Unless you're new in town, you would already know at least a couple of places for cheap haircuts in Singapore. And no, we're NOT talking about your first day of National Service.
The whole cheap haircut craze began with express hair salon chains that offered budget haircuts in under 10 minutes: QB House ($12), EC House ($12) and KCuts ($10). Then came a hairdressing chain that knocked prices down even more: Snip Avenue ($3.80).
Going to one of these places feels like being a cow at a dairy farm - fast in, fast out. If you're on a tight budget, yet want to feel a bit more valued than a piece of livestock, here are some other barber shops and budget hair salons in Singapore you can visit:
10 BARBER SHOPS & HAIR SALONS IN SINGAPORE FOR CHEAP HAIRCUTS
KIMAGE HAIRDRESSING SCHOOL ($6)
Kimage Hairdressing School is where popular hair salon chain Kimage trains their proteges.
At the hairdressing school, you pay only $6 for a haircut including a wash and blowdry, whereas at their salons you would have had to fork out $40 to $70! In addition, you can get all the services available at the regular salons except at much lower prices - from $23 instead of from $70.
The major con is that you're leaving your locks in the hands of student stylists, though they're constantly under the watchful eye of their supervisors. Your haircut will probably also take a lot longer than you're used to, so budget at least an hour (maybe 2).
According to some reviews we've read, you can also request your hair to be cut by a fresh grad from the hairdressing school. It costs a bit more, but at least you know they won't be too shabby skills-wise.
Address: 6 Raffles Boulevard, #03-319/320 Marina Square, Singapore 039594, Tel: 6883 2700
TENDOLLAR.COM SALON GROUP (FROM $6)
This heartland hair salon promises colour, perm, treatment and rebonding on top of cuts. Its name is a little misleading because, at $6 and up, its haircuts are much less than $10.
From the online reviews, it sounds like their quality is way better than the price would lead you you expect. As with many of these budget heartland hair salons, it helps if you come armed with photos of the cut you want.
Address: #01-K4 Elias Mall, 625 Elias Rd, Singapore 510625
KIMARIE HAIR & BEAUTY TRAINING CENTRE ($7)
KIMarie Hair & Beauty Training Centre is another trainee hair salon. It's been around since 1979 and was founded by a certified hairstyling trainer. For just $7, you can get your hair shampooed, cut and blown dry.
The experience is similar to that at Kimage Hairdressing School. Come with an open mind, low expectations, and a looot of time to spare.
Nonetheless, it's had good reviews online, for whatever that's worth. If you're lucky, the teacher will be with the trainee the entire time so you'll have not 1 but 2 people fussing over your hair.
But make sure to call before you go because sometimes, there are no students, which means no student cuts. Cuts by instructors are $18.
Address: 10 Sinaran Drive, #B1-134 Square 2, Singapore 307506, Tel: 6222 4446
EZEN HAIR, NAIL & BEAUTY ($8)
With its multiple locations and cheap haircuts, eZen Hair, Nail & Beauty is fast becoming the new Snip Avenue without the uneven service quality. Its 6 outlets are mainly in the west and north: Jurong, Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang and Woodlands.
A standard haircut costs just $8 here, but if you find a stylist you like, you can join as a member for $25 a year. Member's price is $4 for a haircut. And as you might have already guessed by their name, they also offer nail and beauty services from $8 onwards.
Blk 504 Jurong West St 51 #01-217, Singapore 640504, Tel: 6561 0085
Blk 445 Fajar Road #01-542, Singapore 670445, Tel: 6760 3008
Blk 678A Woodlands Avenue 6, #01-38, Singapore 731678, Tel: 6893 4991
Blk 628 Senja Road, #01-02, Singapore 670628, Tel: 6762 3206
Blk 399 Yung Sheng Road, #01-53, Singapore 610399, Tel: 6268 2080
Oasis Terraces 681 Punggol Drive #04-07 Singapore 820681, Tel: 6909 2056
90 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #01-560 S310190, Tel: 6250 9510
PETER AND E HAIR STUDIO ($8)
Peter & E Hair Studio is a budget hair salon with 3 outlets in Yishun, Marsiling and Serangoon. Basic haircuts used to be dirt cheap here at just $3.50 but prices have since climbed to $8. Their membership deal where you sign up as a member ($30 for a year), and get $1 shaved off per haircut is also no longer available.
Address: Blk 807 Yishun Ring Road #01-4195, Singapore 760807, Tel: 257 1831
AOSKA UNISEX HAIR STYLING ($5 TO $8)
Long before there was Snip Avenue offering haircuts in single-digit prices, there was Aoska, with 3 outlets int he heartlands (Ang Mo Kio, Yishun and Whampoa).
It was the case where for $5 and $8, you can get your hair cut. Now the prices have gone up to $8 and $12, but it's still a good place for other hair services as hair colouring starts at $35 (compared to upwards of $60 elsewhere) and a perm begins at $50.
347 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 #01-2134, Singapore 560347, Tel: 6451 5377
82 Whampoa Drive, Singapore 320082, Tel: 6254 9226
Blk 293 Yishun St 22 #01-215, Singapore 760293, Tel: 6258 1843
NEW STAR HAIRDRESSING SALOON ($10 TO $12)
Established in 1960, New Star Hairdressing Saloon in Little India began as a barber shop. It has retained much of its old-school charm with prices to match.
For $10, you get a no-fuss, no-frills cut that make it "the best Indian barber in Singapore", according to some. And, guys, one of the best things you can do here is to go for a traditional Indian barber shop shave.
But New Star has also moved with the times. It is now a unisex salon offering everything from perms to hair treatments, rebonding, colouring and highlights.
Address: 64 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218049, Tel: 6291 4759
DRAGON PHOENIX UNISEX BEAUTY SALON & HAIR SPA (FROM $10)
As you would expect of the super-obiang name, Dragon Phoenix Unisex Beauty Salon & Hair Spa is tucked away in a vintage Toa Payoh estate, among TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) shops, foot reflexology places and auntie beauty parlours.
Perhaps the only clue that behind its rather nondescript façade is a host of services is its bright fuchsia sign. Apart from the usual hairdressing services, Dragon Phoenix offers make-up and facials as well as image consultancy. Haircuts start from $10 and Anne (who sometimes spots pink hair to match the pink shop sign) has long-time customers who drive from all over the island to go to her.
You won't find reviews on this place because Dragon Phoenix is this writer's secret find. After this, though, the long lines to get Anne's services may just get longer.
Address: Blk 123 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh #01-509, Singapore 310123, Tel: 6353 3941
There aren't many places in the city you can go to for bargain haircuts. So, Kojimaya at The Central, above Clarke Quay MRT, is quite a find.
For $12, you can get your hair cut by a stylist of your choice who isn't rushed to finish the job in under 10 minutes, meaning better care and more attention.
Address: #B1-57 The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen, Singapore 059817, Tel: 6535 6492
HAIR BUZZ SALON ($15)
Another old-school hair salon complete with the iconic twirling red, white and blue barber's pole outside the shop, Hair Buzz Salon is quite an icon in the Serangoon Gardens area.
Haircuts here are a little pricier than the others on this list, at $15, but there is a steady stream of regulars who have been coming to owners Freddy and Sabrina for more than a decade.
Address: 10A Kensington Park Road, Singapore 557262, Tel: 6280 2520
This article was first published in MoneySmart.