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How to Save Money on Your Hair

Save hundreds of dollars a year on haircuts, hair color & more


Hand placing coin in piggy bank
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There's really no need to spend a lot of money on expensive shampoos, haircuts and hair color. I've pulled together my very best tips on how to save literally 100s of dollars on haircare products, services and more.  

5 Ways to Save on Shampoo

Here are some tips and tricks to save on your shampoo costs this year:
  • You only need to lather once. You don't need to repeat. Shampoo companies use the "rinse and repeat" wording to sell more product.
  • Skip the fancy schmancy shampoos and conditioners. You can get a good product in your basic grocery store. Save your money on other items that are worth the splurge.
  • Buy a jumbo size bottle of shampoo (cost per ounce is cheaper). Instead of buying a bottle for each shower, divvy up the jumbo bottle among bottles of shampoo you already have on hand. It doesn't really matter if you mix shampoos.
  • Add water to shampoo, conditioner, liquid soap to make it go further. Businesses (like every gym I've ever belonged to) do this all the time in public spaces. You can do this especially when you're down to the last bit of shampoo in the bottle, add water and shake it vigorously. You'll get a couple washings out of it.
  • Take all those mini shampoos you or your husband collected over the years on business trips and place the mini bottles in the bathroom in a gorgeous bowl and work your way through them. The variety is actually good for your hair.

6 Ways to Save on Haircuts

Here, I share 6 tips on how to save money on a haircut when your money is tight:
  • A really great haircut will last a good 3 months, according to Eva Scrivo of Eva Scrivo Salon in NYC. Ask your stylist for a cut that will grow out well. Your stylist doesn't want to lose your business in a bad economy and the savings at the end of the year add up.
  • If you have a simple haircut, consider finding a cheaper salon. My friend Heather, who is a doctor, always gets her hair cut in a strip mall where the cuts run her about $20. She has a good, simple haircut with a few layers. There's no need to splurge on a simple cut.
  • Take advantage of beauty schools and training nights at established salons. You can get an excellent cut at a salon that's in the business of training students. Check the yellow pages for a local beauty school or call a large salon in your area and ask if they offer haircuts by stylists-in-training.
  • Consider growing out your short haircut. Short hair needs to be trimmed every 3-5 weeks, whereas longer hair needs less maintenance.
  • Request a low-maintenance cut. When you show up for your appointment ask your stylist for a cut that will last a long time. Keep in mind that mussy buys you time, whereas that perfect, precise bob will require high maintenance.
  • Put away your blow dryer and let hair air dry. Blow dryers can be damaging to hair, which leads to split ends, which leads to more frequent salon visits.

Save Money on Your Bangs (Yes, You Read That Correctly)

  • Learn how to cut your own bangs. Invest in a good pair hair-cutting shears and never cut hair when it's wet (when hairs dry, they shrink). Smooth down the bangs and snip at them at little at a time with the shears held at a slight angle with the tips pointing up. You don't want to cut across because the cut will look unnatural and likely uneven.
  • Don't want to cut your own bangs? Most salons offers free bang trims every few weeks. Make sure yours does. "It taes 5 minutes and buys you and extra month between cuts," says stylist Garren in Allure Magazine.

Save Money on Hair Color

  • If you have colored hair, use a shampoo created for color-treated hair. The mild formulation won't rob your hair of its color, making your pricey hairstyle last a lot longer.
  • Extend your hair color by a couple weeks by getting a clear glaze treatment. The glaze -- applied after color is done -- seals the color in, making your color last longer, according to stylist Louis Licari in Allure Magazine. I always get glazes. They work. You can also extend your semi-permanent hair color by applying glaze at home from a kit.
  • If you get all-over color and not highlights, skip the salon color and do it yourself. There are some great drugstore hair color brands. See How to Do Hair Color Yourself.
  • If you have highlights, ask your colorists for hairline touch-ups every 8 weeks. This will help your color last longer between actual balayage or foil sessions.
  • Touch up your own roots at home with a kit such as Clairol Nice 'n Easy Root Touch-up. You can use an old toothbrush to ensure the product is really worked in.

Save Money on Hair Care

  • Just like you should invest in a few well-made clothes instead of a pile of cheap stuff that won't last long, invest in a good equipment. An ionic dryer or flatiron will last much longer than the cheapie dryers or irons. Plus, they will cut down on the time spent on your hair, freeing you up to make more money, spend more time with loved ones or spend more time sleeping.
  • No matter your hair type, condition with every shampoo and deep condition hair at least once a week. Healthy hair means fewer trips to the salon. Invest in a good conditioner, like Kerastase Age Recharge Masque. If you have fine hair, only condition the bottom third of your hair. If you have dry or color-treated hair, deep condition with every wash.
  • If you have curly hair, cut down on your shampooing. Curly hair does not need to be washed more than once a week. Some women with curly hair NEVER use shampoo. You'll save money on shampoo and the cost of trims because your hair will remain healthy, longer. See "10 secrets to styling curly hair". Like curly hair, dry hair does not need to be washed often. It does need to be conditioned, however. When you wash, always condition.
  • You can skip the fancy salon shampoos for one of the Top 10 Drugstore Products for Hair.
  • If you can't live without your pricey salon shampoos, consider cutting back elsewhere in your beauty regimen. For example, Vogue contributor Marina Rust says in the February 2009 issue that she can't live without her Philip B shampoos ($54 for an 8 oz. bottle), but she doesn't need fancy eye makeup remover so she's going to keep the shampoo, but she's getting the eye makeup remover from the drugstore from here on out. See the ranges in prices for yourself.
  • If you have oily hair, skip the fancy dry shampoos and apply baby powder to your crown and roots to soak up excess oils between shampoos.

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