The topic of saving money on haircuts is a deep one for me. You see, I started my ‘no paid haircuts’ journey long before I ever cared about financial independence or frugality.
It all started with a conversation between my best friend Jordan Evans and I. We were living together during our Junior year of college and asked each other, “Why are we paying for crappy haircuts when we could just cut each other’s hair? How hard could it be?”
Personally, I get so much anxiety when getting my haircut at Supercuts. It’s always someone different and they always seem to mess it up somehow. On the other hand, I could pay $40 plus tip at a “Men’s Lounge” but that just didn’t feel like a good use of money.
Anyway, this is all to say that I can honestly tell you that I haven’t paid for a haircut in over 10 years. And I have not regretted it for one second.
I’ll admit, this probably applies to men more than it does to women. And while I have cut women’s hair before, it just feels a little more high stakes than for men. So I typically avoid offering my services to my wife. But I think she would tell you, she’s wasted a lot of money on crappy haircuts too. It’s just not fun.
Can I Save Money On Haircuts
The truth is, it’s just not that hard to cut your own hair. I mean, think about it, no one cares as much about your haircut as you do, so why do we outsource this important task? And the cost!? San Francisco used to be my home and while I was there I quickly learned that it was the home of the most expensive haircuts in the US. Can you imagine that the average men’s haircut in San Francisco is $49?
It just baffles me that someone might get a haircut every month and end up spending over $700 getting their hair cut every year.
Opportunity for saving money on haircuts
I can’t get specific with my own story, because I haven’t paid for a haircut in over 10 years. But I can look at data to come to a guess on what the average man spends on a haircut.
- Nationwide average cost of men’s haircut: $28
- Average number of haircuts per year: 12
- Estimated tip percentage for haircut: 20%
If those numbers are in the ballpark, then the average guy spends about $403.20 every year on haircuts. But even haircuts is an iceberg expense. Meaning the true cost includes what’s not so obvious.
- Estimated time driven to haircut salon: 14 minutes
- Average hourly rate of US worker: $24
- Average distance to salon: 5 miles
- IRS estimate of cost of a mile: $0.57
With these assumptions in mind, we must factor in the cost of time and auto expense of driving to the salon to get our hair cut. The time cost of going to the salon is $11.20. (28 minutes of driving x hourly rate of $24) The mileage cost is $5.70. (10 miles round trip x $0.57 per mile)
So, each time you go to the salon, you’re really spending $28 on the cut plus a $5 tip. But you decided to drive there and put 10 miles on your car costing you $5.70 as well as wasting your time driving there and back costing you $11.20 of your time.
That’s $49.90 total for deciding to go get your hair cut. If you get your hair cut once a month, that’s $598.80 a year.
Frugal Feline Future Value
So, kicking your haircut habit and investing that money each month is worth about $131,925 in 38 years.
I know there’s a hundred arguments to make against my assumptions. And I know that this assumes you’d otherwise be producing income during the time you’d be driving to get your haircut. But just entertain me in my attempt to show you that these little decisions have the opportunity to have a big impact if you’re willing to adopt them permanently.
How to Cut Your Own Hair
If you’re still with me, you’re possibly convinced of the lifetime potential of saving money on haircuts by doing it yourself. (Don’t even get me started on what those numbers could be if you cut your kids hair.) But the question remains, “How in the world do I cut my own hair?”
For this, you’ll need an internet connection and a few supplies. And it will be slow at first. (And possibly crappy.) But this is an investment in yourself, your family, and your financial independence. So it’s worth it!
Equipment Needed To Cut Your Own Hair
I practice what I preach. I have not paid for a haircut in over 10 years. In that time, I’ve had to replace my clippers twice and shears once. I typically borrow whatever hand mirror I can find in the bathroom and get started.
As far as equipment you’ll need to purchase, here’s what I recommend. (And what I actually use.)
Wahl Corded Clipper Color Pro Complete Hair Cutting Kit for Men, Women, & Children with Colored Guide Combs for Smooth, Easy Haircuts – Model 79300-1001
This sells for $38 on Amazon but only $25 inside of Walmart. Up to you on if that savings is justified.
This is one of the cheapest mirrors I could find on Amazon that resembles what I’ve used and liked. You want it to be a good size mirror or the whole process gets unnecessarily complicated. Now, if I were you, I’d go to the dollar store or inside of Walmart and get the mirror in person too. Amazon doesn’t make money selling you a $2 mirror with 2 day delivery. So all their mirrors are expensive. Go get it in person.
EWIN(R) 1PCS New Style Hair Cutting Cloak Umbrella Cape Salon Barber Hairdressing Gown Family for Adult (Adult Size)
I kid you not, I’ve been using one of these for over 7 years. Before, I used to just let the hair fall as it may. But if you’re cutting your own hair in your bathroom with the clippers in one hand and the extra mirror in the other, this is a worthwhile investment. Especially since it’s only $10 bucks. Get this one on Amazon because you won’t find it in stores.
The other thing I would say is, the clippers I recommend come with shears. (fancy word for hair scissors) But they are crappy after a while. I bought my first shears from Sally Beauty Supply and they lasted no less than 6 years. They were truly amazing. But I found a decent pair on Amazon which probably will be of the same quality and comparable in price. I can’t speak for these shears though, as I have always got mine from Sally Beauty Supply.
Knowledge Needed to Cut Your Own Hair
For this, I recommend going on YouTube and finding a tutorial or two. Give it time and you’ll become an expert on your own hairstyle. It won’t happen in your first cut or two, but it will happen. Trust me.
And that’s the great thing about it! You don’t have to be an expert barber to cut your own hair. You just need to learn how to cut your style of haircut and continue to practice until you become a master.
Saving Money on Haircuts
And there you have it! The case for saving money on haircuts along with the equipment and expertise you’ll need. I promise you this one will pay dividends in the future. Remember my friend Jordan who I mentioned at the beginning of this post? He cuts all the men’s hair in his office and gets paid to do it. You just need a little confidence and a lot of practice. Plus, when you have kids, you can cut their hair too.
Now, stop paying to get your haircut and start putting that money in the stock market. And good luck on your path to financial independence.
The Frugal Feline