I’ve gone through lists of Toronto’s best hair salons, but as someone with really basic hair requirements (trim, cut or grow-out bangs, add layers), I’ve never been able to justify spending over $60 on a cut. Sure, the experience at some of our city’s finer establishments can be fun or luxurious, but I’ve never risen from the stylist’s chair thinking, “Wow! Money well spent!”. That is, not until earlier this year when I tried the Marvel Beauty School. Since that fateful day in March, I have been enthusiastically recommending the school to anyone who will listen (or read). You may be nervous about getting your hair done by a student, but before you scorn the service entirely, read through this list of pros and cons!
- Cost: It’s only $10 for a woman’s hair cut, and $7 for a man’s! The salon offers highlighting, updos, and other hair services as well. Prices will vary, but remain low.
- Location: At 25 Yorkville Avenue, just north of Yonge and Bloor.
- Staff: The students who are eligible to work in the salon have a certain amount of class time under their belts, so none of them are new to the trade (you’ll see the newbies practicing on mannequins, which is kind of creepy but entertaining). All the students who have cut my hair were also currently working at external salons, many in the Yorkville area, offering the exact same service at a much higher price. Also, there are always instructors on the floor, continuously inspecting the progress of each pupil.
- Service: There are always cheerful support staff ready to explain the school’s available services and products. The instructors are also very helpful, offering advice to the students in a kind, courteous manner. The school’s salon is run in a professional, efficient way that does not make you feel like you are getting a budget haircut.
- Altruism: As the client, you are also providing a service – the students need both the practice and the hours in order to receive their diplomas. Think of it as community involvement. In addition, should you investigate its client base, you will find that most of Marvel’s customers are elderly women; as such, the students are very excited to have young heads of hair that ask for something other than a full set of tight curlers.
- No Appointments: The salon works on a drop-in basis. Though I’ve never had to wait more than ten minutes for a stylist, it is wise to have an empty block in your schedule before seeking a cut.
- Hours of Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 10:00-2:00; Wednesday, 10:00-5:00; Friday, 9:30-2:00; and Saturday (beginning September 12), 9:30-2:00. They don’t leave a lot of options for people with 9-5 jobs, but this should work into a student’s schedule. Just take note of the next con…
- Lengthy Sessions: The students cum stylists are not only cutting your hair for you, but for themselves. Teachers are on-hand to critique or compliment their technique, so they tend to take a long time to finish the job. Be prepared to be sitting in that chair for about an hour, and after the ‘do, you’ll have to be inspected by an instructor before you can leave. Again, you need to have some time on your hands before you can go to Marvel.
- Simple Styles: If you’re in the market for a brand new you, this may not be the right place, right now. Simple, standard haircuts are the way to minimize the risk of a bad hair day. And you must know what you want – the students are not going to offer many suggestions or try to convince you to try something else (this actually might be a pro…).
As students and consumers, many of us seek ways to save money, by buying used textbooks or taking advantage of student discounts on entertainment. Marvel Beauty School offers another way to minimize everyday costs while contributing to the teaching and training of its students. Give them a try, and let us know how you felt in the comments!
Phone: 416 923 0991
Address: 25 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, ON