After her last guest post (about clothing), I asked Kathy if she’d again be willing and generous enough to contribute to my blog. Her last article was great. Also, the majority of my regular readers are female. I spent a very nice Mother’s Day in the company of my Mom who is one of my regular readers, so I wanted to share a Mom-friendly topic. Kathy sent me a huge article composed of three parts that I’ve split into as many posts. Enjoy! (Guys, again, sorry. But it’s pretty much “Frugal Hair Week”).
I care a lot about my appearance, especially my hair. As a female in my twenties I feel it is just one of those things that I am allowed to make a fuss about. I do not enjoy feeling like I don’t have the cash to make said fusses and so I do my best to keep my girly beauty drama as far away from my wallet as possible. It is really easy to spend way too much money on hair care considering the extraordinarily expensive cuts (that vary in maintenance costs), the high-cost styling tools every woman feels obliged to have (as though they’re all essential tools in some kind of arsenal), and the plethora of product options (which all seem to be at ridiculous prices). In this it sure feels like the odds are against you if you want to have stunning locks and be frugal about it. The good news is that it is possible. The even better news; I’m going to share how I manage this conundrum and I hope it’ll help you, too.
#1 – Start with a Frugal Hairstyle
Not all hair styles are equal. Some are ugly, some are pretty. Some are expensive, some are frugal. I know it sounds weird, but factors such as length, color, texture and trend all have a huge impact on how much you dole out on hair care over time.
Length has a big impact on how often you go to the salon to get your hair cut. So let’s say there are 4 ranges in length. Short includes everything from cute pixie cuts to jaw length bob styles. Mid length includes longer bob styles to shoulder length layers. Long includes anything below the shoulder and the final category is bald or buzzed which is pretty self-explanatory. In general, the longer your hair is the more finance-friendly it is. Exceptions to the rule are those with a bald or buzz cut. Why? Well, simply because it is an easy style to touch up at home (generally guys prefer such styles much more than ladies). Regardless of your overall hair length, if your look includes a ‘hair tattoo’ you go to the end of the line because that is something extremely difficult to maintain on your own and you look like a character from The Hunger Games.
Colour is the next big factor in how much your style will cost to maintain. There are 5 options in this department. Natural, ‘non-hair’ colours, highlights/lowlights, similar full colour, and drastic full colour. What I call ‘non-hair’ colours includes anything that isn’t naturally occurring in humans and it is the most difficult to maintain because it tends to fade out and look unkempt the soonest – and again you’ll look like a character from The Hunger Games. Drastic full colour looks (ex: a brunette getting all over platinum blond) is the second most costly because your roots are noticeable very quickly and touching them up can really add up (I’m guilty on this one). Next up is a tie between similar full colour and highlights/lowlights. Getting a similar full colour or highlights/lowlights means your roots aren’t as obvious when your hair grows out which means you can go to the salon about half as often as a drastic full colour. Now if you are the lucky gal blessed with a stunning natural hair colour then 1. I’m jealous and 2. you totally win for finance friendly colour. No colour is the way to save.
Texture is next on the list and has a lot to do with your personal preference (and genetics). This one is pretty straight forward. If you like your natural hair texture like I do, good! Embrace your natural texture – you’ll save money. Getting a straight or wave/curl perm is always going to mean dropping the big bucks. If your texture problem is just thick hair then just make sure when you go in for your regular cut the stylist is competent in dealing that type of hair (which they should be if they are experienced and well-trained).
Finally we get to trend as a factor in hair style affordability. Again this has a lot to do with your preference although it does relate to length too. The ‘so in right now’ styles tend to need more upkeep and are frequently shorter styles. Trend being what it is means that it is changing all the time and consequently puts you back at the salon getting updates more, too. This doesn’t mean if you want to save a few bucks that you are stuck with less-than-fabulous hair, though! There are certain ‘classic’ hair styles that never seem to go out of style. Generally these are longer looks so it’s a double win in your wallet. Of course if you have short hair but want to get into a longer style and your hair isn’t growing fast enough for you then getting extensions of any sort can really break the bank so here’s my advice: think really hard about it before you get the latest trendy haircut. Pick a timeless finance-smart hairstyle! [Editor Joe’s note: Kathy totally snuck the name of the blog into that sentence. Nice.]
What’s the most affordable hairstyle to have?
A longer, classic style in your natural hair colour and texture.
I like to think I’m doing OK with a good three out of four here. Sorry wallet! There is no way I am giving up dying my hair to that perfect light platinum I covet!