My salon charged $60 for a layered haircut that grew out in about 10 days. I cut this from $180 a month to less than $20 a year, including tips.
I changed from a hairstyle with bangs to one with layers framing the face. My bangs needed weekly trimmings. The face framing layers could be grown out for over 14 days before trimming. Next I had the stylist cut my hair about 3 inches shorter than normal to extend time between cuts another 2 weeks. Finally I asked the stylist for a cut that grows out well, which I learned was a blunt cut with face framing feathering. This enabled me to go over 3 months between haircuts. Additionally since it was a basic cut the price was less.
I took pictures from all angles of my hair and took these to Supercuts when I needed another cut. I asked the stylist to give me the haircut in the pictures cutting along the “map” of my previous cut. Typically their haircuts were $20. However, I called them to ask where they advertise and then found a coupon in that newspaper for $5 off. I also went 3 pm on Tuesdays for their “Ladies Night” promotion where haircuts were discounted to $15. The haircut with tax and tip was less than $18. At a rate of 1 haircut 3 months this would have cost me $54 a year.
I then started using beauty schools. I found one in the yellow pages, although you can find a beauty school near you with the “Beauty Schools Directory” online website. The beauty school offered haircut and style for $5. I brought my hair pictures and showed them to the teacher and stylist. Since I go midweek midday there are few to no customers so the teacher supervises the stylist in training closely thus I usually have exceptional haircuts.
When I am traveling and cannot use a beauty school I call the Chamber of Commerce to find out about new salons. After calling them and noting I am a new customer they often give me a haircut for 50% or more off regular price. In the absence of a new salon I will go to a barbershop, which I learned service women at about half the cost of a salon.
When I want a crazy new style, instead of paying for a consult I offer myself as a hair model. I go online to craigslist and find advertisements for models and sometimes call local beauty schools. I meet with students before agreeing to being their hair model to make sure the length and general style I want matches what they want to showcase. I get hair styling and a cut for free and done exceptionally well. The only downside is that it often took longer than a typical haircut because the students tend to be perfectionists with the cut. Also since the cut is for a show I have to be available on their timetable.
Next I got rid of my blow dryer and reduced shampooing to once a week. This reduced the frequency of split ends and enabled me to go over 6 months between haircuts. I call local salons to ask if they have a Locks for Love donation promotion. The minimum length for donations is typically 10 inches and at many promotions in exchange for donating hair the stylists provide you haircut for free so sometimes I can get a cut from a professional for free.
Last but not least I make use of “trims”. The beauty schools and barber shops only charge a couple bucks to just trim ends as opposed to providing a full haircut. Some salons even provide trims for free so it only costs the couple of bucks you tip the junior stylist.