Tuesday, March 31, 2009

At-Home Hair Coloring Savings


I have been coloring my hair at home for years now, but only in the last year has it started to become more necessary. I will peek at my hair in the mirror or my hair will catch the light in the sun and I see those wiry gray hairs coming through. Ah, the signs of old age are upon me.

Hair color in the box has come a long way though and I have experimented with different brands and products that have come out when I have a coupon to go with them.

I have found though that I rarely have to pay for the regular price on my hair color though and let me share why:

1. Hair color is always on sale. If you look in CVS or the Walgreens flier, you will find that on almost any given week, they are running a special on hair color. Walgreens & CVS often will either give you a rebate on these products or some type of register reward. Wait for the sales on your favorite brands and try to stock up in conjunction with these.

2. Hair color coupons abound. Make sure to check your Sunday coupon inserts for coupons and cut these out to apply towards your purchase. If you can combine those coupons with a rebate/Extra Care Buck reward, you can often get your hair color for less than $5 a box.

3. Sign up for mailing lists. Sign up for the mailing lists for coupons and tips on coloring your hair. Clairol, for example, offers the Color Source Club where they send an email newsletter out with coupon savings towards your purchases and updates on their new products. By visiting the Garnier website, you will find they offer a newsletter with updates on free samples and special offers. Likewise, Revlon offers a website where you can sign up for a similar type of program and be notified of savings and samples.

4. Look inside & outside the box for savings. Often on the directions page, there is a coupon to take off money on your next purchase. Make sure to scan all over the outside and inside of the box for coupons and use these on your next color purchase.

5. Don't forget savings in unlikely places. One week my hair color was not on sale and I was not stocked on any extra boxes. Our local Bed Bath & Beyond though recently added a beauty section that is fully stocked on all of my drugstore needs. I walked in with a manufacturer coupon and combined that with the 20% off a purchase coupon and was still able to score my favorite hair color for about $5.00. I don't know if all of the stores offer this, but this is another option for coupon savings.

6. Check eBay for coupons. Coupons abound for the products that you use and it is a great resource for savings on the things you use most. When my children were babies, I often used eBay to get coupons for savings off our baby food. Now that they are getting older, I am now looking for hair color coupons. My, how the circle of life continues!

I recently happened upon a product though that has had me shouting it's praises from the mountain tops and I doubt I will use anything else since I have become so spoiled. It is the Clairol Perfect 10 Hair Color.

I had a coupon for this product and since I have used it, I can never picture using anything else ever again. There are two reasons why I love it.

1. The applicator makes it a lot less messy. I am one of those people that is a constant disaster and I can't tell you how many things I have ruined while trying to get hair color on my head. It almost became a joke because every time I would color my hair, we would have to buy a new shower curtain because I had slopped color on it.

2. It is done in ten minutes. That is it. By the time I get it on, it is time to rinse it off. It colors my hair that quickly.

It is not the most frugal choice always, but regularly priced at $12.99, it is still a huge cost-savings over the $50-100 charge that is being charged at most salons. If you can apply the cost-savings above, you can still get this hair color for the $5-8 price.

Too scared to color your hair at home? Don't be! It is really hard to fail at at-home hair coloring unless you are trying to color your hair drastically. If the look is drastic, go to the salon and have them do it, but for just covering a few grays, it can be easy to do at home.

What if you fail or you get a bad color job at the salon? I have found the best product for you for that too!
I once had a botched color job at the salon and I was desperate to tone down my bright hair. I found this great product that you can buy at Walgreens called Color Oops. Within five to ten minutes of putting this on your hair, it will tone down your color. If you leave it on too long though, it will strip your hair down to your baby hair. I would be very careful using a product like this, but desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures and this will work in a pinch.

Your best bet if you get a botched job at the salon? Going back to the salon and asking them to put a little toner on it. They should do this for free for you and guarantee their color services so make sure you ask this before getting your hair done somewhere how long their color-guarantee is.

Don't forget that no matter where you choose to color you hair, that the most important thing to do to maintain it is to use color-safe shampoos afterward. The same tips for savings on hair color apply to those hair color shampoos too. It has been a long time since I have paid full price for any hair care items by taking advantage of coupons and savings at the drugstore. If you are looking for an affordable brand option, Suave corners the market on inexpensive hair products. They have an arsenal of hair products that won't put a dent in your wallet. For example, Nexxus shampoo would cost roughly $8.79 for 14.5 ounces. Suave makes a knock off of this same shampoo for $1.92-2.49 for 14.5 ounces. Combine that with a coupon, and you have practically free shampoo that will keep your hair looking great!

I hope these at-home hair color tips will help keep your lovely locks looking great for a lot less!

(Photo Source: Compact Collection)

Related Links:

Overcoming My Fears: Cutting Hair

Open Your Own Beauty Shop

Do you color your hair at home? What products do you love? How do you maximize your color savings?

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

You Tube How-To: How To Shape Your Eyebrows

This is honestly the best tutorial I have seen on shaping and plucking your eyebrows. I wanted to post this to go along with our discussion yesterday on saving on beauty services. Eyebrow waxing or going to a salon to have your eyebrows shaped can tack on extra money to a strapped budget. This tutorial is a great introduction into learning how to do this yourself and keep that extra money in your pocket (or for your latte!)

I am a visual learner and this really helped me!

Sound Off: Do you shape your own eyebrows or have them professionally done? How much do you pay for this service (if you pay)? Please share!


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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

WSBT-TV: Saving Money On Beauty Services

This morning on WSBT, I shared some tips for saving money on your beauty services. This is something that I talk about frequently because it is such a huge expense for families. If you have multiple children, haircuts alone can cost an arm and a leg, not to mention if you want to keep up with the beauty trends.

Here are some entries to go along with our topic this week:

Open Your Own Beauty Shop
Overcoming My Fears: Cutting Hair
Me Time

Sound Off: What are some ways that you have saved your family money on beauty/hair cuts? Do you have any special beauty recipes you use for your own pampering needs?

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Red Hot Momma on a Budget

I would like to give a big thanks to Money Saving Mom for sharing the best deal on Jane Cosmetics. I just hit our local Walgreens and got twelve products- eyeliners, blushes, concealers, powder, and lip glosses for stupid cheap.

How stupid cheap? Well, I bought twelve products and a Diet Coke (just because I deserved it, after getting us all ready to go out in that cold today) and I paid $2.54. Total savings- $46.54. Read Crystal's post on how to get your cosmetics for free and be sure to leave her a little thank-you for all of her hard work!

Being a Red Hot Momma is a hot topic on blogs these days. I guess everyone is feeling the frumpy mom syndrome and many have resolutions to improve it.

I get super frumpy in the winter- how can you not? It is so brutal cold and I have hard time looking pretty when I have to dress like an Eskimo. Stupid Indiana weather! Brrrrr...

When spring comes though...you better watch out! I am going to be walking the runways...or the um, the hallways in my house. Whatever!

So slap on some lip gloss and your giant parka, ladies!

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Big Lots Deals

I hit Big Lots this week and I am so glad I did. They had beautiful bolts of grosgrain ribbon (5 yard rolls) marked for $1 each. I bought 22 rolls for my ribbon stash. This might sound excessive, but it will be a great investment for making bows for my daughter and for my little side business. Thanks to Meredith for the mention on her blog because now I am filling a few out-of-town orders too! (Note: For all my local friends, I have just started back up since my mom was sick so if you are still wanting to place orders with me, just shoot me an email at amy@momadvice.com. I apologize that I had to take a break, but am hoping to get the ball rolling again).

I bought all the red and greens that I could find, in anticipation of the holiday season, and also bought some pretty autumn colors for my daughter. The ribbon bolts were hidden away in a small box by the gift wrap and gift bags.

Another steal of a deal were the boxes of hair color. Since I run my own beauty parlor over here, $2 for a warm fall shade seems like a reasonable investment to me. They had all different brands marked between $2-5 a box.

It looks like I will have some fun projects this weekend-hair bows and hair color!

The stores are putting their holiday decorations and goodies out this week. They had lots of holiday linens, mugs, gift sets, and lots of other fun treats.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Product Review: New Suave Products

Boy, did I feel pampered when Suave contacted me to see if we would be interested in sampling some of their new products. I have always been a Suave girl so I was up for the challenge of testing out some of the new items that they have put on the market. They included Suave Professionals Extreme Strength Hair Products (shampoo, conditioner, and daily leave-in treatment), Suave Exhale Inspiring Body Lotion (in Lime Verbena) and Calming Body Wash (in Lavender Vanilla), Healthy Curls Anti-Frizz Cream, and Suave Kids Cowabunga Coconut Shampoo.

All of the products were excellent, but I have to say that the children's shampoo and the lavender body wash were my most favorite. My children's hair smelled so good that even my son commented on how good the shampoo smelled. The shampoo also contained a conditioning formula within it, so no need to try and deal with tangles in my daughters hair or an extra application of conditioner.

The lavender body wash was the perfect conclusion to a stressed out day. The lavender and vanilla smelled delicious and it was a great way for me to unwind after another crazy day with the kids.

The suggested retail price on the Suave Exhale Calming Body Wash is $2.50. The suggested retail price on the Suave Kids Cowabunga Coconut Smoothers 2-in-1 Shampoo is between $1.92-$2.49. I consider this quite affordable and that is something that I have always appreciated about the Suave products.

Suave also sent me an in-depth report on a survey they did of mothers with children under the age of fifteen. The survey was called "Motherhood vs. Womanhood" and the results were very interesting. A quick summary of some of their findings were:

- Moms put family first, but agree that they should take care of themselves
- Moms agree on the importance of taking care of themselves, and most wish they could do more
- Two things moms would like to add back to their days: exercise and sleep
- Moms would like to improve their hair care

It was a very interesting survey and I found myself shaking my head, "Yes, yes, yes!" to all of their results. I wish I had some time to myself, but do feel selfish carving that time out when I could be doing something for someone else.

If you have difficulty carving time out for yourself and you live in the Los Angeles area, then I have just the freebie for you! Suave is offering a nice freebie to their L.A. moms so here are all the details on this...

Suave Back to Beauty Moms-Only Field Trip. LA-moms are invited to treat themselves to a FREE day of pampering, complete with beauty makeovers from celebrity hairstylist, Luke O’Connor, and his team, a gourmet lunch and more.Bring your friends, and you could win $20,000 for your school! Suave will award a $20,000 grant for after-school programs to the school with the most moms who sign up.

When: Monday, October 1st, 2007, 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Where: LuKaRo Salon, 323 North Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

More: Appointments are strongly recommended and available on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, moms can book a free appointment by September 15 by:

- Calling 1-877-SUAVE-411
- Emailing back2beauty@webershandwick.com- Please be sure to include your name, school, contact information and time preference.

Once again, I would like to thank Suave for being so generous and giving this tired mom an opportunity to truly treat herself!

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Day 8: Open Your Own Beauty Shop

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about ways that you can save in the beauty department. Every family is different, but for me it has always been about keeping us all cute, with as little maintenance as possible, for the least amount of money. This might sound funny, but I don't really know of another way to explain it.

I don't have bangs and I don't have a cute layered haircut. Instead, I have no bangs (no routine cutting of bangs) and I keep my hair a little longer so I can go longer between cuts. I don't highlight my hair because it so dark and the color moves so quickly that I look rather trashy after just a few weeks time. I instead do an all over color that I purchase from the drugstore and hope for the best.

My hair is not trendy, but I opt for a classic haircut that requires little maintenance on our part. It is a choice that I made for financial reasons and, with two rowdy kids, I don't get to enjoy sitting in the hairdresser's chair as much as I used to. We are too busy and I have little time without the kids being with me during the weekdays.

I am applying the same principles to our daughter's hair. We are currently in the ugly stage of long bangs, but I know that all of the hard work and pretty clips that I have made to cover up the in-between stages will pay off and we will be enjoying the same low maintenance haircuts for her. When she is a teenager, the story might be a little bit different, but we have many years to go before that time.

As for the boys in our family, I invested in a pair of clippers from the drugstore and I am planning to invest in a good pair of scissors from our local beauty supply store. With these investments, I am able to pay for them after just two haircuts and we will have many years of haircutting out of them.

I admit that the first time I cut my husband's hair that it took forever and I was sweating it out the entire time. If I messed up my son's hair, it would not be as stressful because he is a child and hair grows quickly. My husband, on the other hand, is a professional working at a job where I want him to look good and feel good about himself. To mess up his hair would have been a travesty for me and for him.

We did survive the first haircut and I have never looked back. The benefit of learning to do this yourself is that it is convenient and you can always have your spouse looking sharp. Reunions, weddings, and special occasions happen and he can always look good because I can give him a great hair cut myself.

I highly recommend, if you cut your husbands hair, to talk to him like his hairdresser would. I cover my husband up with the cape and then I say things like, "Wow, I heard your wife was a total witch this week. I am so sorry to hear that." It just makes it a little more fun and takes away some of that nervousness in the beginning.

If you aren't brave enough to do the cutting yourself, there are other options out there that can save you money. Beauty schools, for example, offer very inexpensive beauty services because they are schooling their students on learning how to do haircuts and beauty treatments. Similarly, some of the more elite salons require their own additional training and can offer beauty services to their clients for a fraction of the price. You can score really great deals on colorings, waxing, haircuts, and facial services.

If you chose this option though, make sure to give yourself plenty of time for the appointment. These folks are in training so they are not going to move at the quick speed that your regular hairdresser works. They will need their supervisors to check the cuts as they are being made and this usually takes quite some time because the supervisor is monitoring many stylists, not just your own personal haircut. There are great savings in the waiting and it can be a great way to get a more professional haircut without the big price tag.

Just because you aren't going to a salon doesn't mean you have to give up the good life. Here are some other things that I do to save money in the beauty department, but provide the pampering pleasure I deserve:

I make my own brown sugar scrub and use this once a week. It works just as good as the pricey exfoliates, but costs pennies. In this recipe, I have subbed extra virgin olive oil for the almond oil (just because we already have it). I have also added lavender essential oils to make it smell more soothing.

I soak my feet weekly and have a little container of all the goodies I need to do a pedicure. In my container are Wet & Wild nail polishes (purchased for about a buck each), a base coat, a top coat, a file, a pumice stone, a small nail brush, and foot lotion. Almost everything can be bought at the dollar store. You can soak your feet in a dish tub or you could soak them in a an appliance made for these occasions. I add 1/2 cup Epsom salts to the water and 1-2 teaspoons of the lavender essentials to soak them in. I try and do this every Friday as my weekly treat to myself.

Make your own hand scrubs to treat yourself after doing the dinner dishes. I usually just drizzle a little olive oil on my hands and add a teaspoon of salt. Scrub gently for a minute or so and then give your hands a rinse and pat dry. When I get a chance though, I am planning to try out this recipe because it sounds wonderful. If it turns out, it would make a great Christmas or birthday gift in a pretty tin.

I try to do a mask once a week on my face. I have plenty of masks leftover from my beauty store junkie days, but this recipe sounds like a keeper for when I run out.

You can deep condition your hair weekly. I use the Suave hot oil treatments on my hair or you can try making your own deep conditioner.

The important thing to remember is that just because you are on a budget doesn't mean that you have to give up these great things in life. I can pretend to be a lady of leisure who enjoys a weekly pampering, but I don't have the credit card statements that go along with it.

You are worth it and your wallet is worth the savings!

Potential Monthly Savings:
$60 or more

Related Readings:
Sound Off: What are some beauty treatments you have tried at home?

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Overcoming My Fears: Cutting Hair


I think I should just start a series on all of the things that I am learning to do that I was afraid to do. I certainly have enough entries on here to create a series: fear of working with dough, fear of gardening, fear of mowing, and now fear of cutting hair.

I hate to pay for hair cuts and had invested in buying a pair of clippers to do our son's hair and my husband's. I tried doing it once and just was too nervous and scared that I would mess their hair up to have done a good job. After attempting this a few times, I usually ended up taking our son over to a Super Cuts to correct my tedious and bad hair cuts. Just taking him over there instead of messing with it at home seemed to save me the time and hassle of attempting it myself.

We had been having my sister-in-law come over to help cut the boys hair and I would make dinner for her. It was a nice arrangement, but she is such a busy person that I felt a little guilty taking advantage of her free time. I still will have her do it, when she is available, but I wanted to learn how to do it myself so we could be more self-sufficient. I could also take advantage of the times when my son was in a good mood or when we had somewhere to go (pictures, family get togethers, etc..) where I wanted him to look his best.

I checked out a book entitled, "Cutting Your Family's Hair" and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is trying to learn how to do their own haircuts. The book offered a picture (not a drawing!) tutorial on step-by-step instructions for hair cutting. It also offered a listing of basic tools you would need to get the job done.

The tools that were suggested in the book were a good quality pair of scissors (purchased from your local beauty supply store), a comb, a cape & towel (the cape can be purchased at your beauty supply store), a spray bottle of water, & a pair of clippers. My personal addition to this list is a booster seat to get your child at the right height needed to cut their hair well.

For a basic clipper cut the instructions were:

1. Set clippers at a low setting. Begin at back, cutting hair short. (For my husband and son, I used a number three, to make sure it wasn't too close or too long- it worked well).

2. Use a comb to pull up the hair and move the clippers across the comb to cut the hair.

3. Continue up the back. Stop 3-4" from the crown.

4. Move to the sides, using the clippers to trim the hair above the ears.

5. Continue clipping up the sides 2-3". Leave the top hair to be cut with the scissors. Move around to the back, being sure all the clipped hair is the same length.

6. Cut hair at top back, pulling out hair with your fingers and cutting it to a one-finger length.

7. At sides just above clipper cut area, use a comb to pull out hair and cut (A one finger length is too long at the sides).

8. Cut the top guide line to the desired length, beginning at the crown. Here, it's cut to a one-finger length. Cut all hair then to this length.

9. Blend the hair that was cut with the clippers with the top hair, using scissors and a comb.

10. Comb front hair forward and trim.

11. Trim across the bottom of the back with clippers.

12. Use clippers to trim sideburns.

13. Hold ears forward and use clippers to tidy up behind the ears.

Although it is hard to go by the written instructions alone, it does give you a better idea of how the pros do it. I found the pictures to also be a great reference for me and it helped make me feel more comfortable doing it.

I did both Ryan & Ethan's haircuts this weekend and they turned out really well. I "practiced" first on my husband because I felt like I could really take my time and figure everything out. This is something I couldn't do with an energetic four year old who kept saying during his haircut, "Are we done yet? Are we done now? How about now? And now?" I took my time with Ryan and made sure I felt comfortable with everything and then did our son's hair after that. I must say, both of their haircuts turned out really well and I am really proud of myself for attempting something that is definitely outside of my box.

While I wouldn't be up to cutting my own hair, I did pick a low-maintenance style that allows me to go less frequently and I do color my hair at home to save myself quite a bit of money for the family. I also try to do weekly pedicures as a special beauty treat for myself. These savings alone are probably in the fifty-sixty dollar range monthly.

Do you do any of your own beauty treatments at home? How do you save your family money in this category of your spending?

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