Posts Tagged ‘Beauty’

Day 8: Open Your Own Beauty Shop

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about ways that you can save in the beauty department. Every family is different, but for me it has always been about keeping us all cute, with as little maintenance as possible, for the least amount of money. This might sound funny, but I don’t really know of another way to explain it.

I don’t have bangs and I don’t have a cute layered haircut. Instead, I have no bangs (no routine cutting of bangs) and I keep my hair a little longer so I can go longer between cuts. I don’t highlight my hair because it so dark and the color moves so quickly that I look rather trashy after just a few weeks time. I instead do an all over color that I purchase from the drugstore and hope for the best.

My hair is not trendy, but I opt for a classic haircut that requires little maintenance on our part. It is a choice that I made for financial reasons and, with two rowdy kids, I don’t get to enjoy sitting in the hairdresser’s chair as much as I used to. We are too busy and I have little time without the kids being with me during the weekdays.

I am applying the same principles to our daughter’s hair. We are currently in the ugly stage of long bangs, but I know that all of the hard work and pretty clips that I have made to cover up the in-between stages will pay off and we will be enjoying the same low maintenance haircuts for her. When she is a teenager, the story might be a little bit different, but we have many years to go before that time.

As for the boys in our family, I invested in a pair of clippers from the drugstore and I am planning to invest in a good pair of scissors from our local beauty supply store. With these investments, I am able to pay for them after just two haircuts and we will have many years of haircutting out of them.

I admit that the first time I cut my husband’s hair that it took forever and I was sweating it out the entire time. If I messed up my son’s hair, it would not be as stressful because he is a child and hair grows quickly. My husband, on the other hand, is a professional working at a job where I want him to look good and feel good about himself. To mess up his hair would have been a travesty for me and for him.

We did survive the first haircut and I have never looked back. The benefit of learning to do this yourself is that it is convenient and you can always have your spouse looking sharp. Reunions, weddings, and special occasions happen and he can always look good because I can give him a great hair cut myself.

I highly recommend, if you cut your husbands hair, to talk to him like his hairdresser would. I cover my husband up with the cape and then I say things like, “Wow, I heard your wife was a total witch this week. I am so sorry to hear that.” It just makes it a little more fun and takes away some of that nervousness in the beginning.

If you aren’t brave enough to do the cutting yourself, there are other options out there that can save you money. Beauty schools, for example, offer very inexpensive beauty services because they are schooling their students on learning how to do haircuts and beauty treatments. Similarly, some of the more elite salons require their own additional training and can offer beauty services to their clients for a fraction of the price. You can score really great deals on colorings, waxing, haircuts, and facial services.

If you chose this option though, make sure to give yourself plenty of time for the appointment. These folks are in training so they are not going to move at the quick speed that your regular hairdresser works. They will need their supervisors to check the cuts as they are being made and this usually takes quite some time because the supervisor is monitoring many stylists, not just your own personal haircut. There are great savings in the waiting and it can be a great way to get a more professional haircut without the big price tag.

Just because you aren’t going to a salon doesn’t mean you have to give up the good life. Here are some other things that I do to save money in the beauty department, but provide the pampering pleasure I deserve:
I make my own brown sugar scrub and use this once a week. It works just as good as the pricey exfoliates, but costs pennies. In this recipe, I have subbed extra virgin olive oil for the almond oil (just because we already have it). I have also added lavender essential oils to make it smell more soothing.
I soak my feet weekly and have a little container of all the goodies I need to do a pedicure. In my container are Wet & Wild nail polishes (purchased for about a buck each), a base coat, a top coat, a file, a pumice stone, a small nail brush, and foot lotion. Almost everything can be bought at the dollar store. You can soak your feet in a dish tub or you could soak them in a an appliance made for these occasions. I add 1/2 cup Epsom salts to the water and 1-2 teaspoons of the lavender essentials to soak them in. I try and do this every Friday as my weekly treat to myself.
Make your own hand scrubs to treat yourself after doing the dinner dishes. I usually just drizzle a little olive oil on my hands and add a teaspoon of salt. Scrub gently for a minute or so and then give your hands a rinse and pat dry. When I get a chance though, I am planning to try out this recipe because it sounds wonderful. If it turns out, it would make a great Christmas or birthday gift in a pretty tin.
I try to do a mask once a week on my face. I have plenty of masks leftover from my beauty store junkie days, but this recipe sounds like a keeper for when I run out.
You can deep condition your hair weekly. I use the Suave hot oil treatments on my hair or you can try making your own deep conditioner.
The important thing to remember is that just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean that you have to give up these great things in life. I can pretend to be a lady of leisure who enjoys a weekly pampering, but I don’t have the credit card statements that go along with it.
You are worth it and your wallet is worth the savings!

Potential Monthly Savings:
$60 or more

Related Readings:
Sound Off: What are some beauty treatments you have tried at home?

Overcoming My Fears: Cutting Hair

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007


I think I should just start a series on all of the things that I am learning to do that I was afraid to do. I certainly have enough entries on here to create a series: fear of working with dough, fear of gardening, fear of mowing, and now fear of cutting hair.

I hate to pay for hair cuts and had invested in buying a pair of clippers to do our son’s hair and my husband’s. I tried doing it once and just was too nervous and scared that I would mess their hair up to have done a good job. After attempting this a few times, I usually ended up taking our son over to a Super Cuts to correct my tedious and bad hair cuts. Just taking him over there instead of messing with it at home seemed to save me the time and hassle of attempting it myself.

We had been having my sister-in-law come over to help cut the boys hair and I would make dinner for her. It was a nice arrangement, but she is such a busy person that I felt a little guilty taking advantage of her free time. I still will have her do it, when she is available, but I wanted to learn how to do it myself so we could be more self-sufficient. I could also take advantage of the times when my son was in a good mood or when we had somewhere to go (pictures, family get togethers, etc..) where I wanted him to look his best.

I checked out a book entitled, “Cutting Your Family’s Hair” and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is trying to learn how to do their own haircuts. The book offered a picture (not a drawing!) tutorial on step-by-step instructions for hair cutting. It also offered a listing of basic tools you would need to get the job done.

The tools that were suggested in the book were a good quality pair of scissors (purchased from your local beauty supply store), a comb, a cape & towel (the cape can be purchased at your beauty supply store), a spray bottle of water, & a pair of clippers. My personal addition to this list is a booster seat to get your child at the right height needed to cut their hair well.

For a basic clipper cut the instructions were:

1. Set clippers at a low setting. Begin at back, cutting hair short. (For my husband and son, I used a number three, to make sure it wasn’t too close or too long- it worked well).

2. Use a comb to pull up the hair and move the clippers across the comb to cut the hair.

3. Continue up the back. Stop 3-4″ from the crown.

4. Move to the sides, using the clippers to trim the hair above the ears.

5. Continue clipping up the sides 2-3″. Leave the top hair to be cut with the scissors. Move around to the back, being sure all the clipped hair is the same length.

6. Cut hair at top back, pulling out hair with your fingers and cutting it to a one-finger length.

7. At sides just above clipper cut area, use a comb to pull out hair and cut (A one finger length is too long at the sides).

8. Cut the top guide line to the desired length, beginning at the crown. Here, it’s cut to a one-finger length. Cut all hair then to this length.

9. Blend the hair that was cut with the clippers with the top hair, using scissors and a comb.

10. Comb front hair forward and trim.

11. Trim across the bottom of the back with clippers.

12. Use clippers to trim sideburns.

13. Hold ears forward and use clippers to tidy up behind the ears.

Although it is hard to go by the written instructions alone, it does give you a better idea of how the pros do it. I found the pictures to also be a great reference for me and it helped make me feel more comfortable doing it.

I did both Ryan & Ethan’s haircuts this weekend and they turned out really well. I “practiced” first on my husband because I felt like I could really take my time and figure everything out. This is something I couldn’t do with an energetic four year old who kept saying during his haircut, “Are we done yet? Are we done now? How about now? And now?” I took my time with Ryan and made sure I felt comfortable with everything and then did our son’s hair after that. I must say, both of their haircuts turned out really well and I am really proud of myself for attempting something that is definitely outside of my box.

While I wouldn’t be up to cutting my own hair, I did pick a low-maintenance style that allows me to go less frequently and I do color my hair at home to save myself quite a bit of money for the family. I also try to do weekly pedicures as a special beauty treat for myself. These savings alone are probably in the fifty-sixty dollar range monthly.

Do you do any of your own beauty treatments at home? How do you save your family money in this category of your spending?