ABC7 On Your Side: Beauty schools

LOS ANGELES "I don't have a lot of money to spend on well, looking pretty, so ... " said Holly Oberry.

Single mom Holly Oberry's usual beauty regimen is taking a back seat these days to higher gas prices, and simply feeding her child.

"I'm having a wash and a cut and a blow-dry, and it cost me $6. Can you beat that? Hello? That's great," said Oberry.

That's right, six dollars. All because Jolly is "letting her hair down," trusting her locks to students at a beauty school in Panorama City.

"We have reasonable prices because we need the clients to come in and get the students as well," said Instructor Lana Cantrell, Western Beauty Institute.

At Western Beauty Institute, every student is closely supervised by an instructor.

"I make sure they leave here happy," said Cantrell. "That's one of our guarantees."

And it's not just hair.

Mani-pedi (manicure and pedicure)? Eleven dollars, 50 cents. A 30-minute facial? Six to 9 dollars, depending on the type.

Fifteen-year-old Jenifer Franco is getting a new hairdo for her middle school graduation.

Jenifer Franco: "I wanted to look really pretty for that day. it's a special day."

Seventy-eight-year-old Louise Kertesz is on a fixed income.

"It's really difficult, I would never be able to get my hair done if this place wasn't here," said Kertesz.

Louise has been trusting her hair to beauty-school students for more than 20 years and figures she's saved a bundle.

"Three- or $4,000 then, I guess," said Kertesz. "Wow, I could be rich if I'd kept it."

For these women it's all about beauty without breaking the bank. "Six dollars, and a whole new me on a budget," said Oberry. "So it's great!"

Cutting-edge cuts are also cut-rate at the Vidal Sassoon Academy in Santa Monica.

"The haircuts clients get here are the same as haircuts they get in Beverly Hills," said John Guest, senior creative director at Vidal Sassoon Academy. "Haircuts here cost from cost from $10.50 to $21. In Beverly Hills, you're paying $100-$120."

The "students" here are actually trained professionals, at the academy to brush up on the latest styles and techniques.

A cut, blow-dry and style will set you back $21. Even less if you're a student: Only $10.50.

"My friend had mentioned, she always gets her haircut here and it looks fantastic so I decided why not, let's try it," said Mae Aghili.

Mae Aghili gets the student discount, and already has plans for all that cash she's saving. "Oh, pay off my loans," said Aghili.

Raymonde Cenzano is a long-time client. She comes for the quality just as much as the price.

"It's not a bargain if you're not happy with your haircut," said Cenzano.

Color starts at $32. Partial highlights? Fifty dollars. But this beauty bargain will cost you some time. Plan on two to three hours per appointment.

"But the quality of the haircut tends to be a lot better, so I'm more than willing to go through the time for a great haircut," said Espinosa.

For more information:

Western Beauty Institute
8700 Van Nuys Blvd., Panorama City, CA 91402
(818) 894-9550

Western Beauty Institute
2733 W. Avenue L, Lancaster, CA 93536
Phone: (661) 718-8410

Vidal Sassoon Academy
321 Santa Monica Blvd # 2
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 255-0011


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