By Jenna Nicole Levine
There are many professional opinions on how often you should get your hair cut. Some experts say every 4-6 weeks, some say every 4-6 months, I say whenever I start breaking the bristles off of my brush (naturally curly hair is a monster).  To go to a top of the line hair stylist, or even a salon in a major metropolitan city it can cost upwards of $200 for a cut and color, but is this price tag really a necessity or are there ways to cut the cost of a cut (say that 5 times fast) without sacrificing the quality.  Read on to learn my tricks for having fabulous hair and a full wallet.

Do it Yourself:

Don’t panic my friends, this can be done. Although many of you wouldn’t be caught dead holding a pair of shears in front of your bathroom mirror, there are ways to make your hair look like you just got it cut and styled without actually having to take inches off of your precious mane. One option is simply changing up your regular style. I wear my hair curly most days out of convenience, but when I am looking to switch it up I take my time and blow it out.  Watch this video by Tesa Peltz from the Mark Garrison Salon in New York City for tips on blow drying your hair like a professional.  I get a ton of compliments when I blow out my hair simply because I don’t do it every day. If you wear your hair down all the time try a fun up-do and watch the compliments pour in.

IF you are brave enough to cut your own hair make, sure you purchase the proper tools. If you go to town with the kind of scissors a kid uses to cut construction paper you may actually wind up looking like a 1st graders art project. You can purchase the proper clippers at a beauty supply shop such as Sally beauty. These are on sale for $14.99. Remember to take your time and GO SLOW! Check out this eHow tutorial on How to Cut Your Own Hair.

Go to a Hair Academy:

Hair academies such as Aveda or Paul Mitchell have guest services open to the public.  The beauty is that you are getting a knowledgeable student who is close to graduating at half the cost of a regular stylist, and the approval from their teacher on your cut or color before you leave! This makes all of those terrible haircuts I paid too much for without recourse a distant memory.

A typical cut and one process color at the Hair Expressions Academy I frequent right outside of Washington D.C. is $50, and I have never left Hair Expressions disappointed. Aveda has equally low cost services at hair academies in 11 cities.  There may not be an Aveda or Paul Mitchell by you; however most hair academies offer guest services so hit the internet and start saving.

Other tips:

Purchase a Hot Oil Treatment from Alberto VO5 for $3.99. This is a great way to bring some shine to dull locks in between hair appointments.

Use a detangler! There are few things worse for hair than ripping knots out with a brush (although I am really guilty of this). I am not ashamed to admit I use No More Tangles, only $3.69, and it works just as well on adult hair as it does on kids.

Or… WAIT TILL SPA WEEK!

During Fall Spa Week October 10-16, spa-salons across North America will be offering not only hair cuts for $50, but entire salon PACKAGES for $50. Hair cuts, blowouts, highlights, glosses… get excited for all the options, which will go live on spaweek.com September 12th. Mark your calendars, and take good care of your hair till then!

Jenna Nicole Levine is a native New Yorker turned Washingtonian. When she isn’t writing about ways to save you cash on your favorite beauty treatments, you can find her reviewing D.C. restaurants, clubs, and events. To read more from Jenna Nicole please visit Woman Around Town, or just stop by and say hello on her twitter @Jenna_Nicole.