Looking good can be expensive. The national average for a woman’s haircut in a salon is $44. But that’s just the average. That means in some places, it can be much, much more. If you live in a big city like Philadelphia or Los Angeles, haircuts can start at $120 or more. Throw in some highlights or a blowout, and you’re well into multiple hundreds of dollars. So, what’s a girl on a budget to do?
Go into the salon prepared.
In some salons, stylists are required to try to up-sell you. Whether it’s a conditioning treatment you “need” or a bottle of $25 shampoo you absolutely must have, the add-ons can help you rack up a hefty bill. Set a price limit before you go in and stick to it.
Choose a low-maintenance haircut.
If you have a short haircut, bangs, or a color that is vastly different from your own, you’ll probably need to go in once a month for touch-ups. Choose something a little easier to grow out and you can often go 8 weeks or more before you need to go back to the salon.
Pre-wash your hair.
It’s true – sometimes the hair wash and scalp massage is the best part of the salon experience. But it’s usually an assistant that washes your hair, and if you tip them an average of $5 a visit, that can add up throughout the year. Wash your hair at home before you go and save yourself the expense of tipping an extra person.
Book a lower-level stylist.
Many salons have a tier system when it comes to their stylists, and the more experienced a stylist, the more expensive it is to use them. Use someone a little lower on the totem for an awesome cut at a lower price.
Touch-up your own roots.
There are so many amazing root touch-up products on the market now that it just doesn’t make sense to have the salon do it. From permanent hair color that you can brush on, to temporary sprays, it’s super easy to cover your grays at home. Grab some root cover-up at the drugstore and save your money for when you need a full dye-job.
Skip the blow dry and style.
Some salons charge extra to blow dry your hair at the end of the cut. If this is the case in your salon, ask your stylist to leave your hair wet, and dry it yourself at home.
Don’t buy salon products.
Of course your hair always looks *amazing* when you leave the salon, and you want it to look like that at home, too. But we all know that no matter what you buy at the salon, your hair will never look exactly like it does when the stylist does it anyway. If you really want professional products, wait until you get home and look for them at a cheaper price online.
Keep an eye out for discounts.
Sites such as Groupon offer rock-bottom prices on almost any salon service you can think of. From haircuts to facials to cryogenic therapy, you can find anything your heart desires – at a discount.
Visit a chain salon.
Places like Hair Cuttery or Supercuts tend to be much cheaper than a privately-owned salon. What they lack in pampering, they more than make up for in convenience and variety of services offered. In many locations, you don’t even need an appointment before going in.
Consider going to a beauty school.
Many beauty schools offer discounted rates on haircuts and other services. Just be prepared to spend a little more time in the chair than usual – students are just learning, and sometimes need help from their instructors.
Before you book your next salon appointment, weigh your options and think about what’s really important to you and what’s not. You may not want to cut corners when it comes to choosing your stylist, but find that you’re willing to forgo the fancy products and treatments. No matter what, use the tricks and tips above, and you’ll find that there are plenty of ways to save.
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