I have done some admittedly frugal and/or cheap things in my life (believe it or not), from…
- Washing my hair with only water
- Using nothing for toothpaste.. then using baking soda
- Washing my hair with baking soda and rinsing with apple cider vinegar
- Washing my face with honey or only water
- Using coconut oil as a moisturizer (only works on my body not my face, as I discovered)
- “Shredding” my documents with a pair of scissors then putting it into hot water in a sink and balling it up to let it dry instead of using a paper shredder
- Not using laundry detergents unless it was necessary (greasy, or feces)
…..amongst many other things.
But this is the cheapest one I have ever done and I am never going back or paying for it again if I can help it.
What is it?
I cut my own hair in 5 minutes and it looks incredible.
I’m just as shocked as you are.
It is a haircut I would have paid at least $75 (taxes and 25%-30% tip in) and I did it myself at home in less than 5 minutes.
It is also far more desirable than I am doing it a home because I got to take a shower right after to wash all those pesky tiny hairs away, and I didn’t have to go anywhere, wait anywhere or pay anyone.
ERR..WHY DID YOU WANT TO CUT YOUR OWN HAIR?
Well, mostly because I’m in a Semi-Emergency budget saving mode, but also that I had gone about 2 years since I last had my hair cut (in a mall no less) and I could feel the ends scrunching up like straw.
(You can read about how that lowered budget is going here in my Weeks of Money (Spending))
You know that feeling, that straw-like, dry, parched, clearly split-ended hair that doesn’t look or feel soft and healthy.
Keep in mind that I don’t own a blow dryer, curling iron, straightening iron, nor any hair gels, serums or creams at all unless you count what I have on hand I could use like coconut or olive oil.
It was time for a cut.
I didn’t want to pay for one.
WEREN’T YOU SCARED ABOUT THE RESULTS?
Sort of but not really.
See, I’ve always been the type of girl who hasn’t cared much about fussing and having the perfect haircut as long as it looked nice, was easy to wash and could be put into a ponytail and chignon bun.
It is just hair. It grows back.
So what if it is too short? It’ll get longer eventually.
As mentioned, I also don’t do things to it and don’t like fussy hairstyles where I have to curl or straighten it each morning for 15 minutes to an hour – I knew girls who did this in school and I vowed to sleep in and rest instead of primp and waste time, even more so now with a toddler.
THE FIRST ATTEMPT: NOT SO HOT
I found an article that said you could “dust” your hair or micro-trim it to get rid of the dead ends, up to 1” off.
I was doubtful because I could feel that my split hairs were longer than 1” but I was game to test it out.
I got a pair of sewing scissors which are small and super pointed but extremely sharp.
I didn’t count on how sharp they would be either so my first snip was a perfectly straight one right across that looked very jagged and sharp rather than soft.
I had a feeling it would not look good at the end.
I kept making such mistakes, not being used to such a sharp pair of scissors and not going painstakingly slow to just snip the ends in a micro-trim to “dust” the hair and get rid of split ends.
At the end of it, a good 2” ended up in the bin, lots of microscopic pieces of hair as I got the hang of it all over the sink, and my hair didn’t look too bad but it was clearly home-cut with jagged edges and sharp, awkward lines that would need to be smoothed out and fixed by a professional to not look like a hack job.
I wasn’t satisfied so I decided to leave it and just wear a ponytail or something until I could pay for a pro to fix it.
The thing is.. I could still feel the straw-like ends of my hair, it still felt really crimped, dry, parched and terrible, so I felt like I could give it another go but with another real-life tutorial.
I’m also kind of a stickler for trying all the ways until I’m satisfied it won’t work.
What did I have to lose anyway? It is just hair and it already looks badly trimmed to begin with.
THE SECOND ATTEMPT: THE PROFESSIONAL “SCHLOB”
I find a post showing how to do 5 different DIY cuts and I immediately fell in love with the last one, the “SCHLOB” or the long bob.
This haircut involves 2 ponytail cuts.
Make a ponytail right at the nape [ of the neck ]
Cut it off to the length that the ends will barely rest on your neck. [ I actually cut mine a bit longer because I want more length ]
Let it down, and cut the dropout off the bottom to straighten up the line.
Now put all the hair in a ponytail at the center of the crown. Cut the ends off. This will add layers and tons of texture an movement to the bob. [ This makes a huge difference in the layered cut and the more you cut, the more layers you get, but I like to keep them all long so I can curl ]
It looked like the right length, and it had some movement in the waves and layers.
It looked like a winner and it would only take two ponytails and some straight snipping.
5 minutes later, I had my cut and it looked … pretty good if I said so myself. I had to obviously take a shower to wash away the loose bits and then I’d see.
The next morning when it air-dried, it looked even better.
After I gave birth, my hair actually turned slightly wavy and it helped soften out any of the amateurish cuts but with a few more tries and a better pair of shears, I am going to make this look even better than it is.
My hair has volume, bounce, layers, and it looks.. GREAT.
THINGS I LEARNED IN A DIY HAIRCUT
Make sure your partner cuts straight across and isn’t drunk
I had used some ponytail holders to mark off the sections but he had just downed a bottle of wine so he was a little wonky in his snips which is fine because we also didn’t have the right tools.
He was adorably nervous in doing this, but I was fine with whatever it would be.
Or do it yourself if you have long enough hair to see what you’re doing in the mirror.
You need 1-2 day old hair
Slightly oily, not TOO oily and it your hair is too clean and fluffy, then you need to dampen (not soak) it a little.
You need the hairs to stay together somewhat but you don’t need to have it soaking wet (preferable) nor washed beforehand (I prefer washing it after anyway).
Use the right, sharp tools
If you can use super sharp shears that are big, it would make the job easier and less like a hack job because you’re not making multiple snips and not getting a straight line.
You can also learn the point-cut that professionals use to soften out the edges but with this particular cut I haven’t seen any areas I need to clean up.
Maybe I got lucky!
Use ponytail holders as markers
I put one ponytail holder super tight and used another as a marker of where to snip across to keep it straight.
You can eyeball it, but I think the holders help keep the hair right and bunched up in the same spot for a straight cut.
Choose a foolproof style
Anything with short blunt, super razor sharp edges is not meant to be DIY-ed.
You need something more forgiving, like longer hair or at least, shoulder length which is what I picked.
It is just hair, remember? If you’re willing to try this it means you’re not hung up on having every strand perfectly aligned.
THE SAVINGS ON DIY HAIR
If we assume I never visit a hairdresser again (never say never!) and I pay about $75 each time with all taxes and tips in, this is the cost in 40 years, going once a year for a cut, compounding at 2% interest.
Even if I plan on investing in a thick pair of metal hair cutting shears costing $50, it pays itself back after the first year.
Nice. And it looks good.
Win-win, I say.