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Reader Tip: We save over $840 per year by doing our own hair-cutting & coloring

Kikka emailed in the following tip:

We have found that if I cut my husband’s hair and he colors my hair, we are saving a minimum of $840 a year.

To get started you can watch free how-to videos on , look for a sale at your local beauty supply store (like Sally’s) to purchase what you need, do your research, and then give it a try! Just remember that practice makes perfect, or close to it. Also, the good thing about hair is that it does grow back! 🙂 -Kikka


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137 Comments

  • says:

    I cut my daughter’s hair when she was younger and it NEVER turned out ok. One expense that we find worth it is a good haircut and we have, after years, found someone who has always given us all a great cut. I have to admit, it costs, but it is definitely worth it. We save elsewhere.

  • Kristin says:

    This is definitely one of those areas that is not a necessity and is definitely a luxury. You wouldn’t pack up supplies to send to a family in a 3rd world country that included food rations, water, blankets, and directions to a salon, would you? It’s a luxury. So is Netflix, so is buying music, etc. etc. What is important to one person will be different from the next and no one should be offended if they cut (pun intended!) this one out. For us, my hubby cuts his own hair (buzzed and it looks the best it ever has this way), he cuts our son’s and I cut our 2 daughters. My hair is long and I get it cut by a professional once a year or so (my last one was free at a training event), and trim it myself in between and I don’t go anywhere near hair dye. I’m so thankful we’ve been able to cut expenses in a least this one area since I am a stay-at-home mom. But there are certainly other “luxuries” we do partake in. ;o)

  • says:

    I love doing this. I started cutting my husbands hair a few years ago, now I cut my little boys hair too! We have saved a lot of money by doing this.

  • Teria says:

    This is one thing that I personally wouldn’t consider for my family. I like getting my hair colored at a salon,but I do it about 3 times a year. And instead of the salons that charge over $100 because they take you and shampoo forever before, I found a salon in a small town that charges 1/2 or less. It might not be a fancy place, but I feel good after and it is the one indulgence I have.

  • Jen says:

    I think it depends on the head of hair. I cut my husband and brothers but hair like my dads…. I think is best left to the barber!!

  • Tabatha says:

    I’ve been cutting my husband’s hair ever since we moved in together. I also cut my kids hair- buzz cut for my oldest and I bought a Flo-bee at a yard sale for my second son. Saves a ton of money! I go probably every 3 months for my hair cut and only pay about $20 and then dye my hair at home. Saves BIG money!

  • Debi says:

    As a avid coupon user and a Professional Hair Color Specialist I am appalled by this post!!! In this case you get what you pay for and let me tell you that it will cost you 2-3 times as much to get color correction after your hubby messes up your color than it would have if you would have come to me first!! And let me tell you those are not hair cutting shears in that picture! December212012 you should be ashamed of yourself for not at least posting a decent picture of what you are pimping!! I will be disliking your blog on Facebook and will also let all my friends who I have raved about you to dislike you as well!

    • Stephanie says:

      I’m sorry that you feel that way, but I am sure that this post is well intended. I do agree that professionals give much better cuts and colors. Some of us just can’t afford it.

    • Kaity McCormick says:

      Really? I’ve used at-home color MANY times before and never had any issue with it. I’ve never had to go to someone else to get it corrected. When the choice is feeding my child and getting my hair professionally done, I’m going to chose feeding my child. I’m sorry if you feel that makes me a bad person.

    • says:

      I think she knows those aren’t hair cutting shears……she even posted up above that she just thought it was a funny picture.

      It’s too bad you’re going to disconnect yourself from MSM – if you’re an avid coupon user, you’ll be doing yourself a big disservice.

      As others have stated on this post, some people truly can’t afford salon services – and if you are in the position of having to choose between food on the table or a professional hair cut, then this could be a very helpful post.

      I don’t think she was discounting salon services in the least – in fact, if I remember right, she gets her highlights done at a salon! But her job on this blog is to help people save money, and if you are in a tough spot, this is yet one more way to survive those financially difficult times.

    • Kristine says:

      Wow, isn’t it a bit of an overreaction to dislike and badmouth December212012 just because you disagree with one post?

  • Stephanie says:

    I cut all of my boys’ hair! The first time my husband took my 2 older boys, it cost $45 for the three of them. Now it would be $60 if you added my 3rd son. So for the one time cost of nice clippers, I do all 4 every month. I have no idea what I save by dying my own hair…

  • says:

    All this goes to is an add on utube not a how to do your hair.

  • says:

    We have five sons and a daughter. When we had our second son, I learned to cut hair. My mom did it for us before that. I’ve been cutting my husbands hair and all of our sons hair for the last 22 years or so! The money we’ve saved! AND I’m still using my first set of Wahl clippers!

  • Autumn says:

    I too, am considering disliking the blog based on this post. It is a discredit to professional stylists, and I find some of the comments offensive. I understand having your hair professionally done may not be a top priority for everyone. But rather than just offering tips on how to DIY (which certainly can turn into an expensive, and possibly extremely damaging experience), why not offer ways to save at your salon. If you are interested in getting some professional advice, it seems like you have plenty of resources that have commented on this post.

    • says:

      Oh, come on. I interviewed Sally’s top colorist, who formulated their in-house brand that they sell to both salons and home users, and she told me that it is quite safe to color your own hair as long as you follow certain guidelines. I discussed it with my colorist afterwards and she agreed.
      Saying that it’s possible to color your hair at home is not discrediting professional stylists any more than sharing information on how to fix your own toilet is discrediting professional plumbers. There are plenty of good reasons to bring in a pro for both, but that doesn’t mean there’s something sinful or insulting about doing it yourself.

      • Autumn says:

        I have used products and tools from Sally’s, as well as from professional beauty supplies (that you must be licensed to shop at), there are things from Sally’s I will recommend to my clients, but for the most part I prefer professional beauty care.
        I agree, it certainly is possible to color your hair yourself, that fact, I do not find discrediting. I have indeed colored and cut my hair myself, but again, I prefer having it done by another professional. Besides, that is not what really bothers me. It is the comments generalizing stylists as incapable of offering valuable services. This, coupled with the fact that this post offers no insight on how to save money and boost the economy by visiting the salon, barber shop, etc., leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

        • Kristine says:

          Who said that stylists are “incapable of offering valuable services”? I don’t see anyone saying that in this discussion. I think it’s important to remember that going to a professional hairstylist is, for many of us, a luxury that we can’t afford, not a necessity. Even with coupons, Groupon deals, etc., I couldn’t even consider spending money at a salon because we just don’t have any wiggle room in our budget. It’s not discrediting hairstylists to say that.

          • Autumn says:

            I noted that I feel offended by many of the comments that make statements about paying money to stylists for a job they can do just as well themselves. I am sorry for the people who have had bad salon experiences, it happens, but I work very hard to give worthwhile services and support my family of 5. At this point, I wish I hadn’t shared my feelings at all, I am tired of defending them. I have clients that do their own color, or do DIY clean ups in between appointments. I understand that it is what works for them, and I appreciate that they spend their hard earned money with me, and put their trust in me. I do not feel discredited by DIY hairstyling. I feel offended by peoples that something that is a part of my vitality

          • Autumn says:

            Ugh, accidentally hit “submit”, but hopefully you get the picture.

  • says:

    My husband has been cutting his own hair for almost four years (since a few months before we got married). He paid like $20 for a clipper set, and he does a great job if I might say so myself!

    I have a friend from church who recently finished cosmetology school (I guess it’s been over a year now) and she does my hair in a salon for just $10. If I don’t absolutely have to trust my hair to Ben, I’ll leave it to a professional. 😉

  • Katie says:

    I think maybe it’s important for everyone commenting here to remember that everyone has different circumstances and priorities. I cut my husband and sons hair and only get mine cut twice a year by my SIL who is a hairdresser. She’s feeling this economy for sure and has to work at getting more clients. Personally we just don’t have the time for someone else to do it, even though she’d love to (and she’s very good). We’re ALL in tight spots these days and each person’s first priority is going to be their own family/livelihood, whether they are a consumer or a stylist/plumber/roofer. I agree that this is one area among many where we can make the choice to DIY and live with the benefits or consequences. We choose to support other types of local businesses but we are a pretty raggity-looking bunch! We don’t put our hair, clothes or other facets of our appearance very high, but that’s a choice we can make while others for various reasons must place a higher priority on these things and choose to pay for the wonderful services and results a professional often supplies, or if they can’t pay, choose to try the DIY path. I hope that someday, my husband will be able to get haircuts, highlights and clothes like he wore in college (and looked smoking hot in!) but for now, we make do. We’ve all been there (in either position) so please, let’s remember to assume the best and be kind!

  • Kristine says:

    I think it’s important to remember that going to a professional hairstylist is, for many of us, a luxury that we can’t afford, not a necessity. Even with coupons, Groupon deals, etc., I couldn’t even consider spending money at a salon because we just don’t have any wiggle room in our budget.

    I cut my hubby’s hair, my son’s hair, my own hair, and my two daughters’ hair. My hubby’s and son’s haircuts are easy because they like a buzz cut, and I just trim my daughters’ and my own hair occasionally–nothing fancy, but it looks fine. I don’t color my hair; it’s blonde, so the occasional gray strands that I find don’t show very much.

  • Wendy says:

    I do think this is a good post. It’s not telling everyone to just stop having their hair professionally done! Many people just don’t have the resources to have their hair cut or colored professionally, so their options are limited. Even with Groupons & coupons, plenty of people still can’t afford to get their hair done professionally. Not everyone has a beauty school nearby. Not everyone can afford the beauty school prices anyway. And they are schools, these are students, and they make mistakes as well. It’s nice to have encouragement that doing it yourself is not impossible.

    I’ve been coloring my own hair for 20 years (since I was 18). The stylist I used to frequent for cuts when I worked outside the home said she would never recommend that my mother or I pay for professional color because we both did such quality color. And we both still have very healthy hair! I’ve also been cutting mine for about 6 years (since I had the worst haircut of my life from a student who was only a couple of weeks away from graduating – she really needed some better training, bless her heart). I do not use regular scissors, I did purchase cutting shears and thinning shears. I usually wear a short style that requires fairly frequent trims. I have thick, straight, lifeless hair and have learned how to cut it so that it appears to have lots of body with very little daily effort. The work is put into cutting it correctly.

    I know stylists are trained professionals and I respect that. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t learn how to make my hair look professionally done at home. They’re trained professionals because they studied and trained and practiced. I can make my hair look professionally done because I’ve studied and trained and practiced – on MY hair. I can’t make everybody else’s hair look professionally done because I’ve not studied or trained or practiced for their hair and I don’t want to. I don’t want to have to go through the training to learn ALL the hair types and textures and problems and issues… It’s good that there are people who do want to train to do this, because there will always be people who can’t/won’t/don’t do their own hair. If you’re not comfortable doing it, and you can afford to have someone else do it, I say go for it! I have considered going back to a stylist for my cuts, because it is nice to sit down and let someone else do all the work. But please don’t try to tell me that with 20 years experience coloring mine and 6 years experience cutting mine, I can’t possibly make my hair look professionally done. 🙂

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