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4 ways to save on hair care

By Paula Pant ·
Monday, July 15, 2013
Posted: 5 pm ET

The cheapest way to take care of your own hair is to avoid using dyes and styling tools, ask a family member to give you a haircut, and use the cheapest store-brand shampoo possible.

Under such circumstances, hair care would be very cheap. But many people -- myself included -- aren't willing to go to this frugal extreme.

The other extreme, however, is equally unappealing. A woman's haircut and full highlights can cost $100 to $150, and it needs to be repeated every two months.

Keratin deep-conditioning treatment costs $400 or more. High-end shampoos can cost more than $30 per bottle, and high-end styling tools require an outlay of several hundred dollars.

All told, you could easily spend $1,000 per year or more on hair care.

Here are four ways to save money on hair care without sacrificing the basic quality of care.

1. Search for the 'cheapest of the best'

Ultracheap shampoos might be filled with chemicals that strip your hair of its nutrients and leave it dry. But that does not mean you need to buy a top-end brand name. Read online user reviews to find the "cheapest of the best" shampoos and conditioners, many of which can be purchased for less than $10 per bottle.

2. Shop online for hair products

Shop on websites such as or for higher-end styling tools or hair products. You will often find these marked down from their cost at brick-and-mortar stores. Alternately, use, a service offered by Google, to compare the price of a particular item across multiple websites and local stores.

3. Space out your treatments

Many salons advise returning for haircuts and color treatments every two months. If you can stretch that out to three months, you will only need to make four trips to the salon each year, rather than six. That will cut the cost of your treatments by one-third.

4. Scour daily deal sites

Groupon, Scoutmob, LivingSocial and other daily deal websites often offer salon care treatments at steep discounts. Save money by breaking your loyalty to a particular stylist, and instead using the websites to find the best deal as you hop around from salon to salon. Who knows? You might find a new stylist you like better than your former favorite.

Paula Pant blogs at about building wealth and living life on your own terms. She's traveled to nearly 30 countries, owns six rental units that produce thousands in passive income, and runs her own digital marketing company. Follow Paula on Twitter @AffordAnything.

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July 24, 2013 at 11:05 am

Good tips, all. I used to spend about $1,200 a year on professional hair care. That didn't include buying shampoo and conditioners. But then we had to tighten our belts. Now I spend about $165 a year. I can't cut my own hair, but I've drastically reduced spending in the following ways.
--Stopped coloring and highlighting, saving at least $800 a year. Yes, I'm graying but my husband likes my natural hair color better. And I wasn't fooling anyone about my age by dying my hair.
--Wash with baking soda and condition with a rinse of water, cider vinegar, and 2 drops of lemon essential oil. No more tone-y shampoos and conditioners, and my hair is soft and shiny.
--Adopted a simple style. In my case, it's an A-style bob with a swooping bang. It holds up well so I can go 8 weeks (or sometimes longer) between cuts. I used to get a cut every 5 weeks.
--Left a high-priced stylist. I found a woman who charges about a third of what I used to pay and does just as good a job as the high-priced stylist. And she's in my own neighborhood so I save on driving. (I tip her well.)
We're doing better financially now, but I'm continuing my new hair care routine because I like it and see no reason to spend more.

July 16, 2013 at 11:57 am

Keep it cut short.... and better yet when you do cut it yourself.

I have found that very effective in keeping my hair costs down.