I recently had a conversation with an old friend of mine about frugality and the choices that people make, and he made an off hand remark that he thought the money that people spent on their hair was ridiculous. I asked him what he spent on his and he said, “$10 a year at most.”
Now, to put this in perspective, I spend about $75 or so a year on my hair. I get it cut every three months almost on the dot by a barber who is an old family friend, plus I probably buy three bottles of shampoo and conditioner a year, usually whatever’s on sale or that I have a coupon for. Compared to what others spend in my immediate social circle (hundreds of dollars), I considered this to be quite frugal.
How does he do it? I asked him to explain how he could keep his hair looking good and clean on such a tight budget, and here’s what he offered up.
Keep it short. The shorter, the better, according to him. He keeps his hair very short, but in a style that could actually work on people of both genders. He recommends having a barber or stylist indicate what a good short cut is for you, preferably one that is quite simple to do.
Do it yourself. As his hair is quite short, he does the needed maintenance himself with a pair of clippers with attachments. He just adjusts the attachments for different areas on his head and uses a safety razor for any needed trimmings.
Do it frequently. He also indicates that frequent maintenance is good, because it becomes much easier to continually match the pattern of your hair if you do it often. He says it takes him about five minutes once a week with the clippers and razor to keep his hair looking solid.
Throw out your shampoo and conditioner. He washes his short hair with ordinary soap by just heavily lathering his rag and rubbing it vigorously on his head. The shorter the hair, the better this works. I will admit to having done it this way myself for several years when I was keeping my hair extremely short (my “athletic” phase).
Keep it clean. This means conducting basic hygiene and washing your hair each time. Shower at least daily and be sure to scrub your hair down each time. Cleanliness is the biggest factor in nice hair appearance.
In short, don’t spend money on what you can quickly and easily do yourself.