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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Salon Savings--my hair costs

Parsimony or Preference?
Many of my parsimonious ways were the result of  forces other than trying to save money.

The beginning
About 48 years ago when I was 16-years-old, my sister who was 14-years-old, wanted me to cut her hair. She still brings it up. It was my first try. What did I know? I did butcher her hair. But, I am tired of saying I am

Second attempt
My son was 13-months-old and his curls were over his ears. It was not the hair that led to his first haircut; it was the fact that people thought he was a girl. ??? So, I cut the curls and the back of the neck strands. My mother cried. People still called my son a girl.

Barber problems
My husband got the worst haircuts, really bad cuts for his thick hair. The barber was about 65 and my husband was 25. One day, I was out with the children walking in the small town. My husband's car was at the barber's. I pushed the stroller about halfway in and asked the barber, okay, told the barber not to cut his hair with a ledge in the back.

Barber's answer
"I cut a man's hair like he wants it, not like his wife wants it." I smile, say bye to husband, and exit. EX said not one word.

Let's just say a civilized conversation ensued at home later that night. The result was that I would be cutting my husband's hair from now on--my idea. He loved the way I cut his hair. Until after the divorce, I was the barber around here.

Boy child
I also cut my son's hair and both of the girls' hair. Of course, I still had to pay to get mine cut. One day when my son was 12-years-old, he wanted to go to the beauty shop, all the newest rage for guys back in 1979. I tried to reason with him. Finally, I decided I would not want to interfere with his emerging manhood. Mama gave the job over to another woman. He did not want me to stay and make sure things went right! I gave in. He emerged speaking rather gruffly, and I was not sure if it were displeasure or an ugly manifestation of more emerging manhood. The haircut was not right for him, but I praised his looks with the new cut.

He liked the haircut. Yes, he would go back again. sigh....sigh...sigh<----me. A few more days passed and he told me he wanted me to cut his hair from now on.. Yay, Mama wins him back. Just kidding. It turned out he did not like the haircut. He never said so, but I am just positive he had unfavorable comments from peers.

Girl children
Their hair was long. I trimmed their long hair and trimmed bangs. The oldest had a double cowlick in the front where her bangs were. So, it never looked right unless her bangs were chin length--not acceptable to any of us.

Yes, I insisted several of my friends who had never cut a strand of hair, cut my hair with my sewing scissors. I was really tired of bad haircuts or desperate, except for one occassion when I did not have money. Those friends extracted haircuts and sewing from me. Hey, I will do anything to get a good haircut or be in charge of how long or short it is cut. For years, I searched for a hairdresser who would not cut an extra three inches off my hair or grab thinning scissors while she had me turned away from the mirror.

I heart Cindy
My present hairdresser is wonderful. She can actually remember how I have had it cut for about 12 years!

Hate styling
I do not like the shampoo chair. It hurts my neck. I hate the shampoo. Taking my own shampoo was better, but I still hurt in the chair.  I hate the goop in my hair. I really hate the haze of hairspray. Mostly, I just hate the whole process and the result of my session in the chair for a cut and style. Paint that baby yellow and call it Yellow Mama, and you see how much I dreaded it. I always washed my hair in two to 12 hours from leaving the chair. I was just glad to have escaped.

Brave move
I told my then-hairdresser that I would wash my hair and come with dry hair and just get a cut if she would allow it. "You mean you will leave here with nothing else and people will see you?" or some insane variation. "Yes, I don't care." It works. My present hairdresser is fine with it and has other people who do the same thing.

My bangs
Finally, because of lack of funds, I let my hair grow longer and trimmed my bangs. Around this time was another time I "convinced" friends they knew how to trim the length on my hair.

Right now, I pay $15 for a haircut once a month. I am not aware at this point of the cost of cut, set and style,  or even a blowout. The first Wednesday of every month, I know where I will be and what it will cost. Maybe you save by getting a yearly cut or less than once a month. When I was working, a professional look was important. When I was looking for a job, same idea. Now that I am not working at a job outside my home and with other professionals, I still do not like to look shaggy or unkempt. Bangs are a must because I say so. I can trim them. A layered cut is necessary for my hair that I refuse to tease and spray. Long, stringy hair on a woman my age is just not attractive! Layers give it poof. (no teasing my hair) I do save a bit on products but that is because they ruin my skin.

Misspent youth
From the time I was a teen, I spent years teasing, spraying, using product on my hair. Those years are why I refuse to tease and spray! No more!

So, here is where you probably have me beat in the savings department. You don't get haircuts so often? I get one extra haircut in December, so that is 13 haircuts x $15=$195/year. Right here, I am going to fall back on the low cost of products for me for 30 years or more, the savings on haircuts for four other family members, and your People, I have to justify spending $200/year!

Are you truly parsimonious? Am I?
Maybe some of you cut your own hair, have someone in the family cut it, or only have your hair cut once a year. Maybe you think my spending is not at all frugal. That's okay, too.

Your turn
Do you cut your family's hair to save money? How do you save on hair products or cuts? Are you so lucky that you can last a year without a cut? Or, do you get the wash, set, and style? Are salon visits just part of your budget?


  1. funny post! I just cut on my own hair this morn, but I wouldn't even try if I didn't have somewhat curly hair that will hide any mistakes. Got a kick out of reading about you cutting your little one's hair. Even though our daughter was dressed head to toe in pink with earrings, one young guy complimented me on my little baby boy.

  2. Mama said she dressed me in pink dresses with lace and bows and ruffly sleeves. She said when I was two I had one curl at the back of my neck and fuzz elsewhere on my head. People would say what a fine looking boy she had. My friend who had curly hair was the easierst to cut. I just made huge pincurls all over from inch-square sections of hair. As I took out each pin, I just cut off one inch and proceeded to the next. She said it was a better cut than most. Her hair was so curly that I really don't know how she could tell. I would kill for curls.


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