Having beautiful hair doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank every month. There are a lot of articles out there that will tell you that to save money, you should go to a cosmetology school, or go to a super-cheap chain salon, or color your own hair at home in the bathroom. I’m not going to tell you do do any of those things. Why? Because I want you to have GREAT hair! Beautiful hair! Right? Right. Also, a lot of women (and men!) have good established relationships with their stylists already and don’t want to risk going somewhere random just to get a deal. So here are nine, smart, practical ways to save money at the salon, WITHOUT sacrificing your hair.
1. The Partial Foil. This means highlighting the top/crown and sides of your hair, and leaving out the underneath sections. The price difference between a partial and a full foil varies greatly by salon, but just to give you an idea, the starting price for a partial at my salon is $80 and the starting price for a full is $95, so by getting a partial instead of a full, you could save at least $15 per visit. A partial is perfect for you if you have one-length hair, if you mostly wear your hair down, or if you like the darker-underneath look. If you’re used to getting a full foil, you could try alternating between a partial and a full. That will keep it looking fresher without having to splurge on the full foil every visit. If you wear your hair up a lot, and you don’t want that extra grow out underneath to show, ask your stylist if they will do a partial foil, but add a couple of extra foil packets just around your hairline underneath to camouflage the grow out.
2. Preserve your color. I could go on and on about this, and in fact I have. I’ve already written a whole blog post about how to prolong the life of your hair color!
3. Trim less often. Unless you have a very short, structured cut, you probably don’t need to get your hair cut every 4 weeks. Try stretching out your appointments a week longer than you normally do. If you usually get it trimmed every 4 weeks, try coming in every 5 weeks. If you come in every 5 weeks, make an appointment for every 6 weeks. The longer your hair and your layers are, the longer you can usually go between appointments.
4. Deep Condition at home. Many color clients like to get their hair deep conditioned at the salon to keep it soft and healthy. Ask your stylist if they have the deep conditioner that they use at the back-bar available for purchase. While you will have to forego the scalp massage, you can save money by buying the same deep conditioner from the salon and applying it at home. Ask your stylist how to best use it so that you will get the same results.
5. Get it done right the first time. As I mentioned earlier, some poor souls try to save money by doing their own hair or having a friend do their hair. Those same people usually end up back in the salon, sheepishly asking their stylist to fix it for them. Especially when it comes to color, having to “fix” a bad job is likely going to be MUCH more difficult, time-consuming and costly than it would have been to get it done right the first time. This is especially true if you are trying to lighten your hair at home, or you went way too dark.
6. Don’t stray too far from your natural color. Adding highlights and/or lowlights which are just a couple levels different from your natural color will grow out much more graciously than all-over color or highlights which are much lighter than your natural. With strategically selected color, you can go about twice as long between appointments and still have it look amazing.
7. Ask for a sample. Nervous about buying yet another hair product that you won’t like and having it take up precious counter space? First ask your stylist which products they think would be best for you. If you want to try it out before you buy it, ask if they have a sample you can take home or ask them to use it on you when they style your hair. The salon should have a good return policy on products too.
8. Free bang trim! Most nice salons are big on client loyalty and will give you a free bang trim or neck-line touch up (for short haircuts) between your regularly scheduled appointments. Just cleaning up around the edges can make a huge difference, and you might find that you can go longer between haircuts as long as you are still getting your bangs trimmed.
9. Tell them your budget. Sometimes salon menus can be confusing. If you aren’t sure what you can afford, tell them up front how much you budgeted for your hair color. Your stylist should work with you to figure out what they can do for you that will fit within your budget. This should save you from unexpected add-on services as well.
Let me know what you think about these tips, and share your own money-saving tips!
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