As a young professional, I needed to dress for success. When my husband noticed me struggling with my hair, he treated me to a visit to a salon. I enjoyed having someone create something beautiful out of the mop on my head and I left that day with a new “do”, renewed confidence in my appearance, and about $48 poorer—and that was 25 years ago.
Today, after decades of raising six children on one income, I could never spend $48 on a haircut. In fact, I would struggle to spend $15. But according to my salon-going son, that is what a man’s haircut costs*. Wow, when I had five boys at home, $15 each would cost $75 every six weeks. That’s about $675 a year—for just the boys. That’s more than our car insurance. That’s more than my monthly grocery budget. That’s more than I care to think. Have a tribe at home in need of some low-cost grooming? Let me share some ways that I’ve learned to save in this area.
1. Learn to cut hair.
A pair of Wahl hair clippers costs roughly $30 (the cost of two, count them two, haircuts). My first set, purchased 24 years ago, came with all the attachments, a pair of scissors, a comb, and—here’s the best part—a VHS demonstrating how to cut hair in all different styles. Then I checked several books out of the library to help my studies.
The new Wahl kits do not come with a video, but you don’t need one. Search haircutting on YouTube and you will find more than you ever wanted to know. In fact, I recently learned how to cut my own hair by watching several YouTube videos. I always wondered how people cut around the backs of their heads; but this video makes it so easy, you’ll be cutting your own hair in no time. And if you still think you need help, check out the CreaClip Professional Haircutting Tool. It’s amazing.
2. Go to a barber.
If you don’t trust yourself to cut your family’s hair, try a barber. Instead of $15 at the salon, the average barber in our area charges $7. That is great for the guys in the house; but some women are uncomfortable going to a barber shop. If that describes you, try a family salon. These places feature a stable of stylists lined up in their stalls cutting like it’s the Kentucky Derby. Family salons typically do not take appointments and charge a bit more than a barber, but much less than an upscale salon.
3. Go to a beauty school and have your hair cut by a student.
When you go to a beauty school a student will do your hair. She will have two years of education behind her before being allowed to work on the public; and an instructor will oversee her work. Beauty schools generally charge much less than the average salon. Depending on the laws of your state, some beauticians apprentice under a licensed stylist. Doing the book work at a school, she does her practical training in a salon. You may have to ask around to find a shop that participates in apprenticeship programs. Or you could ask someone at the cosmetology department of your local technical school.
4. Let it grow.
The best way for women to save on haircuts is to let it grow. The Bible says that long hair is our glory (1 Corinthians 11:15). Before I learned how to do it myself on YouTube, twice a year my daughter would cut my long hair straight across the middle of my back. I do my own bangs. It costs me nothing.
Check out some more ways to save money on ChristianPF.
How do you handle this often over-looked expense? Please give us some more ideas in the comments.
*Prices vary in different areas of the country.