Budget Beauty: How to Save Money on Haircuts and Hair Products

You don’t have to spend a fortune to have perfect hair every day! This article will help you save money on hair cuts and salon treatments, skip the expensive shampoos, and make smart choices on hair tools and hair products that really matter.

Trim your own hair at home

You can also do simple hair trims at home – like cutting off half an inch of your bangs, or snipping off split-ends. All you need are high quality left handed scissors. These are much sharper and more precise than regular scissors, and won’t damage the tips of your hair. The best scissors will last a lifetime!

Choose low-maintenance haircuts

Save hundreds of dollars on haircuts by getting a low-maintenance cut that grow out well. If you have long and straight hair, keep it one-length and grow it out long. If you’re used to shorter styles, try a chin-length bob instead of a pixie cut. If your hair needs extra volume, ask for long layers which will still have shape even if you haven’t had a haircut in months. Bangs are very trendy now, but unless you want to get regular salon trims, then opt for a side-swept style.

Follow your favorite hair salons on social media

This is the best way to find out about special promos or discounts. Some salons will even give out coupons if you sign up for their newsletter or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

Look for beauty schools or training facilities

This is one of the best ways to save on hair treatments! All cuts and colors are supervised by a teacher, so you know that they can’t ruin your hair. “I think they’re actually safer because the stylists are very careful, and there’s a senior stylist who’s just a few steps away. You won’t get that kind of attention in a very small and cheap salon,” says Alice.

Donate your hair

If you have long hair and are ready for a dramatic haircut, then look for a hair salon that’s partnered with Locks of Love. These salons usually have promos where they give you a haircut for free if you donate your hair.

Generally, Locks of Love needs cut hair to be a minimum of 10 inches (curly hair can be stretched and pulled straight to meet 10 inches). Ideally, should be healthy. It can be colored or permed, but it can’t be bleached. Ask the salon about whether your hair meets the requirements.

Color your hair at home

Hair color treatments can get very expensive, especially if you get highlights or lowlights, or need a preliminary bleach to get the shade you want. You can save tons of money by going close to your natural hair shade, and just add a hint of color with home dyes. “This is a very affordable and easy way to color your hair, even if you’re a beginner,” says hairstylist Priscilla Danes.

Once you’re familiar with hair dyes, go ahead and experiment with the more colorful shades. A lot of brands have home bleaching kits and bright shades, but they’re a little bit trickier to use. Until then, you have a wide range of natural-looking browns, reds and blue blacks that will add a lot of drama and dimension, without costing a lot of dollars.

Take a haircutting class

A lot of centers offer free basic training for cutting hair. Samantha says she signed up for a short course at the local community center, and learned enough to do very simple haircuts. She’s not planning to go pro, but she’s able to style her own hair and cut her children’s hair. All she needed was  hair cutting scissors and hair clips, and she’s saved a lot of time and money.

Use apple cider vinegar as a clarifying treatment

Clarifying shampoos help remove product build up from shampoos, conditioners and hairstyling products. You need to use this once a week if you put a lot of stuff in your hair, and about 2 to 3 times a month if you have normal to oily hair and scalp.

Some of the fancy brand-name clarifying shampoos are really expensive – and you only need to use them a few times a month! Skip this unnecessary expense. You can get the same benefits from apple cider vinegar.

Just mix 5 parts of water to 1 part of apple cider vinegar. Then, transfer this into a spray bottle. Spritz it generously all over your hair, and massage it into the scalp and coating each strand. Don’t worry: it’s so diluted that it won’t irritate your scalp or hands.

Leave this to set in your hair and scalp for about 10 minutes. Rinse off with cool water. Then, wash your hair with a light shampoo or conditioner.

 Get rid of dandruff with baking soda

If you have a dry, itchy and flaky scalp, this super cheap hair treatment will help! Just mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 cup water. You can also add a few drops of rosemary oil, if you already have that on hand – if not, it’s okay, that’s completely optional.

Scrub the solution into your hair. It gently breaks down oil and dirt and exfoliates dead skin cells on your scalp. We actually prefer this to many dandruff treatments, because it won’t dry out your hair.

Do a detox lemon rinse

Lemon juice can help treat dandruff, and restore shine and softness to your hair. All you have to do is mix 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice with 1 cup of water. Just soak your hair in it and massage into your scalp. Rinse off with shampoo. So cheap, so simple – and smells sooooo good!

 Make a bentonite hair clay mask

Bentonite clay is one of best budget beauty items ever! You can buy a big tub on Amazon for about $10, and make all sorts of effective DIY beauty treatments with it. Mix with lemon or apple cider vinegar to treat both face and body acne.

You can use the same mixture on your hair – just add a few tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil. There’s no specific measurement, since it depends on how much you need for your hair length. Just try to achieve a consistency similar to Greek yoghurt. Let it aerate for about 10 minutes before applying. While it “set” divide your hair into about 8 sections, and then use your fingers or a brush to distribute the hair mask from roots to hair tips. Then, wrap your hair in a plastic shower cap and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes to penetrate. Rinse of very well with lukewarm water.

The mask works best on damp hair, which is more porous and can absorb the nutrients better. Do this about twice a month to nourish the scalp and prevent dandruff.

 Moisturize with coconut oil

We love this cheap hair treatment from actress and supermodel Priyanka Chopra. She maintains her beautiful locks with warm coconut oil. Just pour it into a bowl and microwave or heat over a stove. Massage it into scalp and hair. It’s very relaxing and can help make hair smooth, soft and silky. This is great for hair that’s been damaged by chemical treatments and heat styling, or for frizzy or curly hair.

Buy hair products on Amazon

Many beauty enthusiasts prefer to buy their haircare products and other basic beauty essentials (makeup remover wipes, cotton pads, cleansers) on Amazon. “I’ve found a lot of cheap shampoos, conditioners, hair styling sprays and more that work even better than the expensive ones in Sephora. I just check out the reviews, or research about the products online before buying. Amazon also has regular discounts and sales, or have Buy 1 Take 1 promos,” explains Martha, who runs a blog on saving money.


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