15 ways to trim the cost of a haircut

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By in Save Money. Updated July 2016.

Nothing beats that feeling you get walking out the hairdressers with a brand new do, and it’s even better if you save cash in the process!
haircutTaming your locks is a double-edged sword: A trip to the hairdressers has the potential to leave a canyon-sized dent in your wallet, but it can also be fun to get pampered and emerge looking your best.

Over the years, we’ve been gathering our own haircut spending hacks. Here are a whole barrage of our ideas to get you started – you’ll never pay full wack to get trimmed ever again!

Check out these great homemade beauty treatment recipes while you’re at it – give yourself the full beauty package for pennies.

15 tips to pay less for a haircut

  1. Become a hair model

    become a hair model Credit: Martinak15 – Flickr
    This might sound far-fetched, but actually it’s a money-savers top tip as it involves getting your haircut for zero pennies!

    You don’t need to be the body double of Kate Moss or Brad Pitt to sign up for this hair modelling stuff – all that’s required is that you let whoever is doing your locks take charge, and don’t get too fussy about what you want.

    The deal is that hairdressers wanting to practice particularly adventurous haircuts will offer free cuts to anyone willing to be a guinea pig.

    They’ll always be supervised by someone more experienced so the chances of something going amiss is low (although this is always a risk so maybe not the best option for the control freaks amongst us!).

    Keep an eye out for posters or leaflets in salons or just be bold and ask. He who dares wins and all!

  2. Opt for a dry cut

    go for a dry cut
    For some, the whole process of getting a haircut is part-and-parcel of the deal. However, if you’re willing to compromise on the experience you can save a packet.

    Always ask if you can just have the cut without the wash and blow dry. You’ll get the same haircut, without the cost of washing, drying and expensive salon products.

  3. Ditch big name salons

    ditch expensive salonsCredit: Aveda – FlickrIn the same way as we’ve always suggested ditching big brand names when food shopping, same goes for getting your hair snipped.

    The high street is full of big names vying for your attention – Vidal Sassoon, Tony&Guy, the list goes on…

    But remember that they cost way more than smaller local businesses, and unless you’re going for a really adventurous catwalk style, we’d opt for the latter (also note that salons like these offer free cuts to hair models, so if you fancy something outlandish – get it that way for free!).

    It’s also true that heading a little out-of-town can save you loads too. So suck up the snobbery, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  4. Cut your hair less

    cut your hair lessMany hairdressers will have you believe that you need a cut every six weeks, but this is more to keep them in a job than anything else!

    The less often you go, the more money you’ll have in your pocket (bet you weren’t expecting that curve ball!).

    A good haircut can last as long as three months, and obviously the more you get chopped off the longer it’ll take for you to feel like you need another trim, so be brave and get more off the length to make it last!

  5. Check your options

    weighing your optionsYou’d be forgiven for thinking that getting your hair cut would be a fairly simple business, but there are all kinds of options available which could come with wildly different price tags.

    If you have a senior stylist cut your hair, for example, it’d be a much higher price than if a newly qualified ‘junior’ stylist cut it.

    Don’t be scared to ask what options are available, and how you could qualify for a cheaper cut – you could end up paying double the price to have one member of staff cut your hair rather than another.

  6. Snag weekday appointments

    Cool calendarIt’s easy to forget that when you’re not a student, you’ll most likely be working nine to five and will only get weekends off.

    Take advantage of your flexibility as a student and book your haircuts during the week.

    Some salons will even offer a lower rate for those who can fill in any last minute gaps if they’ve had any cancellations. These are normally referred to as ‘standby cuts’, so always drop that in there somewhere and they’ll catch that you’re on the hunt for a good rate.

  7. Use training colleges

    training to be a hairdresserThere are hundreds of students training to be hairdressers in colleges around the UK, and they’re desperate for volunteers who are interested in getting snipped free of charge.

    There’s only so much practicing trainee hairdressers can do on dolls before it’s time to move onto the real thing – help a trainee out at a local college by giving them someone to practice on.

    Trainees are always well supervised, so there’s no need to worry about having your head shaved spontaneously, although it might take a bit longer than you’re used to so set some extra time aside.

  8. Ask about student discounts

    Black-Friday-Student-DiscountAll businesses love students, and many will give some tasty incentives to get your custom. Armed with your trusty student card, you’ll be able to get some serious discounts on your haircuts.For example, budget hairdressing chain Supercuts offers 20% off for all UK students!

    Just be mindful to compare the prices after the discount has been applied so you know you’re definitely getting the best deal – there’s no use having a 30% discount if the cut was £200 to start with!

  9. Take advantage of qualified friends

    friendsyoYour best friend is a qualified or trainee hairdresser, you say? Your step dad works part-time in a salon? Get using those contacts!

    While you’re likely to score nothing if you go around asking for constant freebies, asking how much they charge for a ‘homer’ cut might get you a mates-rates deal at least.

    There is a chance that if they work in a salon, working at home is this last thing they want to do, so be wary of this (and be nice when asking!).

    If you’re offering them some extra income, however, they’re more likely to oblige. Never expect anything for free, even from friends and fam!

  10. Cut your own hair

    ask for a dry haircutCredit: tanjila ahmed – Flickr
    Okay, just to be clear – this option requires a certain amount of bravery, some initial preparation, and funds to get you set up.

    It simply is a must that you invest in some good quality hairdressing scissors if you’re going to attempt this method. Anything else will end in tears.

    Check out the hundreds of YouTube tutorial videos available online first and make your first job an easy one. You might even discover a hidden talent!

  11. Take better care of your locks

    hidinginhairYou’re much more likely to find yourself in a hair SOS if you fail to take care of your tresses. Treat them well and you can stretch out the time between cuts massively.

    Contrary to popular belief, there’s no need to blow dry or straighten your hair every single day (see next point!) and if you really must use heated products, be sure to apply heat protection spray.

    Wash and brush well, don’t mess around with hair dyes and you’ll be well on your way to money-saving smugness.

  12. Choose a low-maintenance style

    bad hair dayNot that we’re trying to tell you how you should style your hair, but naturally some hair styles will require less maintenance than others.

    Longer hair styles can be left for much longer between cuts (see what we did there) than short ones can, and fringes always have a tendency to cause unnecessary bother – if you’re a fan of the fringe we’d definitely recommend investing in some hairdressing scissors otherwise you’ll be spending a bomb on trims to keep it neat.

    If you’re unsure of how to style your barnet so it’s hassle-free, just ask your stylist for advice. They’d rather keep your custom long-term than give you false advice.

  13. Scour discount sites

    discountStudent discounts aside, you can often find loads of great offers on websites (especially daily deal sites) or local newspapers, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.

    Keep tuned in to our own health & beauty discounts section as loads of the beauty deals we see pop up are pretty time-sensitive.

  14. Double up with friends

    bestfriendsMost of your uni friends are going to need a haircut at some point too, so why not buddy up.

    If you ring up a salon offering to book five cuts instead of one, they’re much more likely to offer you an all-in discount.

    There’s always someone who’ll be needing their hair cut round about the same time, so ask around.

  15. Use home-visit hairdressers

    home haircutFeeling lazy? Home-visit mobile hairdressers could be the answer!

    Many professionals and particularly freelance hairdressers now offer to cut your hair in the comfort of your own home, and because they’re not paying to be part of a salon you can save up to 50% off standard prices.

    To source home hairdressers, try searching online, on Gumtree or on Facebook – you’ll be surprised how many will be working in your area!

So there you have it! Our top 15 ways to keep your hair looking luscious and your wallet feeling pleasantly plump.

If you’ve got any tips of your own, let us in on the secret using the comments section below.

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