I vividly remember the first and only time my dad gave me a haircut. I was in elementary school, and he got the ambitious idea to save on haircuts by doing them himself. We got a stool and went outside, where he promptly destroyed my social life with a botched bull cut/bowl cut that reminded me of Ursula’s tentacles from The Little Mermaid.
My dad was left in the dust, when I stormed off to seek shelter from follicular destruction. Safety was a sidewalk where I pouted unmercilessly. Dad got the message. From then on, we went to a proper haircut place (Notice I didn’t say salon or barber? Not really sure what to call them). It always had clips in the title: “Sam’s Clips,” “Great Clips,” “Sports Clips.” You get the picture.
The haircuts were always mediocre, but at least they didn’t function as a new wave contraception device. Each time cost about $15-17 after tip. To stay fresh and fly, I would go every two months or so. Conservatively, that came to be about $90 per year — but likely more than that.
It wasn’t until college that I got the brilliantly simple idea of cutting my own hair. After wondering what could possibly be so complex about buzzing off the sides and leaving the top a little longer, I decided to try it out. The first thing I noticed was how inexpensive clippers/buzzers run. You shouldn’t expect to pay more than $20-25 for a complete set, which offers different sized clips, scissors, and sometimes a detailing tool. They require little to no maintenance; albeit, they recommend regularly oiling and cleaning. In one to two haircuts they pay for themselves.
I purchased a Conair set, and began weed-whacking through a bushel of hair. I used a 3 clip around the entirety of my head, which made it impossible to screw up. By the end of it, I had already saved $15, time getting to and from a shop, and had an innate sense of pride in accomplishing it.
It’s been about 4 to 5 years since that fateful haircut. Now, I almost exclusively cut my own hair and/or receive assistance from friends and family. The savings are incredible. If you calculate the it at $90-100 a year (in haircut alone, which doesn’t account for time and transportation costs), I’ve likely kept more than $450 in my pocket since the switch. More money in savings, to invest, and pay off debt — what could be better?
The one major downside is that it’s never perfect. I’m limited in styles and sizes. Cleaning up the little, tiny, microscopic hairs within crevices and in between floor tiles is monotonous. I can’t say I enjoy getting to know the difficulties of cleaning hair off of grout. Alas, these are all but minor inconveniences to the half a grand I’ve saved over the years.
To commemorate my latest haircut, I decided to film it using Instagram’s new app, Hyperlapse. Hope you enjoy and let it inspire you to cut your own hair soon!