Looking good doesn’t always come easy — or cheap.
If tight purse-strings have kept you from visiting the salon, you might be able to get the highlights, haircut or shape-up you need at a discount. All you have to do is go back to school.
There are a handful of long-running beauty schools on Long Island that offer hair, makeup and nail services at significantly lower prices because the services are performed by students. While the idea of an $8 wash and dry or a $5 manicure might leave some bewildered, don’t let the price give you pause. Most students train for hundreds of hours before they are allowed to work on customers. Even then, their first attempts to snip split ends or clip cuticles are overseen by licensed professionals.
Here are a handful of beauty schools you can visit:
Brittany Beauty School
WHEN | WHERE 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday-Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30-4 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, 9:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday; 3274 Hempstead Tpke., Levittown
INFO 516-731-8300, brittanybeautyschool.com
In Levittown for 48 years, the school’s 125 students staff a salon open six days a week that specializes in hair cutting and coloring, makeup application and nail treatments.
“We offer all salon services to the community and public at reduced prices as well as daily specials with no appointment needed,” owner Gary Ferrara says. A recent special offered a keratin hair treatment for $80 (typically about $200 at salons). A wash and set at the Brittany Beauty School is $14, highlights go for $55 (half head) or $75 (full).
Long Island Beauty School
WHEN | WHERE 9:30-4 p.m. weekdays, reopening 6-10 p.m. Monday-Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Saturday; 173A Fulton Ave., Hempstead (516-483-6259). 9 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 544 Route 111, Hauppauge (631-724-0440)
The school’s two campuses in Hauppauge and Hempstead offer cosmetology and hairdressing services — both are open late several nights a week for convenience. Clients can expect to pay less than half of what they would at traditional salons. A shampoo and blow-dry can cost as little as $6. Highlights and relaxers start at $20. Eyebrow waxing is available for $4 and a basic manicure costs $5.
Jessica Stanley, 24, who will graduate from the Hempstead campus’ hairdressing program in May, says the school emphasizes the importance of the client-stylist relationship.
“The clients are sometimes nervous,” Stanley says, adding that they’re usually not too concerned by who is performing the work. “They know it’s a school, obviously, due to the prices.”
Long Island Nail and Skin Institute
WHEN | WHERE 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. weekdays, reopening 6-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 3709 Hempstead Tpke., Levittown
INFO 516-520-4800, linailskincare.com
The Long Island Nail and Skin Institute provides training in cosmetic laser hair removal, makeup artistry, waxing and nail specialties such as gel and regular manicures, pedicures, liquid and powder acrylics and wraps.
Founded by Dana Caruso, the school also has a spa offering airbrush tanning, body sugaring, chemical peels and microdermabrasion.
Service discounts here are not as steep as found at the other beauty schools, but there are still deals to be found. A 1-hour facial costs $36. Lip and eyebrow waxing are $5 and $7, respectively. This year, the school will launch a natural hairstyling course with instruction on such techniques as braiding and extensions.