My Virgin DIY Haircut Experience

by David Ning · 32 comments

My mom calls it the re-opening of Ning’s salon, my friends are laughing at the facebook comments, my wife is proud of her work and I’m just relieved that it’s over. Over the weekend, my first DIY Haircut officially concluded.

How the DIY Haircut Came About

It’s funny how working at home changes someone’s priorities. What was once an important activity like getting a haircut all of a sudden isn’t so critical. I remember reminding myself to get a haircut before my birthday. That was January.

I really didn’t think it was that bad, but my wife came up with an idea after she claims that it could potentially give her more nightmares if she had to suffer through my current “look” – How about I just give you a haircut myself?

First Virgin Haircut Experience

Without thinking, I said “SURE” but when it came down to the night that we were going to cut my hair, I was really nervous. She didn’t seem like she even researched how it’s done so what if she messes it up? Worst yet, what if she cut herself? What about me? I only have one head.

Haircut Trauma

I never knew that I could be so uptight because my shoulder muscles actually hurt the next morning from being so tense. While my wife was carefully constructing her masterpiece, I was frozen. I probably looked like a zombie, but my wife was patient the whole way.

DIY Results

After the intense experience (I thought it was anyway), I picked up my glasses and thought “Wow, I look cool.” My wife was so proud and so good. We should do it another time.

Benefits of a DIY Project

It might not be cutting your own hair, but I’m sure many of you have DIY projects that you want to start too. Here’s what my experience taught me that applies to any do-it-yourself project:

  1. Do it Yourself Projects are Scary the First Time
  2. You May Not Know Everything Before You Start
  3. DIY Gets Easier The More You Do It
  4. Eventually It Gets Completed
  5. The Experience is Always Memorable
  6. DIY Projects can Become the Talk of Your Social Circle
  7. DIY is For Sure a Cheaper Option
  8. Doing it Yourself Doesn’t Mean It’s Not as Good
  9. You Can Always Hire Someone to Finish It if It Gets Out of Hand
  10. You Always Have More Control and You Can Be as Picky as You Want

What’s the Progress of Your DIY Project

So don’t be lazy. Make the move. Start that project and see where it takes you. You might like to do it so much that it will become your hobby one day. For some, it might even turn into a business opportunity. Whatever project it is, you will be proud once it’s finished and you can save some cash along the way.

In this economy, who wouldn’t want that?

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

ObliviousInvestor March 18, 2009 at 6:23 am

Haha. I find this particularly amusing, since I’ve been cutting my own hair since going self-employed.

I guess there’s something about the “working at home” + “personal finance blogger” that just leads that direction. :D

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PW March 18, 2009 at 8:10 am

I liked your diy haircut story. I for the first time ordered a Robocut and cut my own hair last month..and did a pretty good job. I got tired of paying $22 for a haircut that took 10-15 min., plus $4 tip. Then coming home and “fixing it” myself. I am a woman with short hair, straight, no goo or blow dry. Just a simple short haircut. I was scared to death. But it worked out fine and actually was better then what I was paying for as I got it exactly as I like it. I watched the youtube videos on how to do this. Saved $24 first time, and the Robocut cost about $47. I haven’t approached my husband yet, should I? We both have professional jobs outside the home. If I had felt “value” in my professional haircut I would never have been a diy-er. But the value just wasn’t there.

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kodijack March 18, 2009 at 8:25 am

My wife started cutting my hair last summer. We bought a generic electric clippers set for $30. She has done it four times so we have already saved $50. She is getting better, its more convenient, there is no waiting, and I don’t have to make small talk with a stranger.

But she won’t let me do hers?. ;)

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Matt SF March 18, 2009 at 10:39 am

Congrats. DIY projects like this are fun, and half of that fun comes from the possibility you will screw up.

In this case, the worst that can happen is you get a new buzz cut.

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MoneyNing March 18, 2009 at 10:44 am

Thanks everyone :) My wife just told me that the only reason why I let her was because I work at home and can always hide for a few months and not see anyone.

She was so proud that she said I should get a haircut every week as a joke :D

Anyway, the DIY project was good so far and I’m sure she can only get better as well.

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CD Rates March 18, 2009 at 11:17 am

What. no pictures. Surely your faithful readers and comments deserve pictures. :O)

You had me laughing-out-loud.

My wife has cut mine for years. She cuts the kids, too (their hair, I mean). And she does a good job. She has become more nervous with mine since I’m losing most of it, but always look sharp afterwards.

I still get an occasional haircut though, I like to support the gal. She is a single-mom. So don’t forget about that spiraling downward effect if you starting trying to do everyting DIY.

And my wife doesn’t let me cut hers either. Just doesn’t seem right..

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Craig March 18, 2009 at 11:40 am

Worst comes to worst you can always just wear a hat.

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Emily March 18, 2009 at 12:52 pm

I like this story. I will say the hair cutting can be a fun project for your family. I cut my boy’s hair for almost 2 years now and we both like it. It’s not just to save the $10-15 on haircut but to have more interactive activities with you family.

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marci March 18, 2009 at 1:00 pm

We, your loyal readers, wanted a picture with that story. haha.

There’s a great book, “Haircutting for Dummies” available at my local library.
I checked it out when the boyfriend decided that he’d like me to start cutting his hair. The results were fantastic :) Now I cut his hair about every 3 weeks or so.

About the book title – we are not sure if the Dummies part refers to the person cutting the hair or the one getting it cut. But the book was a great help in getting that nice layered look versus the soup bowl look.

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Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas March 18, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Nice DIY article – encouraging for many things beyond cutting hair. As for hair, though, I do cut my own, hehe. Maybe that hippie soul in me : ). As for my husband’s hair, he found a place that will cut it for $2.99.. Plus tip. But still pretty good deal. I’ll have to work him in to trust me with scissors for his hair. Last time I offered, he was a little scared.

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Miranda March 18, 2009 at 5:55 pm

My husband used to cut my son’s hair, but that got old real fast. No one trusts me to cut anyone’s hair ;) But there are other DIY things that we can take care of.

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Happiness Is Better March 18, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Ok, I was expecting a before and after picture :).

Great post.
-Dustin

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Maximizing Money March 18, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Funny, I’ve been cutting my hair by myself for years, and it’s always a unique experience.

Sometimes it comes out great, like I meant to style it in a somewhat trendy way, other times it’s just horribly uneven.

I can usually tell how good of a job I’ve done by whether people sitting behind me on the bus make fun of my haircut, as the back is the hardest part to do.

A folding mirror helps for those hard-to-see angles, and a buzzer with accessories for specific lengths helps to get things even.

The real trick is that you have to really not care if you end up looking a little crazy until things grow back, but if you’re particular, it could drive you a little nuts with the self-consciousness.

Sometimes beauty schools offer cheap haircuts by students, so that’s an alternative as well for a budget cut.

If things end up really bad though, you can always just shave it all off and start over again.

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B7 March 18, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Interesting. I don’t see the pictures though…

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Pinyo March 18, 2009 at 8:45 pm

I wish you posted a before and after photo…that would be even more cool. I am no stranger to DIY haircuts. Recently, I have been postponing my haircuts with a trimmer to save money.

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Peter March 18, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Picture – Picture – Picture – Picture – Picture – Picture . We want a picture.

My wife has cut my hair a few times, but she just doesn’t like doing it – because she gets more nervous than I do. DIY haircuts are great, but only if you have two willing participants.

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Patrick March 19, 2009 at 5:47 am

My Mom used to cut our hair when my brothers and I were little, but that was years ago. My wife and I have briefly discussed her cutting my hair, but we haven’t taken that step yet. Maybe one day. It sure would save a lot of money. :)

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Lisa Spinelli March 19, 2009 at 6:43 am

What a great way to save money- that was very brave of the both of you.

My mother cut my hair once when I was in high school… it was traumatic… Luckily it was in the summer. All was well by the time September rolled around.

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MoneyNing March 19, 2009 at 8:06 am

I promise to share pictures on my Sunday post so stay tuned. Thanks again for sharing your stories.

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Arohan March 19, 2009 at 11:28 am

My wife thinks that spending $50 for a haircut is worth it if it means she can avoid getting a cut from me. We used to give hair cuts to each other in our younger struggling days and you have inspired me to start doing this again.

We tried cutting our kid’s hair once but he is too fidgety and we are now scared to take scissors so close to his skin.

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Kathleen March 19, 2009 at 5:56 pm

I bought some clippers, figuring I’d trim around my ears, stretch out time between haircuts. Then the attachment fell off and I had a nearly 3 inch strip of near baldness on the side of my head. And I’m female. I gave my clippers away and the money saving venture only cost me about $25. LOLOL

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MoneyNing March 19, 2009 at 6:25 pm

Kathleen: Oh no.. I’m glad you are okay though (no bleeding anywhere or anything). I guess DIY haircuts aren’t for everyone.

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Scott @ The Passive Dad March 19, 2009 at 8:37 pm

My wife’s been cutting my hair for close to 20 years and probably saved us thousands of dollars. It’s also a great time to have a great conversation and catch-up on her day or week. We’re on our second trimmer in 20 years, so it’s a wonderful investment. The motor finally went out on our first set and the blades got a bit worn out. At $20 bucks I couldn’t justify sending them out to get repaired.

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TStrump March 20, 2009 at 12:31 pm

The first time I cut my own hair it took my 45 minutes – and that’s just to buzz it all off.
Now, I can do it in about 5 minutes.
I’ve saved a fortune in barber fees the last 3 years.

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Play Games Win Prizes March 20, 2009 at 12:52 pm

The other day I was just thinking of getting my own barber tools and cutting my hair MYSELF rather than have my wife do it. I have tons of friends that buzz their own hair with the right tools. It looks great (not bald), so it’s not difficult :D

-Mike

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Ron@TheWisdomJournal March 20, 2009 at 9:02 pm

This is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time. You had me laughing out loud. Haircut Trauma? LOL.

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The Happy Rock March 21, 2009 at 7:05 pm

I have been cutting my own hair since about age 15. Two mirrors and a pair of clippers is all that I need. I have saved thousands of dollars, since I keep it short and need a cut every 2-3 weeks.

In college I did a bunch of people’s hair.

I think I have had one ‘real’ haircut just before my wedding and I normally do a better job than she did.

Keep it up.

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Penelope @ Pecuniarities April 1, 2009 at 5:03 pm

I have had DIY haircuts all my life; in fact, I’ve only ever had one non-DIY haircut and that was when I was 20.

My mom always cut my hair when I was little, she passed away when I was 16, but my sister took up the post when we were in college. The first time she cut my hair (I wanted it just like Rachel’s from Friends), I got A LOT of attention at school, and I suddenly got really popular with the guys. It was quite shocking.

I also cut my own hair once a couple of years ago by looking in the mirror; that did not turn out so well – one side was shorter than the other – but like you, I work at home so it was no big deal. :)

Penelope

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Persepone July 5, 2012 at 8:40 am

If you have no experience cutting hair, etc. do NOT practice on your kids! If you make a mistake or clip them it is traumatic. 40 years later it is still traumatic to think about! Adults who make a mistake–even a bad one–can live with the consequences, get a professional to fix the goofs or whatever without it being traumatic. Of course adults do realize that in time it will grow back in a way that is not available to children..
If you are poor/broke or just want to save money, ask around and you will find that one of your friends either has a real flair for haircuts or, even better, has or at one time had a hairdressing license or went to hairdressing school, etc. and can give good haircuts and can teach you how to give your kids good haircuts… This is especially important if you have children with different ethnicities/different types of hair. The techniques used on one may well not be suitable for another kid.
Do read the books or watch the videos, etc. on how to cut hair before actually cutting your own or someone else’s hair so that you have some notion of what you are doing. If you do, you really can do professional cuts with relatively little practice.
The real money saving may not be with the haircuts, but with hair coloring! My husband has colored mine for 20+ years–originally “cover the gray” that segued into full-blown coloring with highlights… This saves far more than you do on women’s haircuts… PS I get rid of most of his grey as well…

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Jonathan December 20, 2012 at 6:23 am

You’re braver than me, there is no way that I would cut my own hair!!!!! I admire you for giving it a go though!

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Joyce June 5, 2014 at 7:46 am

I’ve been cutting my family’s hair since my boy got his very first cut. It looked like he stepped out of Leave It To Beaver! I KNEW I could do better & I did. Now I’m cutting my husb & mine, sometimes with clippers, sometimes just with a comb & scissors. I also cut our Jack Russell mix’s hair – she went from mutt look to pure-bred glamour & I saved a ton of money! :)

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Retired June 7, 2014 at 8:05 pm

I’ve been cutting my own hair for over 40 yrs most of the time myself! (female) Couldn’t see spending the money for someone else to cut it! When my husband complains about spending at the grocery store, I sometimes remind him how much I’ve saved him by NOT going to hairdresser for years. Also have colored my own hair for 20 yrs. My hair is thin, can cut color in half, and if I get it on sale, can do it for only $3.00! Have gotten him to let me cut his….sometimes. I think I should have been a barber. But did recently break down and let someone else cut and layer (I didn’t know how to layer my own hair), but got it done for $15. (gave her $5 tip :) cause I had never had my hair layered before, and she offered something new.

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