By contributing writer Laura
Looking for ways to trim down costs on haircuts? I have good news: living a frugal lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice looking fashionable! Here are 7 simple tips to help you cut away at the costs of a new ‘do.
Ways to Save on Haircuts
1. Beauty Schools
Find local cosmetology schools or stylist training programs that offer free or discounted haircuts. You may be taking a risk by entrusting a student or stylist-in-training to learn with your locks of hair, but rest assured they are under surveillance by an instructor.
You may notice that a haircut at a beauty school takes a little longer than with an experienced stylist, as they are learning how to hone their craft. If you’re not pressed for time and are willing to try something new, then a stylist-in-training may be right for you! Some institutes that offer discounted salon services in various locations across the US include Aveda Institutes, Paul Mitchell Beauty School, Sassoon Academy and Wella Professionals Signature School.
2. Salons with Referral Offers & Social Media
Many salons rely heavily on referrals and will incentivize their current customers by offering a free haircut when you refer two new clients, or a similar type of deal. Also look for salons that are active on social media and have frequent Facebook or Twitter offers for their fans/followers.
Connecting with local salons on social media can also keep you in-the-know of any special promotions. I’ve seen salons offer free haircuts to military and veterans, for those without a job, or to anyone on one particular day as a part of a big giveaway/give-back to the community.
If you’re loyal to a particular salon or stylist, ask them to start up a referral program or other incentives for loyal customers like you that will bring them more business while rewarding you!
3. Daily Deal Sites
I’ve seen a growing number of hair salons offering 50% or more deal vouchers on daily deal sites. Keep a look out on the main group buying sites for significant discounts for salon services in your city. But be sure to read the fine print and mind the expiration date when you buy a hair salon discount voucher online.
Also keep in mind that the salon will likely be inundated with other customers who have bought the same daily deal as you, so try to call and schedule your appointment sooner rather than later.
4. DIY Haircuts
Try your hand at cutting or trimming your family members’ hair. You can buy specialty scissors, razors, barber kits and other haircutting equipment online or local stores.
My husband actually received a Flowbee (yes, the one from the infomercial!) as a gift a few years ago, and this has saved him quite a bit of money on his haircuts and my son’s.
There are some great online resources and video tutorials that take you step-by-step through the process of how to cut hair and achieve different hairstyles; I suggest you start with a simple search on YouTube.
5. Exchange of Services
In the past, a friend of mine who had a knack for cutting hair would give me haircuts for free and then when she was strapped for cash, would cut my hair for just a few bucks or in exchange for meals.
Perhaps you know a friend who is artistic, was a former hair stylist or just has a talent for hair. Ask if she would be willing to exchange free haircuts for something she may need or want: babysitting, homemade meals, menu planning help, your famous apple pie, house cleaning, or something you’re good at doing.
6. Donate Your Hair
Many salons offer discounts or even free haircuts when you donate 8 or more inches of your hair to Locks for Love or similar organizations that create wigs for kids battling cancer and other disease. This is a great way to give the gift of your hair to a great cause.
I donated my hair to Locks of Love earlier this year and got a free haircut, and Toni wrote about her daughter donating to Locks of Love a few years ago. There are also other organizations like Wigs for Kids and Pantene Beautiful Lengths that accept hair donations. Ask around at local salons and search these organizations’ websites to find if any salons near you offer discounted or free haircuts with a hair donation.
7. Go With a Longer Style
You can save money on haircuts by choosing a longer hair style that doesn’t need to be cut or evened out as often as shorter hair styles. Although, the tradeoff is that with a longer hairstyle, you may end up using more shampoo, conditioner and styling products and therefore may spend more money on haircare.
So even though a longer hair style may save you money on haircuts, you may end up spending more on haircare products to maintain a healthy look for your length.
What ways do you like to save on haircuts? Have you tried cutting your own hair? Or is a fancy haircut at the salon downtown something you save up for and splurge on?
For even more ideas, check out Toni’s Frugal Hair Care ideas.