In praise of the $17 haircut

I’ll admit it: I’m relatively high maintenance when it comes to my hair. I rarely get it cut (mayyyybe 3 times a year) but when I do, I spend quite a bit. You know. Cut, color, highlights…$200 later and I’m walking out of a semi-posh salon with a semi-decent look. It’s all good.

However, this past week, in light of rising gas prices and cost of food, I decided to skip the fancy salon this time. That’s right. I’m v economical, after all! V thrifty.

I marched into my local Hair Masters feeling bold and empowered. giphy4
I’ll save money! Why have I been wasting it in the first place? This will be fantastic! Once inside the shop, I take a quick peek at my surroundings. Three men with little-to-no hair sit in tiny chairs, sardined together uncomfortably, waiting for their names to be called. Where are all of the 40-something moms in their designer jeans and tops they bought in the Juniors section? Hmm. Okayfine. I sashay up to the cashier and ask about the wait. Fifteen minutes. I sign my name on the sign-in sheet. The cashier goes to grab the sheet and drops it – clipboard and all – near my feet. Instead of apologizing, I realize she isn’t about to come around the counter to pick it up – oh! I’m supposed to pick it up. Got it! Here you go. Cool, no problem.

Realizing there’s nowhere to sit, I decide to feign interest in the nail colors and those fake nail-y thingies with all the different polish colors on them. Finally, one of the men in the waiting area is called, and I hear him say “buzz cut” on his way to the stylist’s chair. I notice another guy getting a razor cut as well. I wonder whether the personnel are perhaps familiar with styles outside of ‘military chic.’ I visualize myself with Demi-Moore-as-GI-Jane hair.

Uhm.

I still have time to bag this whole idea! I could just run out the door, no harm, no foul! I eye the door, but remembering how irritated I am with my current hairstyle, decide I’m being ridiculous and plop down with People magazine until my name is called.

I look up when I hear my name. Gulp. My stylist is a tiny woman with a giant brassy orange afro. It was all very clown/tree/cauliflower-like. English was also not her first language, but…that’s okay. I’m sure she knows what she’s doing! This will be fine. I’m sure she knows what looks good! Totally! They don’t just let anyone cut hair! She’s clearly trained in the latest trends!

We head to her chair, where I explain I’d like a few inches cut off, and more layers…and more bangs. She points to a hairstyle magazine near my chair and asks me to find a picture. I get that gurgly, lactose intolerant feeling in my stomach. Welp, this cannot be great.

I flip through the magazine until I find something similar to what I’d like and tell her I’d like this, but a bit longer. She peeks at it for .0002 seconds, says, “okay,” and starts cutting.

Eleven seconds later, half my hair is on the floor.

giphy1

I panic. What am I to do? Tell her to stop? She’s almost done already! Cripes! She’s like a tilt-a-whirl in there…Edward Scissorhands is cutting my hair.
giphy3 I succumb to my fate and immediately begin brainstorming shops where I could find a nice hat. A swooping, gauzy scarf. A wig. Snap-in extensions. Help.

Trying to avoid looking in the mirror, I check out the counter area nearby. No fancy espresso drinks and sparkling water here — Hair Masters instead offers a delightful assortment of Lipton tea, Taster’s Choice and Coffeemate. Teehee. Sigh.

“Do you want me to style?”

Huh? I look up. She’s done! In all of 5 minutes’ time, this woman has completely rejiggered my hair. Sure, yes, please style my hair. A few minutes later, after blowdrying and flat ironing, it’s done.

And…it’s perfect. It’s exactly what I wanted. Only better!

giphy2
I thank my stylist for her awesome work and I head up to the cashier, a bounce in my step, a sass in my frass, etc etc. “That’ll be seventeen dollars,” she says. Seventeen dollars?!? Considering that’s what I normally pay JUST FOR A TIP, I was floored!! I tipped my stylist profusely. This was the best haircut I’ve had in years. I’m shocked…and so very proud of myself, and of cauliflower head!

So, for anyone else out there who considers themselves a bit of a hair-snob, I urge you to consider the $17 Hair Masters cut. Save your hard-earned money for something else, swallow your pride, and get yourself a cheapo haircut. With the money you save, you can thank me with a Starbucks double-shot on ice. Hey, I’m not giving up ALL of my indulgences…!
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5 thoughts on “In praise of the $17 haircut

  1. Lisa says:

    The best haircut I ever got…ever…was exactly what you describe. It was in a Fantastic Sam’s in the front of the Wal-Mart of all places. I had an even to go to that night and had neglected to make an appointment. It was during the Christmas season so everyone was booked and this was, literally, the only place that could take me. I was scared to death. It took her 15 minutes and it was the best haircut I had gotten in ages.

    • That’s awesome! I feel bad because a friend of mine read my blog and went to a Supercuts and got a terrible haircut. Hah! I suppose it’s sort of luck of the draw, huh?? 🙂

  2. Beezus says:

    i can soooo relate… went to supercuts because hey, my pockets were financially challenged… i was desperate because i was already looking like a wildabeast…i was nervous at first and had flashbacks when my mom took me to edie adams hairstyling (complete nightmare- *shudders at the thought*) as a kid… when i say it came out all bad… believe me… it was… can you picture an afro mullet… anyhow, i decded to take my chances. went to supercuts and the lady cut my hair and i was amazed that she did a fab job. it was worth the $17 bucks…

  3. Nikki says:

    You’re right about places like that being hit-or-miss. That’s why I go to a salon that’s relatively upscale for my area but would probably qualify as midprice-shampoo, cut, blowdry and style comes out to $33, and I always pay $40 so I can give the $7 I get in change to my stylist as a tip (which comes out to a 21% tip). Of course, the fact that I don’t have kids may have something to do with it, but I’m not sure how much that factors in.

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