Frugal Friday: Cutting hair at home

Here at Frugasaurus HQ, we encourage you to live dangerously. Playing with lye, preserving your own food, and here, without apologies; cutting your own hair. There are plenty of tutorials online to help you get started. Youtube is, as always, an excellent place to check out first.

No, really. We don’t think there is much reason to go to the hairdresser several times a year, one year after the next. Sure, once in a while it might be nice to get pampered for a special occasion, or perhaps your friend is a hairdresser and you want to help her business thrive. Be aware that the latter is an altruistic choice, and doesn’t need to have anything to do with hair. 

I am probably the wrong person to write this post

And I will admit so easily. As a child, my mother would take me to the hairdresser approximately once per year to deal with split ends. She would cut my bangs herself, back when I had those, and that was it for basic hair maintenance. As a teen, I entertained the thought of dying my hair black, but I knew I would be too lazy to keep up with the upkeep that would require. Plus, that stuff is expensive.

So when I went to university, it was with waist length hair that was reasonably easy to just lean over a sink or other device with a pair of scissors and have at it. I am lucky enough to have hair of such thickness that even my clumsy hands managed to cut is somewhat even. At least to the extent that it did not show. I usually braided it anyhow. There were limited ways that could go wrong. Whenever my hair was long enough, I would ask my friend to cut off a chunk big enough to send off to locks of love and then just fiddle a little with the edges. Job done, everyone happy for another year.

After over two decades of long hair, I decided, after much back and forth, that I was willing to give short hair a go while we were in London. In our district, we were able to find hairdressers that were reasonably priced. For the ridiculous sum of less than £20, I had a lady chop my hair off under my ears, fluff it up a bit, and the rest went to the aforementioned charity. I hadn’t been to a hairdresser in years, and it was actually a bit intimidating. My hairdresser spoke very fast, and I didn’t have the right terminology to express what I wanted.

Once back in Norway, we knew we were looking at Norwegian hairdresser prices again (over $100 for a female cut, easily). Since we were not willing to pay that, it was back to the scissors. With my now short(ish) hair, it was more of a challenge to cut it myself, so I employed Mr. E. to help me with it. Initially he was a bit intimidated, but after browsing around online for a bit, we both found pictures references of what we wanted, and off to the bathroom we went.

Relax, you’re good enough

So, as you can tell, I am writing this from the perspective of someone who was never very obsessed with my appearance. I never spent hours on makeup of experiences boatloads of anxiety related to whether or not I was pretty. Because of this, I cannot provide much in terms of advice regarding how to relax about those things, or how to wean yourself off the habit. For us, knowing that we’d save thousands over a couple of years and lots of time reclaimed was more than enough to get us started on the DIY hair cutting boat.

I can also share with you that we had a ridiculous amount of fun cutting each others hair. We talked a lot, laughed a lot and shared a lot as a couple. Absolutely worth it over spending hours travelling to a salon, waiting with some outdated and uninteresting magazines, before trying (and failing) to relay to the hairdresser of choice what exactly you’d like to have done to your mane.

It’s just hair. If you mess up, it’ll grow out again!

Frugal Friday - Cutting hair at home, the Hobbit edition! #Frugal #FrugalFriday #Frugasaurus
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7 Comments on “Frugal Friday: Cutting hair at home

  1. That’s the beauty of hair – even if it isn’t perfect, it grows out 😉

    My husband has been cutting his own hair for the last 8 years or so now – when he was in the marines he had to get one every week to stay within regulations, which was ridiculous. So we’ve saved a TON of money that way. Me, I’ve averaged one haircut maybe every 12-18 months, but now I’ve decided I’d rather save even that money and have my mom do it for me 🙂

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  2. Totally agree! I’ve always found it ridiculous to (begin rant) pay $20+ for some guy to give me a bad haircut and make me listen to him talk about sports for 30 min – plus waiting! I love doing it myself. Better haircuts, better music, cheaper, quicker. And I get more compliments now than I used to hahah!
    I think it’s a tough thing for people to get their heads around but like you said, there are tons of tutorials, and worst case you can pay to fix it or just let it grow (or shave it)!

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  3. I am very picky about my hair and it drives me crazy with the splits and tangles if I go too long between trims. I have received too many bad haircuts at the salon, and had gone nearly a year after a really bad one when I first met my now husband. I mentioned I needed it chopped but dreaded going to the salon so I was going to let it grow to my ankles. He told me I would still need to keep the ends trimmed or it would look nasty. After that he mentioned he could trim my hair and I said lets do it. So the next morning, I was seated nervously in his dining room while he sectioned, pinned up my hair and then took the shears and began cutting. He was very meticulous, but I still was having second thoughts as I heard the scissors snipping my hair. When he finished I dashed to the bathroom to check the mirror, a great job. I was very happy and informed him he was now my stylist. He has been cutting it for me ever since, about every other month to keep the ends neat and remove splits. I actually enjoy the bonding time as well as having him comb my hair and now he even cuts my mom’s hair and two of my friends as well. They like his work and the price of free is nice. He does the children’s haircuts monthly and I save hundreds a year.

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    • That’s amazing! I love to hear from people who are more picky with their style on this subject, as I am really not. I am also finding that having my partner as my stylist is much better, since he actually listens to what I want. 🙂

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      • I am in full agreement there, while I am very picky, I am very pleased with my husband being my stylist. He listens to me, he is very gentle when he combs out my hair, and he does not get scissor happy chopping off several inches when I just want a 1/2” or less off the ends. The stylists would yank my hair, jerk my head around, tear up my hair with a razor and burn my scalp with the blow dryer. And then be rude to me when I asked them to stop. Hubby knows never to use a straight razor on my hair, he wouldn’t even own one or a pair of thinning shears as they damage my hair. He listens and his wife is always happy with the final results when he cuts my hair. Frankly I think every woman should have her guy be her stylist. My mom is very picky and so is my best friend about their hair. I told my hubby it was quite a compliment when they asked him to cut theirs, especially when my best friend has had him continue to cut hers for her as well.

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