Jean Madeline Aveda Institute


WHAT: The Jean Madeline Aveda Institute is a school for salon owners, stylists and aestheticians–in-training. It’s also one of the best deals in the area for salon-quality haircuts, facials, manicures and pedicures.

WHERE: The Institute is located in the ground floor of The Hub, the apartment building at the corner of 40th and Chestnut streets. There are two other Philadelphia locations: 315A Bainbridge St. in South Philly and 7248 Frankford Ave.

WHAT YOU GET: The students here do just about everything you’d expect from a major salon—from cutting and coloring to highlighting, relaxing and shine enhancing. The prices for hair care run from $12 for a cut (with no blow dry), $16 for a cut and style (with a blow dry) to $50 for a double process coloring. They charge $13 to $25 for styling only and $35 to $45 for high or low lights. Most of the clients are women, but they’re happy to cut and style men’s hair, too.

LEARNING PROCESS: Sure, the stylists are students, but that doesn’t mean you should be nervous about putting your locks in the hands of a novice. The students who are cutting and styling clients’ hair have already been through a slate of classes in hair cutting, as well as skin and nail care and makeup. Supervisors are also on hand to monitor student’s progress, and check in with clients and hairdressers before and after the cut.

COURSE OF STUDY: The institute offers four courses of study in cosmetology, esthiology, manicuring and a teacher’s program. Students are trained in earth-friendly hair, nail, makeup and wellness techniques, as well as business. The salon uses Aveda products, which are primarily naturally derived and always earth-friendly. The salon has even been known to toss in a free scalp massage before a haircut, a hand massage and complimentary tea or water.

DRAMATIC INTERIOR: The salon is an airy, modern space, designed by Wesley Wei, a former Practice Professor of Architecture in Penn’s School of Design. The interior used renewable resources and recycled materials, and features walls of windows along three sides of the building. There is also a generous retail area featuring tons of house-brand products and most of the haircutting stations. The lower level has more haircutting stations, several tables for manicures or pedicures and a brightly lit area for facials and makeup application.

ACCOLADES: Judging by the brisk pace of clients who walk through the institute’s doors, people are happy to line up for salon care at barbershop prices. The salon has won praise in print, too, including Reader’s Choice awards in the Jan. 2006 and June 2008 editions of Allure magazine and a Best Budget Services award in the March 2006 edition of Lucky magazine.

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT: To make an appointment, call 267-350-8800. For more information, go to and click on “Jean Madeline Aveda Institute.”

Originally published on February 18, 2010