I thought spending $7 for a simple hair trim would be a good idea. It would take less money out of the bank, and I didn’t have too much time to spare. Little did I know, I was about to experience haircut hell.
Inexpensive isn’t always better when it comes to letting a stranger cut my hair – especially when I could have done better on my own for free.
I am not the type of girl to go to the salon every six weeks and drop $50 to get a trim. I never stick with one hair stylist (and sometimes I cut it myself), so my hair is always different. Every once in a while when my parents think my hair is too long or ratty, they’ll pay for it to get cut professionally.
Most of the time, I just decide on a whim to walk into a Great Clips or Super Cuts to receive a new look like I did Friday evening.
When I told the stylist what I wanted my hair to look like (with plenty of dog-eared pictures in a hairstyle magazine to accompany my request), she grabbed a spray bottle.
After dousing my head – including my entire face – in water and insulting my troublesome cowlick, she took to her scissors and started cutting. I would have complained, but I was too busy sputtering and wiping off my stale-water-drenched face.
When she was finished with my bangs, I asked her to use a blow dryer so I could see how they looked (I didn’t want them to be too short or too long.).
My stomach dropped when I realized I looked nothing like the woman in the magazine with beautiful, side-swept bangs across her forehead. Instead, it looked like I handed a three-year-old a pair of scissors and gave them free reign.
She asked me if I wanted her to trim the rest of my hair, but I was too horrified to let her touch my head again (Yes, I was being overly dramatic.). It looked OK, but it was nothing like what I wanted.
For the record, I am not picky or high maintenance … until it comes to my hair. It’s difficult to find the three most important elements of getting a nice haircut – stylist, price and place – and be happy with the end result.
I’ve had my fair share of unhappiness with bad haircuts, so I’ve put together some suggestions for those you who are looking for a decent haircut at an inexpensive price:
- Take care of your hair. Steer clear of plastic-bristle brushes, deep condition every two weeks and refrain from using too much heat on your head. If you are delicate with your hair and take care of it, you can make the time between haircuts last longer and prevent spending too much money in the long run.
- Ask your friends. There is always someone who knows someone’s sister who cuts hair or someone who knows the best, inexpensive salon to visit. You can get a broad range of ideas for stylists, places and prices and might even find a friend who cuts hair for free.
- Visit a beauty school. Stylists-in-training will usually cut hair for a discounted price. It takes a lot longer, though, since they make sure your hair looks as perfect as the bewigged mannequins they practice on.
- Look for bargains. Many salons close to campus offer discounts for college students. Call around or look in the Bearcash magazine and salon websites to find coupons or discounted packages.
- Save the money for a salon. If you’re looking for a more expensive, professional cut without a discount, put some money aside until you have enough to salvage for an appointment at Mitchell’s Salon and Spa or Valenti Salon.
- DIY. If you’re brave enough to experiment and grab some scissors, more power to you. You can train yourself using how-to instructions on the Internet and step-by-step YouTube videos. You’ll save money, but if you screw up, you only have yourself to blame.
My point is this: inexpensive is not always better. Do your research, and make sure you’re happy with where you go. Even sticking with the same stylist who knows your face shape and what looks best on you will benefit you in the long run. Explain what you want in detail with pictures so the stylist has something to use for inspiration and your haircut doesn’t look like a fourth-grade art project gone bad.