Thursday, February 28, 2008

Beauty and the Frugalite: At-Home Haircuts

For years I have cut my husband's hair at home. We have a trimmer with all the attachments that we bought for about $20 and has served us well over time. My husband used to do the simple #1 buzz cut all over, but then switched to a two-length fade. It took a little adjustment, but I figured it out and can do it pretty well now.

Much more risky, however, is cutting my hair. His hair is so short that in a week or so any errors will be erased. My hair is a little more complicated. It's fairly straight, and I like to wear it between chin- and shoulder-length. It sounds simple, but cutting it is definitely more involved than buzzing his melon.

The last time I cut my hair was in May 2007. I try not to spend money on myself very much to keep within our budget and throw more at the debt, and regular haircuts have never been my specialty. Recently, my hair has been bothering me - it was too long and lifeless, and it took forever to blow dry. So I did something adventurous - I asked my husband to cut my hair for me.

He cut my hair once before, and it turned out pretty good. Or at least I thought it did until I went to a salon and they asked me if I had cut it myself. Oops, I didn't think it was that obvious. Regardless, I figured I'd give it another go. The budget has been tighter than normal and I was fed up with my hair. It was time to take a risk.

I won't pretend I wasn't nervous. What if it came out crooked? What if he cut off too much? What if he slipped and poked me in the eye with the scissors? But in the end, I trusted my husband to do a good job. We went for a simple cut, no angles or layers and soon the floor looked like this:

Yipes! That's a lot of hair! He cut off about 4 inches, and I am loving the new 'do. If you want to try this at home, I recommend:

  • Sharp hair scissors - no paper shears, they can fray you into split-endsville
  • Comb - all we had was a brush and my ears suffered for it
  • Towel to wrap around your shoulders
  • Trash bag to lay on the floor & catch the cuttings
  • Steady hand
  • Sharp eyes
  • Hand held mirror to check out the back
My coworkers think I'm crazy to let my husband near my hair with scissors. Have you or would you ever try this at home?

*Update* Shanti tried it at home the very same day as I did and posted about it too! Great frugal minds think alike!


Shanti said...

I cut my own hair today too! Yay for us ;)

It's the latest post in my blog.

canadian sadie said...

Once, in University, I had my boyfriend cut my hair. I had very long, very straight hair that hung at one length. I was broke and couldn't afford the $10 to go to FirstChoice for a trim. I begged and pleaded with him until he finally agreed to do it. I mean, hard can it be to cut in a straight line?

He ended up giving me $20 afterwards to go get it fixed. I was fine with the cut (only a little bit crooked) but he cried. Needless to say, he would never do it again. *laugh*

I'm glad yours turned out so well!

Canadian Saver said...

I cut my bangs all the time and I asked a friend to cut a bit in the back too. I keep mine pretty short, so I try to stretch the hairdresser trips from 6 weeks to 8 weeks if I can.

Glad it turned out well for you :-)

Beany said...

I've been doing the buzz cut for my husband since we started dating.

I cut my own hair. I don't like anything fancy and wanted to eliminate my twice a year jaunt to super cuts ($20 each trip with tip) so I began cutting my own hair last year.

JvW said...

So I'm NOT the only one! Yay for cutting your own hair!

canadian sadie - LOVE your story, it's too funny :)

mindyvasil said...

I've not tried to let my husband cut my hair yet, (I'm not sure that I could convince him to try it), but I have cut my hair myself. :-)

Rete said...

I've cut my own in the past, before I worked in a semi-professional environment, and not just trims, either. I think it looked pretty good, but I get a little nervous thinking about it now.

debtfretter said...

My hairdresser kept looking at me when I went back to her 6 weeks after attempting to do it myself.
She finally asked me quietly: `I didn't do this cut, did I?'
I think she was just relieved when I told her I'd done it.
It was so embarassing, but oh well, I saved a few bucks and the money stayed in my pocket. I wear my hair up anyway!

Bouncing Back said...

You can also try a beauty school for a once in a while hair cut. I got a pretty decent cut for $20 a few years back.

Michelle in New England said...

Actually I saw this blog on a search looking for new at home techniques. Believe it or not...I have not been to the salon or paid for a haircut in over 20 years. Yes, Hubby is my stylist! He had a prior GF, "What's her name", that was a stylist that taught him to cut her hair. He carried over the know-how to the "right one", the girl friend to be his wife. The first time he mentioned it, I was afraid of having a sheet around my neck getting my hair chopped off by what I had thought was a great guy.
The first time had me nervous, he used a real cape, professional grade, sharp hair shears and a wide tooth comb to comb out my hair. He was gentle, combing it starting from the ends, and moving up. No yanking my head around, like the chain salon. He sectioned it, let it down a little at a time and made sure it was even. He layered the top and sides and once it was blown dry checked it be sure it layed right. I looked in the mirror combed it, brushed it and checked the back with the hand mirror. It was the best haircut I had ever gotten. And it was free! I knew right then I would marry this guy. He still does a great job, and I have too many requests from strangers I meet to share the secret of who my stylist is. When I tell them I had my husband cut it, they think I am holding back on them. He reads up once in a while on techniques I send him. He uses scissors only. He refuses to ever use a razor. It tears the hair and splits the ends. He likes it longer, so it stays well below my shoulders. But it always looks great. Encourage your husband to do it for you. I always reward my husband with a little "extra attention" afterward. So he enjoys the fruits of his labors as well with his amorous wife.

JvW said...

Thank you Michelle! You sound like a very lucky lady. :)

I have moved my blog to its own url (, please come by to check it out!

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