception table before exiting.
What a lovely experience at a salon I wouldn’t be able to (or willing) to afford. If you have spare time, take advantage of hair ads on Craigslist. (PS. You may be able to be a hair model for an event or class and that usually pays money. I refuse to participate in a hair model gig because you have to be open to change at the stylist's discretion. I can't take that kind of risk: short hair or blonde would kill my soul. Also FYI, if you are interested in a bob cut there are usually a lot of opportunities for that.)
(all photo cred to me)