With the cost of living crisis putting pressure on our finances, many of us are looking at ways to save money.
Take hairdresser appointments, for example. While you might not want to cancel salon visits altogether, waiting a little longer between appointments is a relatively easy way to cut back on spending.
“Clients are mentioning more and more about saving money, but don’t want to lose out on the things that bring a smile to their faces and make them feel themselves,” says Lee Beever, stylist and owner at Blue Tit (bluetitlondon.com) salon in Greenwich.
Nobody wants to walk around with overgrown roots, a mass of split ends or faded locks – so how do you cope with fewer cut and colour appointments?
Here, hair experts share their advice on how to maintain your tresses while trying to save money…
1. Avoid block colour
To prevent thick root regrowth, talk to your colourist about softer ways to add colour, whether light or dark.
“Techniques such as balayage and ombre will compliment the natural tones of your hair,” says hairstylist and Olaplex (uk.olaplex.com) brand ambassador Halley Brisker, “And in turn allow the regrowth process to remain more subtle than traditional highlights or full head colours, which can create heavy contrast with regrowth over time.”
2. Switch to semi-permanent colour
Instead of permanent dye, try switching to semi-permanent colour that fades gradually.
This means “you don’t have a line when your roots grow out”, says Michael Kent, hairstylist and colourist at Blue Tit Streatham.
Beever adds: “People with grey regrowth seem to be going for a softer root coverage by using semi-permanent dye, leaving a slightly translucent coverage – but getting a less impactful regrowth.”
3. Opt for longer hairstyles
“Hair longer than collarbone length will last a lot longer than shorter hair, as it’s harder to determine just how much it’s grown,” says Tom Smith, hair stylist and international creative director at Evo (evohair.com).
“Very quickly, a length that was cheekbone length becomes jaw length and then chin length, as the gaps between these features are shorter.”
Similarly, with a softly layered style you can wait longer between cuts – imagine ‘The Rachel’ versus an Anna Wintour-style bob.
4. Avoid a blunt fringe
If you want to reduce salon bills, now is not the time to transform your look with a blunt, face-framing fringe.
“A full fringe or straight bangs will require a fair bit of maintenance,” Smith warns.
“They usually need to be trimmed monthly, so if you’re looking to go longer between appointments, consider a longer, more sweeping style like ‘bottleneck bangs’, which grow out very softly as they sweep into the rest of the hair.”
5. Protect your colour
To keep your colour looking fresh for longer, be careful with shampooing and styling.
“Excessive washing is the number one way to fade out colour,” says Justin Anderson, co-founder of dpHUE (dphue.com). “Try to avoid heat styling if possible, or make sure you’re using a heat protectant when you do reach for your hot tools.”
As for blonde or grey locks, he advises: “Use a high pigmented toning shampoo and conditioner when needed to neutralise any unwanted brassiness.”
6. DIY refresh
“We all get itchy feet in between appointments, wanting something new,” says Beever, who recommends using wash out dyes.
“You can add a pop of colour or freshen up the tone of your hair – these colours are the solution for that temporary fix.”
Follow celebs like Megan Fox and Laura Whitmore by opting for a cool pink hue, or you could use root touch-up sprays and powders for covering regrowth.
7. Top-up colour
Colour appointments can quickly become very expensive, so Kent has a suggestion for keeping them to a minimum.
“One of my clients has a balayage once a year, then every two months when she comes in for her trims we refresh with a toner. It’s like have a new colour every time, as we always do something different.”
8. Look after your locks
“Maintaining healthy ends will help to reduce the risk of breakage, and can help to ensure that salon-fresh look lasts as long as possible,” says Nick Willis, master stylist at Charles Worthington Salons (charlesworthingtonsalons.com), who warns against brushing hair too roughly.
“Try to avoid this particularly when your hair is wet. Instead, brush downwards from ends then work upwards, to the middle then roots.”
You should also be careful about tying your hair up. “Never tie your hair too tightly for long periods, because this will lead to tension and ripping of your fine hairs,” he says. “Instead, use a silk or cotton tie or scrunchie without excessive tightening of hair, particularly at bedtime.”