Ever gone to the salon, asked for what you want and then ended up somehow paying hundreds of dollars for styling, treatments, toners and products to take home? You’re not alone. A trip to the hair salon can get very expensive if you’re not careful and if you need to get your hair done regularly, this can add up fast. To prevent this from happening, here are some great tips on how to save money at the hair salon:
Always ask the price in advance
Before you book an appointment, check the price list and ask the receptionist on the phone exactly how much they charge for their services. NEVER just show up to the salon, have your hair done and then look at the receipt after. You may get a nasty shock at the checkout. My friend, who could only just afford her life in NYC at the time, had balayage and a cut and was charged $500!
When you talk with the stylist, ask them how much it will cost for the things they are suggesting. You may have gone in thinking you’re going to get a half head of highlights, only for the stylist to suggest you need a balayage. Balayage can cost quite a bit more, so it’s important that you ask the stylist how much it will cost and tell them you want to stick to your budget or what was quoted on the phone.
Choose a less experienced hairdresser
Salons often set their pricing based on the experience level of the hairdresser. A senior stylist will cost more than a junior stylist, so if you’re trying to save money on haircare then your best bet is to go with someone more junior. They are often just as good, if not better, then the more senior members of staff. It’ll save you a few bucks too.
Don’t get your hair styled
Styling, like blow drying, curling and straightening, can often cost extra. If you want to save money, you can always ask for just a quick blow out, or even leave the salon with damp hair and dry it yourself at home. Everything at the salon is usually itemized, so they’ll charge you separately for each step in the process. Your haircut is charged separately to your color and your styling.
Avoid extra treatments
Sometimes the hairdresser will use treatments like glosses and toners when they wash your hair. Ask the hairdresser if these treatments will cost extra because if they do, they could always leave them out. While toners can tone your color to the right shade, they also wash out eventually, so if you’re trying to save a few dollars, better to achieve the right color without the use of toner.
Pick a hair salon outside the city
Big cities like New York and LA are expensive places to get your hair done. Yes they may have celebrity stylists and swanky salons that offer you a mimosa with your haircut, but they can also be super pricey. To find a cheaper salon, you’ll need to head outside the city to more suburban areas or less affluent neighborhoods. Often the stylists are just as good and charge you a lot less.
Get your haircut separately
For hair color I don’t like to take any risks. If I find a stylist I like then I stick with them and I’m willing to pay more. But for a haircut I’m not too bothered. My hair colorist in NYC charges over $100 for a haircut! So instead I go outside of the city and pay $25. I have long hair and I always get it cut straight across, so it’s hard to screw it up. I don’t feel like it’s worth paying a lot of money for that.
You can also alternate between getting your hair colored and cut. This way you give your hair a break and keep it looking fresh.
Alternate between half head and full head
If you get highlights, you don’t need to get a full head every time. A half head or face frame is usually much cheaper, so you could opt for either of these in between your full head of highlights.
A low maintenance hair style may save on upkeep
If you choose to have an all over color of bleach blonde then your roots will start to show pretty quickly. If you go for something softer, like very fine baby lights or balayage, your hair will grow out much softer and your roots will be less noticeable. If you only want to visit the hairdresser a couple of times per year, your best bet is to go for a more natural hairstyle.
Don’t buy the products
Hair stylists will often try to sell you all these expensive haircare products that they stock in the salon. Don’t be afraid to turn them down – you don’t have to say yes! If you’re happy with you haircare routine, stick to what you know. There are plenty of online stores where you can get discounted products, especially if you buy in bulk. You can also use coupon sites to get promo codes that will give you a discount at the checkout. Another great tip: buy you hair products from T.J Maxx. They often stock their shelves with giant bottles of haircare products that are discounted from their normal price.
Look after your hair
To maintain healthy hair, invest in products like good hair masks and conditioners. Avoid using too much heat on your hair as this will often lead to breakage and then you’ll need to go get a haircut. Let your hair air dry and if you need to tie it up, do a braid instead of a ponytail.
If you have blonde hair, you can keep your blonde bright even after the toner fades by using purple shampoo. Often colored hair will start to look dull when there’s a build up of product and minerals, so once a week use a clarifying shampoo to brighten your hair and remove the buildup. The healthier your hair is, the less you’ll need to go and have those split ends trimmed.
Touch up your own hair between visits
To avoid having to visit the salon too often, you can always touch up your hair in between. There are things you can buy like root touch up kits or heat activated highlighters that will give you a sun kissed look. You can also trim your own bangs by purchasing a pair of hair cutting scissors from Amazon. Leave the major stuff like hair dyeing to the professionals though, otherwise if you try to dye or bleach your own hair you may end up having to go to the salon to get it corrected if it goes wrong.