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Hair Care

January 4, 2009

The first cut I got in L.A. was $20 and unimpressive.  They also wouldn’t blowdry without another $20, so I left with wet hair.  I was just going home, but still!  Since when is blowdrying not included?

The next time I figured I’d try a salon.  My “personal care” fund was full, so I booked without knowing the price.  It ended up being $90 with tip.  No color or highlights, just a basic cut that I thought was just ok.  No way I was doing that again!  I know it is L.A., but that is ridiculous!  I’d be willing to pay $60 for just a cut (if it was good), but $90 seems out of control.

When I was home in the midwest, sitting around relaxing with split ends and grown out bangs, I decided to go to my mom’s hair lady.  The stylist was super friendly and asked a lot of questions about L.A.  (Do you feel safe there?   How much are haircuts there?)  When we were done (after a wash, cut, and blowdry), the total was $31, plus a generous holiday tip.  This was  a real salon, an experienced stylist!  I miss home!

Now, to find something reasonable in L.A…  Why does it have to be so hard?

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2009 12:07 pm

    lol….same here, just not in LA. My last cut was $88, and while it was not disastrous (as some $40 cuts I’ve gotten) it was nothing special. I’m thinking of going back to the previous place I got my hair cut at even though its just about the same price (maybe $5 less). Either that or check out where my sister or cousin get their hair cut.

  2. January 4, 2009 12:32 pm

    This is the place to start asking for recommendations from anyone who lives in LA – crowd sourcing. Also, ask co-workers that have nice hair where they go and around how much they tend of pay (if they don’t mind sharing).

  3. January 4, 2009 1:43 pm

    I imagine in LA there must be Mexican beauty salons all over (as there are here). Have you tried one of those? For a few years I went to one and it was about half price of the discount chains, i.e. $8 for haircut instead of $15. Plus it is a positive cultural experience. Of course that price is for men’s which is different.

  4. January 4, 2009 2:43 pm

    I LOVE my hair stylist… but she’s not inexpensive – $75 for a wash/cut/blowdry. But I only go 2 or 3 times a year and the cuts are amazing, so I figure it’s worth it.

    There was an Asian salon I went to down in Irvine a few (4?) years ago that was pretty good… I came out paying around $35. I imagine the prices have gone up since then though.

  5. January 4, 2009 7:21 pm

    Yikes, yeah, that’s pretty much why I used to stick to one cut a year, come home disenchanted, and grow it out again. I never liked the cuts, and it cost me anywhere from $45 -60/cut.

    Try Paul Mitchell Costa Mesa? I go to the PM school nearer to me, but that might be too far east for you.

  6. January 4, 2009 8:11 pm

    I cannot fathom spending $90 on a regular hair cut. Especially, as Frugal Bachelor noted, hair cuts for guys run around $15. Mine is usually $12 plus a $2-3 tip… $90 could cut my hair for a year!

    The entire industry (mainly its pricing model) is amazing to me.

  7. January 4, 2009 8:35 pm

    Hmm, maybe I can just get my hair cut only when I travel to the midwest!

    Sunflowers – I would consider paying more if I loved my stylist.

    FB – No, I haven’t. I’ve really only gotten a couple cuts so far.

    Revanche – I think I probably wouldn’t drive that far!

    CheaporFrugal – I know what you mean, 90 wasn’t my cup of tea either. Men’s hair cuts are a bit cheaper. I don’t know any women who get $12 cuts. $30 seems about normal for a cheaper place. $20 at best.

  8. January 4, 2009 9:39 pm

    Goodness, $90 for a haircut without blowdrying? In this economy, I wonder if they still have many clients remaining.

    If I am in your place, I’ll go for one haircut per year. It’s frugal, and longish hair is becoming of women, IMHO.

  9. January 4, 2009 10:13 pm

    ThirdworldCash – Well, the $90 place did blowdry, and even styled a bit. but STILL!

    I’m trying to have bangs…. but still only got about 3 cuts last year.

  10. January 4, 2009 10:18 pm

    Yups, I feel your pain. LA is expensive compared to most other cities, but your corner of LA is even more expensive. That’s just the price of living in a nice area. 🙂

    You might want to try some Korean salons if you’re willing to brave the language barrier.

  11. Janet permalink
    January 4, 2009 11:05 pm

    You might also want to try a salon that has people who are “training”. This isn’t a school, per se, but a full service salon where the hairstylist is interning and gaining the experience to take the exam and get licensed. I found someone that way who charged 50% of the regular price. She was great and I stuck with her even though it was more money.

  12. January 5, 2009 10:54 am

    I can’t remember the last time I went to a place and the blow drying was included. It took me a while but I finally found someone I like for under $40. Ask around, it is possible someone around you has a good hair dresser who is inexpensive.

  13. January 5, 2009 2:03 pm

    SP – In case you want to try it, the place I go to is Salon Nesou. It’s in Santa Monica, and my hairstylist is named Katie. I love her because she’s really nice, lots of fun to talk to, always listens to what I want, and answers all my questions. She offers her own suggestions on what she thinks would look best, and my hair comes out looking PERFECT every time (I’ve been going to her for 2 years). When I’m there, I feel like her only client, that’s how much time/effort/concentration I feel she puts into me. Also, the people who do the wash give KILLER headrubs. 😉

  14. January 5, 2009 2:06 pm

    In the alternative, there’s the Vidal Sassoon training school. (I think it’s also in Santa Monica) I’ve heard they do a great job, and they’re cheap.

    I have to admit being a little afraid of students though… <.<

  15. January 9, 2009 12:40 pm

    $31 has me jealous

    I just spent $130 yesterday for a wash, dry, trim and severely needed dye job (last summer’s light highlights were now inches from the scalp). My hair is waist length so I expected to shell out about $100, $130 killed me though.

  16. January 10, 2009 8:17 pm

    Have you tried Thai town in LA? I know LA is huge and sprawly so I’m not sure how far it is for you. But my friend got a great cut and affordable cut under $30 including everything. I second Well-heeled’s suggestion on braving Korean salons. I’ve experimented with almost every salon in Chinatown and haven’t left with a bad cut. It also depends on what you want from a haircut … but the ethnic places can be just as good as the big name ones. Think of it is a fun experiment?

  17. January 22, 2009 11:15 pm

    I know this comment is really late, but good luck finding a good hair stylist in LA! I used to go to Luxe Lab over on Montana when I lived in Santa Monica, but $200 for cut + color + tip was getting to be too much after a while, especially since I have to get my hair done every 2 months. Plus my stylist left.

    Now i’m sitting here with ridiculously long hair and visible roots. Blah. Give us an update when you’ve found something good!

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