hey diana! how do i save money on haircuts?

hey diana! how do i save money on haircuts?

funny you ask, because i happen to be a bit of an expert in that field.  
let’s not waste any time on small-talk – we’ve got some Serious Money-Saving Hair Business to get down to!

1.  you know that thing they do every time you leave the hair salon?  the one where they say, “so we’ll see you in 4-6 weeks, right?  how about we just book that next appointment right now, since we fill up so fast…”
well, that’s a lie.  (usually.)  i worked in a pretty upscale salon for a year when i was still in nyc, and even there, under most circumstances it was possible to book an appointment with your favorite stylist about a week in advance.  (i mean, if this is your wedding day hair style were talking about you might want to call more than a day ahead, but otherwise…  hold your ground, soldier!  don’t let them bully you into committing to shelling out another $30, $60, $150, or whatever it is your stylist charges every four weeks.)  

2. (this ties in with #1…) take some time to find a stylist you love.  
someone you trust, who really “gets” not only your look, but also the texture of your hair.  this is super-important.  and unfortunately, most often found at the higher-priced salons.  the up-side of this though, is that with the right cut, you can easily go two, 3, even 6 months between visits.  hair doesn’t grow that fast, and in most cases it takes a few weeks to stop looking “freshly butchered” and grow into it’s full potential.

3. experiment with hair accessories.
even when you know you’ve pushed it way past “acceptable,” you can usually get a few more weeks, (ahem…  months?  stop staring at me.)  out of a ragged ‘do by clipping it up, pinning it back, twisting it around something, knotting it, braiding it – and if all else fails, i heard the turban is making a comeback

what if – like me – you are morally opposed to bling in the weave?
pick an accessory that’s small, tasteful, and similar to your hair color.  check it:


this is a fine example of what i like to call a ‘totally classy hair-piece.’  
it also happens to be holding some Very Angry Bangs back while i procrastinate getting a trim.
you can find more totally classy hair pieces by clicking on the picture.  or
here.  i dare you.
bonus: they’re a total bargain, and made by the sweetest etsy-er ever.


4. ask about (free!) fringe-trims between visits.  
most salons at the mid-to-nice end of the spectrum offer complimentary bang trims between visits.  (of course you still want to slip your stylist a little “thank you” cash, but that’s nothing compared to the standard 20% on a full-priced haircut.)  getting your fringe trimmed between cuts will do wonders for  hairs that seem like they’ve grown past the point of acceptable.  unless you’re doing something drastically short or super-shaped, no one’s going to notice if your sides are half an inch longer than they normally are.  this leads me to #5:

5. trim it yourself!
i’m serious.  i’m also serious that there are some pretty big rules that go along with this advice.  such as:

  • take time.  this is not something you want to tackle when you’ve got 5 minutes to get out the door for work.
  • don’t cut more than 1/4″ in one snip.  you can always keep trimming.  unfortunately, (i’ve learned) you can’t glue that stuff back on once it’s landed in the sink.
  • cut it dry.  never EVER trim when it’s wet.  hair “shrinks” up once the water-weight isn’t weighing it down.  i’m not kidding.  don’t do it.
  • do not combine this activity with wine consumption, tequila shots, beer-bongs, or any other methods of alcohol ingestion.  ”hair-cutting” and “party atmosphere” do not belong in the same bathroom.  even if it’s just a party of one…
  • same goes for “emotional turmoil.”  if you and the boyf just exchanged a few unfriendly words, this is not the time to pick up the scissors.   turn to the beer bong instead, ok?
  • oh, and use hair scissors.  they don’t have to be expensive ones, but come on, we’re classy ladies (and lads.)  do we really want to trim our hair with the same scissors we just pruned the ficus with?  no.

6. preventative maintenance.
don’t shampoo every day.  this is incredibly damaging and entirely unnecessary.  trust me, i have that lucky combo of baby-fine locks and hyperactive grease glands – (is that what they’re called?)  i will be retiring the day they develop a car that runs off of sebum.  but in the meantime, i’ve learned that my hair is much much healthier when i rinse it every day in the shower (and even use a vigorous scrubbing motion, which helps distribute the oils more evenly,) but only shampoo every 3-4 days.  same goes for using heat tools – if you must blow dry, aim at the roots and spray the ends with a heat-protecting product.  combining these two will almost entirely eradicate split-ends from your life, which means, “hair cut what?!”  
(throwing in a little deep-conditioning treatment every once in a while doesn’t hurt either…)

see?  i just saved you a ton on your hair expenses.  that’s more than that geico lizard can say…

Yay, Diana!
For more cheap-as-free hair and beauty tips, here is another amazing PainfullyHipster post by the lovely Mary Catherine about spending pennies instead of hundreds on better beauty products.

31 comments to hey diana! how do i save money on haircuts?

  • My hair gets completely greased out if I don’t shampoo it everyday. But I’ve never tried just rinsing and scrubing it in the showering. We’ll see, thanks for the tips.

    Alyssa’s last blog post..Kabiri is Jewellery

  • My hair gets completely greased out if I don’t shampoo it everyday. But I’ve never tried just rinsing and scrubing it in the showering. We’ll see, thanks for the tips.

    Alyssa’s last blog post..Kabiri is Jewellery
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

  • [...] View original here: hey diana! how do i save money on haircuts? | Painfully Hip [...]

  • Barrie

    Diana! Could you BE any more gorgeous?! How do you feel about the whole wash-with-baking-soda-and-vinegar thing? Mary Catherine did a Little Red Fox post on it and I heard from someone else that it works really well. She has to use some essential oils to get the vinegar smell out though. I’ve trimmed my bangs wet and they end up looking like shit. Thank you for the dry cut tip. I pay $220 for my hair, including tips. And Amber can tell you…dude doesn’t do what I ask. My sister insisted that I defer to his experience… “Like, he OBVIOUSLY knows what he’s doing.” Several of my friends say go lighter, he says no way. Whom should I believe?

  • These are great tips. My hair now is way past acceptable. It’s looking more like a mullet. I so so hate it.

  • Hey there,

    Just wanted to say, great tips. I’m a pro hair stylist at a high end salon and I agree with all these methods. Another tip I would add, regarding the shampoo, or non shampoo. If you have corse/curly hair you can add conditioner to the ends of your hair when you are shampooing the scalp, to protect the hair that is more damaged. I would suggest getting a not as expensive conditioner to use for this step, then use your good conditioner all over after that. Also, dry shampoo is amazing for the in between days, it absorbs oil and gives lift.

    Jocelyne from Gsquared in San Francisco.

    Jocelyne’s last blog post..For the Vintage Society

  • tacopop

    I’ve been “washing” my hair daily with a light conditioner for years. I still shampoo it once a week. Seems like a weird idea, but a light oil will wash away a heavier one so this really works. Also this is why you don’t put oil or wd-40 on something that’s supposed to be greased, you’ll wash what little grease is left off and it will soon be worse than ever. See? boys read this site too. :o )

  • Beth

    I too have fine oily hair. I stopped washing my hair every day. In the winter I’d go two or three days without shampoo but now it’s every other day. I still wash my bangs every day with shampoo. I never thought of rinsing my hair every day, I guess I was just so excited about not having wet hair on the non-shampoo days I didn’t think about rinsing.

  • Roxana

    If you’re a student like me and are strapped on cash (and have several hours to spend at a salon), you’ll go to a high end salon and ask if they have any students that need models. There are several salons that don’t put you on a waiting list because these students constantly need models, and depending on how far along the student is in their training, you can get mostly any haircut you want.
    I have very coarse, wavy hair so it’s difficult to find someone that can work with it. Most students will take into account your hair’s texture, the way it grows, etc., and give you the best haircut. The two to three hours needed for the haircut is totally worth the $20 or so haircuts that come out PERFECTLY each time.

    Added bonus: when students do your hair perfectly, I find my hair stays nice so much longer than when I get it done at a regular salon, so you can even lengthen the time between cuts!

  • Great tips! Typically I’ll wash my hair every other day, simply because my head/scalp gets itchy and greasy if I don’t. I agree, though…washing your hair everyday is not only a waste of money, it’s a waste of time. I have actually read hairstylists say that hair is easier to style when it hasn’t been washed in a few days.

    Cafe Fashionista’s last blog post..A Floppy Fervor

  • This is awesome. I always end up trimming my own hair – and it doesn’t look too bad either!

    Isabel’s last blog post..As All Get Out

  • barrie – i’m kind of obsessed with apple cider vinegar. my brother thinks i’m gross. he’s 18 though, and thinks everything i do is gross. or stupid. i don’t wash my hair with it – i’ll be trying that next – i drink it mixed with water. it’s supposed to be amazingly healthy. and i really enjoy offering my brother a glass, just to watch him roll his eyes at me like a 14-year-old girl and walk back into his troll den. i do this every day.
    as for your stylist, i would run away from him as quickly as possible. there are only two types of people you give $220 to without getting what you want in return – car mechanics and muggers.

    jocelyn – ooh! i’ve never heard of that one before! thank you! i’ve tried to think of a way to protect your ends from the shampoo run-off, but i could never figure it out. this is fantastic!

    tacopop – i did NOT know that about the WD-40 thing! i’m actually about to attempt my first “semi-serious mechanical repair” on my brother’s van for him… this is good to know! (that will be my next post – “hey diana! how do i save money replacing an EGR valve on a 94 astrovan?” watch for it :)

    roxana – i agree with the student model thing! i’ve had the best luck at higher-end salons that have an apprentice program, where the students already have their licenses and are just doing “advanced” training, rather than the actual beauty schools where the students are totally learning on your head.

  • I used to work at a hairdressers in London and we used to give a 10% discount to people who re-booked their appointment and you could rearrange your appointment if you wanted to and still get the discount (as long as you don’t cancel or not show up).

    Also, I have had to ‘train’ my hair so I wash it like once a week now without it getting greasy. I started washing every other day and then every two days, etc etc etc.

  • Love this post!! The picture with the hair accessory is so helpful– my new pixie cut is getting a bit long on me and I have no experience with what to do! Also, #5 made me LOL… I’m guilty of some of those things including deciding I can’t live with my overgrown hair another second and trying to trim my bangs when I have 5 minutes before I have to leave, and also the “me and my girlfriends had a few drinks and decided I need a trim…” Haha, thanks for the tips and laughter :~)

  • Diana, this was so helpful, thank you!!
    [rq=4243,0,blog][/rq]Don’t Act Like a Slobby Model

  • Fab post! I love it that you stressed not to rush when trimming your own hair and NEVER touch your hair after a fight or breakup – disaster.
    .-= Viviana´s last blog ..Ha ha, the trick’s on you! =-.

  • I usually only get my hair cut or get it trimmed maybe once or twice a year. I also only wash it 2-3 times a week, and weirdly enough my hair is very healthy. When I go to get it trimmed or cut they are always impressed at how healthy it is.

  • [...] site, but Diana is not only a fellow fashion blogger, but fellow member of the oily scalp club. And she’s given us the greatest [...]

  • Sometimes finding a hairstylist can be hard to find. I mean no one wants their hair messed up.

  • Awesome! This hair style is suitable for all. I will try this totally classy hair-piece hairstyle. Thank you for posting this hairstyle. Keep posting

  • Wow, this are great tips! I am calculating how much money I’ll be saving while reading your posts here and it really saves money, but on the other hand, I think I cannot take a bath without a shampoo on my hair, I feel unpretty if I don’t shampoo and after shampooing my hair, I put hair conditioner.:D

  • Great go through, i actually really like one piece hair extensions and couldnt be with no mine. I’ll definatly be back quickly and will suggest this page to all my friends

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  • good tips on how to save money on a hair cut, i will give it a go

  • I’m always up for finding cheaper alternatives to cut my hair. Thanks for the info! I’ll pass this along to my sister as well.

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  • Awesome tips. I would really try this, and save a lot of money..

  • great post, I put that in mind, cutting bangs dry I always thought putting water on it makes it easier to cut but end up disaster and I found hair stylist good and cheap

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