beauty

"Ask for a blast dry instead." 6 ways to slash the cost of your next hair appointment.

Desperate to book in for a post-iso chop, colour and style?

Unless you bought early shares in Zoom, you’re likely to be feeling the pinch – and though it’s important to support local businesses during this time, spending big on something that lasts just six weeks isn’t ideal.

But don’t stress, there are ways to significantly lower your salon bill while still giving your hair the expert treatment it craves. Before you book your next hair appointment, read these cost-cutting tips.

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Save on your blow-dry.

There’s nothing quite like a bouncy, glossy blow-out, but it’s an expensive luxury if you’re going home to pull on your trackies. Unless I have scheduled my hair appointment to align with a special occasion, I mention when booking that I’ll be wanting a blast dry (sometimes called a rough dry) instead of a blow dry. Salons often charge upwards of $50 for a styled blow-out, it takes time and skill, and this equals money out of your pocket.

Skip the conditioning treatment.

If you colour your hair or regularly use heat styling tools, your hairdresser might suggest an in-salon conditioning treatment to nourish those dull ends. Add-ons like a professional mask can cost you anywhere from $20 to upwards of $100. Keep the costs down by staying on top of your hair health in between salons visits with an at-home mask applied weekly.

For colour-treated hair, a protein mask such as Olaplex No3 Hair Perfector, will strengthen strands. While an oil-based mask like John Frieda Detox & Repair Masque with Avocado Oil + Green Tea will inject moisture and shine to dry and brittle lengths.

Ask for a quote.

It’s perfectly appropriate to ask your hairdresser for a quote after they’ve consulted with you on your colour or cut. For some salons, presenting a client with a quote for their appointment is standard practise.

This gives you the opportunity to assess the price and discuss with your hairdresser if it exceeds your budget. They will then suggest alternative options keeping in mind the result you’re after.

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Choose a smarter cut.

Precision styles such as cropped pixie cuts and fringes might be on trend, but they’ll have you returning to the salon every four weeks to trim back into shape (something to think about as you file screen grabs of Marianne’s bangs). If you want a style that will continue to look polished even as it grows out, a bob with clean, blunt ends will give you longevity.

As your hair inches towards your shoulders it will transform into a lob and even further to a grown-out lob, as seen on celebrities like Emma Roberts. Avoid chopping in too many layers, as without regular trimming, these can become wispy, frayed and shaggy over time.

 

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Spend only where it matters.

If you’re booking in for both a colour treatment and a cut, weigh up which of these is the most important to you, and save on the other. For example, as more and more silvery strands appear in my part, a lasting dye job from a seasoned colourist (who knows how my hair handles dye) is where I prefer to spend my money.

Whereas, for my cut, which is never anything drastic, I’ll seek out a more budget-friendly salon or request for the salon apprentice to do it. Although I have to book two separate appointments, I save over $100 with each cut. Just remember, if you visit two different salons, have your hair cut before your colour.

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Cost-saving colour.

Keeping up with permanent colour, bleach or highlights on the roots is expensive. Your dye-job will look fresh for four weeks, at which point the new hair grows in creating a defined strip of natural colour at your parting.

Luckily for blondes, the current trend encourages flaunting shadowy, virgin-hair roots, rather than colouring them. Take note of Margot Robbie, Florence Pugh or Sienna Miller’s cool, lived-in colour then cancel that rolling, 6-week appointment.

 

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If greys are your concern, ask your hairdresser for more cost-effective options than returning every four weeks to conceal them with a permanent treatment. Some colour techniques can help soften the appearance of greys, such as blending with lowlights, and can cut down the frequency of your salon visits.

Additionally, semi-permanent or slightly longer lasting demi-permanent colour treatments (great options for brunettes, reds or darker manes) will fade gradually and evenly over six to eight weeks, making it not so noticeable if you’re a few weeks overdue for a colour refresh.

If you want to lighten your hair, highlights placed under the top layer of hair (often called peekaboo highlights) will give you dimension and a natural-looking colour plus the flexibility to go months without having to visit the salon to have them retouched.

 

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Lastly, it’s good to remember that the more you wash your hair the faster your colour will fade and lose its lustre. So, embrace dry shampoo, slicked buns and distracting headbands. And when you do wash your hair, be sure to avoid shampoos with colour-stripping agents such as sulfates.

Bettina Tyrrell is a beauty editor and lifestyle writer based in Sydney. For more from Bettina, follow her on Instagram.

Feature image: Getty.

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