12 smart ways to cutting costs of routine hair care

WITH the economy in its current state, not a day goes by without a client complaining about how tough times are.

While being a natural optimist and fully booked well in advance has helped shield me from the worst of the recession, I realise that not everyone is so fortunate.

So when I came across an article on the internet on 12 ways to save on haircuts, I read it with interest.

The list advises: cut your own hair; visit beauty schools; alternate salons; trim between cuts; air dry your hair; grow out your hair; shave it off; ask for new stylists; donate hair; become a hair model, and use coupons.

But I would definitely not recommend some of the ideas, like cutting your own hair or getting a friend to do it for you.

Just think about your mother’s attempts when you were a kid!

Others made a lot of sense. By the same token, while going to a hairdressing college may save you money in the short term, junior hairdressers are not always the most reliable. Like doctors, there is no substitute for experience.

That said, a lot of salons offer cheaper rates if a less experienced person applies your colour. Ask about that but make sure you consult with the best when choosing which colour to apply. The real skill with colour is in the selection, not the application.

Another good bet is to ask your hairdresser for a discount if you come during one of their quieter periods.

That way they can guarantee they are consistently busy and you keep your hair looking good.

Skipping on the blow dry is also a good way to save. Some hairdressers will push you to have this done so they can “finish” the cut. But if you are in for a regular trim, your hairdresser should be more than capable of getting it spot on without needing to dry it.

Letting you hair dry naturally at home will save it from the heat stress and keep it in better condition, so it will not need to be trimmed as regularly. No need to remind anyone about electricity and how hairdryers chew it.

Growing your hair is also a good way to save on trips to the hairdresser, as short hair will generally need to be cut every four to six weeks to keep it looking good.

With long hair this can usually be stretched to 10-12 weeks, and when you are desperate you can always just scrape it back into a ponytail.

At the opposite extreme, shave it all off. Yes, I know this is extreme but it has become much more socially acceptable for gents to have really short hair. This is one haircut that most of you should be able to manage without dire consequences.

If you are naturally daring then consider becoming a hair model …

As for visiting alternating salons, I definitely would not recommend this recipe for disaster.

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