Absolutely go back; or at the very least, call... Its been a few yrs since hair school; but i can tell you that while cutting -- especially in the beginners/alpha class; the last thing anyone of my classmates and i did was talk to each other while cutting a client.. (i don't know if this was the class' 1st model day..? To be fair; it can be pretty nerve racking and intimidating the 1st, 2nd and even the 3rd time; sometimes... and everyone does know it's a school... :)) Better luck next time and make sure to book the appt with an upperclassmen... :))
17 reviews of Toni and Guy Academy in English
I completley accept that trainees will not be qualified (hence the cheaper price) and that it will take a few hours to complete. I do not expect to have my hair severely burnt. It is almost 7 months later and I have spent a fortune in Moroccon oil etc trying to stop it snapping off. Despite my best efforts, a chunk actually did snap off and it is still not long enough to be cut out. I wrote to the manager and never received a response.
The customer service was shocking and despite trainees obviously not being qualified, I certainly do not expect to have my hair ruined.
I went to Toni and Guy Academy for the first time to get highlights. I have heard that it’s quite a steal by London prices – a haircut for £5 and highlights (half head) for £25, full head color will cost you £30. I had an afternoon slot and once I got there, I was ushered to one of the study rooms where I had a student assigned to me. I never done highlights before so I brought some pictures of what I wanted to have done and showed them to headmaster. Once we discussed that with her, it was time to do the same with the student. Mind you, it’s a learning process so it’s takes a bit longer than in a salon (my appointment took 3.5 hrs), but I was never bored watching students around the room.
I was nervious at first to trust my beautiful locks into the hands of the student, but the headmaster was always around checking, asking questions and advising the student. I got really nice highlights and I was very pleased with the end result. I can’t wait already to go back and try something else, may be something bolder next time!
I used to go to the Academy when I was a student and had little money to spend on expensive haircuts, colouring, styling and blow-drys. All in all, I was very happy with the results. It did depend on the level of experience of the trainee you were assigned to, but in 3 years I can only remember one instance when I wasn’t 100% satisfied, and even then, the cut was pretty good, only the highlights were too bright for my liking. The downside is that you need plenty of time on your hands: I regularly spent the entire afternoon, or 3-4 hours, in the salon.
But if you’re on a budget, this is the place to go. And you don’t have to surrender your style either, I always got pretty much what I wanted, whether my wishes were on their training schedule or not was irrelevant.
My requirements for a decent haircut are minimal—no asymmetry, no fringes, and no excessive layers. Most importantly, my hair must be able to be tied into a ponytail at all times, lest I oversleep and need to get ready in a hurry, or am just plain having a bad hair day.
I have regularly been to training academies—Aveda in NYC— and have left with some very good hair cuts. Not this time. No one has managed to seriously eff up a cut. Until now.
I go into Tony and Guy and agriee with the teacher that we will trim about 5cm off so it will be slightly above shoulder-length. The actual person cutting my hair was not present at this discussion, and upon his arrival, the teacher gives him a brief overview—‘like what you did this morning’. Of course, I have no idea what he did that morning, so I assume we’re still on the same page.
THREE HOURS later—which, I understand, is part of the contract, but I was the last person to leave, those who had colouring done included—I have an asymmetric, stacked, cropped bob that resembles Kate Gosselin circa Jon and Kate Plus Eight. Pretty much the antithesis of what I wanted and what we agreed to.
I wasn’t aware it was Opposite Day, but am now in desperate search of extension places to try and hide this massive hideous mane for the next five years until it finally grows out.
If you have read the bad reviews you Have to bare in mind that these stylists are trainees, and your free haircut is practice!
I went in for a trim and ended up getting a free colour as well. Another thing to bare in mind is that these stylists need to try out radical styling/colouring as well as technique, however the trainee will not start cutting/colouring your hair before you have spoken to one of the tutors (who are always on hand through-out) and they will ask you what it is you want. As soon as you maybe notice that your hair is starting to look shorter than you wanted then don’t be afraid to speak up, remember this is a learning experience so if you don’t say anything to them how will they learn what they need to.
I got exactly what I asked for; there were moments when the trainee/stylist seemed unsure but his tutor kept coming to check and it came out very well.
All in all it was a really good experience and will definitely be popping back next time!
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Took a risk with Toni & Guy Academy New Oxford Street, and boy did it pay off! Got a fabulous haircut free of charge and I couldn’t be happier with it.
A few things to note if you’re looking to do the same:
1) Try and get an appointment before hand, as their walk-in sessions get pretty packed (my hairstylist told me that the morning sessions 10am are empty, but the afternoon 2pm slots are always full).
I suggest browsing Gumtree to look for a trainee in need of a hair model, that way you guarantee your slot
2) Allow plenty of time depending on the complexity of your haircut. These are trainees who are looking to perfect their techniques, so they take as much time as needed to get your haircut just right.
3) Don’t expect salon treatment – they are much more focused on getting the technique right and you must be aware that they are being supervised by teachers. Of course they are friendly and you get a night wash and blow dry as well, but don’t expect your every whim to be catered to.
Considering you’re getting a top quality haircut for free, if you have the time and flexibility I’d say go for it!
I'm surprised at all the bad reviews of the training salon! I went late last year with my partner and we both were quite happy with our haircuts! To be honest my hair was cut a bit shorter than what I had wanted, but really it wasn't a huge problem for me. The downside of it is that it takes FOREVER, but we went in expecting that to happen. Considering we're both very poor students, we wouldn't really go to the actual salons, a fiver is enough ;D
Been this week, and no luck. I wanted to cut my long beautiful hair to change my looks as I just turned 21. It all started bad from that selection they do downstairs, the man who came asking what we wanted done, offered colour to everyone in the queue but me, and when I said to him I would like some colour, he said he had enough people, but guess what, kept offering it to everyone else. I couldn't believe this and felt pretty humiliated that besides asking him, I was told no. He knew my cut wouldn't be easy as I have billions of hair on my head and it was pretty long. He never gave me attention and I was put through to the beginners class. I got a nice young chap, but with no experience at all. I could see the mistakes he was making from the distance. He kept engaging conversation with others and not doing what he was supposed to do, which was thin out my hair. By this time ( 6:30) I was so irritated and unpleased, I could not believe what had just happened. The teacher cut my fringe and it has never been this bad. The guy could not do a decent blow dry in my hair. It was just a shame, and I am still thinking if I should go back there or phone and speak about this with them.
Comment 1 comment on this review
michellealazarusbudd, 11 April 2011:
i went to Tony n Guy( Oxford street...i usually go here), n had a hair cut from one of the top stylist (Magna), it was first time very bad experience. that girl she was n't bother to give me full time n during my cut she was looking here n there n commenting on her co worker works, keep on going here n there n join the conversation of other costumers with her colleague. it was my time but i found tottley ignored which i felt so disappointed.
also, i didnt like the cut. i was keep on telling last time the girl who cut my hair which i really like did that n that so i have to keep on telling her what should she do while she was the top stylist n my one instrution should be enough for her.
i would say this time my disappointment never drag me to tony n guy oxford street i would rather preffer going some other branch.
THE WORST EVER - Having spent probably thousands over 10 years having highlights to enhance my natural blonde hair and being after christmas needing it re-doing, having no money to pay my normal styist, I thought I would go to a training academy. Usually I go to Saks in Covent Gdn or Vidal Sasoon on off bond st. This time i chose Toni and Guy . THE BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER.
I not only have very natural blonde hair which most people say are envious of, i have spent 3 yrs growing it, just past my shoulders. Upon my consulation, i said i wanted a trim and natural blonde. They then said to me 'we dont do foiled highlights'. Ok - well they must have another technic to get the same natural colour......ERM NO THEY DONT - basically a RUDE RUSSIAN - who was an arse decided to paste my whole head in what can only be described as the colour of the sun...and a pink salmon colour - this is what toni and guy think is natural!!!
The cut was not finished - the blow dry left me with knots and tangles in my hair.
I could rant on forever - but please take it from me, a person who has been to most salons and paid big money to great stylists, Toni and Guy have no Frickin idea what they are doing.
Saks and Vidal Sasoon academies are really reliable and listen to what you want. GO THERE INSTEAD
karlmorris, 25 March 2011:
Thats what you get for going to The Academy, you must have been willing to take the risk otherwise you would have gone to a normal salon and paid full price ! Dont be a cheapskate then complain. Everyone has to start somewhere, you where there to help them train and make sure these things dont happen when they qualify.
amyR, 7 April 2011:
It's not because she paid cheap that she doesn't deserve a good treatment. The teachers are there to correct the mistakes of the students, but they don't.
melissa740, 28 April 2011:
I agree, Karl is talking rubbish. You should go back and have them correct it. I personally find trainee cuts are some of the best since most trainees want to take time to do it right. I can't stand hairdressers, trainee or otherwise, who dictate to you how to have your hair done.
I want to write a review of my experience at Toni and Guy academy in New Oxford Street. I went last week for a haircut after booking an appointment for a haircut of my choosing through an ad placed on gumtree. I went along for a 9.30 start. The salon was easy to find ( 2 mins from the tube exit at tottenham court road ).
This was also a completely free haircut as my stylist needed models to pass her exams.
It turned out to be a complete bargain and great decision. I have quite difficult hair - curly, with a tendancy to frizz and a grown out style. So I needed a restyle and wanted to look good for some interviews I have coming up for office work. She gave me a wonderful haircut which embraces my hair's natural style and curl, but which also looks cool and is a great length. I have to say she was great with creative ideas and cutting but the trainers / senior stylists helping her learn were also wonderful at checking how she was cutting and made sure she stayed on track. It did take from 9.30 to 12.30 to get my hair complete but it was a fantastic experience and I really enjoyed being there and seeing how people learn. I am quite patient and you would need to be as you are there to help the stylists learn not just to get a cut. A super cool experience and I will be back if I can!
While I was there for a cut, I had a patch test for colour and went back one week later for a 9.15 start appointment to get a new base colour and highlights. This was 30 pounds. Also, unbelievable and a total bargain. The stylists helped to choose what would work for my style and colouring and were super nice people. The lady who coloured my hair was over from one of the European offices but spoke great English. The trainer did my initial consultation and then the trainee did something similar then they discussed the best way to proceed, the kind of techniques to use and the colour. They included me all the time and didn't press me to take one thing or another.
The whole thing took until around 1.30pm but I was happy to just relax and watch everyone get their hair coloured beautifully around me. Everyone I saw looked fantastic when they were leaving and there was a really controlled and relaxed air about the group - they are all given help by the trainers who are sure things go well.
I think my hair looks so natural and great and wanted to write a review to encourage other people to go and do this. Just remember to be patient and you can't be on your mobile or eat or drink while you are there ( other than water ) so be sure to eat, drink, have a big breakfast and go to the loo first! Also if you want colour plan ahead and get a patch test at least 3 days ahead of colour time.
Unlike others who have reviewed this salon I had a pleasant experience when I went there last Friday. My boyfriend had been the week before me (also successfully) and had been asked by the trainee if he knew any girls with bobs. Luckily I was visiting a love a free haircut so I went along. I was probably lucky with my trainee as she obviously took her training very seriously and was also very nice. She asked what I wanted and did not give in and do what other trainees and the teacher assumed she would do. She gave me a lovely new haircut which I’m very pleased with. I would say that to go to this salon you have to be very open to change and don’t mind losing a bit of length. I love having new and unusual styles so it suits me, but for something very basic such as a trim I would recommend looking elsewhere. There are other salons that do cheap and less inventive haircuts in London!
My hair was exceedingly long. Some might say exceedingly lovely. Full and thick and shiny and curly. It was a length of joy. A tousled delight. And so obviously I decided to get it cut.
I went to Toni & Guy thinking 'they’re cool young hipsters, they’ll give me some sexy sassy coiffure’. I told her I wanted it no shorter than shoulder length. First up she hacked off “the bulk” and then washed my hair. At this point I fell in love with her. It is difficult not to be enamoured by someone rubbing your head. It is a wonderful sensation.
Then she got down to business and I rapidly began to fall out of love with her as it became apparent that 'no shorter than shoulder length’ translates as 'shoulder length at the longest point’. The bits of my hair that tumbled over my face and slumped forlornly on my lap were longer than the bits left stuck in my head. They collected around me like beautiful autumn leaves, except they looked up at me with big sad curls asking me 'why? why? We did so much for you! Remember when you put those ribbons in us? You’ll never be able to do that with what you’ve decided to keep!’
And I tried to look back at them imploring that this was evidently not my choice and they should blame the girl with the scissors and lack of basic communication skills.
And as it went on my reputation as a stoic was being severely tested as it got worse and I could only hope that it would look better when she had finished/when it was dry/when it was styled/when it grew back in several months. Generally I don’t make a fuss about these sorts of things. I take what I’m given and deal with it in private. But I was so disenchanted with how I looked that I actually couldn’t not say anything and each time she asked me “are you alright?” my face instantly lit up bright red and it was obvious that “fine” meant, “I truly resent you for what you have done to me.”
It is the ugliest haircut I have ever been the sorry recipient of. And it is so short I can only wait for it to grow out. I left the hairdresser’s and stepped out onto New Oxford Street and bawled. I tried to tie it back but it’s too short to do so and I bawled again. I went home weeping and sobbing each time I caught my hideous reflection.
I woke up the next morning, saw myself in the mirror and relived the entire ordeal and cried again.
Now, I’m not a vain person. I’ve just got really shit hair. And a few days ago it was really nice hair. I am genuinely devastated and will be for approximately the next four months.
The moral of the story is: go here for a free haircut but be IMPENETRABLY clear when telling them what you want.
Dita, 26 November 2007: Toni and guy are by far the worst ever.
Idiotchild, 26 November 2007: I feel for you. Really I do. At least it's winter and you can wear a hat for the next four months...um, sorry, that's the best I could come up with...time heals all wounds? No, not much help either...
BushGirl, 26 November 2007: I'm getting over it now, and I have a lot of great hats.
Linus, 26 November 2007: Hey BushGirl, you're the Review of the Week for Qype London:
gry, 26 November 2007: I went somewhere for a free haircut once and had a similar experience. They cut me a truly hideous fringe. It also took almost 3 hours! I knew I was in for trouble when the manager came over to show the apprentice how to hold the scissors...
Molly54, 27 November 2007: I've had similar experiences at Toni and Guy (albeit years ago) - a mate 'in the industry' also once told me that at T&G they only cut hair into one of five or six set styles (whatever is deemed 'trendy' that season) REGARDLESS of what you ask for or what suits you. I don't know how true that is - but I've not been back since!
Dita, 27 November 2007: It is true, I've never been there but you can always tell people who have. For some reason Toni and Guy must teach their stylists to always do some 'short choppy look' and it seems to me this is their trademark - no matter how styles change. They seem to have a signature look, and it's weird, I've never noticed this before apart from with them. I noticed a mother and teenage daughter (rough as) in matching Toni and Guy haircuts whilst shopping the other day. I wouldn't mind if they were cheap haircuts, but they aren't...the whole company has always reminded me of one of thoses cheap Italian restaurants, that maybe got one good review back in 1999, and has steadfastly refused to change anything since then. I've never been there, I would strongly urge anyone not to go their either...
maverick, 28 November 2007: I've only ever had my haircut once in Toni & Guy. I came out with a mullet. Never again.
shopaholic, 28 November 2007: I do feel for you; I stopped going to Tony and Guy about 11 years ago (even then they were starting to get a bit formulaic).
Great hats around - or a very long holiday out of the country!
dmj1962, 2 December 2007: Oh my goodness. What a story.
I really feel for you - I used to hate having my hair cut. You always feel so helpless, and it is sooo hard to get them to do what you want. In my experience you have to find somewhere you like, and go back to the same stylist several times before they 'understand' you. In the end, I decided to go for the shaved look, which I can do myself to my own liking! (And it saves a fortune - but I realise that it's not for most women, unless you like the Sinead O'Connor look).
On this experience, three stars seems astonishingly generous.
BushGirl, 2 December 2007: Well, I felt sorry for the girl because she was clearly just doing wat she was told and was as embarrassed about it as me, she even said to me "hair grows back" which is something you never want a hairdresser to say to you.
The cut was probably quite a good quality, it was just the absolute wrong one for my head.
For emotional trauma it is a 1 star experience, but for professionalism it's 4. If you want an awful muletty haircut this is almost certainly a brilliant place to go.
moonrising, 6 December 2007: Thanks for the warnings! Me and my waist length hair will not be going there...
StephaniexXx, 30 January 2008: I would only ever go to toni and guy because their training is of the highest standard and for 3 years in either cut or colouring, whereas other colleges are 2 years in both cut and colour.
The problem with going to the academy is that they are not fully trained, which is why you're not paying the 50 or so pounds you would be if they were fully trained. That is the risk you take for a free hair cut.
To understand the jargon, the differences in prices for your hairdresser, and the terms senior, director etc is classified on the amount of times customers return to that hairdresser. So for a Hairdresser that has been there for a good few years and have a regular and happy clientel will cost you a bit more money but you are almost guaranteed a good haircut.
And don't forget consultations are free, so if you don't like the hairdresser you don't have to use them. Or, you can take a picture of what you want so there can be no confusion.
And if you still don't like your haircut you can make a complaint to the manager who will then provide you with a refund and cut your hair again for free if you wish.
Hope that helps! and sorry about your locks bush girl, hope they are growing back well.
This is perfect if you want the latest cut or colour (or both), but your skint and you've got time to kill. All students are constantly supervised (hence the long time). Go for cut and colour as then you will get the most for your money and time. usually £5 for a cut, sometimes the same for cut and colour, sometimes £20. If you are having colour, you must go for a skin test at a toni & guy salon and bring the card with you to your appointment (it only takes 5 minutes in any salon). I have come out of here with some wicked cuts, although occasionally there have been a few misses, but never badly done. I last went for a colour correction which took a mammoth 6 hours but only cost £20 and looked great. At the end of it I was asked if I wanted my hair cutting for free in another student's class but by that point I had a numb bum!
Do you like the idea of a free haircut? Well if you have a few hours to spare, this is the place for you. Students training as stylists for Toni and Guy give free haircuts during the week. It takes good three hours, but it is well supervised (there is a teacher who checks all main steps and is present throughout) and refreshing to get something for nothing in London! That said, if you are incredibly precious about your hair, rather pay the £50 to have it done by a fully paid professional!
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