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How to Save Money on Haircuts, Hair Color and Hair Care

For many people (women especially) hair care can be a pretty big expense. Between the cuts, colors and special shampoo you can spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year caring for your hair. This is one category I’ve drastically reduced spending on without sacrificing any quality. Below is my super low cost hair care routine.

How to Save Money on Haircuts

The price here will be very dependent on where you live. In my area haircuts range from a low of $17 for a walk-in low cost chain to $80+ for a fancy salon. That’s not even including tip, and in some of those fancy salons you’re tipping more than 1 person too. How much do you tip your hairdresser? [2]

Become a haircut model. I’ve reduced my hair cut costs to tips only by being a “haircut model”. Our local chain teaches classes 1 week a month and during that time you can get a free haircut just by making an appointment. I was a little nervous at first to have my hair cut by students but it has worked out fine. The students are monitored by their teachers who will step in and make corrections if necessary. It also helps to be able to explain exactly what you want (I’ve learned a bunch of terms just by listening). Call around in your area to see if you can find a class looking for “models”.

How to Save Money on Hair Color

As much as I would like to let my hair go natural I’m not crazy about how my gray is coming in (only in spots which against my black hair just looks like skunk stripes). So every 8 weeks or so I breakdown and color the grays.

Dye your hair at home. This can be a significant expense if done in a salon but is ridiculously cheap to do at home. Between sales and coupons I usually end up spending around $4 for a box of color (I could probably get it for even less if I was willing to shop different brands). I recommend getting a hair color brush [3] from your local beauty supply store. This will help you get the color where you want it and minimize drips. If you’re nervous about doing it yourself enlist a friend to help. It’s really not that complicated and if you do a test strand first you’ll have a pretty good idea what the finished result will look like.

How to Save Money on Shampoo

I have gone through a couple of different things with shampoos. Any of these tips will save you money.

Use less shampoo. The first tip is to use less. Years ago a hairstylist told me that most people use way too much shampoo. She recommended not washing your hair everyday and when you do to cut the shampoo half with water. I did this for years with great results.

Use less expensive shampoos. I tested a bunch over the years. One of my favorite low cost brands was Suave Professionals Rosemary Mint [4] (though their Almond and Shea butter was a close second). I loved the scents and felt it got my hair cleaner than a lot of more expensive options. Try a bunch and see if you can find a lower cost option you like.

Don’t use shampoo. The third tip is not for everyone but it has worked well for me. About 2 years ago I stopped using shampoo and am instead using baking soda and apple cider vinegar. It will take your hair and scalp a few days or weeks to adjust to the change but after that it works great. I made this change for a healthier scalp more than as a cost savings but that’s just an added bonus.

So there you have it – my super low cost hair routine.

How much do you spend on your hair care routine?

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