Cut the cost of a haircut

Time to trim how much you spend at the salon or barbers with these tricks.

One of the benefits of having short hair and a simple hairstyle is that it’s doesn’t take much time to cut. But it’s still possible for a cut to cost me close to £30.

Though that seems steep for me, any of you with longer hair or more complicated styling or colouring will dream of paying that much. I’m always amazed at how much it costs female friends. It’s no wonder most of them can’t afford to visit a hairdressers as often as they’d like.

But there are ways to help you pay less. Here are a few of the tricks you can use to snip a few quid off your next visit.

Avoid the senior stylist

There’s a hierarchy at many salons which means you pay a premium for the top-dog senior stylist. So a simple way to reduce this is to downgrade to a cheaper option.

Yes the senior person is likely the most experienced, but that doesn’t mean they are the best. And even if they are, the junior people might not be far off the same standard.

Be a model

My sister used to do this in her twenties for Toni & Guy. She’d sit on a stage while the teacher cut her hair in front of the students. And it cost her nothing for a very experienced stylist.

The downside was she has no say in what they did to her hair, but somehow she managed to pull off the different colours and styles. You also need to give up a good few hours of your day.

Nowadays it might be you have to pay, but it’ll be a fraction of the full cost.

Risk it for free

You can take this even further and get a trainee to give you a cut – and this can even be free.

Yes there’s a risk that they might make a mistake, but there should be someone on hand to fix anything. Even then errors might take time to grow out, so it’s best not to do this before something important like your wedding!

There are a few bigger hairdressing schools you can try, or see if your local salon has anyone new starting.

I actually tried this last week. I’ve just moved to a new town and I was hunting for somewhere to get a trim. I discovered on one of the barber’s websites that a new guy was offering free cuts as part of his training. I always practice what I preach, so in the name of research I booked an appointment. You can see how it went and hear my thoughts in the video below.

Go off-peak

Not everyone will be able to do this, but you should ask your salon if you can get a discount for coming at a less popular time.

If you’re able to be flexible and leave it to the last minute the hairdresser might be willing to charge you less to fill a vacant appointment.

Shop around

One of my friends once ditched her usual salon for a colour and cut. They way she described her guilt at doing this was as if she’d been cheating on her boyfriend. Yes it’s nice to be loyal, particularly if your stylist “knows” your hair. But changing things up can save you cash.

One of the best examples is a new customer discount. The local salon where my wife goes has a big poster outside offering 25% off your first cut, and many others do the same.

And you don’t have to stay with them if you don’t want to. Keep moving around for new offers.

After a while your old hairdresser(s) might even try to tempt you back with a deal, so remember to give them your contact details.

Saying that, don’t miss out on any reward or loyalty schemes run by your regular haunt.

Buy a discounted voucher

Sites like Groupon and Wowcher have dozens of discounts at hairdressers and salons so it’s worth taking a look when you’re due a trim.

Do google before buying though in case there are some dodgy reviews.

Here are some of the top sites to check out for deals

Ditch the big or fancy salons

When I moved to London I was shocked a haircut didn’t cost a tenner anymore. But a few years back I discovered a mini barbers chain called Mr Toppers.

It’s pretty basic. There’s no coffee on arrival, no magazines to read, no metro tiles on the wall, no tattooed / bearded hipster cutting my hair (this is more common than you’d think). And as a result I paid just £9. In Central London that’s a steal.

So if you’re happy to forgo some of the pampering you can pay a lot less. And it doesn’t mean you get lower quality either. For men it’s often a case of going to an old-school barbers rather than a salon.

Or you can look for self-employed hairdressers who come to you or even those with a set up in their own home.

Watch out for extras

Often hairdressers will try to up-sell you. That could be trying new products or treatments, or it might even be washing or blow drying your hair. Make sure you know what’s included to avoid embarrassment at the till.

On the topic of products, it’s worth seeing if you can get the same or similar for less elsewhere.

5 thoughts on “Cut the cost of a haircut

  1. Look for thirty hair services like ChopChop or Supercuts if they are in your area. I’ve used both in London and had great haircuts. With Supercuts there is often a wait as they don’t have appointments so take a book and get there early/off peak if you can. ChopChop is pretty much 20 quid for any cut. It has an app/website and last time I checked the coupon: chopchopldn still worked and gave you 2 pounds off.

    1. Thanks Clare, good info

  2. The one sure way to save you didn’t list. Avoid the salon completely and either DIY or have your significant other or trusted friend cut your hair. I ditched the salon years ago after a horrible haircut and had my new boyfriend cut my hair for me close to a year later. He does a great job and I save hundreds a year. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube that are quite good. I know the salons and barbershops hate to hear it as they make no money on you, but I don’t have any tattoos, so they don’t make any money on me either and I don’t feel guilty not spending money there either.

    1. Yeah, I did think about including this but wasn’t sure people would go for it! That’s great he’s able to do it- maybe he could start it as a sideline for your friends and earn a bit of cash 😉

      1. We discussed it as his does my two boys, my mom’s as well as cutting the hair for a couple other friends of mine. He does not take a dime from any being it is family and close friends. One neighbor who had worked in a salon watched him cut mine one day and said he was good and should get his license. So good she asked him to give her a haircut and she was pleased with thevrsults. But he would have to do an apprenticeship or pay for the school to get it in order to charge. We have rental properties and other business interests that he spends his time doing, so it would not be cost effective.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.