Starting Your Thrifty Journey: Reducing Hair Care Costs

Posted 03-29-2010 at 01:39 PM by MyFrugalFunLife

So you’ve decided to become a Fabulous Frugal Super Woman. You’re excited, ready to start and…..now what? You’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed right now; how does one start living a frugal lifestyle? The easiest way is to pick one area in your life and then figure out all the ways you can reduce costs.  Since I just gave my daughter a hair cut, let’s dive in and look at ways to be thrifty with hair care.

We used to spend a lot of money on our hair but the past few months we’ve drastically changed our hair care practices. Here’s the things we’ve done to eliminate costs-

I no longer color my hair. It’s a reoccurring expense that has no real benefit. Hair dye is also full of nasty chemicals. Eliminating it has saved me a lot of money and my hair is much healthier now.

I used to go to the nice upscale salon in our town; now I go to our local beauty school and get a decent cut for a fraction of the cost.

My husband buzz cuts his and my son’s hair. I spent $30 for a set of clippers and it paid for itself in less than two months.

I cut my daughter’s hair. I am NOT a stylist by any means and yes, there were several ‘incidents’ when I was learning how to cut it, but the beauty of hair is that it always grows back  and now I’m able to do a basic trim :)

I cut out styling products. I used to have a cupboard full of sprays and creams. Now I have one can of mousse and that’s it. Despite the barrage of advertising that we’re hit with on a daily basis, we don’t need a bunch of expensive products to make our hair look good. My hair is a bit quirky but it looks fine on its own, without being slathered in expensive goop.

I use the ‘no poo’ method instead of shampoo. I first heard about this here on Diaper Swappers, in the Green Forum. It uses only three ingredients; baking soda, water, and apple cider vinegar-all are cheap and natural.

Since we’ve started doing these things, we’ve practically eliminated our hair care expenses! Take a moment and examine how much you spend on your family’s hair care costs and then think of ways you can reduce them-little changes can mean big savings!

No Poo Recipe I use:
Wash: 1 part baking soda to 3 parts water. Mix together and apply to DRY roots. Massage scalp for two minutes, rinse out with water and then follow with Rinse: 1 part apple cider vinegar to 4 parts water (I also add a bit of vanilla extract for scent). Apply generously, especially to ends, let soak for 10 seconds and then rinse. When your hair dries it will NOT smell like vinegar. I use it every other day and keep the mixtures in shampoo bottles (I apply it in the shower, before I get my hair wet).

Filed Under: Savings Talk

Comments

14 Responses to “Starting Your Thrifty Journey: Reducing Hair Care Costs”

  1. cassieJJ on March 29th, 2010 4:47 pm


    Great hair tips!

  2. blackannis on March 29th, 2010 6:33 pm


    Thanks for repeating the “no-poo” recipe–we’ll have to try that one.

    Try actually cutting your son’s hair once it grows in–it’ll give you a good way to practice since he’s okay with buzzing it! Doing home haircuts for the family members whose hair can handle it (or who don’t care) is easier than it seems like it should be–I’m starting to lose my fear of cutting my husband’s hair (he doesn’t care if I mess up) now that I’ve done it twice without making him look like an idiot. Actually, according to our friends, his hair looks pretty good–he keeps getting complimented on it, and no one seems to notice the couple of funny-looking spots where I cut it poorly! I’ve never had any training, and have just developed my technique by watching my own stylists and trying to do some of the same things they do. I’ll probably cut our son’s hair once he has enough to need cutting.

  3. Deanie on March 30th, 2010 11:14 am


    I have 4 bottles of shampoo and conditiner stockpiled and I can’t wait until I have them used up b/c I want to try this baking soda thing!

    Also, thanks for the tip of going to a beauty school. I’m going to look one up in my area!

  4. BabyRooSlings on March 30th, 2010 4:59 pm


    I barter for our hair cuts! Babysitting, mending, etc, there is always someone who is willing to trade. Bbsitting usually is the most popular. I haven’t paid for haircuts or highlights for 4 years =)

  5. MorrigansMomma on March 30th, 2010 6:04 pm


    Thanks for the tip about the beauty school cuts, I’ve be looking into the local school. :)
    My mother always cut our hair and when we got older my sisters and I cut each others. We had some pretty wild hairdos but it was SO much fun and my parents saved tons of money by not haven’t to pay for 4 girls to get their hair cut.

  6. sundaesprinkles on March 30th, 2010 6:06 pm


    that is such an awesome idea….i buy special baby shampoo, kids shampoo, and separate shampoos for myself and my husband…that really adds up! i am excited about this no-poo recipe and i am going to embark on a no-poo journey…and take family along with me ;) we recently switched to cloth diapering (now that we have two in diapers) and i really like going GREEN! you’ve gotta start somewhere!

    also- does anyone have any homemade recipe for liquid soap? that can be used on everything from baby to basic handwashing?

  7. gkatieh on March 30th, 2010 6:18 pm


    I cut mine and my husband’s hair. Baby is bald anyways ;)

    IDK how I feel about the no poo… I only wash my hair a couple times a week and I usually only use one bottle of shampoo in a year!

    I haven’t dyed my hair since before the baby was born because I haven’t had TIME! Add that to the article ;) Once you have no time you can’t spend money hehehe

    But anyways, great article. If I get daring I may try the no-poo…

  8. issybissy on March 31st, 2010 4:36 am


    im not understanding the no poo routine… how do those ingr rinse ur hair clean? there r many ways to get free shampoo using coupons coupled with sales, so is expense the reason to use a no poo routine or is it chemicals? in any case, i am all for going green..i use cloth diapers and love it. assessing ur clothes closet is another sure way of reducing expenses. i always think to myself…want vs need… good article .

  9. ckmom07 on April 1st, 2010 3:43 am


    We use shampoo here and will continue to do so. I stockpile when we get our tax return and it lasts all year usually. My girls are not old enough for a full haircut yet(they are 3, 2 and almost 1) but Grandma does trim my oldest ones bangs. My hubby and son go to the beauty college here and get their cuts for $8. Between the 2 of them they average about 10-12 haircuts a year and they get every 5th one for free. I usually get my hair cut once a year and get my eyebrows done 3x a year(this is really my only splurge for myself and it cost $24 per year so I allow it…LOL!) I just started coloring my hair again b/c I have greys at 30!!! It cost $10 for 2 boxes and I have to do it every 3-4 months so I don’t think that is bad:)

    I do have a tip for all of you Mamas that cut their own kiddos hair…invest in a nice pair of haircutting scissors…they make the world of difference!

  10. barefootmom on April 1st, 2010 4:33 pm


    I agree with ckmom07 – a haricutting shears make a world of difference! I bought mine for $30 and it has paid for itself over and over again. I cut all four of my kids’ hair and my husbands. My mom or my sister, who is going to school for haircutting, cuts mine. I do use shampoo, but am interested in trying no-poo, thanks for posting the “recipe” :) I don’t color my hair – even though I found my first gray 5 years ago at age 24. I was somewhat prepared though as graying early runs in my family. My uncle’s hair started turning gray in high school. At least I didn’t start that early!

  11. wimama on April 1st, 2010 5:06 pm


    Great blog!

    When I was learning to cut my DH and DS hair with clippers, I started on the top of their heads. The instructions that came with the clippers say to start with the sides, but I was too nervous and I started on the top with a higher number attachment, then I used smaller and smaller number attachments until I got the hair at top of their heads the length I wanted. That way I didn’t make it too short.

    Between my DH and DS one of them always needed a haircut, so we are saving a lot of money now. My hair is styled in a style where it can grow for a few months between cuts. So, my haircuts don’t break the budget.

  12. Pikemommy on April 2nd, 2010 3:50 pm


    I never pay for hair care products…. including hair dye. If you watch for deals and clip coupons usually once every three months I get all of that stuff for free. Toothpaste, deoderant, shampoo, styling products, and even tylenol! Walgreen has register dollars and by combining that with manufacturer coupons, store coupons, and sales you should walk out with really CHEAP if not free products.

  13. Baby Momma of THREE on April 2nd, 2010 9:25 pm


    I cut all the families hair, even a small trim on mine, only go out once or twice a year for a total clean up. Since excessive washing can pull out your natural health try shampooing only every other day (at most) or less. Shampoo is only there to pull out all the nasty stuff that got in your hair, so if you’ve reduced the products you use you also reduced your need for lots of shampoos. I extend the life of conditioner by adding honey. It really helps strengthen hair. Also, invest $4 for Satin pillowcase…why? Satin reduces the grab that other pillowcases have on hair, they aggravate knots and split ends. If you have satin the hair knots less, breaks less, splits less….reducing your need for more hair cuts and help products. I’ve done this and went to see a stylist to see how it was working, I was complimented for the health of my natural hair…ya!! Saved Money AND got all our Healthier!!!

  14. MyFrugalFunLife on April 3rd, 2010 11:57 am


    I do have lots of gray hair coming through now (I’m 31) but like stretch marks, I’ve earned them :) The cost was a big factor in eliminating color and shampoo But its also been a goal of mine to eliminate as many chemicals as possible from our house so that’s another big reason why I’ve started doing these things too-its scary how many chemicals we slather on our bodies on a regular basis! I know you can get dye kits and shampoo/conditioner for free by stacking coupons with sales-I actually used to be a hard core couponer (was buying 10 Sunday papers each week and had a large stockpile) but I finally realized how much time and yes, money, I was spending on it and have since stopped using coupons (I maybe used 2-3 a month now). I was getting great deals on stuff I really didn’t want in my house (the chemicals, prepackaged foods etc). I used to be really big into the CVS and Walgreens ‘games’ but don’t do them anymore and I’m actually saving more money now :)

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