I Went Against My Own Rules of Frugality and Got a High Maintenance Haircut

One of the ways I’ve saved money over the years is by keeping my hair long.  I’ve had my hair cut about four times in the last fifteen years. My hair is naturally straight as a board and won’t hold a curl so I usually wear it in a ponytail, french braid, or twist it up into a bun on the top of my head. On occasion I’d do something fancy like a french twist.  Even less than that I’d wear it down straight, but my hair is not so thick, so it wasn’t really that impressive.

More often than not, I opted for the bun on top of my head.  It suited me just fine.

Until my husband bought me a pair of boots and a matching bomber jacket for Christmas.  Both on clearance from Target, both costing under $21 each. I blame it on the boots.  It’s like they possessed me.  Or something.

At any rate, when I tried on the boots, the jacket and my new size 10 black Lee Riders, the bun just wasn’t cutting it.  I couldn’t envision a french braid working, and I’m really no longer young enough to wear my hair hanging down long.  You know it just looks like you’re trying too hard when you wear your hair down and you’re pushing fifty.

So I hopped on the Internet to see what would work for me.  I had an idea of what I wanted, but I played around with a couple of those “upload a picture of your head and try on some hairstyles” sites first.  That didn’t work out too good.

I knew I wanted something like a bob, and wondered if it was at all possible for me to do the cut myself, and maintain it.  I put that into Google and came to this nifty site, with a nifty little tool called a Cut a Bob.

I thought, Oh! This fits the bill perfectly!!  A way to maintain a hairstyle inexpensively!

I watched the video a couple of times and decided I was going to go for it.  The only problem was I didn’t have time to wait for the template to get here, I wanted the cut that day, before going to my mother-in-law’s house the next day, Christmas.

So I did another search to see what my options were in the small city near where we live, fifteen miles away. Two franchise haircutting places… where I could get a cheap cut… I have not had the best of luck getting my hair cut for seven dollars, so I decided to go with one of the small business owned shops.

I called to see if I needed an appointment, and was told there was about a thirty minute wait and to come on down.

I went outside to talk to Mr. A, and told him about finding the Cut a Bob template and that I’d decided to get the cut done professionally first, then maintain it with the Cut a Bob thing.  Mr. A and AJ will sometimes do the same thing… get a “professional” haircut, then ask me to just trim it up for them.

I was pretty happy with my decision.

I went down to the barber shop/salon and walked in. The barber shop side was full of men laughing and getting hair cuts. There must have been ten or fifteen guys in the shop. On the salon side, it was empty, and there was on young woman hair stylist. When I told her I wanted an A-line bob she said she just LOVED cutting hair into that style.  I do enjoy getting my hair done, it is always so much fun to see the end result.  She asked me if I was doing okay, I guess sometimes when people cut their long hair it’s hard on them.

I was fine, and my hair looked awesome.  She said I should come back in four to six weeks and we set an appointment.

The style looks really good on me, and I totally love it!!  It is even worth the learning curve to make it look nice.

Would you like to see my before and after photos? You can see how long it was before I cut it, and my bun look. 🙂  I am really happy with the cut, and not only do I want to maintain it, but I love the idea of supporting a local salon.

Mrs. Accountability's A-line bob

Mrs. Accountability’s A-line bob

 

So what about you? How much do you spend on hair care? And what do you think about my new ‘do? Isn’t it cute?!

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32 comments to I Went Against My Own Rules of Frugality and Got a High Maintenance Haircut

  • The cut is fabulous! I think you should stay with it. If the cut-a-bob thingy works, it’s a double win!!! Otherwise, just have to budget that in salon trips. Or find a friend with the gift of snip 🙂

    I don’t spend much $$ on my hair because I wear it natural (no relaxers in black woman speak). Since I’ve been on the debt free trail, I don’t think I’ve been in a beauty salon in 2-3 years. Can’t remember exactly. I’m saving that for part of my debt free celebration. LOL!

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Debt Free Divas, hi, thanks! I guess the reason why I always feel guilty over a cost like this is because that money could be going toward our credit card debt, and you know what I’m saying because you are staying away from the beauty salon until your debt free celebration! Thanks for the encouragement and kind words. And thanks for commenting!

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  • Ronalyn

    Up until last June, I used to go get my hair cut maybe once a year and I would dye it myself. I got to a point and decided – SOMEONE tell me what looks good on me! Not me telling them what I want.

    It has been worth every single penny (and it’s a lot of pennies), but you know what? I’m worth it! And you should think of it that way too. We pinch and scrape to save a penny, but we need to spend it on us so we can feel good about ourselves.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Ronalyn, thanks for the encouragement! I am going to go to the same gal at least for the next cut. We’ll see how I feel about it after that. Still loving the cut though!

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  • Before you read my opinion, keep in mind I am not a ‘high maintenance’ kind of girl at all. I am not one to spend much on clothes or hair. However, the one thing I will pay for is a haircut.

    My haircut with tip comes to around 30 bucks, but I have no problem paying for it. Everyone notices hair, and if you screw it up, you will be so bummed. If you have found a look you enjoy and looks good, then why not spend them money on it? I am not a ‘you may die tomorrow’ types, but I do believe we work so we can enjoy life too. Why not have this little expense? Most people don’t even think twice about spending on a haircut. It is just you went so long without the expense that it is extra-hard for you. If you needed a prescription that cost 40 dollars, you wouldn’t blink about it. However, feeling good and happy is just important as medicine in my opinion.

    Now, if you said that your haircut cost you 100 dollars, I might say you should try a different salon.

    I hate the styling products too as I have severe allergies to any scent. Much of the time, I leave the salon with wet hair and just style when I get home.

    Did you donate your hair?
    Sorry for the long comment, I just really enjoyed the post! I want you to feel guilt free about enjoying a hair cut every once in awhile.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Everyday Tips, thank you for your thoughtful response and encouragement in keeping up with the hair cut. I did not donate my hair, my husband likes to keep my ponytails, he has a couple others. Thank you for commenting, I appreciate it!

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  • Love the new style! I think eventually most women should switch to short hair. I had a bob from my senior year of highschool until my last year of grad school. Then I decided I was sick of $45 hair cuts every couple of months.

    A good haircut will look nice as it grows out too though, which means you don’t have to get your hair re-cut as often. I’m not sure how well your A-line cut will hold up.

    But, if you really love it and it makes you feel good, it might be worth $320 a year. You’ll save some water from having quicker showers! And you won’t have to walk around with all that hair.

    I’d say – go for it for now – you might eventually get tired of it and grow it out again, so it won’t cost you $320 a year forever.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Kellen, thank you! I agree with you, but I don’t think I’ll ever go back to super short – did that for a few months when my babes were little and just don’t know if I like the look for myself. I guess time will tell on how this cut will grow out. I’ve been exploring the ‘net for ways to style the cut other than the one the hairstylist did originally so that should help. Thanks for your encouragement and for commenting!

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  • Kasey

    I think it looks great. You might be able to stretch it to 8 weeks, so six times a year at $35 is only $210 (I think). Or $4 a week.

    Hair is a big thing – so $4 to $6 a week is more than reasonable if it makes you feel good about yourself. Part of the reason for being frugal is to be able to fit in the things that we really love and make us feel good – if we deny those, it can be too much!

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Kasey, thanks! I am still loving the way it feels and looks on me. I will have to see how long it will last. I think I will keep that first six week appointment and see how it looks by then. I guess when you put it into a weekly cost that makes it much more reasonable to consider! Even if I do get it cut 8 times in a year, that’s less than a dollar a day. Thanks for your comment!

    [Reply]

  • I agree with you on most everything except for this. I think that it is possible to cut your own hair, but it’s one of those things that shouldn’t be done. Looking polished and put-together starts with a great haircut. You can wash your clothes. You can re-apply your make up. You can not hide a bad haircut.

    I get my color (going grey at 30 and it’s awful) done every 12 weeks, and my cut maintained every 6. Besides saving for the future, it’s the way I’ve decided to invest in me.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @lauren, lol, my mom has cut her own hair ever since she was about ten years old. I say she’s brave! I have sworn off dyeing my hair… the hairstylist was surprised to hear that. She did say that my hair is an ash brown which will accommodate gray hair nicely, so I hope she’s right. Thank you for the kind words and encouragement and for commenting!

    [Reply]

  • I really like the look of the cut. I’d never try cutting my own hair, because I know I’d completely mess it up. That being said, if you think you can do it well, you could always try it or you might be able to stretch out your visits to the salon by a few weeks depending on how fast or slow your hair grows. That could save some money in the long run. Good luck!

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Little House, hi and thanks! I don’t think I’d actually do the cutting myself, I was going to ask my husband to do it for me. 🙂 He has actually cut my hair once before and did a pretty good job of it, although it was shorter than we both expected. He used my haircutting book and it was a bob cut that he did. Thanks for the encouragement and thanks for commenting!

    [Reply]

  • Hey! It’s CUTE! Thirty-five bucks is a bargain for that sweet haircut. I pay seventy and am just now contemplating hairstylisticide.

    You may be surprised at how long that style will last. Bet you can get more than six weeks out of it. Possibly two or three months?

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Funny about Money, thanks! I am still loving it so much. It does take about twenty minutes to fix every morning but so far it’s working out good. I am going to get it cut at six weeks for the second cut, just to see how that works out. I am going to ask the gal to not do so many layers. It is hard for me to manage and I think the cut would last longer without as many layers.

    [Reply]

  • Wow! what a change. I love it! I love the way a bob feels, too. And your right, it was the boots. They definitely possess. My black boots with my leather jacket…do it to me everytime. 😉

    And bobs are real easy to maintain, too. getting a trim should be a frugal thing.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Christine McCarthy, I hope the trim will be less expensive than the actual cut. We’ll see. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

    [Reply]

  • Kelly

    Your hair does look great! Sometimes the good feeling from looking great is worth the investment — however, it hurts to spend $320 a year!
    The cut you have is really popular right now and there is a great chance you could get it cut at a less expensive salon in a town near you (e.g. Cost Cutters, Great Clips, etc.)with a stylist who has a lot of experience with the cut! Also — that cut can grow out nicely and you could consider extending the time between maintenance trims to at least 8+ weeks — that would shave off a few trips to the salon!

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Kelly, I will look into those options. One of my coworkers also does trims for some others at work so she offered her services also. I think I will get at least one more cut at the same shop. Thank you for your comments!

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  • Carol

    Your new hairstyle looks great! For me, there’s nothing like a fresh haircut to lift my spirits. (And, as others have pointed out, nothing worse than a bad haircut.) I’d say if you can possibly eek out the cost, go for the professional cut. And feel good about supporting a local business.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Carol, thanks for the encouragement! I do love being able to support local business so I am planning to go back to the same gal and have my hair cut at least one more time. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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  • I like it. I always thought shorter hair would be better for no-poo methods, so… 🙂

    It looks great.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @The Everyday Minimalist, thank you! Yes, it is working great for no poo. The only thing I am conflicted about now is going back to the hairdresser and having to succumb to having that terrible chemical laden detergent put on my scalp. I’m not so good at going against the tide, but I am thinking I’m going to have to woman up and tell her I’d rather not have my hair washed first. I will wash before I go… I’m also supposed to use some mousse or gel in my hair, but thankfully the style is working okay for me without that gunk. I think it might build up and be hard to remove with just baking soda and vinegar. Thanks for stopping and commenting!n

    [Reply]

  • JIm

    Nice cut. I don’t think its high maintenance at all. Looking good makes you feel better, so spend the money. It will come back to you 10 fold.

    [Reply]

  • I wouldn’t worry about the cost of your hair cut. Everyone has to have something they like spending their money on, even if it a little expensive.

    I think the most important thing to worry about is if you can afford it. If you make the right financial decisions with your other spending you can afford to splurge on some things like hair cuts.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Steven @ The Real Debt Solution, thanks for your thoughtful advice Steven. I just have a hard time putting out that kind of money for something that isn’t absolutely necessary… although I do love the hairstyle very much. It has almost been six weeks and nearing the appointment I made, so I think I’ll keep it, at least this time. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    [Reply]

  • Amy

    Your bob haircut looks AWESOME!!! Funny just this month I decided to “buy” a few weeks by going without my once a month professinal hair coloring …by doing the drugstore $9.00 box of color. In the past this has proven a semi-flop, but this time Revlon did me proud. I was able the cover my pesky skuny-greys surrounding the frame of my face and in my (visible) scalp, without changing the overall color of the rest of my hair to any noticeable degree. This enabled me to save the $50.00 plus 20% tip for the month of April. Niceeeeee!!

    Rest assured I will be back in the colorists chair soon enough, but feel elated at my $50.00 + savings!

    Now if I could only cut m own hair-LOL!

    [Reply]

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