One of our biggest expenses before we became frugal was my “feminine up-keep.” Manicures and pedicures, acrylic tips, hair appointments every 2 weeks and spa appointments every 3 months kept us in the red constantly. I was working a 50 to 60 hour job, plus doing my weekend time at the military base, so it would seem like the money would be there for all of these things, but it just wasn’t. And I had it in my mind that I needed all of these things.
Once I can to my senses, and lost my time-consuming job, I figured out that these necessities were frivolous wants. The main one that irked me so was my hair. I had found a wonderful hair stylist, who I actually modeled for quite a bit, and he’s known as one of the best in the business for my hair type. The issue was that he was 30 to 40 minutes away from where we lived, and once I got there, it cost to park our car. It also took about half of my day from me from the traveling to and from, and waiting for hours to get my hair coiffed. I did this every 2 weeks. After all expenses, it took about 100 dollars out of our budget twice a month. Now, any woman can tell you that a good stylist is so hard to find, and any woman of color can tell you that a stylist who can work with coarse, kinky hair is even harder to find. But I had to find a better solution, and fast.
First, I realized that my short hair was a problem. To keep it up and keep the length, I had to go get it cut every two weeks. So, out with the short and time to grow it longer. I also invested in a book that could tell me how to take care of my particular type of hair at home. I’ve made back that investment 10-fold since. With a little internet research, help from hubby when it’s time to relax my hair(he used to work at his Dad’s salon) and a little planning for a designated “hair day” every week, we’ve saved and estimated 4,800 hundred dollars since I stopped going to the stylist.
Do It Yourself Hair Tips
1. Hair color is always on sale…somewhere, and it’s easier than ever to do. I actually don’t color my hair because my particular type doesn’t do well to over-the-counter dyes, but I’ve talked to other frugalistas that swear by the box coloring from the drugstores. The new foam application ones seems to be the biggest hit. So, don’t be afraid to try it, and if you are, all coloring kits have 1-800 numbers to call for step by step help from the company.
2. Be creative; if you don’t like a style you can always take it out and not feel guilty about the money you may be wasting. Also, because you know what you like and don’t, you can expiriment with ideas that just may stick and keep away from the crazy ones you may see celebrities doing in magazines. You know, the ones that stylists try to convince you to do to go with you “beautiful cheekbones” or “the faaabulous shape of your eyes.”
3. Pay attention to the people around you; they may have hidden talents! When I was younger, we never went to the stylist. My aunt went to beauty school, so she did our hair. I’ve never had anyone do it as well as she did since then. Now, I have my husband put in my relaxer every 6 weeks. I found out after we were married that he used to work in his Dad’s salon and he used to always do the relaxers for his grandmother and aunt when he lived with them. I had a professional right at my finger tips for years and didn’t know it. Ask around; you may find a friend or family member who can help you stretch your budget and keep you pretty at the same time.
4. When all else fails, find a beauty school! This is a great hidden tip. Beauty schools are constantly looking for customers to work on and the best part is that it is usually FREE or super cheap. The only downside is that it may take a bit longer to get things done since they want to make sure they do it right, but it WILL be done right. You have a student eager to learn and a teacher who has been in the business looking over the shoulders of the students. We have a beauty school right near our home and I now go there for manicures and pedicures when I have the time. For 10 bucks I get both done wonderfully. I’ve seen the work they do with hair and every woman that leaves looks so glamorous and has the biggest smile on their faces. Wouldn’t you if you got a 150 cut and color for free?
How about you all? Do you go to get your hair professionally done or have you found a way to do things yourself?