If you consider changing hairdressers an act equal to cheating on your spouse, then read no further. But, if you want an expert stylist to wash that gray right out of your hair, using only professional products, and not pay a single penny for it–then listen up gals and guys.
For nearly two years, I have been going to the L’Oréal Product Evaluation Center in Clark, New Jersey, where I receive complimentary hair color, shampoo, conditioning, and usually a blow dry. Last summer, I even took part in a hair relaxation study to try to tame my curly locks. All of these hair care services were performed at absolute no cost to me whatsoever.
What’s the catch? Honestly, nothing you can’t bear. Tipping is actually prohibited; and, there are a few conditions (no pun intended).
In return for these free services, you have to be willing to allow a team of professionals, on some occasions, to evaluate your hair during (and sometimes after) the appointment is over. The length of your appointments may also vary.
Simply stop in the Product Evaluation Center (P.E.C.) located at 159 Terminal Avenue in Clark on any Monday or Wednesday between the hours of 9 and 11 or 1 and 3. These times and days sometimes change, so be sure, call 732 499-4773 to verify. Tip: be first in line.
Everything you ever wanted to know about free hair care and salon services will be explained to you during the initial consultation at the P.E.C. You’ll watch a short informational video which answers the FAQs, and then be asked to have a seat in the “light room.” An expert or two (don’t be surprised if one of whom is speaking in French) will evaluate your hair, ask some questions, and will make some notes about your hair type and desired color. There are some restrictions on hair length, and they will inform you what is acceptable at the consultation.
NOTE: L’Oréal does not cut hair, which means you won’t have to completely break up with your current hairdresser. If your hair is past your shoulders, and you don’t have any intention of cutting it, you probably won’t be eligible to become a hair model. (You may want to be a cosmetics or beauty product tester instead).
After your initial consultation, you’ll be scheduled for hair care first–a shampoo, condition and blow dry. An appointment for hair color will be scheduled next.
BONUS: After you are enrolled into the program as a hair model, you will be given a little purple card which is date stamped each time you visit one of the Product Evaluation Centers. After you receive three stamps, you will receive a pass to their company store where you can score rock bottom prices on many of L’Oréal’s brands –Lancôme, Kiel’s, Redken, Biolage, Garnier, just to name a few. There are two company stores: one in Clark and another in Berkeley Heights.
And, if you are a sucker (like I am) for a “goodie bag” from your favorite department store’s cosmetics counter, you’ll be thrilled to know that when you make three referrals to L’Oréal’s Product Evaluation Center, you will receive a gift bag of beauty products.
For the record, I don’t work for L’Oréal. But if you do go, please tell them I sent you, as I will do practically anything for a goodie bag (except now pay full price for hair color—even though I’m worth it).