Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday - Affordable Haircuts

** By the way, my last WFMW post talked about my discovery of a paper-back swap online that provides me new reading for about $3 a book. Or - hop on over to WeAreThatFamily for other frugality themed WFMW posts.

Two years ago I went almost a full year without cutting my hair. Mostly because... it would cost money. By the end of it, my hair was driving me crazy.

Thing is, hair looks so much better if it's cut regularly.

Hair looks so much better if it's cut to a fun style

And... if I have a good hair cut, I feel like my entire look is transformed, and I am more confident as a result.

I learned this a year ago, when I got my favorite cut ever. Unfortunately, it also cost me nearly $60. I know that's not a lot for most people, but it's a lot for me. In fact, it's unsustainable.

So - my dilemma. How do I continue to get my hair cut without breaking the bank?

Yes, I could go to Super Cuts or Great Clips. And sometimes I probably will. But for now, I'm trying something new.

Hair cutting schools.

My advice to those going to their first hair-cutting school appointment: know exactly what you want. Bring a picture, if you can. Tell your stylist when you're worried or displeased. My haircut was better the second time around because I asked for for specific details. Although the stylists should be trained in how to give you all of the latest hair cuts, they don't yet have the experience to know how to work with a ton of types of hair, so you can give them tips and advice.

So, without further ado: My Hair-Cutting School Experience

My first experience was somewhat terrifying. I came on Valentines Day and was shocked by just how insane the place was. It is a huge room JAM-PACKED with stylists and clients all rushing around - it felt like the salon equivalent of telephone call in center during a phone-a-thon. On top of that, half the stylists had received HUGE bouquets of flowers that were crowding into their tiny cutting stations.

The people came in all shapes and sizes, and the stylists tend to be artsy and their outfits and hairstyles and personas made for some great people watching... but not exactly a high confidence level. I did have to wait, and then was helped by a girl that looked like she was 18 (but is actually more like 24). Their hot water was broken, so every stylist was going to a totally separate department of the school to fill up buckets of hot water to dipper-wash our hair (!!!). The stylist tried to tell me this was an unusual situation, but that had to be a lie because I heard several other students talk about how often it had been going off, and exclaim that the worst was the day they'd run out of clean towels and had to dry off hair with paper towels (!!!).

The teacher came by right as my stylist was beginning the cut, and said, "Are you going to try the cut I taught you last week?" And she said yes. LAST WEEK? It did not inspire confidence. My cut was... good. It wasn't as good as my $60 cut and it took forever, but it was still good. It cost me under $15 with a tip. I did go back, and it was better the second time around, as I mentioned above.


Sarah said...

We are lucky to have an Aveda Institue close by. They use outstanding products. It does take longer than normal but with the close instructor supervision, it turns out fine and is well over 50% cheaper!

Anonymous said...

I have been going to a hair academy for about 15 years. I can count on one hand how many times I have been displeased. Just be patient. By the time you get used to one person, she graduates. I agree, take a photo with you and be very specific. By the way, mine only costs $6.00 (it was $5.00 until a few months ago) and you get a free cut every 6th time. It works for me!

Annie Peterson said...

You've reminded me: 1) that I want to get my hair cut and 2) that a school might be a great option! I've been once before, but not in Kansas City...I might have to find a new place! Or, actually we have some people in the community that are great at just have to figure out with them when it will work. Hmmm... I'm inspired! Thanks, Kacie! =)