Shoestring haircare

I had my hair trimmed this morning. I’m not sure but I don’t think I’ve had it done since just before I started this blog. My hair is long and grows very slowly so it doesn’t need ‘doing’ very often. My relationship with my hair is extremely low maintenance. I use a shampoo soap bar from Lush (they seem to last forever and are better for the environment because they don’t come in any packaging) and then just buy whatever conditioner is on offer. My one ‘extravagance’ is TIGI Fashionista Smooth and Shine which protects your hair from heat damage. It also makes your hair very silky and lovely without weighing it down.  I used to buy it from a salon at £10 a go. However, I have since found a website ( that sells it at a great discount and, even with postage and packaging costs, it is still cheaper. I tend to order two at a time to save on postage costs and it always arrives in super-quick time.

I used to go to the kind of flashy salon where you get a mini-indian head massage and I’d always get my hair washed and blow-dried into the bargain. The thing was – it never was actually a bargain. The salons like this in my neck of the wood are trying to style themselves on city salons where you’d expect to pay a heftier price tag. My hair isn’t difficult to cut – it is shoulder length with a few layers and a bit of a fringe, so nothing complicated or time consuming. Even so, I was basically being charged around £35 for a trim. The last hairdresser I had in one of these kind of places was foul. She (with her head of blonde highlights) once ran her hands through my hair and complemented me on the colour and then added ‘Though it is a funny ashy sort of blonde, isn’t it?’. Hmmm.  The first time I went to see her I booked a dry trim. While she was cutting my hair she asked, in a very superior tone, ‘So why have you booked a dry trim – don’t you ever get your hair cut properly?’. I have no idea why I ever went back. My last visit to her was when a wash, trim and blow-dry set me back the newly inflated price of £35 and she did an awful job of it. I got a recommendation from a  friend and switched to a smaller local salon where I was only charged £15. The trouble was, in the space of a year, the prices shot up to £25. So I was on the search for a hairdresser yet again.

My current hairdresser is based in the most inauspiciously located salon I have ever come across. And yet she trims my hair perfectly, doesn’t sniff about giving me a dry trim (frankly I am more than capable of washing and drying my own hair) and only charges me £8. I give her a £2 tip every time.

Hair is a funny thing and one bad haircut can sour a long relationship with a hairdresser faster than anything I know. If you want to cut back on your spending, I’d advise checking out small, old-fashioned salons and also mobile hairdressers who don’t need to factor in the running costs of a salon. I also know a lot of people who have recently traded in professionally highlighted manes for darker hair that they can dye at home.

Categories: Budget beauty | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Shoestring haircare

  1. I used to pay £25 a time to have my hair washed, cut and blow dried in a local salon. The staff there were lovely and I was usually quite pleased with the results. However, I never liked the blow dry bit as I always felt my hair looked far too ‘styled’ for my taste.

    For the past 10 months I’ve been having my hair cut by a mobile hairdresser in my own home at £5 per time. I wash my hair just before she arrives, she cuts it to exactly how I want it and then I dry it when she’s gone. I think I can honestly say my hair has never been better and I’ve probably saved myself around £150 into the bargain.

    • shoestringalley

      Sounds like you’ve found a diamond there! Realising that I don’t need someone else to wash and dry my hair for me was where I really start saving the pounds…

  2. Frugal Trenches

    That is brilliant to find someone for £8! It is amazing what some salons charge.

    I get my hair cut 1-2x a year, usually because my mum keeps going on at me and gives me a voucher :0)

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