Many of us have looked at celebrity pictures in Us Weekly or on Dlisted and thought, “Yeah, I’d look that great if I had a team doing my hair and makeup every day, too.” The good news is, that reality is closer than you may realize—and more affordable than you may think.
In urban centers like New York and LA, blowout bars like Drybar and their many competitors are already a familiar sight. Most of us, unless we’re exceptionally talented, cannot create the kind of red carpet-ready hair a stylist can. For many women, it’s a sensible investment to have a professional stylist create a sleek look for them before an important work meeting, date night, or just to save time.
A new twist on this is the introduction of subscription models for salon services. Vive launched in 2015, offering $99 monthly package for unlimited blowouts at partner salons around New York City. That seemed too good to be true, and indeed it was. Vive’s menu now has three options, ranging from $72 for two blowouts a month to $250 for a maximum of eight—plus generous tips.
Much more affordable are the subscriptions at The Hair Room JC, whose unlimited monthly packages include braids for $60, beachy waves for $140, and blowouts for $150 per month. Located in Jersey City, a place teeming with commuters and finance industry reverse-commuters from Manhattan, salon owner Anatalie David says the subscription packages are popular with social butterflies as well as young professionals who like to start the work week—and the weekend—with a polished look. But David has also identified a growing subscriber base of freelance creatives. These are usually writers, artists, or consultants whose weeks are filled with client meetings and events. Just as they have subscriptions for housekeepers, meal deliveries and even in-home massages, these busy creatives would rather outsource washing and styling to someone else, too. Time is money to them, and they can earn both by jumping on the salon’s wifi to get some work done while a stylist tends to their locks.
But why invest in a professional hairstyle and pair it with amateur makeup? ‘Law and Order SVU’ actress Stephanie March teamed up with the show’s head makeup artist, Rebecca Perkins, to open Rouge Makeup Salons across New York. With a menu of looks priced from $25 to $75 each, Rouge professional makeup artists bring the celebrity treatment to anyone who wants to look their most beautiful for any event, special or otherwise. Rouge’s C-Suite Monthly Membership costs $250 and includes unlimited makeovers, as well as once a month individual tutoring with a makeup artist and an audit of the contents of your makeup bag. Not bad for a little over $62 per week.
Not everybody is fortunate enough to live close to salons like Rouge or The Hair Room JC. But for those who would happily pay in bulk for frequent salon services, it’s worth making an offer to your local salon owner. Guaranteed repeat bookings are a valuable prospect to them, and they’d probably be amenable to working out a discounted rate in exchange for monthly up-front payment. If you have multiple salons to take your proposal to, you might even get them in a bidding war for your business.
Jackie Danicki created one of the first and most popular beauty blogs in 2004, and has consulted some of the world’s most iconic brands on digital content strategy and innovation. Jackie blogs at burnedoutbeauty.com, and you can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat as @burnedoutbeauty.