Just because the country’s in a recession doesn’t mean you have to give up the necessities in life—like getting your hair done. (Even if your hairline is in recession, careful grooming does make a difference.)

Although a pricey cut or color could cost you hundreds, there are some easy ways to get a cut-rate price when it's time for a trim.

Make it a School Night
Take your tresses to a beauty school, and you can get a fancy haircut or color for a fraction of the cost. Even though your stylist will still be learning, most beauty schools won’t let students work on clients’ hair until they have achieved a certain degree of proficiency. Besides, they are always supervised by professional stylist instructors. You can get practically any type of hair process at a beauty school, but you need to make an appointment. Some schools only offer services only one day a week, so book early.

Be a Hair Model
While you probably won’t get paid to model your locks, you can get your hair done for free if you volunteer as a hair model at a salon. Expect to surrender some of your control over how your hair comes out, however. Salons use models to train their staff in new techniques and to create styles for their portfolios. Bumble & Bumble Modeling Project is a program in New York City that offers free model haircuts and styles to those who meet the programs requirements. You can register online, but you have to attend a “model casting” to have your hair evaluated.

Go Discount (Sometimes)
Going to a discount hair salon can save you hundreds of dollars, but you usually do get what you pay for. Many of the stylists in discount salons are just starting out and may not be as skilled as those in a high-end salon. These stylists are licensed and qualified to do hair, however. You can make the most of their skills by using discount salons only for maintenance visits. Limit expensive cuts or colorings to once every few months and only visit discount salons for touch-up cuts and colorings. Tell the stylist to follow the map of the cut or color you got from the expensive salon and you should be able to keep your hair looking fabulous for less.