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Five Tips for Getting a Haircut on a Budget

A good hair day puts you in a great mood, and a good hair day that lasts several weeks, if not months, is pretty much priceless. But don’t tell your hairdresser that. While we don’t suggest you sacrifice your locks to an unimaginative stylist, or cut your own hair (leave that kind of crazy behavior to the boys), we do suggest that you stay on budget.

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Beyond donating your hair to charity or going for a minimalist style that you can improve with products, these five tips will get you a good haircut for less.

How to Get a Haircut on a Budget

1. Bring a picture and be clear about what you want. Whether you’re going in for a simple trim or a dramatic change, ask for exactly what you want. That way you can avoid getting ripped off for a la carte services you didn’t ask for in the first place, and you can leave with the look you originally dreamed up. A cheap, cheap haircut isn’t worth it if you have to follow it up with another appointment to fix it, or you have to spend hours every morning taming your hair, or you have to buy a set of hats/wigs to cover up the mess.

2. Let someone practice on you. Get an uber-cheap or even free haircut at a training session. Aspiring hairdressers need someone to practice on and that could be you. Sound scary? No worries, a pro is always on hand to make sure everything goes according to plan. Call your favorite salon or a nearby beauty school to see if there are any opportunities. For starters, check out Vidal Sasson’s promotion page.

3. Use group buying sites like Groupon, Living Social, and Lifebooker.These sites often advertise special deals on hair cuts and other hair services, for up to 75% off the normal cost at major salons. If you time it right, you could literally get all your hair services at a discount. Make sure to check out the fine print on the deal (some deals are only partial services an dyou have to pay a hefty extra fee for the full service) and make sur eyou understand the full cost of your service before heading into the shop.

4. Find a coupon or special. It makes so much sense, yet so many fail to do it. A little research goes a long way. Look up coupons online or call up some salons and ask when they’ll have an upcoming special (don’t forget to dig into the details; a special may not be all that special after all). Salons all over your town offer up deals from time to time, so just make sure you’re in the right place at the right time!

5. Get your hair cut on a Monday or Wednesday. These are the least trafficked days for most salons, so your cut is much-needed business and your money will go far. Plus, you’ll get lots of attention when it’s slow. Downside: typically, the best stylists only work during the busy times. If you choose a high-end salon to begin with, however, you should be good.

Are there any tips you can add to this list?


Wednesday 9th of November 2011

Bring a picture - better yet, bring a picture of yourself with a haircut you had in the past that flattered you. That way you already know it's going to be a good look for you.


Friday 21st of October 2011

Ask! My stylist is willing to adjust her fee if you're having financial problems. When I had a triple whammy of big financial things hit me last year, she dropped her fee by half and then when things got better for me, I paid her the normal fee.


Friday 9th of September 2011

Find a Paul Mitchell school near you. I go to Cactus Academy at the Roosevelt Field mall here on Long Island. For $13 I get a great wash with massage, and a cut that is done by a student, but supervised all the way by an instructor, and I have never gotten a bad haircut in the three years I have been going.


Friday 4th of September 2009

I live near Crystal Lake, IL, and have access to a Vidal Sassoon beauty school that charges $10 for a cut. If you don’t mind a novice stylist cutting hair, it’s a great bargain!


Wednesday 20th of May 2009

My tip: search Craig’s List! Here in St. Louis, many new/young stylists just starting out in a salon will offer deals and discounts ($20 haircuts on Mondays, $40 hair color on Tuesdays, etc) to build up their clientele.

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