Haircuts and hair color can be expensive. There are lots of frugal ways around spending a small fortune on your hair, but generally they involve DIY haircuts and DIY hair color. While those are a great way to save, not everyone is cut out to cut hair at home. I have been not so successful at DIY hair. I’ve banned myself from wielding scissors or a trimmer ever since I mangled my son’s haircut many years ago.
While a quick trim or haircut at home and no color is certainly the most frugal option, you may be like me and looking for a non DIY solution that doesn’t cost a small fortune. Good news I have the answer! I know how to save big money on haircuts and hair color and the best part? No DIY.
But before I tell you, let’s talk about my hair care. For many, many years as a stay at home mom I would simply not get my haircut. I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to my beauty routine, and I’m too frugal to spend a lot. I often would get a haircut and then grow it out for months or even years before I got another trim.
This changed a bit when I started working and traveling. At home I’m still low maintenance, but I took care to look professional when I traveled for work which meant haircuts whenever I was going out-of-town. I never colored my hair because I liked my natural hair color.
Not long ago I noticed a few more gray hairs, too. So, that meant it was time to consult my hairdresser. We added some highlights at first and then eventually moved to all over color and highlights, too. Not cheap.
I know the most frugal thing is to just keep getting cuts, but I kind of loved playing with color and covering up the handful of coarse gray hairs in my fine brown hair made sense for me.
But the cost? Oh, it hurt. I was fortunate to have a few assignments where I was required to have my hair done-that made the cost easier. But after that? I was hooked and on the hook for the cost.
That’s when I got creative. I decided to find a way to save. While I debated the DIY process I knew that could end badly, so instead I did some looking and remembered a local place where I could get a haircut and color for a fraction of the cost…the local beauty academy.
Go to a hair school or beauty academy in your area. That’s the secret.
At the salon I would have paid $150-$200 plus tip for a haircut and color. At the local beauty academy? I paid $30 plus a generous tip. And the results? Better than the high-end salon I have been to in the past.
My hair post haircut and color. Love it!
Savings? $170 every 6-8 weeks. That’s a savings of nearly $1,500 each year!
I know what you’re thinking-that they’re students and they might mess up. You may be thinking you’ll walk away with blue hair instead of blond or a buzzcut instead of layers. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Haircut schools and academies have teachers that oversee the student’s work. You’ll have a top professional on hand monitoring the situation, and trust me they’ll do a better job than you could DIY.
The main benefit? You’ll get a HUGE price break. We’re talking 75% less than what you’d pay in a salon and you can get a variety of services not just a haircut. If you just need a haircut you could also consider a haircut store like Great Clips, however their services are limited. Personally, we’ve found that the hairdressers at those storefronts are either amazingly talented or not so much.
The only downside is that it may take a bit longer as students don’t always work as quickly as seasoned hair dressers, but overall I think it only took an additional 30 minutes-so not too bad for the huge savings.
Find a local beauty academy or hair school on Google and read up on their practices. Most offer great prices, trained teachers to oversee students, and all the same services you’d find at a salon.
Have you ever tried a beauty academy? Or are you a die-hard hair DIYer?