Monday, July 25, 2011

DIY: How to Save Money on Haircuts at Home!

Cutting hair at home is a great way to save money.  It tends to make people a little nervous since we're not all "professionals", but it's nothing to be scared of!  There are so many resources available to learn how, and hair grows back, so it's not all that risky.

I have a few very talented friends who cut hair professionally, and do a wonderful job, but at $10-40 a pop with a family of 7 it's just not in the budget.

We recently had family pictures taken and I realized the day before, that my oldest two boys had both nearly turned into "Cousin It".  They both like their hair a little "beachy" long, but I knew it was getting too long. 

I normally cut the family's hair myself, but since I had very little time before pictures, I thought real seriously about taking them somewhere to get it done.  I tried to convince myself that it would be worth it to spend the money (2 boys haircuts + tip + gas to get to the mall = $35ish)......but then I remembered a couple times we took them somewhere to get it done "right" and, wasn't.  I always thought that you can't hardly mess up a boys haircut, and I was proved wrong!  So, I decided to risk it - I don't do a bad job (IMHO), but family pictures are a bad time to possibly make a mistake that you hope will "grow out", but have no time for!

Here's my oldest before:
{11 days before family pictures - cute, but I wanted to see his eyes!}
 {beginning of the haircut, after spraying it to get damp}


This cut was a little bit of a challenge, because he wanted it to stay long-ish, but I needed it out of his face.  I've done better, but I thought it was definitely good enough for pictures.  Of course he ended up wearing his favorite hat for most of them, but you could at least see his eyes, haha!

The phrase "Practice makes perfect" definitely applies here!  I've gotten better at cutting hair by simply practicing.  My sweet dad used to let us cut his hair when we were growing up to get some scissor mom stood by and gave us tips, but I'm sure we butchered it a time or two (now that I think about it, she probably just fixed it once we were out of sight, lol)!  

Then when I was a young woman I gave my husband and his brothers a few hair cuts, and for the past 12 years I've been the hair cutter of our home - at least for the boys!  I haven't braved the girls yet (except an occasional trim)......but I'd like to save some money there too - and watching the videos below on cutting womens and girls hair/bangs has really encouraged me to try it.  =)


Edit: Since I originally wrote this post, I've ventured into cutting girls hair and it's been great!  I started with just little trims here or there, but my youngest daughter, Emma, wanted shorter hair (6-7 inches shorter!) and I stepped up to the challenge of a "real" haircut, (shown below) with very pretty results, IMO.  =)
And a couple times now she's taken her hair into her own hands and I've had to "fix" it by cutting many inches off - frustrating to lose her pretty hair, but I'm happy to not have to shell out a lot of money to have a salon fix it.  My oldest daughter, Grace, has also asked for bangs and layers and it has turned out beautifully - and the last time we took off 10 inches because she wanted to donate it.

Things I've learned along the way:
  • Always remember that you can cut more off, but you can't add it back.
  • You want to cut your hair when damp - it's easier to cut, and cutting dry hair causes it to fly everywhere.  Hair does shrink when dry though, so keep that in mind - especially with bangs. Cut off less hair than what you want the finished length to be.
  • Go slow as you're learning, but don't be afraid - it will grow back.
  • Watch a professional.  When I have gone to get my own hair cut at a salon or taken the kids in, I've watched how they cut, hold their hands, point the get a better understanding myself.

  • Clippers - Clipper kits are wonderful for the boys haircuts. We have a Wahl Set similar to this Wahl 79900B Clip-N-Trim 23-Piece Complete Haircut Kit that I think we got at WalMart years ago for about $25.  Ours includes clippers, guards (for cutting different lengths) scissors, combs, clips, a cape, blade oil and cleaning brush, a storage case...etc. We've definitely gotten our money out of it!  The blades are a bit duller now, and I'm thinking about upgrading, and this Wahl 79524-1001 Deluxe Chrome Pro with Multi-Cut Clipper & Trimmer, 27 Pieces looks like a good value!  I've got a good amount of Amazon credit from Swagbucks, so getting it for free would be a really good deal.  =)
  • Scissors - You need good quality, sharp scissors for precise cuts and easy trimming.  Regular household scissors will make it much more difficult to get a good cut.  Haircutting scissors are beveled so that they cut down and through the hair where as other scissors will just push the hair forward and munch it in small clumps. Clipper sets will usually include a pair, but if you don't have one, consider a pair of professional scissors like these Tweezerman Styling Shears.
  • Thinning Scissors - Not a necessity, but I've been considering getting a pair of Thinning Shears to help blend and texturize the layers when I cut the kids hair. It's very hard to make a mistake using these - bonus!  =)
  • "Haircutting For Dummies" - I haven't read this myself, but have heard it's a great reference to learn how to cut hair.  I'm thinking about checking to see if I can get it at our library.
  • Here's a blog about How to Cut Your Own Hair with some good practical tips - I think I might try this "Ponytail Trick" for "How to Cut Layers" for my daughters hair! (All the comments sound like it works great!)
  • - lots of great information on styles and cuts (it is a little ad heavy, just don't click on those)
  • How-to article - read this article from Dollar Stretcher on how to cut your hair.

Helpful Videos:

Don't be afraid to try - it's not as scary as you might think.  What do you have to lose? You could save SO much money (and time) by cutting your own/your families hair! Hair grows back and you could always get it fixed if you really need to.

Have you ever cut hair yourself, or someone else's hair?  How was it?  Was this helpful?  Is this something you think you could try out and save some moola??


Keri Hat said...

I like that you took a little more effort to learn to use the scissors to give your children a haircut they are comfortable with. I give my two boys haircuts, and thankfully my boyfriend who cuts my hair (big savings there) helped me through the scissor over comb portion to make their haircuts look top notch. You may be saving a few dollars if you just take the clippers and shave your children, but if they are not happy with it, you are losing in the long run because they will resent the lack of respect for their feelings. y mom took me to a salon where the woman hacked my hair, I cried before and after for days. My boys loved their haircuts (not buzzed) and I like the feeling my guy does exactly what I ask for. So KUDOS to you, nice job :)

Austine Lab said...

I have read your blog and i am gone through it. Actually I need a trainner who has his hand set on Hair Cutting Scissors as his own number on finger tips. Did you have one? and can you please guide me further?