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How to Save Big at the Salon and Still Get Great Hair

We all want salon beautiful hair, but the truth is, it can really add up. Here are tips on how to trim the budget and save big without settling for bad hair!

Rachel Gower, owner of the Upper Hand Salon, tells us the best ways to save money and still get great hair.

1. Be loyal. Find a hair dresser and colorist that you love and stick with them. There are so many reasons it's a good idea:

  • Any time you're working with chemicals, colors, and cuts, it's always great for one person to know everything about your hair.
  • You'll get better advice. The person knows you better, knows your lifestyle, and can really assist you better.
  • Salons do extra perks for loyal customers, like free treatments, free bang trims, and sometimes testing new products.
2. Communicate with your stylist! People are often afraid to let their hair dresser know they're on a budget. This is absolute opposite from what your hair dresser wants because if you tell them up front, then it's very clear, and they know exactly what to do to make you happy.

3. Skip the blow dry. If you're coming in every two to four weeks to get a touch up, you don't really need to get a blow dry every single time, unless you're going somewhere special.

How to Save on Hair Color

If you are blonde and less than 20 percent gray: Getting highlights can really add up. You can alternate between full highlights and partial highlights throughout the year. Another way for blondes to save money is to use a service called breaking the base. What this does is allow you to extend the time between highlighting services, so instead of coming in every six weeks, you might be able to extend to every eight to ten weeks. Over the course of the year, this can save you hundreds of dollars.

For blondes with 20 percent or more gray: the coloring process is actually easier because the gray blends with the highlights and you can go longer between appointments.

If you're a brunette with 20% or less gray: You have the easiest job of all. You can get semi-permanent color. Semi-permanent color is great because it adds a color boost and lots of shine, but there's no regrowth line at the scalp. The color washes out over time. So, if you can't make it in, or you're tight on budget, it's no big deal because no one can tell. Also, semi-permanent lasts about 28 shampoos, so unless you wash your hair every single day, this could really last you two or three months.

For brunettes with 20 percent or more gray: The coloring process becomes pricey. If you want to cover the gray, you have to come in more frequently and switch to permanent color, at least at the regrowth line.

To extend the life of the color: Ask about a sealing treatment, use sulfate-free products, and use a drugstore root touch-up product between appointments.

How to Save on Your Haircut

Pick the right style. A lot of hair styles really require a trim every six to eight weeks, but not all of them. A great haircut if you don't have time or money to come into the salon much is a strong-layered haircut (gives strong shape and balance, but grows out looking nice), or a blunt-cut style (straight ends that are chipped into to soften them).

Bangs. One of the things people shy away from if they're on a budget is bangs, but actually bangs are not a big deal if you're on a budget. If you're loyal to your hair dresser, most of them will give you a free bang trim.

How to Save on Hair Products

It's almost always better to care for your color and cut with high quality salon products, However, they can be expensive. The trick is to get the most out of the ones you buy!

Use less. People forget salon products are very concentrated, and it's easy to overuse them. Always start with a small amount first and add more if you feel like you need to.

Use less shampoo. For shampoo, if you want more lather, instead of adding additional shampoo, try adding water and working the product in.

Towel dry thoroughly before applying product. Be sure to towel dry your hair really well. Get the excess moisture out before applying your leave-in products or conditioner. That way the product will absorb into your hair like a sponge and not be diluted.

Use a multi-purpose product. Ask your stylist about multi-purpose products (one product you can use in different ways) or products that will help your style last longer (so you don't have to start fresh and use your products as often).

For more from Rachel, Carrie Winegar or Cory Jagneaux, visit theupperhand.com.
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