Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Getting a Great Cut

A bit of an intro ... This blog is for people who really care about their hair – maybe even obsess over it a little – but it’s also for those of you who either object to paying hundreds of dollars at the hairdressers every couple of months, or simply can’t afford to do so. It aims to give helpful tips for those of you who enjoy changing their hair often, and often by DIY methods, but still want it to look like you’ve been to the salon. I’ll cover topics from what to ask for at the hairdressers to major DIY colour changes. But let’s start with one thing you should never do yourself – yep, that’s right – never cut your own hair. And, unless you’re a pretty good hairdresser, that also applies to fringes!!!
I have twice previously, during bouts of poverty, attempted this foolish act. My rationale was that I had watched my own hairdressers closely, knew the basics of cutting hair and could see my own fringe in the mirror. But it didn’t quite work out as planned … On one occasion my long, side-swept fringe ended up somewhat lopsided, and you can probably imagine how my attempts to recreate an Audrey Hepburn style ultra short, wispy fringe turned out; especially as my hair tends to bounce up when short. Never again!!
Women’s haircuts can be so expensive – scandalously so when compared with what men pay, sometimes at the same salons. Nevertheless, although I think great savings can be made elsewhere, it is worth paying for a good cut (within reason). Here’s how to get the most for your money:
1) The hairdresser will tell you to get a trim every six to eight weeks, but unless your hair is really quite short, you can get away with much less often than this. If you have long, thick hair and keep it in good condition, you can last as long as six months! It’s still always preferable to get a good shape and style cut into your hair, especially if you have (or need) layers. A good cut will last longer and should still look good as it grows out.
2) If you have a fringe, even a long, side-swept one, ask if they do a free ‘fringe trim’ between cuts. Most good salons offer this service.
3) If you pay good money for a cut and it isn’t what you asked for, you find it hard to style yourself or they don’t cut enough off the bottom or the layers, ring the salon the next day and tell them – they will usually fix it for free.
4) When you make your appointment, make sure you ask about the different price rates for different levels of experience. Unless you have extremely difficult hair or are going for a major style change, there’s no point paying for the most experienced hairdresser in the salon. The ‘art director’ can be almost twice the price of a standard ‘stylist’ at a good suburban salon. This is especially worth bearing in mind if you have a short style for which you only need a regular trim.
5) If your hair doesn’t really need blow-drying, or you are just going home from the hairdressers to lie on the couch, some salons will provide a cut without the blow-dry for a reduced rate.
6) If you are going to get a blow-dry too, then make the most of it! First, watch what your hairdresser does closely and ask about the products and appliances they use. While you may not be able to afford the same brands, you can always look for a cheaper alternative. Secondly, make plans for that night so you can show off your hair while it looks so good. There’s nothing like walking out of a salon with hair that looks so great everyone’s head turns as you walk down the street! The reactions of friends and strangers can do a great deal to compensate for the fact that your partner may not even notice ; )
Get a good cut and then you have a basis on which to make your hair fabulous in all sorts of ways, as we shall see. I will talk more about getting a great cut at the hairdressers in future posts, so stay tuned.

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