How do you do haircuts? Do you cut their hair or does anyone get their haircut elsewhere? I have five kids and would like to save all the money I can.
Learning to cut your children’s hair yourself is an excellent way to save money. I’ve been the main barber in our family since before my husband and I ever married.
According to my husband, one of the first times he ever spotted me on campus, I was giving free trims to male classmates who couldn’t afford professional cuts and were willing to let me practice on them.
Doug claims he asked if he could be next, and I told him he’d have to get in line. I have only the vaguest recollection of that initial conversation, so it’s a good thing he was persistent and later tried a different tack to get my attention. 🙂
I’ve never taken any classes in haircutting. Back when I was first learning, there weren’t even any YouTube tutorials to help. I learned by trial and error, but steadily improved with practice.
Taking into consideration my children’s ages and frequency of haircuts (twice a year for the girls who don’t wear bangs, once a month for everybody else), I estimate that I’ve saved our family $34,198 (so far) by cutting hair at home.
That’s not chump change, is it?
My husband is the only person in our family who lets anybody but me cut his hair, mostly as a matter of convenience (he isn’t always at home during our regularly scheduled haircutting sessions). About the only time I’ve cut his hair since he finished his residency 17 years ago is when he’s been dissatisfied with a professional cut and asked me to even things up for him (as happened a little over a week ago).
I calculate that we could have saved an additional $3,780 if he’d just let me cut it for him in the first place all those years, but he didn’t, so that money has gone to help support some very hardworking cosmetologists who normally do a great job (and don’t have to live with him if/when they do goof it up).
It’s a trade-off, but probably worth the price if it helps keeps the peace in your marriage.
My children, on the other hand, weren’t given a choice. Even so, they seem pretty satisfied with the cuts they get from Mom. Both my dental student (in the photo above) and my medical student (not pictured) requested that I give them fresh haircuts while they were home for Christmas.
Here’s how I go about it:
These are the easiest haircuts you can give, once you get the hang of using a pair of clippers. This is the model I currently use. The professional quality has held up very well — I’ve only had to replace the blade once in the past ten years.
This particular clipper comes with three cutting guides, but unless your guys all favor closely cropped crew cuts, I recommend getting a bigger set of guides, which will allow you to trim hair anywhere between 1/8″ to 1″ long.
The trick is to keep the flat part of the guide pressed firmly against the scalp as you cut, rather than trying to comb through the hair with only the teeth of the guide touching the head (the mistake I often made as a teen when my father tried to teach me how to clip his hair).
When giving buzz cuts, I usually clip the hair to the desired length, and then use a pair of scissors to even up the edges.
For traditional cuts, I do things in the reverse order. First I trim the outer edges — cutting the hair over the eyes, around the ears, and across the back of the neck.
Then I cut the hair that’s left so that it tapers nicely to the edges of the cut and appears even any way you comb it.
As the finishing touch, I take the guide off my clippers and shave the back of the neck
When my oldest son got married, I gave his wife her own set of clippers and taught her how to cut his hair the way he likes it.
She, too, improved with practice, and currently gives monthly haircuts to all five of their little boys, as well. So now the savings are really starting to stack up!