A great believer in exploring the off beat, non-touristy things hidden inside every city.
Published August 6th 2015
Volunteer to become a guinea pig
I enter the posh salon, situated in a posh part of London, Chelsea. I am welcomed, saying that I have been expected. I am led to another room where I am quickly robed in the usual apron and have my hair washed. Next, I am made to sit in front of the mirror and a pair of scissors is wielded behind my backů Sounds like you're having a hair cut, I hear you say. Well, that may be true, but this is not just another hair cut. Having recently heard of Salon Guinea Pig, I thought it would be great to 'guinea pig' for a long overdue hair cut and spread the word too, about this brilliant service- the brain child of Ruth Mills.
Salon Guinea pig connects trainee hair stylists and beauty therapists to potential guinea pigs who are happy to lend their head, hands, nails and what have you (!)... for free or a discounted price so that it is a win-win for both parties. The trainee is usually supervised by a senior stylist, as I saw today. Result was that I got one of the best graduated bobs I have ever had! (Yes, Sam Kokoroma you did a fab job!).
Registering onto salon guinea pig is free. There are a wide variety of beauty treatments available under this and most of them are by therapists who already have training in that field but are looking to advance their skills. It is UK-wide too. On the flip side, the freebie treatments are very specific to day and time and one would have to work around that. Also, as they are still in training, the whole process might take slightly longer than usual. And, of course, the website does its disclaimer of them not being liable for any problems that might arise from such ventures by voluntary guinea pigs!
All in all, the ethos behind such an idea is something close to my heart. I quote Ruth from her website, " Hair and beauty treatments can really make people feel good about themselves - helping people look their best and feel more confident. At Salon Guinea Pig, we feel that hair and beauty treatments should be available to all - not just people who can afford to pay salon prices - and we hope that our website will help achieve this aim. We're proud to be a part of the "alternative" economy - where ordinary people can help each other, as independently as possible from the money system - and with as little interference from government, banks and big corporations as possible! "