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Frugal hair and fur management techniques ;)

Posted by on Monday 13 December 2010 in frugal | 2 comments

Last week on Move to Portugal, Laura mentioned that they’ve realised it’ll be a lot cheaper to cut her husband’s hair at home than have him go to the barbers every month.

She asked if anyone else had any related frugal tips and I left the following comment:

My boyfriend has been shaving his own head (or having me help) for years.

He’s gone through a couple of sets of cheap, rechargeable battery clippers but now swears by some mains powered ones – a lot more powerful so the job is done faster and his dad has had a pair that’s lasted 20+ years. He just wishes he’d got them sooner.

When I had long hair, I used to trim it myself to keep it free from split ends – curly hair is very forgiving ;) Now I have it shorter so I go to a hairdresser – but only once every four or five months or so. As [another commenter] Carla says, keep it simple – don’t have an elaborate style that needs constant attention or products, and you’ll save loads.

When I lived close to a hairdressers training college a couple of years ago, I used to go there – would cost £4 for a cut (or £2 on half price Tuesday) and would easily rival a cut I’d have done in the city centre for £30! (Actually, that’s another saving idea if you don’t feel like cutting your own: it used to cost me £30 for a hair cut in the city centre [Leeds], £20-25 at a good salon in a poorer suburb about a mile out (where I lived), and now I live about 8 miles out, it costs me £10-15 a cut. Pretty much the same quality cut, much lower price!)

On the subject of hair, we also clip our dog ourselves rather than paying £45 a pop. We bought more good mains powered clippers and a pair of hairdressers scissors (for the bits that need trimming not shaving) for that price instead – far cheaper in the long run. The first time we did it she looked a little ragged for a couple of days but we quickly got better at it and now she looks gorgeous all the time ;)

Saying I get my hair cut every “four or five months” is actually a bit of optimism rather than accurate – it’s more like every eight or nine months because I hate going to the hairdressers (the enforced small talk mostly) but by that point, my hair really starts bugging me so I’d rather go slightly more often. The hairdressers I go to now is around the corner from our house – less than a minute’s walk away – and is more than fine for my basic cut, and so much cheaper than heading to a fancy salon in central Leeds (extra expense + bus fare + time).

Regarding Lily, it’s win all around us clipping her here. It’s a great bonding experience, she finds it a darn sight less stressful than she would going to a groomers (she feel asleep during the clipping the last two times), and it’s far, far cheaper. Our aim with her – as with ourselves – is to be clean-ish & presentable-ish and we can meet those goals here. She wouldn’t excel in Crufts with our grooming but she’s clean & pretty enough to dunk herself in mud in the woods, and that’s all she (and we) care about.

As well as his head, John, my scruffy boyfriend, shaves his not-so-designer stubble with his clippers too – he has no need to be baby’s-bum smooth so no need to spend money on expensive razor blades & shaving cream. Another time when laziness = frugalness! ;)


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  1. lovelygrey

    Not only the men in my household have home haircuts. I do too. I’ve got mains operated Wahl clippers and separately bought a Grade 10 attachment which leaves the hair longer. I’m not the most dexterous person and this might seem like the potential for disaster but I get lots of compliments about my styling. As my hair grows quickly I reckon that this must save me about £300 per annum.

    • louisa

      I’ve just seen the photo on your blog – it does look really good!

      I think my hair is probably too thin and curly for such a short style but John’s always wanted me to shave my head – so maybe one day ;)

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