Saving on haircuts

October 14, 2009 But haircuts and color at a beauty salon can really break the bank.

Here are some tips to "cut" those costs by scheduling a do it yourself hair appointment.

Kristen Hagopian really knows how to stretch a buck.

And one way of the ways she outlines in her book, "Brilliant Frugal Living" is by cutting out costly beauty appointments .

"By taking care of my two kids and myself at home we save over two thousand dollars a year compared to salon prices, said Kristen Hagopian author of Brilliant Frugal Living.

Just about every month "Salon Frugal" opens for business in Kristen's playroom. Each time she trims her kids' hair herself, she figures she saves about $30 and when it comes to her own locks she saves even more.

She figures she saves another $150 by touching up her grey with over-the-counter color.

"I do it at home for $4 and it works rather well," said Kristen.

If the idea of cutting your hair at home seems a bit, well, frightening, we turned to a pro to find ways you can keep your style fresh between cuts. That means you may have to go to the salon less often.

"I think people should maintain the health of their hair," said stylist Joyce Miele.

Miele is a stylist with Jason Matthew, a posh salon on Rittenhouse Square.

She says keeping hair healthy can stretch the life of a haircut an extra three to five weeks!

"The biggest thing that I think people do is over blow dry their hair," said Joyce.

To avoid the damage, Joyce recommends giving your hair a beauty break.

Lay off the curling and flat irons every day and wash it every third day or so.

"Dry shampoo is such a secret that people don't know about," she said.

Dry shampoo costs anywhere from $10 to $25 a bottle.

To save money, Joyce says baby powder will do the same trick.

Joyce says an at-home deep conditioning treatment once a month is also a good beauty investment.

"If I was a mom trying to save money, I would 100 percent cut my own child's hair in a second," she added.

Joyce says kids' hair is forgiving.

But even so, cuts should always be done on dry hair, making it easier to spot mistakes.

That same tip goes if you try to cut your own hair.

"Wet hair will shrink so if you cut it a half inch when it's wet, it's going to shrink up an inch," she said.

Joyce doesn't recommend attempting drastically different cuts yourself.

But cleaning up bangs and the fringe around your face is easy.

The first step is pulling back all the hair you're not going to cut.

Then gather and pinch the hair between two fingers making sure it's nice and straight.

"And just kind of cut into the hair," said Joyce.

Joyce recommends not to take too much off at a time. Cut about a quarter of an inch each time.

Another great tip:

"Try and stay away from trendy styles if you're trying to prolong your haircuts because the trendier styles tend to need a lot more maintenance," said Joyce.

The Jason Matthew Salon offers their clients free bang cleanups in between cuts, which is a definite money-saver.

As for men's hair, Joyce says "careful with the clippers!"

Use the biggest adjustment so you don't go too short.

And here are some more money-saver beauty deals:

A conditioning treatment & gloss for clients who receive a blow dry or haircut that start at $40 with any stylist. ($50 value)

O2 Skin Care Lounge (inside Jason Matthew Salon)
30-50% off facials & waxing. Also, microdermabrasion are $70 and includes a full facial.

More money-related links:
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