I’ll begin this with a disclaimer. I’ve only paid for a haircut once in my life. And that was a mistake. The salon advertised that they did free cuts for people donating their hair. However, they put a lot of ad-ons which made it come out to $40.
Not a fortune, but more than if we’d gotten it done at Hair Cuttery. Oh well, $40 over 22 years isn’t bad–especially since it wasn’t my $40. (Mom, was it more?)
When I was little, my dad cut my hair. Until the $40 bob cut. Then it grew out for years, Dad gave it a few trims, and then one night I went nuts in college. Between the 5 of us, 4 friends and I managed to make really short layers. And now it’s a bit past my shoulders, 2.5 years later.
Ok, but back to paying for haircuts. Let’s suppose that you get your hair cut periodically and perhaps–gasp–colored. I’ve been trying to figure out how to optimize the process, since I like the layered look.
First question to ask is: When do I see the most people I want to make a good impression on?
My last boss, for instance, got her hair cut and colored about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. I thought that was an excellent choice, since it gave the cut time to grow a little and gave her a chance to get it fixed if it went horribly wrong. Then she had good hair for a huge family get together, and the cut should last until Christmas at least (she’ll probably need to recolor if she wants to look her best).
You don’t want to be cutting your hair the day before something big, because it could turn out really badly and you’d need time to get it fixed. It also gives your hair a chance to look more “natural” and less freshly cut.
Second question: How can I pick a style that’ll be what I want and will age gracefully?
My sister’s haircut isn’t bad, but it requires maintenance at least every 4 months. Not bad, but my hair hasn’t been cut in 2.5 years. Getting towards 3, actually. I think mine wins.
On that cold April night, in the dorm bathroom, with my friends–I wasn’t exactly planning this out. I just got really lucky in how I did it. It grew out wonderfully.
Now, I know a bit more about my hair, how I like it when it’s short, etc. I’m going to get it cut in such a way that it won’t need to be cut for another year or more. My current thought is the same kind of layering, but not as short as it was last time.
Coloring is more difficult. One way some women I know approach it is by getting a really good color treatment done a couple times a year and then consulting with their stylist about frugal maintenance.
I wish I could spend the rest of my life cutting my own hair. Maybe I will sometimes, but now that I’m working I’m not as free to mess up. So I’ll optimize.
How do you optimize your hair cutting expenses?