Look Good, Pay Less: 11 Ways To Get A Cheap Haircut
Sometimes paying more for something means getting better quality but getting a hair cut doesn’t fall into that category. I know because I spend very little on my haircuts and I am really cute! Well, I have cute hair anyway.
We all want to look our best, but you don’t have to pay a lot for a good haircut. We’ll show you 11 ways to get cheap haircuts that will save you money and turn heads wherever you go.
1. Get Fewer Haircuts
If you need to pay for a service less often, you will obviously save money. People sometimes cut their hair short because they think short hair is easier to take care of. But a ponytail is the most effortless hairstyle to pull off, and you can’t do it with short hair. That aside.
Short hair requires more frequent haircuts than long hair. My hair is shoulder length, and I only get cheap haircuts two or three times a year.
2. Keep Your Hair One Length
When you have a layered hairstyle, it takes more time and skill to cut it than if you had a haircut that was all the same length. In fact, if you have long, all one length hair, buy a pair of professional hairstylist scissors and have a trusted friend (with steady hands) give you a trim. All they have to do is cut in a straight line across the very bottom of your hair. Hardly rocket surgery.
A caution, this is an excellent way to get a cheap haircut, but if you have very finely textured hair, a layered cut will give you more volume. Sorry people with cornsilk hair (that’s what we call fine hair where I grew up).
3. Look for Free Bang Trims
I wish I could have bangs to cover up my giant forehead, but alas, I have a cowlick so no bangs for me. When shopping for a place to get cheap haircuts, ask if the salon offers free bang trims. You’ll be surprised how many salons do.
It’s a win-win for them. Trimming bangs doesn’t take very long; in fact, many places don’t even require you to make an appointment for this service; you can just walk in. It generates goodwill among the clientele, and there is always the option to upsell. “Oh, you’re already here. Why don’t we do a quick brow wax, manicure, etc.?” If you’re looking for a cheap haircut, you gotta stand firm in the face of the upsell!
4. Make it a Party
My last hairstylist in New York City was a friend of a friend. And then she and I became friends. She started doing our hair at one of our apartments instead of the salon. The hairdresser rented a chair in a salon so if she did hair outside of the salon; she got to keep more of her earnings. So we got a discount for that.
Additionally, we would recruit a few people, gather in someone’s apartment, serve wine and snacks and all get our hair done at the same time. It wasn’t ten of us but usually three or four. The hairdresser also gave us what I guess you would call a “group discount.” She didn’t have to go to everyone’s house individually nor did she have to see them in the salon and give the owner a cut. It was fun for everyone too!
4. Check Out Coupon Sites
Before getting a haircut, check out sites like Groupon or Living Social. They always have discounted deals for cheap haircuts and other salon services. I checked out my local Groupon page (New Orleans), and the best cheap haircut deals I found were $20 for a women’s cut and $12.50 for a men’s cut.
5. Ask for Gift Certificates
People often hate buying gifts for people, not because they’re cheap or don’t like the person they have to buy a gift for but because they don’t know what to buy! And no one says what they want as a gift because it seems rude. But it isn’t! Well, I guess it’s rude if you ask for crazy expensive stuff like a jeweled scepter or something.
But apart from that, most people will be happy to know what you want. No one wants to waste money on a gift that the recipient doesn’t like or has no use for. That’s why gift certificates are such a popular gift. The person can use it for whatever they want, and everyone is happy.
So the next time you have a giftable event coming up, and someone asks what you want, tell them a gift certificate to your preferred salon. Most salons have them, and if they don’t, they’ll scribble something down on a piece of paper or something. No salon wants to turn away money.
6. Follow Your Salon
I live in New Orleans; it’s a swamp. It is humid. These are not ideal conditions for cute hair. Well, cute hair matters, so I pay a hefty sum to have my hair treated with keratin which keeps it from looking like a cotton ball that’s been brushed out with a wire dog brush in the face of all this humidity. Swamp hair is not cute. You’d do the same.
I follow my salon and stylist on various social media platforms and one day the salon posted asking for models to test out a new keratin system. For FREE! And what’s better than cheap? That’s right, free.
I have also seen the salon asking for volunteers for prospective employees to practice cutting hair on. These people are licensed stylists of course but cutting hair is part of their job interview, and as they’re not yet an employee, the salon can’t book a regular, paying client for them. Job interview for them, free (or cheap, sometimes there is a nominal fee) haircut for you!
7. Go to School
Many cosmetology schools offer cheap haircuts and other salon services that are open to the public. The student giving you the haircut, or whatever service you need, is supervised by a licensed teacher.
8. Skip the Salon
If you have an uncomplicated hairstyle, skip the salon and get a cheap haircut at a barbershop instead. Barbershops don’t have all the frills of a salon, but you don’t need frills, you need cheap haircuts.
Another good reason to visit a barbershop is how quickly you can be in and out. Most of the clientele of a barbershop are men and cutting a man’s hair can generally be done faster than cutting a woman’s hair and cutting hair may be the only service the shop offers, so you’re not waiting around for a stylist to finish another customer’s color or highlights.
9. Go to a Chain
I don’t endorse eating in chain restaurants but if you want a cheap haircut, going to a large chain salon is an excellent way to save money. You won’t get all the fancy extras, a glass of wine, infused water, a long head massage, but you will get cheap haircuts.
Chain salons will often have ala carte services so if you don’t want your hair shampooed or blown out after your haircut; you can opt-out. An independent salon may seem to offer those things for free, but if they’re not charging for them outright, you can bet that they’ve factored them into the price you pay for the haircut.
Before you head to a chain salon, look online and see if you can find a coupon. I looked up coupons for SuperCuts and found one for $2 off a haircut when you sign up to receive emails from the company. Presumably, some of the emails will include special offers and discounts so even better!
10. Strike a Deal
I have a friend who sells vintage clothes on eBay. She was telling her stylist about her work and the stylist offered to trade haircuts for clothes. Do you have something you could barter for a cheap or free haircut? Maybe web design, graphic design, social media PR services, or writing a newsletter for the salon. If so, why not bring up what you do and how it could help the salon and see what your stylist says?
11. Get a Job
If you have evenings and weekends free, look for a part-time job in a salon. Most salons will offer free services to employees or at least steeply discounted services. Years ago I worked in a medical spa; it was awesome! Free facials, microdermabrasions, IPL facial and hair removal. Those services aren’t cheap, so I probably doubled my crappy salary in free services!
Trial and Error
Some people are just born with good hair. I was not, and I’m super jealous of them. But with the right haircut and the right stylist, almost anyone can have good hair. It can take a lot of trial and error though, which is why it’s important not to spend a ton of money on haircuts, at least until you find the perfect cut and perfect stylist.
Good hair matters so the best of luck in your quest!