In Discussions, Discussions, Lifestyle, Minimalism, Money, Style

The Cheapest Thing I’ve Ever Done.

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.

Seriously.

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.

So I decided to google DIY haircut.

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”

Eureka!

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.

Lighten up

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.

Savings: $4620.75

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.


Share Tweet Pin It +1

Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

You may also like

How I got out of debt

Posted on May 21, 2012

Previous PostFurious.
Next PostA Month's worth of Style: March 2017

14 Comments

  1. Sense

    Ahhh! I don’t pay for the haircut; I pay for the shampoo and head massage. 🙂 I LOVE having my hair played with! I also don’t have a partner or anyone that I can trust to cut my hair (my hair is blonde and stick straight and shows EVERY misstep), so this would never work for me! Glad you all can do this, though!

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Yeah I love that too, but facials are where I really get this pampering… hair is just too expensive for what I get in the end.

      Reply
  2. Sarah

    Omg so trying this! My husband trimmed my hair when I had a short bob, surely he can trim my shoulder length hair 🙂

    Reply
  3. Carolyn

    I agree, at home is a great idea. My husband has been cutting my hair for me since shortly after we met, I told him I needed a haircut, he offered, I accepted, he did a great job. I have him trim my hair every 6-8 weeks. He sets out a glass of wine for me. He combs my hair, pins it up with a clip then capes me. He does the full sectioning and pins it up, trimming the lower layers first. He is very meticulous ensuring the ends are even. He loves my hair long, so I never have to worry about him getting scissor happy and cutting off too much. I enjoy the one-on-one time. It is so relaxing having him comb my hair, it feels like a massage on my back. It saves me the trip to the salon, the time, cost of haircut, tip and the tears after the stylists did what they wanted not what I asked. He uses a good pair of sharp shears designed for cutting hair, not kitchen or craft shears. Using the proper tools is a must. I encourage every lady to have her guy be her personal stylist. Hubby also gives my boys their haircuts each month, saves me hundreds a year. My mother was visiting when the boys were getting their haircuts and told me she needed a trim, I told her when hubby finishes with my younger on she was next. Well she said ok and took a seat. So I now have hubby cut my mom’s hair for her as well. So he gets a lot of practice doing haircuts, and I save a lot of money with great results.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I’m so pleased to hear that. I am amazed at how nicely my haircut turned out. I will definitely never go to a salon and pay for it any more. It looks great.

      Reply
      1. Carolyn

        Salons hate hearing this. My husband also does my color with henna, I get a lot of compliments on it, one lady who owned a salon stopped me in the grocery store to compliment the color and wanted to know where I had it done. Told her by my guy at home, she started handing me her card saying I still need to get it cut by a professional. I told her no thank you, he cuts it for me as well and I am very happy with his work. She grumbled that he should not be doing that, he is not a professional, women need to get their hair cut at the salon, etc. That is I put ZERO dollars in her cash register, so she doesn’t like to hear it. That is fine with me, I get great results and save a lot of money. Do buy the good shears, the hair clips, a rat tail comb for sectioning and a decent cape. The proper tools make the job easier to get great results as well as keeping the loose hairs off your neck and clothes.

        Reply
  4. Mel

    I am kinda an expert of cutting hair at home.

    I’ve cut my husband’s hair for about 8 years now- mainly because he lets me. He has a longish hair slightly shorter than Harry Styles.

    I used to cut my siblings (girls) and mother’s hair growing up to save money. They have dead straight hair so mistakes showed. My husband’s hair is more forgiving.

    My go to tools are a good pair of hair cutting scissors- I paid about $80, and a pair of thinning scissors – about $20.

    I also cut my own hair at times- mainly to trim the fringe. I have my hair cut at salons just to look at the professional hairdressers use the scissors.

    You may be interested in Hair Tools Self Bangs Cut Kit – bought it on ebay but it never arrived- however I love the concept.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      My partner cuts his own hair, and he always said to me: I can do your hair!

      I snorted and ran away whenever he suggested it but now I’m on board. I’m going to buy a good pair of scissors as well 🙂

      Reply
  5. raluca

    I would love to do this, but I’m actually very bad at arts and crafts, like very, very bad so I guess I’ll keep going to the hairdresser for my yearly trimming :).

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      You really should try it. It is VERY easy, and get your husband to do it. I was nervous but .. it’s just hair.

      Reply
  6. roadtobettersleep

    I used to cut my own hair when I was in school.
    Oddly satisfying and economical. Win win right?
    Overtime in the work force I found after splurging on a haircut, that a proper haircut really does help smooth out strays, and reduce split ends. I took a photo of a recent hair cut vs no hair cut in months and the difference is quite evident. The recent hair cut (a few days after the hair cut) actually looks softer and much more put together than the unkempt no hair cut photo (even after frustrated attempts of hair spray and styling).

    So now it’s something I’m willing to go out for a cut. Not always the hip Korean salon making me feel like SNSD popstar *_* but maybe once every 3 to 5x depending on my mood.

    Besides, it feels so awesome to be pampered with spa like treatment.
    In Asia, they’ll even treat you to awesome food, massage, mani, pedi and it’s like a full service 5 star Fairmont spa experience without the N American price tag.

    Time for a haircut. No pun intended.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I do agree that getting a haircut in a salon is an experience and very relaxing… but I am right now in super cheap mode and I can’t imagine going back to $75 cuts..

      Reply

Leave a Reply to Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge. Cancel Reply