Monday, August 31, 2009

When is an Expensive Haircut a Bargain?

Let's get one thing clear here... just because I am the Bargain Queen does NOT mean that I like things that are cheaply made or of low quality. Being the Bargain Queen means that I know a bargain when I see one. Getting a cheap haircut that only looks good when you leave the salon and needs to be recut after just a few weeks is NOT a bargain.

Here is the way that you determine if your hair cut is a bargain. Take the amount that you paid for your cut and divide that by the number of days that your hair looks good when you get up in the morning. Yes, I said, when you get up in the morning. Not after you blow dry it, fluff it, cover it with a scarf or pull it back in a ponytail.

If your stylist knows their business, your hair will look good as it grows in and even when you first get out of bed in the morning. Yes, it will be a bit mussed, but it shouldn’t take a shelf full of hair products and tools to make it presentable.

So, let’s take my math formula and try it out. Let’s say you get a $30 cut. It looks good the day you get the cut. It looks OK for the next week. Then, it starts to get a little weird. You pull it back. Add some gel and some hair clips. About four weeks after you got the cut, you feel you need to go to the salon again. So, this cut lasted 30 days. Cost of the cut? A dollar a day.

Now, let’s say that you get a cut for $135. The cut looks great the day you get the cut. It continues to look really good for six months; even while it is growing in. So, that’s $135 into 180 days. That cut only cost you 75cents a day. The expensive cut was actually cheaper. But in fact, the “expensive” cut is even cheaper than that because you didn’t have to spend the extra time or the money it would have taken you to get to the stylist five additional times.

Personally, if my hair doesn’t look good in the morning when I look in the mirror, my whole day starts on a downer. Hey, that’s me. No matter how bad things are, if my hair looks good, I’m starting out in a good mood.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get a good haircut (one that looks great at the beginning and continues to look great as it grows in) for a low price. It just means that after many, many years of looking, I’ve never found a good “cheap” haircut that ended up being cost effective.

Now I am going to give a huge shout out to an amazing stylist that has gone above and beyond to make sure that I have my great cuts. His name is Michael Lanza. You can reach him at

His cuts are not cheap (cost around $135) … but they ARE a bargain. Michael lives in the New York City area, but travels to Los Angeles often. For the right price, he’ll come to you… wherever you are.

When I was moving across the country, he traveled to another state to meet up with me on my cross country journey because I told him that I couldn’t bear to start “a new life” with a bad haircut.

So, the next time you are trying to figure out whether to get the cheap haircut or the more expensive one, make sure that you do the whole math and see what your cheaper haircut is actually costing you.

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