Regular visits to the hair salon can get expensive after a while, especially if you have a cut that requires a lot more maintenance or want to get your hair dyed. So the inevitable question, “where are the cheapest haircuts near me?” might pop into your mind. Luckily, there are multiple ways to stay on budget and still look stylish.
Comparing prices and looking for discounts can help you save money for the starters. Read on to learn more about how to find affordable haircuts in your area.
What Is the Average Cost of Haircuts in the USA?
Pricing can vary a lot for a haircut based on different factors. On average, women tend to spend more, with the average haircut costing $65. Men typically spend $20 less for a haircut.
Next, the type of cut and the amount of work required can influence prices. A basic haircut can cost as little as $12 for a man, but cutting long hair, bleaching and coloring, or applying a perm can quickly cause the price of a haircut to rise. You should expect to spend anywhere between $50 and $100 for a color.
You’ll also find that pricing varies from one business to another. Some stylists can afford to charge more because they’re in high demand. Others have to increase their prices to cover overhead charges.
For instance, renting a retail space in a shopping center costs $22 per square foot on average, which explains why a haircut at a beauty salon will typically cost more than what an at-home stylist charges.
The state and area you live in can also have an effect on the cost of a haircut. Stylists run businesses and have to pay rent, payroll, and taxes. These expenses vary from one area to another.
It’s possible to find affordable haircuts, but you should know that the overall trend is for stylists to increase their prices. Products have gone up by 25% on average, and these businesses face other increasing costs.
Best Places to Get Cheaper Haircuts
You can get a great haircut on a budget if you choose the right place. Take the time to find out more about the cheaper haircuts available in your area and compare pricing. You can call ahead of time if local businesses don’t have pricing information available online.
When compared to beauty salons, barber shops typically offer more affordable prices. These businesses specialize in men’s haircuts and offer other services like facial hair maintenance.
You can expect to spend between $25 and $35 for a haircut at a barber’s shop. Prices can be as high as $45 for a popular barber shop or for a business located in an area where the cost of living is higher.
Barber shops are an option for men who want a haircut on a budget, but these businesses aren’t always as versatile as hair stylists. Some barber shops keep up with the latest trends and feature skilled barbers, while others focus on traditional men’s haircuts and offer limited options.
With over 107,000 barber shops across the U.S., it’s easy to find a local business that matches your style and budget.
Independent salons and beauty supply stores that offer hair styling appointments can be an excellent option if you need a haircut on a budget. Plus, these businesses often offer additional services such as waxing, eyebrow threading, or manicures.
You can also find small independent stores with an excellent selection of hair care products and knowledgeable staff who can recommend the best products for your hair type.
Small businesses typically don’t have the same overhead fees as franchises and larger businesses, which can translate into savings for customers. Plus, visiting an independent store means you’ll support a local business.
Independent salons can be hit or miss if you’re looking for a haircut on a budget, but these businesses will often offer the best value. Do your research and check online reviews or ask friends for recommendations.
Cosmetology and Beauty Schools
Is there a cosmetology or beauty school in your area? Does your local community college offer cosmetology classes? If yes, you might be able to get an inexpensive haircut from a student.
Some cosmetology schools run small salons where students get some hands-on experience with customers. Prices are usually much more affordable compared to an established beauty salon, and getting a haircut at a cosmetology school can be a fun experience.
You can run into students who are willing to experiment with complex hairstyles and colors, but keep in mind that these stylists don’t have a lot of experience yet.
Pricing will vary from one cosmetology school to another. You can find schools that charge as little as $10 for a men’s cut, $20 for a women’s hairstyle, and $50 for a color.
A growing number of local businesses are organizing charity events to support nonprofits. Some beauty salons hold Cut-a-Thon and other events where you can get a haircut against a donation to the charity the business is supporting.
Note that some events will have a minimum donation. Some beauty salons also organize events where they offer free or discounted haircuts if you’re willing to cut a certain length and donate your hair to a non-profit that makes wigs for cancer patients.
You can also find beauty salons that organize events to collect hair and donate it to organizations that use human hair to clean oil spills in the ocean.
Keep an eye on local event calendars and use social media to find charity events in your area.
Discount franchises are one of the most popular ways to get cheap haircuts. There are many options to consider with franchises like Supercuts, Great Clips, Sports Clips, SmartStyle, Merle Norman Cosmetics, First Choice Haircutters, and more.
Great Clips has over 4,500 locations and Sports Clips has over 1,800 salons in the U.S. and Canada. You can also find a SmartStyle location in a majority of the 4,700 Walmart locations present in the U.S.
Regardless of where you live, you should have a few discount franchises to choose from. Pricing can vary from one location to another, but you’ll typically spend less compared to an independent business.
For instance, Supercuts offers a wide range of options starting at around $20. You should expect to spend another $35 to $45 for a color. More complex hairstyles can cost $60 to $70.
First Choice Haircutters has options as low as $20. You’ll have to spend an additional $30 for styling, $65 for a perm, and $55 for a color. Highlights can cost as much as $100.
Great Clips is one of the most affordable franchises. You can get a men’s or kids’ haircut for $15 to $20. Plan on spending $35 to $45 for long hair.
At-home stylists can be an affordable option if you need a trim. You can either schedule an appointment with someone who runs a business from their home or have a stylist come to your home. Pricing will depend on how experienced the stylist is and how in-demand they are.
You should count on spending $60 to $100 per appointment, but at-home stylists often offer packages that include a haircut, waxing, and even makeup. This option costs more, but you’ll get more value and personalization compared to a discount franchise.
Effective Ways to Get a Cheaper Haircut
There are additional tips and tricks you can use to save money on your next haircut.
Cut Your Own Hair at Home
Nothing can beat a free haircut! You can cut your own at home, and plenty of tutorials are available online.
You’ll need a few supplies, including some quality hair-cutting scissors, some thinning shears, and a hair clipper for short hair. Plus, there are plenty of affordable products you can use to bleach or color your hair at home.
The main risk is that the result might not look like what you had in mind. It’s best to opt for a simple haircut and to follow a tutorial for sectioning and cutting your hair.
A wolf cut is a great option if you’re looking for an easy and versatile style. For women, a straight-across lob or some curtain bangs can be easy to cut at home. Buzzcuts and crew cuts are easy styles for men.
Wait for a Slow Day
Some days are busier than others for hair salons. You can find businesses with special pricing during happy hours or ask for a discount after booking an appointment on a slow day. Typically, hair salons are less busy on Mondays and Wednesdays.
You can also talk to a hairstylist and let them know you can come in on short notice if another client cancels an appointment.
Volunteer as a Model
If you know someone who is studying to become a hairstylist, offer to volunteer as a model. You’ll get a free haircut, and the student will get some experience.
Be flexible since there are techniques they might not master yet, and they might have a specific style they want to practice. You can also contact a local cosmetology school and offer to be a model during a class.
Another way to get a free haircut is to do some modeling work for a local photographer or content creator. When you model for a person or business, they will typically help with styling and might include a haircut.
Look for Special Offers
Your credit card company, bank, or credit union might have special offers thanks to partnerships with franchises or local businesses. You could earn additional cashback or rewards with your next haircut.
You can also sometimes find gift cards at discounted prices or weekly specials offered by hair salons. Look up local salons on social media to find out more about special offers.
Look for Coupons
Coupons are an excellent way to save on your next haircut. You can find coupons online or in local newspapers. You can also purchase a coupon book for local businesses or look for deals on sites like Groupon.
Things to Remember While Choosing an Affordable Haircut
You can save on a haircut without making compromises when it comes to style. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a salon for a budget haircut:
- Be realistic. You can’t expect to get a complex haircut that takes hours or requires expensive products at a dirt-cheap price.
- Remember that you often get what you pay for when it comes to haircuts. Sometimes, the cheapest haircut from an expensive salon with an excellent reputation can be a better choice than the most expensive package an inexperienced stylist offers.
- Consider maintenance when choosing a new hairstyle. A cut that requires frequent trims can end up being expensive.
- Always talk to your stylist and find out more about their skills and experience. If they don’t have experience with the style or products you want, consider getting another type of haircut.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for a discount. Franchises aren’t flexible with pricing, but an independent salon or at-home stylist might be willing to offer a discounted package, especially if you’re a recurring customer.
These answers to common questions will help you find an affordable haircut.
Discount franchises offer the lowest prices. Pricing varies from one location to another, but Great Clips and SmartStyle tend to have the most affordable prices.
Yelp is a great place to start. You can look for hairstylists in your area, find reviews from customers, and see a pricing range. You can also use filters to see the most affordable hair stylists first.
Both franchises offer affordable prices. Great Clips has prices that start at $15 for a simple haircut, and you can get a cut for $35 to $45 if you have long hair.
SmartStyle has even lower prices for kids since you can get $10 haircuts. This chain also offers excellent value with highlights that cost under $70. If you’re looking for a basic haircut, these two franchises offer comparable pricing but SmartStyle will help you save more if you want a color.
A majority of Walmart locations have a SmartStyle located inside. This franchise offers budget haircuts that start at $10 and go up to $80 if you want to get your hair dyed.
There is no need to overspend on a haircut. You can get a great-looking haircut at a cheaper rate as long as you don’t expect your stylist to use advanced techniques or expensive products.
Haircuts don’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of options to consider, from cutting your hair at home to booking an appointment with a discount franchise or local cosmetology school.
Take the time to learn more about the cheapest haircut options available in your area and don’t hesitate to test a few different businesses to find the best value.