Renee Miller, who blogs at Thrift Pop, is sharing a guest blog post to teach us ways to spend less on hair cuts and salon services, plus I (Carrie) throw in my two cents at the end too.
It’s time to talk hair, people.
Once upon a time there was a girl who worked at a fancy salon where 90-dollar haircuts were the norm. A decade-plus later, she found herself still addicted to the salon lifestyle, despite the fact that her budget had shrunk considerably. “But,” she thought, “I have a complicated haircut! Short hair! Blunt bangs! There is no way I can get a decent cut for less than $50! Or $30 for that matter!”
One day she got desperate and couldn’t spend the time or the money for a salon cut, so she went…to Great Clips.
It could have been Supercuts or Fantastic Sams or just about any inexpensive, walk-in haircare chain. She was scared–shaking, even. But the pull of the “$7.99 Haircut Sale” sign was too strong. She got an 8 dollar haircut. And it was fabulous.
That’s right, friends. I get my hair cut at Great Clips. It’s regularly decent. Frequently, it’s fantastic. Once in a while, it’s terrible. But I had that happen when I was paying 5 times as much, too. I just wanted to put this out there as a money-saving idea you may have thrown out that you might want to re-examine. Give it a try. If I can do it, so can you! (PocketYourDollars here: You’ll find me at Fantastic Sams when I need a cut.)
How to Spend Less on Hair Cuts and Salon Services
— Learn the jargon of your hair. I’ve had much better luck going to a walk-in salon when I could clearly tell them I wanted an inverted bob, no weight line, and so on. If you don’t know the names of certain elements, ask at your next cut, or bring pictures.
— If you have kids, especially boys, invest in a Wahl Haircut Kit. You can save so much money zipping a clipper on your little boys (and husbands!) all summer long. If you are interested in doing more complex cuts or trimming longer hair, there are dozens of how-to videos on YouTube.
— Color your hair yourself. I use Revlon Colorsilk, which costs around $6 before coupons, and coupons are frequently available so I rarely pay more than $5.00 a box. There are all sorts of kits for highlights, streaks, etc., too (Loreal Paris. Be sure to pick a color close to your current shade for the least risk, and follow the directions. You can do it! You can find great deals in store or online at Amazon. I’m lazy and I prefer lounging on my couch instead of shopping, so I just have Amazon deliver my hair color products straight to my door.
— Condition your hair yourself
You have probably been told many times that your hair is in desperate need of conditioning. I have been told this by many hair stylists, and believe me, sometimes they are absolutely right. If your hair is generally healthy, though, skip the treatment. What hair stylists fail to mention is the added cost to your bill. There are some great options for conditioning treatment that you can do at home on your own, for a fraction of the cost. Amazon has some great deals for conditioning masks that I absolutely love. Stores like Target will also have fantastic deals.
— Skip the Shampoo
Although shampooing is often included in the price, more often than not, it is done by the assistant, and you will have to give an extra tip. Shampooing before heading to the hair salon will save you a few extra bucks. I have found that buying shampoo at Amazon, when adding in their coupon deals, is way cheaper than most stores.
— Use entry-level stylists at high-end salons. For example, a local salon in town here called Juut often has new stylists charging $30 for a haircut even though their website says cuts are $45 and up. Certainly not the least expensive, but if you aren’t willing to give up your scalp massage, call the salon and ask for the cost of the least expensive cuts available. Other discount hair salons, like Super Cuts, Great Clips, and Fantastic Sams are also great ways to get haircuts for dirt cheap.
— Buy discounted services from daily deals sites. Local group discount sites like Groupon and Living Social frequently feature hair services for less. I just did a quick search on Groupon for haircut, style, and color packages for as low as $19 – love that!
— Use coupons. Check out the websites of your local salons and chains. You may score a coupon or special deal by signing up for email lists, etc. Or, if you are feeling really brave, ask for a discount at your regular salon, or for a coupon at a new salon to try it out. Stylists at every price point are always willing to go the extra mile to get and keep new customers. If you use walk-in salons, don’t ever go without a coupon; most of them accept their competitor’s coupons.
And please, wherever you go, tip well – really well.
Renee Miller has champagne taste on a beer budget. She is the stay-at-home-mom of twin boys, a freelance writer, and blogs at Thrift Pop. (Plus, and this is PocketYourDollars talking, she is a delightful lady. I had the pleasure of having lunch with her and her sister this summer and she is a joy. Just saying, she is a cool lady.)
Thank you so much, Renee, for the encouragement and tips. Let me, Carrie, add in a couple other tips I have learned along the way:
— Alternate between your high-end salon and a walk-in salon. Like Renee said, you can learn the jargon for your haircut from the stylist you always use at your expensive beauty parlor and then ask the stylist at the walk-in place to simply “follow the pattern.”
—Extend the life of your color by touching up your roots with an at-home kit. You can save a good deal of money by doing some touch ups between visits to the salon. By investing in DIY root touch-ups, you can look great without another expensive visit to the hair salon. I personally use Clairol Nice n’ Easy Root Touch-Ups, and they are extremely affordable on Amazon.
— At least get your brows waxed at a walk-in salon. If you can’t trust your hair to anyone but the person who has always cut it, then at least get your brows waxed elsewhere. With a coupon I pay $8-9 for a brow wax. That’s half of what I would pay elsewhere. With a walk-in salon on virtually every corner it is easy to pop in someplace while you are out running errands.
— Avoid buying expensive products at the salon. I admit. It’s often hard to resist buying hair products at the salon, but you can almost always find better deals online at Amazon, or by waiting for deals at local favorites, such as Target or Walmart. It also could be that your salon offers some fantastic deals. Just do a 5 minute research at home before making that purchase.
— Find a stylist you trust, even at a walk-in clinic. I get my hair cut at Fantastic Sams and have two different gals that do a great job with it. I have built enough of a relationship with them that I dropped my high-end salon all together. Fantastic Sams, and most walk-in places for that matter, don’t take appointments, but I call ahead and see if one of them is working before I drive over.
Your turn: How do you save money on hair cuts and salon services?