It’s almost fall, which means a lot of us are considering a makeover for the new season, or at the very least a refresh of whatever gorgeousness we have going on currently. Here are a few ways to get your bang (or bangs!) for your buck at the salon when you get your fresh new fall ‘do.
1. Shampoo before you go. A lot of salons charge for washing your hair before your cut or color. Use a clarifying shampoo right before you leave the house—and don’t condition or blow dry! Go with wet, clean hair.
2. Skip any extras. Chances are you don’t need a deep conditioning treatment or the like. If your hair is generally healthy, nix it.
3. Don’t buy products at the salon. Pay attention to what your stylist uses on your hair. If you really want to splurge, you can probably get it cheaper online than you can at the salon.
4. Get bayalage. If you want highlights, these are easiest to grow out and won’t look sloppy after a month. No roots mean many fewer touchups.
5. Go darker, not lighter. Dyeing your hair darker means less damage and less noticeable roots (unless you’re a blonde going black), and you can skip ammonia, which means your hair will be healthier and shinier with less product.
7. Go to a junior stylist. A “master stylist” charges a lot more. If you’re picky, have a master stylist do your cut the first time, and see a junior stylist for any trims afterward.
8. Go to a beauty school. They may cut your hair for free! Just be sure to tip.
9. Time your visits right. Wedding season, prom season, and the holiday season are all likely to be more expensive and trickier to book.
10. Get a low maintenance cut. The less products and tools your cut requires, the less you need to run back to the salon (and spend on sprays, gels, etc.).
11. Spread your visits out. If your hair isn’t high maintenance, you can go 10-12 weeks without a trip to the salon, saving you a lot of money throughout the year.
12. Ask for a root touch up kit. If your color doesn’t come in a box at a drugstore, ask your stylist if she can send you home with a small sample to touch up your roots.
13. Get a dusting or bang trim. These are usually free or super cheap—they’re only cutting off less than 1/4 inch of hair to freshen the cut, which can save you a full-fledged visit.
14. Know when to tip. If your appointment is with a salon owner, you don’t have to tip! Just give $5-$10 to any assistants (shampoo girls, etc.) who help out.
15. Find a salon with a rewards program. Some offer loyalty cards that earn points per visit, others give coupons or bonuses if you refer a friend.