The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Ask Chicagoist: Looking for a Cheap Do?

By Thales Exoo in Miscellaneous on Jul 20, 2006 8:37PM


I’m angry. I have always maintained that the fact that salons ramp up the price on women’s haircuts is utter bullshit. Hair is hair, why should I pay more than twice what guys are charged? Now the time has come to trim my locks and I can’t seem to find a place to get a cut without losing my shirt. I live in Lakeview, only compounding the problem. Is there anywhere I can go to lop off my hair stylishly (read: no Supercuts, et. al.) without breaking the bank?



2006_07_askhair.jpgDearest geekgrrl:

When it gets as oppressively hot as it was this week, Chicagoist recommends shaving it all off. It's cheap, you can do it yourself with electric clippers, and it will help beat the heat! We guess we're kidding -- we don't all look sexy without hair (but kudos to those who do!). However, we're not going to say that we weren't sporting a shaved head underneath our long hair back in the early 90s. When we put our hair up in a ponytail, not only did we look super cool (indeed), but we also got the cooling benefits of a shaved head.

Believe it or not, for awhile we had a good person over at a Supercuts. Not too surprisingly though, she didn't last there too long, and it was such a random occurrence we wouldn't recommend chancing it. Currently we go the pricey salon route because we finally found someone who understands our hatred for poofy hair, is fun to chat with, and doesn't try to sell us every product featured at the salon.

When it comes to cheap, stylish haircuts in the city, we've heard mostly good things about Big Hair (2012 W. Roscoe St., 773-348-0440) over in Roscoe Village. For $15-$20 you get a basic haircut, and for $50 you can get your hair colored. The big glaring caveat is that you can't make an appointment for anything other than a dye-job, and the wait on the weekend can be long -- so show up early. The place itself is decked out to be punk-chic, and there's a definite (dare we say it?!) hipster vibe to the place. The reviews of Big Hair seem mixed, but for $20 it seems worth a shot. They're open 10-6 Monday through Saturday, and 12-4 Sunday.

Another possibility is the Aveda Institute at 2828 N. Clark (800-216-1950). Since you'll be getting your hair cut by students at the school, the prices are quite affordable -- just don't forget that these are students who are in the midst of learning. Also since they are students, expect the cut to take longer than usual while you're sitting there being the guinea pig. Pricing varies, but haircuts are $14 during the week and $16 on the weekend, and coloring starts at $25.

Many salons also offer cheaper haircuts with stylists who are still in training -- call around to a salon near you to find out details and if it's offered. For example, Sine Que Non Salons in Andersonville, Lakeview, and Lincoln Park offer cuts by "Level I Stylists" for $41 (not really cheap, but it's definitely cheaper), and coloring that starts at $56. That salon also has cuts available for people willing to be models for their Monday afternoon classes. Letting a newbie cut your hair for class costs $10, or $25 for a color.

Have you had any good (or bad) experiences with inexpensive haircuts in the city? We know we missed many areas of the city in our examples, so do you have any recommendations on good neighborhood barbers or stylists for both men and women?

Image via crowstoburnaby

Want to flow it, show it, long as God can grow it? Need some advice? Email ask(at)chicagoist(dot)com.