How Much Does Your Hair Cost You?

>> 10.21.2009

After spending 100% of my free time working in the bathroom, I have bath products on the brain! In addition, I recently watched an Oprah show dedicated to discussing all that goes into a woman's hair. These things gave me the urge to break down the costs of the products I use:

Shampoo and conditioner- $1/ each
So far, I've been quite happy with the cheap stuff.
Blow dryer- $12 (from discount store)
I have stick-straight hair so I don't really use this very often. Usually, I just drive to work with the windows down (yes, seriously).

Hair gunk- $4
I don't use this very often either, I think the last time was at a wedding in June.

Hair brush- $5

Hair bands- $3
These are a must! A package usually lasts me six months.

Bobby pins-$3
I use these when I want to get fancy. They usually last me a year.

Headbands- $5
These are great for running; I'll buy a pack a year.

That puts me at a grand total of about $34. I don't use any hair color and I get a $17 hair cut at Great Clips once every couple of months... so I average about $13/month on hair expenses.

What about you- is your hair something that you'll splurge or spend less on? How do you cut back on the costs?


Kate October 21, 2009 at 11:27 AM  

I am now envious of your straight uncolored hair. I don't want to add up how much I spend on my hair - I'm not that brave! I "save" by limiting how often I get my hair cut and dye my hair at home. I usually only get it cut a couple times a year and trim it myself between cuts.

-Signed Kate, the girl with the long curly dyed hair :)

Strapless Living October 21, 2009 at 1:54 PM  

what good timing! i have been avoiding getting my hair cut recently to avoid the $100 it's going to cost me (too many cheap hair cut disasters, but i'm jealous you can get by with them!) but finally bit the bullet and made an appointment today. But I'm with Kate in that I wait forever between appointments (last time was in...february, haha)and trim my bangs/split ends myself between cuts. and i'm alll about the cheap shampoo, brushes, etc. but really need to work on my impulse control when it comes to "gunk." i'm such a sucker for anything that promises volume, and have the stack of nearly full products to prove it.

Jenny October 21, 2009 at 2:25 PM  

Awesome idea for a post! I never thought about it, but I can see how hair care could get very expensive. Generally I only buy my own shampoo/conditioner. They run about $4/bottle, and between my fiance and I, they last maybe 4-6 months. I generally steal all my "gunk", as Strapless Living put it, from my mom. She gets free samples, or buys bottles of something and never uses it. My straightener was a birthday present, and my blow dryer was about $15 (and since I don't use it frequently, it will last me years).

Hair cuts get expensive, but I only go every 6 months or so, and pay about $30.

The thing I splurge on once every year or two are highlights (placed so you can't see them when they grow out). I plan on getting a really nice haircut and full highlights before my wedding next year, which I expect to come to about $100.

Wow.. all for a bunch of dead stuff sitting on my head!

Moonwaves October 21, 2009 at 2:32 PM  

I stopped using shampoo about two years ago and now can't believe I spent so long spending so much money on just shampoo and conditioner. I have long, thick, curly/frizzy hair so I used to get through quite a lot of it. Now I just use water to wash my hair and do a cider vinegar rinse every once in a while to condition it a bit. Really don't need anything else apart from a good hairbrush.

I buy new bobbins (what you called hairbands) only when I've lost or broken all the ones I've had before. I don't think I've bought any new ones for about three years now but I try really hard not to lose them and not to put them on too tight (which stretches the elastic too much making them unusable after a while).

I get my hair cut once or twice a year but don't get anything fancy done. I've never bothered with colouring because a) I have very dark hair that wouldn't really hold a colour very well anyway and b) I reckon I've put so much effort into 'gaining' the white hairs I have, there's no way I'm going to pay someone else to cover them up - they're my proof of living! (even though I know that technically speaking worry and stress apparently doesn't cause your hair to change colour, it's what we all grow up hearing and so this idea makes sense in my head).

micah @ the yellow front door October 21, 2009 at 3:13 PM  

Good questions Kasey! I actually have a hair appt this weekend, but I feel guilty spending extra $$ during our kitchen remodel. Cut & color runs me around $100. I only go every 3-4 months, but it sounds like some of you go even longer! I LOVE Aveda products, but I alternate with the drugstore stuff to make it last longer.

dolores @ "Welcome to My Humble Ablog" October 21, 2009 at 3:17 PM  

I too have virgin hair! Such a money saver. I don't make too many salon trips but I am very picky about stylists. I have a very oily scalp which really weighs my hair down so I need a good cut that will give me some va va voom!

I don't do the mani-pedi combo at the local nail salon. I've got the supplies at home, might as well use them! Right?

I also use similar products that you use on your hair; good old Suave and goody hair products. Can not live without my ionic Hot Tools hair dryer, though. They can be a bit pricey but I assure you, no gunk needed! October 21, 2009 at 3:52 PM  

Great post!

I have also been thinking about the cost of hair, but rather the opposite way. I came across a website where people sell their hair and some of them were fetching $2k. Some people have their emergency funds right their on their head!

I stopped getting my hair cut after a few months into law school and decided to just grow it out. So, no cost for haircuts. I don't like the way the cheapo shampoo and conditioner makes my hair feel so I stay away from them and go for Suave which is affordable and works great. So, around $5 a month.

Mel October 21, 2009 at 4:01 PM  

Wow! Jealous of your hair. I do splurge on mine, but get it done less often than I used to. (Gray and roots definitely showing right now!) A cut and color in this city runs about $150. Blech! I stopped buying the expensive shampoo/conditioner though. Loving the L'Oreal EverPure line.

dolores @ "Welcome to My Humble Ablog" October 21, 2009 at 4:04 PM  

BTW, have you see Chris Rock's "Good Hair" documentary?! I don't think I will ever buy hair extensions. Ever!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog October 21, 2009 at 4:13 PM  

@Moonwaves- I have a friend who also skips shampoo for her curly hair. Believe me, I would if I could! The downside to my fine, straight hair is that I HAVE to wash it everyday or it gets too greasy.

@Dolores- I guess you could say that my hair is "born again virgin." I did color it way back in high school and eventually got fed up with all the roots! I haven't used a single dye since. I'm hoping my hair will take after my dad's which has maybe 10 grey strands (unlike my jealous mom).

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog October 21, 2009 at 4:15 PM  

Dolores- No, I haven't... but I did get to see a fair amount of clips off of that Oprah show. It's crazy where that hair actually comes from!

Sara @ Russet Street Reno October 21, 2009 at 4:56 PM  

My mom is a stylist so I usually pay nothing for haircuts, I give her the money for product whenever I ask her to give me highlights, and she gets me her wholesale discount on shampoo and hair products. I'm pretty low maintenance though, and put off cuts for 6 months or more. I also go to work with wet hair! ha

onegrandhome October 22, 2009 at 11:39 AM  

Great post. I spend remarkably little on my hair, generally speaking. Because I have thick, kinky-curly African American hair, I mostly no-poo. I use the Suave knock-off Humectress most days and Nexxus Humectress when I need my hair to look perfect. Generally, I trim it myself and limit my moisturizers to food-grade coconut oil and an occassional hair mask. For sleek and shiny hair, I use John Frieda Frizz-Eaze serum. I probably spend $10/month, if that.

LizzieBeth October 22, 2009 at 6:12 PM  

I have to preface this with one thing: I'm kind of a diva. But I've changes my ways- slightly.

I used to spend $180 every two months to get my hair cut and colored with a base, low lights and high lights. Then I moved out of my parents house, and I color it with L'oreal every 4 months (and that's only if I have a coupon). I get MORE compliments now.

But, Kasey, that VO5 shampoo is SOOOOO horrible for your hair! Clarifying shampoo strips all the good stuff out of you hair. I have that exact same stuff from when I dyed my hair, didn't like it, and had to strip the color out. Yeah, it's that bad.

If I can make a small suggestion- go with Herbal Essance. It's $3 a bottle and if you check out Red Plum, you can usually get some kick booty coupons for it.


ulysses101 October 24, 2009 at 1:14 AM  

I got bangs and stopped blowdrying every morning. Now I just wash my hair every second day (it took me 28 years to realize that it gets dried out otherwise), put it up in a ponytail, blowdry my bangs and voila, done! It gives me back 30 minutes every morning too. I also find there's no difference between the cheap shampoo and stuff the salon shoves on you for $50 bucks so I gave up the pricey shampoo as well as the salon. Instead I have a hairdresser mate come over to my apartment to do my hair now and buy the big bottles of Pantene when they go on sale for a fraction of the cost....

My Frugal Miser October 24, 2009 at 9:03 PM  

At my old job I traveled all the time, so I'd bring home the hotel toiletries. I've been unemployed since September 1st and still have enough soap, shampoo and conditioner to last through the end of the year!

I did splurge on a huge bottle of shampoo from several months ago. It's their deluxe brand and it lasts forever, too.

I bought a bottle of Suave hair gel that's lasted me 8 months.

I get my hair cut for $13.95 about ever 8 weeks. Would love to find a cheaper alternative. Didn't have the best of luck when I tried a barber school.

Jessica from We Took The Bait October 25, 2009 at 8:49 PM  

When I graduated college I moved from my little town in Delaware to just outside on NYC. Because I was cheap and poor, I generally made the trek to Perth Amboy, NJ, where I would sit in the basement of a four family house to have my hiar cut and "blown out" by a woman who spoke no English. I paid $12 and had gorgeous hair.

When I asked, or attempted to ask, my hairdresser what she was using on my hair, she showed me a bottle of VO5, and I went out of my gourd.

For Christmas one year, my brother gave me a gift certificate to a fancy schmancy place in Chelsea. I went and got my hair done, and asked the stylist what shampoo she used on my hair. She told me it was _____ (super serious expensive salon brand) - but in her opinion, there was only one shampoo worth its salt. You guessed it. VO5!

Cheap and fabulous!

Proud Sugar Addict November 19, 2009 at 5:29 PM  

I used to dye and cut my hair every 3 months in a salon at the price of approx. $150 a pop that added up to serious dough. Instead, now I have my mother in law dye my hair if I want and give me trims/cuts. Cost = FREE! It's wonderful when your mil is a non-practicing licensed beautician! Love the discount on all professional products too!

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