The trials of saving money – hairdresser edition

Fifteen months ago I decided to go part time at work and dropped to 4 days. I’ve never been good with money but could just about manage the change. However with no pay increase but a hike in both general utility bills and pension contributions (a big civil servant woe) and Christmas I’m now feeling the pinch and have been looking at cost saving measures.

My monthly bus pass was easy enough by switching to the deal my employer has with the bus company I’ll be £13 a month better off. Then I made the decision after a decade of loyalty to swap hairdressers. This will save me £156 a year which is a lot of money when you’re skint.

After today I can see where the extra money goes into where the more expensive one is concerned. With my old hairdresser I would be greeted at the door, given a cup of tea and had a little chat while I waited. For the new lady it was obvious that her bread and butter customers were older ladies wanting wash and blow dries. I was stuck in the middle of a blue rinse production line. And no offer of tea at any point.

The whole thing felt very rushed. However checking afterwards I was actually in the same amount of time. It would seem that the smaller venue, lack of chit chat and endless supply of old lady rinses.

The old hairdressers would lovingly apply the hair dye, the new one slapped it on at a pace that Lewis Hamilton would be proud of. I then had to have most of my face washed down to get rid of the slap dashed dye. I looked a bit like a child left alone with the paint (my hair is red). Old hairdressers would then give gentle massages while washing out the dye that left you relaxed for hours afterwards. New one was scrubbing dirty clothes on a washboard. I’m still getting the cricks out of my neck.

Then came the cutting. Old hairdresser had this little plastic mat that she draped across my shoulders and cut accordingly using the measurements on it. This new woman….well hacked. I was quite frankly terrified. Very little checking for evenness. Just …whooomph chop it off. She also has a very different opinion of what is an inch to the old hairdresser.

Old one would generally cut half an inch then work her way up. The end result was often that it was longer than I would have liked but had got bored and just agreed it was ok so I could go home. New hairdresser started at nearly 2 inches and kept going! Yep truly terrifying. On the positive side it’s now a short length I haven’t had in about 4 years but liked.

My fringe is a different matter. I’ve not had one in about 5 years and only recently had it put back in. Old hairdresser as always cut it too long so it grew out very fast and as I’ve not had any money to cut it in the last few months went back to pushing it to the side. New hairdresser went with hold up hair, hack, then hack a bit more to even it up then get out the softening scissors (whatever they are) to chop even more off. The last time my fringe was this short was when my mum used to cut it with the pudding bowl for guidance.

I’ve had a play with it since and a bit of styling wax and the hair straighteners and its slightly more preferable but I am going to wish before I go to sleep that it grows fast.

So was it worth it? It’s easy to see how in a posh salon they have the time to give extra customer service and you pay extra for that and I loved it while it lasted. The smaller salons do what they need to survive and some things get lost with that. But she was nice and apart from my fringe I don’t really have any complaints (except for the tea! I really wanted a brew) and at a saving of £156 a year it I can cope with a few less creature comforts.


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