Budget Grooming – These days, the economy is receding nearly as fast as my hairline, causing many of us to consider saving money on men’s haircuts and grooming. One way to do this is to become creative when it comes to your grooming needs. Following are my top 10 money-saving tips.
Of course, as a hair care professional, I would prefer that you come into the shop often and spend as much money as you can! I’ve got a mortgage to pay, too. Your hair is such a huge portion of your total look that I believe you shouldn’t skimp in this area. If you simply must trim back your grooming budget, I hope my tips below help.
1. Go to the Barber
For the Average Joe, a good barber will give you a fine haircut for often less than half of what a salon charges for a comparable man’s haircut. When it comes to haircuts that are clipped short, a barber will likely do a better job than a stylist as shorter cuts are a barber’s specialty.
2. Go to the Supermarket
While I do feel there are advantages to buying salon brands, for the average guy, a cheaper bottle of supermarket product will perform adequately at a fraction of the cost. I would advise staying away from cheap gels as they often flake and avoid buying professional products you find in the supermarket. Just because some professional products can be found at the supermarket, doesn’t mean the price is any lower than you’ll find at the salon.
3. Shave to Save
If you want to really go to the extreme, consider a short buzzcut or shaved head — these styles you can do at home for almost nothing. That being said, a tight buzzcut or bald head is not a look that works for every guy, so venture into this territory with caution. More »
4. Alternate Your Salons
If you’re very particular about your haircut, stick with your regular stylist. In between visits, however, you may want to seek a cheaper salon for a touch-up — just don’t tell your regular stylist you’re cheating! A simple, “Oh, I had to get a trim on the road,” should suffice. This tip will help you stretch the time between visits to your more expensive salon.
5. Go to School
Many local barber schools (and beauty schools) offer discounted (or free) haircuts performed by students under the direct supervision of an educator. While the results of this can often be inconsistent, you may end up finding a competent student who will cut your hair well at a great price. If there are problems with the cut, ask for an instructor to assist the student to fix it up for you.
6. Grow it Out
Shorter hair needs more frequent trips to the barber, so if you really want to save, consider a longer style — you can stretch your time between haircuts this way. Many barbers and stylists offer “in-between touch-ups” (I do), so use that option if it’s available. Just be sure to tip even if the service is free.
7. Be a Model
Check out some of the local men’s salons and let them know you’re interested in being a hair model. The best models will have longer hair (more to work with) and be willing to go to the extreme (high-style cuts are often the norm for models). Several times per year, I teach classes in my shops, and I am always looking for models — most shops are. It helps if you’re good-looking and willing to have your mug appear in photos for the salon.
8. Clip Coupons
Check your local newspaper and mailbox for salon, and barbershop coupons — many shops (especially new salons) often run specials to attract new clients. If your barbershop or salon has a mailing list, sign up for it — many salons will send out discounts for slower days.
9. Buzz Your Boys
Small kids often look great with a buzzcut — sit your kid on a chair in the kitchen and run a clipper over his head and you’re done — saving the expense and hassle of taking your kid to the salon. Kids really don’t care what their hair looks like, and a buzz certainly saves you time getting the tyke ready in the mornings. Take a look at this video on how to cut your child’s hair at home for help on doing a more “regular” cut on your boy.
10. Save Your Blades
You know that little blue stripe on your razor that tells you when to change the blade? It lies. One of the main causes of dull blades is that the cream and water left on the blade will corrode the metal, making the blade duller. My trick? Rinse the blade with a little alcohol and gently dry it with a soft cloth (or better yet, run a blow-dryer over it). Just make sure to be cautious not to cut yourself or damage the blade. You can then continue to use the blade as long as you’re getting a comfortable shave without irritation. I’m on about month six with my current blade and it’s still shaving just fine. Or, you can join a club like Dollar Shave Club or Harry’s and get fresh blades at a discount. More »
Good Grooming Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune
Frugal guys are often looking for every money-saving area possible — one place you can often trim your budget is in the grooming department. We’ll show you how to save money on haircuts, styling products, and how to make your razor blades last longer.