Every Day

Bare Bones: A Dilemma

I have a dilemma tomorrow. Those of you who have read here know that I get my hair cut, colored, and highlighted at what some would think is a high end salon. It really is only a few dollars more than the cheaper salons in my area. Part of my dilemma is that I love my hairdresser because she does a fantastic job. I also enjoy chatting with her because she reminds me of a young me. She is very frugal and has her head on straight when it comes to money.

I definitely need a cut tomorrow and my roots done. But I believe that the highlights are good for another 4-6 weeks. So it will cost much less than normal.

However this is definitely not bare bones. I do pay cash for this each time I go out of my monthly spending money. But it nags at me that there must be a better way.

I am not good at coloring my hair. I make a mess and I miss parts of my head so the gray shows. But I am considering doing it myself and trying to do a better job. I have blonde highlights put in but I have so many that my hair is almost all blond.

So I am thinking that buying hair color in a light shade that kind of matches the highlights would work. I know that I can get some good deals on hair color using coupons. I have also seen hair color on clearance at my local drugstores. But then again I wonder if it really wouldn’t look as good as the highlights do. 

I would then only have to pay for a haircut. Hubby used to cut my hair for me and he did as good a job as most hairdressers. But ever since he developed back issues, he does not want to do it because the standing for any length of time puts him in major pain. There is no way that I would even attempt to cut my own hair. 

So help me with this dilemma that has been eating at me for a very long time. Do you go to the salon or do your own hair? Is the salon worth the price? What do you think? Is it a luxury that is worth paying for? It is so expensive that it nags at me that I should be spending that money on something else or investing it.  

38 replies on “Bare Bones: A Dilemma”

I get my hair cut and colored every 5-6 weeks. I work hard and am VERY frugal. This is really the only luxury that I allow for myself. I too feel guilt every time, but I don't waste in other areas so that I can have this one treat.

We have plenty of money Cheryl.That is not the point. I just don't want to have to take money from savings and investments for the large bills we have coming up. It is not a good time to take money out of the stock market. I have been prudently saving up our money in the checking account the last couple of months to pay these bills. I think I will be able to do it. It will be tight but I think it will work. I do need the haircut so I am going tomorrow.

Just a thought, why don't you try coloring it yourself again, and see how it turns out? It will probably look okay, but then you can better decide if you would rather spend the money to have it professionally done. I just go every couple of months to have my hair cut at a discount place, $14 plus tip. I don't have much grey yet, so I don't plan on coloring my hair when it does turn grey. But you are really good with your money, and if it is a high priority for you, then spend it without guilt.

Thanks Deb. I do feel guilty about it. I am going tomorrow and then I will think about it. My hair is a dirty blond gray. It is not a nice salt and pepper. So there is no way that I am going gray.

Hi AD, this is Chris. I personally have never colored my hair, but my hair looks ok without it. Even after my cancer treatments, when my hair grew back in, I just went with it. It has ended up a nice salt and pepper. I also have nice, thick hair that is easy to work with if I keep it short and have a hair cut that I can just comb and go. I go to a local Great Clips, where the hairdressers have done a good job. They had been recommended to me by my daughter's mother in law, who also has short hair in an attractive cut.

My thoughts to you are: 1. If you have a hairdresser you really like, and s/he does a good job, I would stick with them. 2. I don't know the texture of your hair, or much about hair coloring, but maybe consider going without the color and highlights to see if your hair looks nice without them. You can always go back to the color/highlights if you don't like what your hair looks like.

I don't think there is a right/wrong answer to this. I guess I never wanted to spend the $$ for coloring, so I never did it. I did used
to get perms when they were "in" in the '80s, so have spent some serious $$ at times on my hair. I will be interested to see what you decide to do. A woman's hairstyle is different than just cutting hubby's hair with the clippers, I think, and is something that needs to be done.

Hi Chris,
You are lucky to have a nice salt and pepper. Thanks for your $ .02. I appreciate it. My hair is a dirty gray. Just awful. I am going tommorrow.

Treat yourself. Once I started with highlight/low lights I said I would never color my hair by myself again. I save in many other ways. A treat now and then just for me is so worth it! Lynne

Here's my $.02 – it depends. I personally don't color my hair (it's going gray, but my hair is a light brown/blonde, so it's coming in just as ashy). I don't like it, but I also don't want to do anything about it because of the maintenance. I get my hair cut about 2x/year. Today happens to be the day.

So, my recommendation is to either stop coloring it altogether, or to pay to have it done if you've tried & failed on your own.

If you have such a good relationship with your current hairdresser and if she is as frugal as you say she is, you can ask her (as anyone can ask their hairdresser) for the formula she uses on your hair. She should also tell you what brand she uses and you can buy the same brand direct from any wholesaler that sells the same dyes. A good hairdresser will give this information to their client regardless. If they don't, move on.
No salon is worth the price IMHO.
You always fare better when you DIY.
How does your hairdresser apply the dye to your head? Can you follow what they do? No one could have been a better teacher. My hairdresser used to massage the dye into my head. Easy to duplicate at home.
If you do decide to buy your own dye, don't go cheap. You don't need to overprocess or destroy your hair with cheap garbage. I prefer L'Oreal.
If you're not happy with husband's cutting, go to a chain, such as Super Cuts, etc. I don't know your age but a senior discount or a $1 off coupon can get a cut down to $16. I tip $4, making it an easy twenty bucks.
Good luck.

Thanks for sharing. My hairdresser would tell me and I think I could do what she does. I am happy with Hubby;s haircuts bur he can no longer do it because of his back.

Absolutely go and get everything done!!!! You are not destitute. We save so we can spend on what we need and what makes us feel good, like a good hairstyle. There is NO need to not go and get everything done. You save in other areas.

Spend the money and have the professional do your hair! No guilt allowed! Being frugal in other places allows you this choice. You will feel better about yourself if it is done right. Plus, sounds like you are supporting a small businesswoman! My two cents!

I have never dyed my hair and have it cut in a pixie style every 5 weeks. Have you ever considered not dyeing it? Otherwise,I would just consider what you're doing a little luxury and enjoy it. As long as you can afford it, I don't see any harm in having a small, but important to you, indulgence.

Hi Carole,

I guess I am worth it. My gray hair is not a pretty gray. It is a dirty blond or orangey gray. I feel better about going tomorrow.

I would go once or twice a year and then do root touch ups where the roots showed. I am lucky now as my Lil sis was a hairdresser in a former life and does a great job on my hair!

My hair grows very fast. I get brown low lights every eight weeks. They blend very well with my blonde/grey natural hair. I am very pleased and would never consider attempting to do it myself. My stylist is a miracle worker! I live in a very small town in Tennessee and it costs $80 plus tip. This includes a haircut. Four weeks after the low lights, I get a $20 haircut. You are very frugal in other aspects of your life. We all deserve a treat now and then. I say go to the salon and enjoy!

Thanks Gayle. I'm going. Mine costs me $125. plus tip if I get the works. A haircut alone would be $40.+ tax. I am very frugal so I probably do deserve this little luxury.

It's so hard to find a good hairdresser. Keep your appointment. The salon coloring and highlights are so much better than what you buy off the shelf. Some things you just need to pay for and your hair is one of them. Maggie

Keep your appt! Whats the point of being frugal if you can't treat yourself to something you truly enjoy?
BTW, I just get a haircut every 6-8 weeks because I have very light blonde, thin and stick straight hair that's turning a pretty silver grey like my mom's.

I do my own hair because i dont have the patience to sit for long. I think you should keep your appointment, its not so much a luxury as a service. You wouldnt go out and fix your own electric if you didnt know how to do it, you would call in a professional. I feel like this is the same situation.

Sorry your husband has developed such back pain. My hair reaches past my elbows and I take a seat on the stool and get caped for my bimonthly haircuts. My husband sections and pins up my hair, he lets it down in about 1/2” increments and then he sits on a chair so he can be at eye level to cut my hair. He does an excellent job, better than any salon stylist I had ever gone to. He colors my hair with henna, but that requires him to be standing the full time though. I would be upset to lose him as my stylist/colorist. I fully understand that you do what you can, but for things that you cannot, you need to pay someone. At that point, you need to do your research and get the best value for your money.

Thanks Keri. Hubby has suffered for a number of years with severe pain.

Your Hubby is talented! My Hubby was too but it is just too much for him. I miss Hubby being able to cut my hair. I did go and get it cut.

have him sit on a stool and you in chair or him sit in on a chair and you on short stool like a foot stool. I cut on my hair for four days,
Now, six weeks later, new hairdresser said I layered it cut the bottom just right!

Hi hun, My husband has always coloured my hair since I was 30 and the gray hairs began.I am now 55 and it is now normal for me. I cut my own hair – it is long and I just take off a few inches every few months. I am lucky that my hair is naturally curly so it is very forgiving. My advise would be to colour and cut your own hair.If it goes wrong you can always goto your hairdresser.You will be surprised how much money you will save. *hugs* goldensunflowerx

I have always seen being frugal as a way to spend money on what I want. You go to this hairdresser, and cut costs in other places. Hair is a very personal thing.

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