Believe it or not, hair care is one of my biggest personal expenses. And I would bet that most women would probably say the same thing.
Most of us buy product, dyes, shampoo, conditioner, hair tools, serums, hair elastics (where do they all go anyway?), and more. So here are some tips and tricks on how to nurture your locks without going broke.
1- Learn to cut your family’s hair. Buying a professional kit (found here) costs as much as two hair cuts. Investing in these kits and watching good tutorials can have you cutting your boy’s and girls hair pretty well. This will save you considerably. If your spouse or kids absolutely refuse to let you cut their hair, look for coupons for hair cuts.
2- Air dry your hair for as long as possible. I always towel dry my hair pretty good, put in some product and then get ready or do other things. I usually let my hair dry by itself but if I do need to speed up the process, I get ready and the very last thing I do is grab my round brush and blow dry. This saves me a considerable amount of time. I understand not all hair types can handle this routine, but by blow drying for 5 minutes as opposed to 45 (yes I have THICK hair) saves on time and electricity. It’s also easier on your hair (fewer split ends and deep conditions).
3- Unplug your hair tools. Just having your appliances plugged in (even if you aren’t using them) uses/wastes electricity.
4- Use a professional. Professional dye lasts longer than box dye. Not only that you can tailor the color so the regrowth isn’t as noticeable (which buys you more time between colors).
When I first used a box dye my hair came out orange-ish. Then I had to pay a professional to color correct it (which is even more expensive than a regular color). I learned my lesson and stayed away from box color… until 5 years later I decided to try dying my hair again. Only this time I went to a salon supplier and got the professional dye, brushes, developer etc. that my stylist uses. The result: I looked like a ZEBRA. Seriously it was ridiculous. Although I laughed for hours (and still do when I think of it) it was a costly mistake. I tried fixing it by having a cheaper stylist (brand new out of beauty school) dye my whole hair brunette. She didn’t treat my hair or blend the colors so my hair ended up being all sorts of browns, greens and oranges. YIKES! Instead of having her redo it (because I didn’t trust her skill) I paid TOP dollar – over $200 – for a professional color correctionist to fix it. She did a great job and it was worth the money. She had to use 4 different colors to match it all up and it took her 3 hours.
But in total when all was said and done that whole experience cost me $400.00 to ‘dye’ my hair. That is over 2 years worth of professional hair coloring and cutting for me. So now, I recommend everyone search out a good colorist with great reviews and a competitive price and if they are really good, stick with them. You may also be able to negotiate or get a discount if you refer your friends to her/him.
Also, when/if you color your hair, have them weave some of your natural color in. This makes it so the regrowth isn’t too noticeable and you can wait longer in between treatments. Once the roots start becoming noticeable I blow dry my hair upside down and get lots of volume on the roots which hides them pretty well. I can go about 6 months in between colors and cuts.
5- Coupon and/or buy on sale. Hair products and accessories (with use of coupons and sales) are usually under $1.00 if not free for me. I try to buy the higher quality stuff as well. If I have it in my budget I love to buy Biolage, but if I don’t, I’ll go with a store brand like Dove, Panteen ProV, or something similar. My sister uses really cheap shampoo but high quality conditioner. That also saves her money without sacrificing too much on quality.
6- Don’t wash your hair everyday. Unless you exercised hard that day, skipping a day is actually healthy for your hair. My stylist says the maximum you should be washing is every other day. Washing daily is hard on the hair because it strips it of its oils.
7- Buy high quality hair tools in the first place. After buying and trying 10 different styles and brands of curling irons, I about gave up on them. My hair won’t hold a curl for the life of it. I had to re-curl 3 times on my wedding day because even with moose and gobs of hairspray, the curls wouldn’t stay. I got my absolute favorite hair tool EVER at a garage sale. It’s the Jose Eber wand. Using this curling wand my hair held the curl for the entire day! The next morning when there was still some curl in it I thought I was witnessing a full on miracle!! It took me until almost thirty to realize that my hair CAN hold a curl. So even if you don’t have the money to buy it brand new, check the classifieds, ask your hair stylist if she knows where you can find a great deal, etc. After buying 10 different curling irons I wish I had just bought this Jose Eber to begin with.
The same goes for hair that is hard to tame and is always needing a good straightener. Using a top of the line straightener like this BabyLiss will save you over time than buying lots of cheaper ones and having them break or not work.
8- Rinse in cold water. One of the hair stylists I went to while I was in high school taught me to ring out my hair really well in between shampoo and conditioning. The less wet the hair, the better the conditioner will work (and stay) on the hair. Once its on, let it sit for at least a few minutes. Then turn the water to cool or cold and rinse your conditioner out. Hot water will really rinse it all away while cool water allows the conditioner to stay on the strands and moisturize them even after you get out of the shower. This made it very healthy! She and I noticed a huge difference in how healthy my hair was after doing this for a few months. I also don’t condition the very top of my head (which saves in conditioner) but also helps my hair to not get oily as fast.
9- Don’t color your hair at all. My sisters and mom don’t color their hair. This has saved them considerably. Although it’s not for me, my friends and family who choose not to color their hair save the most!
How do you save on your hair?
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Can I just tell you that as a hair stylist, I LOVE that you put going to a professional stylist for your color on here. So many people fall into that pit and end up spending hundreds on something that could have been so easily done in the first place by a professional. And all because they want to save money. I COMPLETELY agree with that tip!
Anita Fowler says
Amberly- Thanks for the great feedback! Yes professionals really are great. They are necessary in my opinion!
Anindita patra says
Very good article
Laura I says
Coloring you own hair might not be for everyone, but I’ve colored my own hair for years and have not had a bad experience. I’ve done both all over color and highlights and they always look great. You mentioned you had thick hair which I do think makes it more difficult. I don’t have thick hair so maybe that’s (part of) the difference? Anyway, I wouldn’t totally dismiss trying to color your own hair. I know that it has saved me a LOT of money over the years.
BTW – I LOVE your web site. Really good posts! thanks 🙂
Anita Fowler says
Laura- Thanks for adding your experience. If people who can do their hair with desired results alone then I do agree that it will save money. That’s amazing that you can do it!
I cut my hair and my family’s hair.
I only blow druy my hair in the winter if I am cold.
I don’t dye my hair.
I buy shampoo & condition at a dollar a pop, or I use baking soda and vinegar.
I only wash my hair at the gym, and I go workout 3 times a week.
Anita Fowler says
Wow you really save a lot on your hair care then! Wonderful ideas!
You only color your hair every 6 months? I’d die! Then again, I’ve been coloring my hair red for about 3-4 years now, and it fades faster than any other color. If I don’t dye within a month I look like a hot mess with roots galore and my red has faded out to brown.
I’ve dyed my hair by box for the longest time, and my aunt is a professional hair stylist. She’s dyed it, cut it, styled it for events, and all. Taught me all sorts of tips and tricks on how to treat my hair right and DIY everything. I’m using developer, dye, and a magic worker called ion hot red intensifier (it gets rid of the orange brassiness that usually comes from dying your hair red. Mix it all together, paint it on, let it sit, wash it out, and poof. It’s perf. Dying my hair at home in the bathroom is something I’ve done for years, my mom originally did it for me (then started making me do it myself because “she can’t do it for me my entire life”, haha). Works perfectly for me. (: I may miss a little spot every now and then, but I know I’ll get covered up with my next dye, so oh well!
This really reminds me that I need to start using coupons. $1 hair care products sounds like a miracle to even imagine!
Love this post! I’m going to snoop around your blog. Found you via pinterest! See you around! <3
Anita Fowler says
Great ideas! I love that you’ve found a way to do your own hair and have it turn out in the way you want. Many of us are not that talented :). By having them weave my root color in I am able to go longer than the average one color dye would allow :). Couponing does save me lots!
Coconut oil it does EVERYTHING!!! And its less than $10 for a big jar(depending on which kind you get) this website has 50 uses for it http://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/natural-health-tips/using-coconut-oil
Katy Jackson says
Really nice post, Anita! Air drying is what I do almost every washday. That is a good tip. Also, I agree with investing in high-quality hair styling tools. You just can’t compare the end result, the durability, and the very chic and professional look you get with those. It may look like a significant investment, but these will actually last way longer. Thanks!
Anita Fowler says
Thanks Katy. Yes using high quality hair tools does make a big difference. I really appreciate that.
I have been coloring my hair myself since 1977. I have used the box and the beauty supply products. I have only had someone else color my hair once. That was at a beauty shop and the woman who was supposed to be foiling my hair for the wedding. She was supposed to be the best in town. My hair had stripes! Yes I waltzed down the aisle looking like a zebra.
Aside from that I have done some experimentation, and I currently use Natural Instinticts. I pretreat with a cuticle opener , add Gray Magic to the color from the box and apply the color, then use a cuticle ‘sealing’ treatment. My color fades very slowly, which helps it blend with the gray and cut down some on frequency of
I find less hair breakage using the demi permanent color. I have curly hair and I’ve quit using shampoo. I use conditioner or even cleansing conditioner, and a leave in. My hair is so much softer, growing longer, and remaining thicker than with shampooing.
Anita Fowler says
Great tips Helen Thanks! Sorry about your Zebra stipe wedding experience. Oh sad!
Heather @ Simply Save says
I used to have a short style that required constant trims to keep the shape. I’m growing my hair out now and it requires a lot less maintenance.
Just to add to the cold water trick info
Cold water closes your hair cuticle, locking in that conditioner and making your cuticle smooth thus creating hair that is less frizzy! Great trick I’ve always done and recommend!
Anita Fowler says