I learned the basics of hair cutting.
I am by NO means a professional, but I can cut my husband and children's hair. In my corner of the world, a typical haircut costs $12-$15, and my family needs them every 3 months. So, I end up saving around $200 a year. And that's just the price of the haircut, that doesn't include the gas to get to the salon, the tip or the cost of a shampoo & style.
How did I do this? I purchased a basic hair cutting kit. Many kits come with a dvd showing how to cut hair with the tool kit. I also purchased a book that "teaches" you how to cut hair. This book wasn't necessarily the greatest, but it was cheap and it taught me the basics. (I think that Hair Cutting for Dummies or How to Cut Your Own Hair (or Anybody Else's) also look like good books to learn from.)
So, for the price of two haircuts, I had everything I needed to cut my family's hair on a regular basis. I also cut my own hair (I do go into the salon once every 2-3 years just for a break, though.)
- I asked a hair stylist about different ways to cut hair and she was more than happy to show me. I don't know if all stylists will be that willing to hand over their tips, but this helped me a lot.
- If you don't want to try to cut your own hair and still need to go to a salon, shampoo your hair right before going and arrive with a wet, clean head. Your stylist won't have to shampoo your hair and you won't get charged for it.
- If you get really good at cutting hair, maybe you could try to find other families who would be willing to let you cut their hair in exchange for something (like babysitting).
- Ask your stylist not to bother styling your hair (blow drying, curling iron, hair spray, etc.). Just have them do the basic cut. Some salons charge for the hair cut AND the style.