Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nine Frugal Hairstyle Tips

Today I am going to get a much, much needed haircut. My hairstyle is pretty simple, it is just long and straight, but I haven't seen a stylist in awhile and I am starting to feel a bit like Rapunzel. My ex was a hairstylist, so for quite awhile I had direct access to great hair care. Now I see a friend of my sister's who, conveniently, just happens to work across the street from me. So, from having a few stylists "in the family" as it were, I thought I would put together some tips for saving money on hair care. Don't worry, I am not going to tell you to shave off all your hair or let it grow long like Crystal Gale. Nor am I going to suggest dreadlocks or a using a flowbee. Your hairstyle is your own and your own personal style. I'm just going to list a few ways you might be able to shave (ha!) a few pennies off:

1. Talk to your stylist. Do you go to the same person every time? If so, and you are looking to cut down the cost of hair care, be honest with them, however do not expect or even ask for a price break. To ask them to discount their prices for you is not only downright rude, but it also implies that you do not value their work. Besides, in many cases the prices are set by the salon, not the stylist. Instead, ask them to help you figure out ways to meet your budget. Maybe change your style slightly so you can go a little longer between cuts, possibly changing the products used (some color options cost less than others), or skipping on extras like after cut blow drying. Enlist them to help you get the look you want at a price you can afford.

2. Sometimes one aspect of a cut is more important than the other. If the color is key, you might still want to spend more on a top notch colorist, but can get the cut done elsewhere, or vice versa.

3. If you don't have a stylist that you are dedicated to, consider shopping around. Many people have had luck with the stylist schools. For me, this would be fine, since my cut is basically just making sure it is cut straight across, but for some people this isn't an option, I know. In that case, talk to your friends. Get referrals from them and ask them how much they are paying. Look for someone who will treat you right, but at a price that is comfortable.

If you have a particular cut or type of hair, a less expensive salon or school may not be an option. If so, you might want to look at other small discounts...

4. While my hair is mostly low maintenance, I do tend to like salon shampoos and conditioners. However, if I use one brand for too long, it will stop working for me. No mater how much I scrub, my hair simply won't feel clean anymore. That's when I know it is time to switch shampoos. Recently I tried a sample of the new Head and Shoulders Volumizing shampoo and loved it. I haven't used H&S since I was a kid, so I was really surprised! I am going to pick up some and start switching back and forth between it and my more expensive salon shampoo. Hopefully this will keep my hair from getting over saturated by one brand. It will save me money by stretching out what I can use - plus it will make the salon shampoo last longer.

5. If you do like higher end shampoos, look for them at stores like Ulta. Prices there are similar to what a salon charges, but unlike a salon - they offer specials and coupons on a regular basis.

6. You have probably read this in other blogs, but most folks use way too much shampoo and conditioner. A dime to a quarter size dollop is really all you need - slightly more for longer thicker hair, less for finer short hair. If you haven't, give it a try. Decrease the amount you are using a bit at a time and see if you notice a difference.

7. Barter - If you have a stylist that owns their own business or rents a chair, some may be willing to barter. For example, my ex used to trade haircuts for two bottles of wine from a wine salesman. He also swapped cuts for massages from a therapist. One thing to note here, if you get your hair colored, remember that the stylist is purchasing that hair color for you. So, depending on your cut and what you have to trade, you might want to offer to purchase the supplies. You wouldn't expect a mechanic to install free parts, would you?

8. Air dry your hair - Okay, this is not an option for some of you ladies, I know. I will say though that the hair dryer eats up a ton of electricity. If you can let your hair dry naturally (or do as I do and wash it at night and let it dry while I am sleeping) you will cut down on your electric bill.

9. Be kind to your hair and your body - Most of us know that over-processed hair just stops looking good after awhile, and let's face it, there is little a stylist can do in that situation except cut it all off. Do what you can to treat your hair well, use more natural products and keep the backcombing to a minimum. Also, be sure drink lots of water and make sure there is Vitamin E in your diet - there is absolutely nothing like having clean, shining hair - naturally.

Photo by: Eleventh Earl of Mar


Frugalchick said...

Great tips! I also like to buy my haircare at Ulta with coupons and switch it up to keep my hair feeling fresh and clean. I did try a beauty school, but was very disappointed, even in the instructor who cut my "bangs." Maybe I'll try again someday...

Dawn said...

Frugalchick - Actually I was thinking of you when I said that beauty schools don't work for everyone! :) I remembered that you had had a bad experience with them. It is too bad, because it seems like such a great tip, but it isn't saving money if people aren't happy with the results.

I do love Ulta though - and I love shopping their clearance section for things to try at a great price.