Do It Yourself 2 – Cutting Hair

It’s time for another post in my DIY series, this time about cutting your hair. As a brief overview, this series is where I look at different do-it-yourself solutions to save money, or in some cases, don’t save you money. An example I’ve used in the past is cooking. I like to try new things and learn stuff. If I can save money at the same time and it’s not too much heartache, that’s just a bonus.

What did I do in the Past

So before cutting my hair in April, I’d never done it. Either my mom cut it for me or I went to a barber. Moving halfway across the country made the former rather difficult, so my options were to learn how to cut my hair or to go to a barber. One of these will cost me another $20 a piece on a, as far as hair goes, fairly simple job.

I guess we should also go over what I do with my hair. I try to keep my hair short on the sides and a little longer on top. I then let it grow out until it starts to annoy me, usually, this is when it starts to cover my ears or gets too long in the back. Then I trim it back and let it grow out again. Usually, this cycle takes about 6 months. According to this article, I go quite a bit longer than most men. I liked that this post considered the length of your hair in its suggested times rather than just a simple time for all lengths.

How’d it go this time?

So, for the first time cutting my hair, it didn’t go too bad. I just went with the same length all around to try and avoid having to figure out blending. We’re taking things one step at a time here. There were a few places in the back that were hard to get but I figured out a system that worked and I’ll employ going into the future. Overall, I’ve had worse haircuts and this one doesn’t look terrible.

I’ll need some practice, but we all have to start somewhere. Next, I’ll probably work on either getting a cleaner transition in the back or blending on the sides. YouTube is a hell of a great place to find resources. Overall I don’t think it was all that hard for the admittedly fairly simple hack job I did.

Cost of haircuts

So before I moved my usual haircut would cost about $25 at a local barbershop with the tip. I found $28 from this source as a national average for men’s haircuts although I doubt that is a comprehensive study and is years out of date at this point. This article gave $43 as an average and is from only about a month out of date, so I’d say much more reliable. Either way, the price doesn’t matter too much.

By contrast, my clippers cost about $25 and just plug into a wall socket.

If we go with my estimate from when I got haircuts I’ve already broken even, maybe even saved money if you go with the higher number. When I next cut my hair I’ll have started to save money. Overall it’s not a lot, maybe $50 a year.

Would I Recommend it?

If you’re like me and the extent of what you have done when you go to the barber is a simple trim I’d say it’s worth it. I stood on my porch for maybe 15 minutes to get the majority of the hair taken care of then did the rest over my sink where I could use a mirror to better see what I was doing. Sure there are some things I could do better and plan to work on those going forwards so maybe it’ll take a bit longer next time. Overall I’d say it’s a low time commitment to save a small amount of money, but it’s also less than a percentage point of my overall savings.

If you crunch it out in terms of my actual salary, it’s about the same as what I get paid if you convert my salary to hourly.

If you’re someone who gets any degree of styling done I’d probably suggest you continue to go to the barber. You could tell that my cut wasn’t done by someone who was a trained professional and what I do with my hair is simple. I think doing anything that resembles style would be a lot harder to do yourself. Although I’m sure with practice someone could learn how to style it themselves and save much more money than I am. If I had more sophisticated equipment you might also be able to do some of the more complicated stuff by yourself. I’m not saying it’s impossible, it just probably has a higher cost, difficulty, and time commitment than what I usually do.

Conclusion

All in all, I thought cutting my hair was pretty easy, but I also don’t do much with it. There’s some stuff I need to work on improving skill-wise when it comes to cutting my hair, but that’s more of a practice thing. For me, it’s low time commitment and low savings.

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