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52 Different Ways to Save $100 a Year: Cut Your Own Hair {Week 10}

At the beginning of every week in 2013, I’ll be sharing a different way you can save $100 this year. If you do all of these things, you’ll be able to save over $5,000 this year alone! Many of these things will likely be things you’re already doing, but hopefully all of you will pick up at least a few new ideas or some inspiration from this series.

While this is one of those often-encouraged frugal tips, this series wouldn’t be complete without it. Because, truthfully, you can save a LOT by cutting your own hair at home… or having a family member do it for you.

My Own Hair-Cutting Adventures

For years, I didn’t go to a hair salon — not even an inexpensive one. I couldn’t afford to get it cut anywhere for some of that time and for the rest of the time, I just chose not to pay to get it cut because I wanted to save my money for other things.

My mom would trim my hair for length and then I’d cut layers in it. Did my hair look amazing? No. But it was decent and I had fun learning how to do layers and just play around with it.

Yes, I messed it up sometimes, but it was sort of an adventure. And I sure saved a lot of money by cutting my own hair! 🙂

Nowadays, I do go to a salon to get my hair done. It’s a splurge we budget for and I don’t feel one bit guilty about it. But I know if our budget and financial situation were ever to change and we needed to tighten things up, I could definitely go back to home hair cutting again.

If you are struggling financially, I’d heartily encourage you to consider cutting the trips to the salon until you get in a better financial position. If you don’t want to completely give up your professional hair cut, at least try to go as low as possible between each visit. Or, look for less expensive options (see below).

Practice Makes Perfect — Or Almost!

If you’re scared of the damage you might be able to do with scissors, instead of trying to give yourself a whole new ‘do, start small. Do simple trims of your boys’ hair (see a tutorial for trimming boys’ hair with clippers here) and try trimming your bangs or a small child’s hair.

Kikka says:

To get started you can watch free how-to videos on YouTube.com, look for a sale at your local beauty supply store (like Sally’s) to purchase what you need, do your research, and then give it a try! Just remember that practice makes perfect, or close to it. Also, the good thing about hair is that it does grow back! :) -Kikka

Creative Ways to Get Your Hair Done Free or Inexpensively

I loved this tip in ALL YOU magazine:

“I answer Craigslist ads looking for hair models to be used for salon interviews or for people who are building hours toward their certification. I no longer pay for hair cuts, straightening, hair color, or even highlights, and I always have nice results.” -All You magazine (April 27, 2012), page 117

Rhonda says:

Our children are grown now, but when our son was little, my husband cut his hair. As they got older, we all went to a cosmetology school where students cut hair at a greatly reduced price. It took longer, but the work was always inspected by the supervisor so you wouldn’t have uneven lengths, etc.

When my hair began getting gray in my 30′s, a friend showed me how to color it myself. I have been doing that every month since then, and have saved thousands of dollars I’m sure, compared to having a stylist color it. I buy a brand I can get at Dollar General, and once a month a newspaper coupon insert will have a $1 or $2 off coupon for it. So I average $3-$4 a month for hair color!

Another idea for haircuts is to check ad circulars that come in the mail. We usually have one for our local franchise hair salon for $6-$9 a haircut. Even with a tip, that’s less than $10 for a quick haircut which I get every 8 weeks or so. My husband has an electric hair trimmer that I use to shave the back of his neck, and he has bought a Flowbee hair system that he uses to cut his own hair. After 10 haircuts, it’s paid for itself.

If you don’t feel comfortable doing your own hair care, then perhaps you have a friend who cuts hair and will barter another service from you for that. Look around — there are many alternatives to high-priced hair care out there! -Rhonda

For tips on At-Home Hair Coloring, check out this post.

How Much Can You Save?

Well, that depends upon a lot of factors… like how many people you have in your family, how often you usually get your hair cut, and so on. But I can almost guarantee you that you’ll save well over $100 in a year — likely much more!

For instance, Kikka says: “We have found that if I cut my husband’s hair and he colors my hair, we are saving a minimum of $840 a year.”

Do you cut your own hair? If so, approximately how much do you save per year?

photo credit; photo credit; photo credit

Other posts in the 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year series

  1. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 This Year: Bake Your Own Bread (Week #1)
  2. 52 Ways to Save at Least $100 This Year: Make Your Own Coffee at Home (Week #2)
  3. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Ditch Your Cable Package {Week 3}
  4. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Order Prescription Glasses Online {Week 4}
  5. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Your Own Homemade Cleaners {Week 5}
  6. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Your Own Homemade Mixes {Week 6}
  7. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Become a One-Car Family {Week 7}
  8. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Surround Yourself With Frugal Friends {Week 8}
  9. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 a Year: Eliminate Disposable Products {Week 9}
  10. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 a Year: Cut Your Own Hair {Week 10}
  11. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Use Cloth Diapers {Week 11}
  12. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Become Best Friends With Your Freezer {Week 12}
  13. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Rent Movies for FREE {Week 13}
  14. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Ask for a Discount {Week 14}
  15. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Cancel Your Gym Membership {Week 15}
  16. 52 Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Get the Best Bang for Your Buck at Yard Sales {Week 16}
  17. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Grow Some Of Your Food {Week 17}
  18. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Cut Back on the Soda Pop Habit {Week 18}
  19. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Buy in Bulk {Week 19}
  20. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Price-Match at Walmart {Week 20}
  21. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Ditch Your Landline {Week 21}
  22. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Refinance Your Mortgage {Week 22}
  23. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Follow a Local Deal Blogger {Week 23}
  24. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Use a Coupon Database {Week 24}
  25. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Plan a Weekly Menu {Week 25}
  26. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Strategically Use Daily Deal Sites {Week 26}
  27. 52 Different Ways to Save At Least $100 Per Year: Shop at Aldi {Week 27}
  28. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Buy Used Books {Week 28)
  29. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Buy Used Clothing {Week 29}
  30. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Shop With Cash {Week 30}
  31. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Eat Less Meat {Week 31}
  32. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Is this really a good deal? {Week 32}
  33. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: 3 Ways to Save on Online Orders {Week 33}
  34. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Turn Your Clutter Into Cash {Week 34}
  35. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Get Organized {Week 35}
  36. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Have an All-Cash Christmas {Week 36}
  37. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Sign Up for Swagbucks {Week 37}
  38. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Cut Your Fuel Costs {Week 38}
  39. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Frequent the Library {Week 39}
  40. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Simplify Birthday Parties {Week 40}
  41. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Brown Bag It {Week 41}
  42. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Your Own Snacks {Week 42}
  43. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Use a Programmable Thermostat {Week 43}
  44. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Limit Eating Out {Week 44}
  45. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Get a Bang for Your Buck on Travel Expenses {Week 45}
  46. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Don't Pay For Pre-Made Baby Food {Week 46}
  47. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Eat More Beans {Week 47}
  48. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Homemade Cards {Week 48}
  49. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Shop At More Than One Store {Week 49}
  50. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Eat From the Pantry {Week 50}
  51. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Stay Home More {Week 51}
  52. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Develop Contentment {Week 52}

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88 Comments

  • I’ve been cutting my hair, along with Husband’s and Daughter’s, for a very very long time. We have relatively simple hairstyles, so it’s not difficult at all. We have a good pair of hair cutting scissors, thinning shears, good combs and an electric trimmer for Husband’s neckline.

    I will say, I took Daughter to JCP when they were doing the free haircuts last fall, and she got her first professional haircut. When we got home, it was 1.5 inches longer on one side of her head than on the other…so I don’t feel so bad about my own skills anymore! 🙂

  • I am really lucky in the hair cutting front. My sister is a beautician and owns her own shop so she does my hair (and my family’s hair) for free. The only “drawback” is that sometimes I have to go a little longer getting my hair cut until she fits me in, but it is worth it!

    • Stephanie says:

      Saves us $160 – $240 a year, cutting our two boys’ hair at home.

      I had thought about it for some time. I was tired of trying to keep two preschoolers entertained at the barber shop shop. Soon after our last time there, a store was closing and had a lot of items on discount, one being a pair of hair timmers/razor. That was the deciding factor. I bought them and haven’t looked back. Yes, the youngest is very ticklish, so I gave up trying to do anything fancy with him. It gets cut all to one length. The older one is better at sitting still, so I usually start with him to get back into the groove of cutting their hair.

      My husband still goes to the barber, as he has some cowlicks that make his hair interesting to cut. I do trim along his neck between times and that helps extend the time between his cuts.

      I go about twice a year to get mine cut. In college I talked a friend into doing trims. She was hesitant at first. I reassured her that she couldn’t go too wrong (my hair is very straight), and that if she did, it would grow out again. All through college either that friend or my mom cut my hair. I would love to be able to do this myself, as I haven’t found someone I like as much since we moved.

  • Lena says:

    I cut my husbands hair and my three kids hair (my fourth child isn’t old enough yet;-) The boys get haircuts about every 6 weeks. Our local cheap place is $10 for kids and $13 for adults. So we save $33 every 6 weeks! I think I paid just over $20 fir our clippers that we have for more than a year. I also cut my daughters hair a couple times a year.
    I do go out to get my hair cut but u only get it cut about twice a year so it is a special treat for me.

  • Karla says:

    I do Mystery Shops at SuperCuts. I used to spend $40-$75 to get my hair done every 5 weeks. Now, they pay me 🙂

  • Becky says:

    We used to like to go to barber/cosmetology schools ($5 men, $10-12 women, plus tip). More recently, my husband bought a trimmer and cuts his own hair. I decided to grow out my hair after having it short for a couple years.

    I don’t dye my hair normally, but did buy a henna rinse on Amazon. It was more like a treatment since I got one that matched my hair. I’d do that again if I get a red one. For treatment purposes, I’ll stick with used coffee grounds (can’t beat free).

  • lyss says:

    I’ve cut my hair a few times now, and I’ve been pleased. I watched some youtube videos for diy layered haircuts and decided to give it a try. I’ve never been happy with my hair. I used to go to greatclips, but some of the stylists were, um, kinda scary. Any ways, my mom paid for me to go to a nicer salon, $40, and while it was ok, I don’t have the $ to keep that up. I then went to a beauty school for a $7 cut, and they took over an hour and hacked my hair. Can’t blame the student, though, since the instructor practically did the whole thing! I’ve been much happier with my self cuts. : ) The other nice thing is not having to go anywhere! Somehow going to get a haircut is always a hassle for me. Can’t exactly take babies or little kids with you!

    I tried cutting my husbands, but I wasn’t confident and he wasn’t very happy with it…maybe someday. I insist on cutting my kids hair. I grew up with my mom cutting everyone’s hair. I am NOT paying for kids haircuts! I figure if my mom learned on her own to do everyone’s, then I can, too!

  • Michelle H. says:

    The way I saved money on my own haircuts was to ditch the bangs and go with a simple cut that lets my naturally wavy hair do it’s own thing, rather than trying to beat it into submission. Instead of getting my bangs and ends trimmed every 3-4 weeks I now get my hair cut to chin length layers every 3-4 months and then let it grow until I’m sick of it.

    Since I’m not trying to straighten it or curl it anymore I have discovered my hair looks best when I air dry rather than using a blow dryer, and I dont’ have to get damaged ends trimmed all the time. I’ve seen the same stylist for 20 years, and worked out a deal where she just cuts my hair, no style or blow dry, and only charges $15 since I’m in and out so fast.

    My husband has very curly salt and pepper hair that turns into a puffy cloud if it starts to grow out. Needless to say, I prefer he keeps it short! Since he didn’t have time to get regular haircuts are often as I preferred he asked me to start cutting it. I went with him to the barber twice to watch how they did it, and then bought clippers and started practicing on him at home. In 12 years I’ve only really screwed it up twice and had to buzz it all off.

  • Liz says:

    My husband has been cutting his hair for about 15 years. He also cuts our sons’ hair. On average, my husband would need a haircut about 2 times/month (he is in the AF so needs to maintain a short, neat style…he’s also very particular about his hair!)–this would run about $20/haircut. He needs a line-up about once/week (barber shop charges $10/line-up)…so for my husband’s hair, it would cost around $80/month. My son’s get their hair cut or lined up a little less often but would be around $40/month each (1 hair cut, 2 line-ups each). This saves us over $1400/year! (This also frees me up from feeling any guilt about my highlights once a year or my haircuts 3-4 times/yr! 🙂

  • Clare C. says:

    I am so impressed at you ladies that cut your own hair! My hubby cut all 4 of our kid’s hair when they were little. I loved that he could do it at home while they watched their favorite video on TV, which saved money and stress. Our deal was that if he cut the hair, I would clean everything up afterwards. Now that they’re all getting older, the boys go to the barber while my girls get a trim at a salon twice a year on their long, all one length hair. I used to cut hubby’s hair until the day he decided that he wanted a military style flat top, (we live in a mostly military area.) Of course, no one had told me at the time that a flat top is practically the most difficult men’s cut ever. Needless to say, I botched it so much that I ended up having to clipper his hair down to the scalp and he’s been going to a barber ever since. 🙂

  • Kate says:

    I dye it myself and sometimes my husband does trims. Another good tip is to arrive and leave with wet hair, because they often charge for shampoo or style.

  • Julie says:

    Ironically, I saw this post after having my first salon haircut in over a year just last week. =)

    I have cut my husband’s hair for approximately 9 years now – he needs his hair cut approximately every 6 weeks, sometimes sooner. My daughter just turned 6 and I’m the only one (besides her!) that has cut her hair – her hair grows very slowly, so I haven’t really saved a ton of money on her. . . yet. In the past I have had friends cut my hair, cosmo students for practice, and last year I finally ventured to cut my hair myself (not an easy task with a soft wedge). My hair grows very fast, so to keep it short I need it cut approximately every 6 weeks – although I usually push it as long as I possibly can. I also color my own hair.

    I would say we have saved approximately $1,200 on my husband in the last 9 years. For me, I can only really estimate this last year. If I push it to every 8 weeks I saved approximately $180 this year on hair cuts alone. I have never had my hair professionally colored, so I have no idea how much that savings amounts to, but I have done it 3 times so far.

    If you cut other people’s hair well, I would say to give it a try on yourself!! (Suggestion – The first time do it at a time when you have the $ on hand to get a cut in case you need it fixed) I did it just the way it was suggested in this post – I watched YouTube videos (adapted some to exactly what I wanted). It does take a long time, so make sure you have a chunk of time – especially the first time. Just be patient and plan for your arms to ache in the end. ;o)

    [When I got my hair cut last week she said I had actually done a decent job and honestly admitted that I had done a good job with the color. Made me feel good. =)]

  • Courtney says:

    Hair is our frugal splurge. I just don’t do hair. I’ve looked, and watched, and studied, but hair is not my forte. It may also be that my husband has fairly curly, grows into an afro if it’s not cut every 8 weeks hair.

    So instead, I stalk the coupons for the hair places. Last month we used a son gets a free haircut with dad. I’ve also found that a barbershop, as opposed to a salon or cheap cuts place is well worth it. The barber is used to men’s hair, and there aren’t any women’s hair needs that muck up the timing, so it’s a very quick in and out even on a Saturday morning. Plus, since all they do is guy’s hair, their prices are based on that, and there are no touchups needed when the guys get home.

    I’ve had my husband trim my ends, but overall it’s less painful on our relationship if I just get a trim once a quarter at the cheap cut shop. He stresses out, and then agonizes over whether my hair is even or not for weeks when he cuts it.

    And it’s definitely worth my time to use my talents in other areas.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I don’t cut hair well (I tried– not good!), but we are very blessed to have a friend who does! My husband and five boys need their hair cut every four to six weeks, so we invite our friend and her family over to dinner and she stays to cut their hair. I also give her some of my homemade laundry detergent. It’s an excellent exchange for both of us — because I’m a stay-at-home mom and she’s a single, working mom– I save TONS on hair cutting and she saves time/money on the laundry detergent. PLUS, we get some time to chat. 🙂

  • Mary B. says:

    I have long layered hair and have been cutting it myself for about a year now using a CreaClip I bought for about $35. There’s lots of videos on YouTube for cutting all different lengths of hair using the CreaClip. For me, the ones on sectioning hair and cutting in layers were really helpful. I’ve never had a problem with my cut being uneven. It’s taken practice, but I’ve finally got a cut you’d think was professional.

    Even if you don’t want to (or can’t) spend the money on a gadget to cut hair, a Google or YouTube search can provide lots of videos and pictures with different ways how to cut hair. So with a good pair of scissors and a little practice, there’s no excuse for not having a decent haircut!

  • Jessie says:

    I’ve been cutting my own hair for at least 5 years. I like to keep it short, so going to a salon every month just isn’t in the budget for me! Besides, I have never gotten more compliments on my hair since I started cutting it. It’s fun and I get to cut it just the way I want; no disappointing salon visits. If I spent $25 on a haircut every month, I’d be spending $300 every year! Plus, I cut my husband’s hair – saving another $10 or so every two weeks. That’s another $250!

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