- Personal Finance
Save Money - Cut Your Own Hair!
Haircuts are expensive. Here in the UK a lady's haircut can cost you anything from £20 (or $33), with a lot of salons charging much much more than this.
And for me, a trip to the hairdresser's isn't the relaxing, luxurious activity that it is for many of my friends, and consequently I resent any money at all that I have to pay for this supposed privilege!
As my hair is medium length, I need to have to have it cut every few months if I want to keep it this length. So if I never went to the hairdressers again this would potentially save me upwards of £120 ($190) per year.
But besides the cost, there are plenty of other things that annoy me about going to a hair salon.
Lying back into that hair-washing sink cricks my neck, causing me much pain and grumpiness for the rest of my salon experience.
And I can do without the lady cutting my hair insincerely quizzing me on one of the subjects recommended in her hairdresser's "making conversation with customers" manual.
Then when she uses her pongy chemical-filled products on my hair they make me feel sick, and invariably she cuts too much off, leaving me thinking that I could have done a much better job myself...
Plus I'm one of those people who just can't help tipping! I know it's my own choice and so my own fault, but I just think that a hair salon is one of those places where it's expected. And that if I didn't leave a tip, then were I ever to go there again they would remember me and scalp me.
Oh what a waste!
So I end up paying the price of the haircut (which to a frugal person like me is already a crazy price), plus the 10% tip.
And all for a cut which I'm less than happy with, (and which I will undoubtedly go home and alter myself). And for a pain in the neck!
It is for this mish-mash of reasons, that for several years now I have been cutting my own hair.
When I tell people that I cut my hair myself I tend to get some looks of sympathy. After
all, when it's said about somebody that they "probably cut their own
hair" it usually means that their hair isn't looking that great, and
they're possibly not the most fashionable kid on the block.
Once the look of sympathy and surprise has registered on their face - and then hastily been wiped off again, they usually compliment me and tell me what a great job I've done and how brave I am!
I don't really mind that they might not mean it. Maybe they do admire me, even if it's just for daring to do it, maybe not. Other people's reactions don't bother me. I know that I've saved some money that I can spend on something more useful instead!
And I really enjoy cutting my hair. It serves as a creative outlet for me; it allows me to express my creativity, in the same way that someone else would perhaps get from painting a picture (or indeed writing a hub, which is great too!) I would even go as far as to say that it has become a hobby.
Oh no, what have I done?
What have you got to lose? (Ok, other than hair...)
Most people I know say that they would be far too nervous to attempt to cut their own hair. They'd be worried it would look bad, and they'd have no idea where to start.
Well like anything it's trial and error, but I would definitely recommend giving it a go. After all, you don't know that you're great at something until you try it! And I think that everyone should try this at least once in their lifetime - because you might just surprise yourself. (In a good way!)
Ok, so when you first try cutting your hair it might not turn out quite as professional as a salon-look. But does that matter? The answer to that probably depends on your lifestyle, but for me looking pristine is not one of my priorities in life.
If it does go a little wrong then it's not the end of the world. It's only hair. And you're free to alter it whenever you want to, and in the comfort of your own home. Your haircut doesn't have to be a one-time event, it can be an ongoing experience!
If you cut too much off then there's really no point stressing over it; before long it will grow back again.
And practice really does make perfect. The more you do it the more confident you'll become, and you will gradually find out what works best for you.
If the worst case-scenario were to happen and it all goes horribly wrong then you can always use a hairdresser as back-up. If you weren't trying it for yourself you would have gone there anyway, right? So no real loss.
My Method (as I laughingly call it!)
Some people use rulers and proper equipment and are quite organised about the whole business of cutting their own hair. Here's a lady who gives some good advice that is probably worth following.
Personally, I'm not so organised. For me cutting my hair is an excuse for me to cut-loose (no pun intended), to be creative and feel liberated! And crazy as it may sound, following the rules just kind of takes the fun out of it for me. (But then maybe I'm weird...)
I've experimented with a few different hair-cutting approaches over the years:
When I first started doing it I was intent on layering! Having seen a hairdresser use a special razor to feather-cut my hair I would hack away at the sides to create different lengths and "texture". It looked ok, and I have to admit that hacking was fun! But after a while I realised that I could create a similar effect by holding a clump of hair from each side and sliding the scissor blades down it (working from my face outwards), so I'd end up with the shortest layer nearest my face, with progressively longer hair as I moved outwards.
When I was feeling adventurous I would also create different layers all over my hair in a fairly haphazard manner. Using a hand mirror with the fixed wall mirror I could make sure that the longest layer (the length) was more or less even all the way around (although asymmetric lengths can be fun too!)
After a while I realised that I could layer the sides pretty well without the need to hack. I would make a middle parting and comb about a centimetre of hair down over my nose and cut it to the length that I wanted the shortest layer to be. Then taking another small section of hair from either side of it I would cut this a bit longer, and continue outwards like this a couple more times until I got a kind of step effect. (It looked better than it sounds!)
Having to spend time cutting the length and trying to make it straight all the way around was a little tricky and after a while the precision this involved was starting to take the fun out of the whole thing. So I took a tip from my friend's boyfriend. Fed up with the long-hair style he'd had since teenage-hood, he'd decided to put his hair in a ponytail and just cut it all off!
It sounded easy and liberating, so I thought I'd give it a try! I wet my hair slightly and made a ponytail, my scissors at the ready. But then I realised that as a ponytail is at the back of your head it's not as easy as you would think. I used my hand-held mirror to see the back of my head, but cutting that much hair was a two-hand job, and I needed my second hand to hold the mirror...
So I decided to adapt the method slightly by making bunches, (two ponytails, one on each side of my head), and snipping them off. Other than making sure that they're roughly even before cutting them, and then tidying up the back a little afterwards there really is nothing else to it!
I'm not necessarily recommending this particular method, after all everyone's different, and we all have different hair types and want different styles, but it worked for me. My own hair's fairly straight and quite thick, so I wouldn't know how to go about cutting curly hair or very short hair, for instance.
But the fun's in the trying. After a while you'll develop your own method and figure out what works best for your own hair and style. And hopefully you'll have as much fun as me!
I love the buzz that I get from cutting my hair. The sense of liberation, and the feeling of satisfaction when it's all cut and looking not-too-bad-at-all. And best of all, it doesn't cost a thing!