One of the great wonders of the world, like the pyramids and Reese Witherspoon’s jawline, is how some women always seem to have shiny, voluminous hair. Sure, genetics may take a tiny bit of credit, but more often than not, 90 percent of that bounce comes from a professional blowout—one that can run you anywhere from $35 to $70. That is, unless you’re on Salon Apprentice, a website that sets you up with stylists in need of hair models.
I learned of the site when I met up with a friend who looked particularly radiant. It turned out her glow was only partially from her Whole30 regimen—she had some help from a free Fox & Jane blowout. Since I was low on cash but still craving the luxury of a stranger massaging my head, my interest was piqued.
On Salon Apprentice, I entered my hair type, availability and styling needs. (It’s not limited to blowouts—the more adventurous can sign up for cuts, color and even keratin treatments.) Within a few days I received a text from a stylist in need of a model for her interview at DreamDry. She had been doing hair for a few years on her own and was looking to join a professional salon. The blowout was excellent (and not just because it cost me nothing).
A few weeks later, before an event where I wanted to look extra sharp, I accepted a request for a stylist receiving her certification at Drybar. Again, she had years of experience and had already been offered the position at the blowout juggernaut. Now she just needed to perfect the franchise’s different looks, which is where I came in. Unlike at DreamDry, where I was given a standard blowout, DryBar gave me a choice of looks, just like I’d booked a regular appointment. (And FYI: Both times, I was told not to tip.)
So now you know: The perfect-hair club doesn’t have to come with exorbitant dues.