Wallets may be thin, but in these parts, that’s still no excuse for a monobrow, dehydrated skin or, heaven forbid, legs in dire need of a good de-fuzzing.

Responding to the inevitable cutbacks in people’s beauty regimens as the economy rejiggers our priorities (rent before facials), the purveyors of all things beauty in Los Angeles have been nothing if not inventive. A growing number of spas and salons around town are offering the means for beauty buffs to get a great haircut or massage at dramatically reduced prices.

Donation-only services are popping up here and there, salon owners are happy to provide free trims between visits, and venues are offering the kind of freebies they never needed to before: at-home facial kits for clients who buy a facial, or an additional treatment for those who book a spa or salon service.

If you haven’t been to your regular salon in a while, it’s definitely worth checking to see if prices have dropped or can be negotiated. Adjustments abound as businesses try to retain clients in this difficult climate.


“When we started realizing what was happening, we needed to find ways to keep people coming in,” said Carla Gentile, owner of the Steam hair salon, where advanced students cut hair for $25 once a week and Gentile offers complimentary bang trims to existing customers.

“When things get back to normal, people will come in and get everything done again. Right now, we have to work together and help each other.”

Elisha Reverby, owner of waxing studio Get Waxed in Venice, agrees. “Apart from being unemployed, the worst thing is not being able to treat yourself,” said Reverby, who offers pay-what-you-can services to the unemployed and last year also offered free waxing to writers affected by the Writers Guild strike. “Instead of losing clients because of the economy, it’s better to have them come in and pay what they can.”

Some beauty offers that make upkeep a bit cheaper



Where: Body Bar Urban Spa, 3037 Sunset Blvd., L.A.

What: Free brow wax and shaping on Mondays with a $70 facial.

(323) 663-1533,


Where: Get Waxed, Venice

What: Donation-only face and body waxing using organic ingredients for those who can prove they are unemployed.

(310) 396-2929,



Where: The Freshen Studio, 8543 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 12, West Hollywood

What: Stylist Jeannine Brousseau charges $175 for a cut, but clients can pop in after four weeks for a trim to freshen the look, and that’s a freebie. If they’re really strapped, they can do it twice.

(310) 855-8050

Where: Frederic Fekkai in Beverly Hills and Melrose Place


What: Free haircuts from a licensed stylist under apprenticeship at the salon, supervised by a creative director. Every Thursday for cuts, and on the third or fourth Sunday of the month for color. It takes two to four hours, and participants need to agree to cut off at least 2 inches and try something new.

Go to to upload photos and fill in a questionnaire.

Where: Gamine Silverlake, 2845 W. Sunset Blvd., L. A.

What: A limited number of complimentary haircuts on Tuesdays. Focus is on classic, precision cuts.


(213) 413-8808,

Where: Gavert Atelier Salon / Nagomi Hair Spa, 9666 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills

What: $35 highlights every Tuesday and Wednesday from 5 p.m. by a colorist-in-training; the top colorist is present the whole time. From 6 p.m., the salon offers $25 haircuts under the same guidance.

(310) 858-7898


Where: Jose Eber Salon, 224 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills

What: After hours, by appointment only, assistant stylists do $35 color jobs and $40 cuts. Top stylists and colorists are always in attendance.

(310) 278-7646,

Where: Neil George Salon, 9320 Civic Center Drive, Beverly Hills


What: Academy training nights happen every other Tuesday by appointment; $15 for haircuts from top stylists. Slots are booked through May.

(310) 385-9332,

Where: Sally Hershberger, 760 N. La Cienega Blvd., 3/F, Los Angeles

What: On the last Thursday of the month, a junior staffer at the salon performs $30 haircuts under the instruction of a top salon stylist.


(310) 854-4922,

Where: Steam, 314 N. Harper Ave., Los Angeles

What: $25 haircuts on Thursdays if booked with an advanced student under supervision. Also, for existing customers, $40 touch-ups along the hairline and roots (normally $90 to $110) and free bang trims.

(323) 966-0024,



Where: Le Metier de Beaute, Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills

What: Celebrity artist Ivan Castro offers his “couches de couleurs” -- contours, layers and shadows of eye makeup -- free. It’s a 20-minute process that promises to produce “runway-ready eyes.”

(310) 550-5900, Ext. 2060



Where: Aveda centers in the Beverly Center, Century City, Glendale Galleria and Hollywood & Highland.

What: Complimentary neck and shoulder massage using aromatherapy and botanicals.


Where: The Loft Hair Lounge & Green Spa, 110 N. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills

What: Thai massages $20 for 30 minutes (usually $120 for an hour).

At the same venue, the first session of the core strength training class -- 45 minutes of tummy tightening -- is free.

(310) 275-9002,



Where: South Bay Aesthetic Group, 415 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach

What: $100 microdermabrasions are being given gratis to walk-in clients. They last about 20 to 30 minutes and are designed to showcase the Crystalift microdermabrasion technique.

(888) 576-7953