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In the News
FOX 5 MONEY: SPA AND SALON SAVINGSby Melanie Alnwick, myfoxdc on 5/22/2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. - It's the perfect antidote to today's stressful world: an hour at the hands of a trained massage therapist.
"That's our job, to help you relax," says Toni Milburn, Clinic Director at the National Massage Therapy Institute in Falls Church.
Here, the prices are soothing, too. Just $35, when most spas charge $70 and up.
"That is definitely our goal, to make this affordable," explains Milburn.
That's possible, because this clinic is part of a school. NMTI gets students ready for careers as licensed professionals. They need practice with real clients, and clients need a break for their bodies and their wallets.
"Since people are trying to save money, they're looking for other alternatives, and we are an excellent alternative to the spa," says Milburn.
An affordable alternative to the salon is a cosmetology school. Paul Mitchell The School in Tysons Corner charges just $12 dollars a haircut. Color services start at $37.
"It's less money than going to a standard salon," says Kathryn Wardenski. "They do a much better job and they actually listen to you."
Students are supervised by instructors as they put their lessons to use. They "can" work on wigs, but actual customers are critical to prepare them for the work world.
"They get to experience all kinds of hair, and they get to experience an actual guest services that they would do in a real salon behind the chair," says school director Swaroopa Ganapathy.
Ganapathy says appointments may take a bit longer, since stylists and instructors are extra thorough. She says re-do's are complimentary, but rare. It's a trade off that regular customers are willing to make.
Kimberly Barbano said she heard other girls on the Metro talking about the school, and decided to give it a try. She's come back many times since.
"I used to spend $300 on my hair and now it's considerably less," says Barbano.
So when you're trying to save money, look to trade schools. It may keep yourself and your finances looking good.