DIY Grooming Tips to Save You Money

by Jamie Simmerman · 7 comments

I have a weakness for spending money on grooming items. I love lotions, soaps, and beauty products. But I also love to save money, and the older I get, the more my frugality wins out over my grooming obsession.

Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years on how to pinch a few pennies in the grooming department.

1. Learn to trim hair

I live in a house full of boys, and visiting the local barber shop costs $40 a trip. To save that extra cash, I purchased a nice pair of hair scissors from Sally Beauty Supply, along with a set of clippers. I asked a hairdresser friend for tips on what to buy and how to give a good home cut. For the boys, we stick to a basic, short, all-over buzz cut. This keeps them looking neat and groomed; and I can trim them every 3-4 weeks, without investing anything more than my time. There are videos on YouTube about how to cut boys’ hair to help you get started.

For trimming up my own hair, my hairdresser suggested I call ahead for a bang trim, instead of getting an all-over hair cut. It only costs a few bucks and makes my haircuts last longer. When I feel the urge to trim it myself, I turn upside down, put my hair in a ponytail on top of my head, then trim the ends slightly, straight across. I trim lightly, so if I make a mistake, there’s plenty of room for a stylist to correct my hair.

2. Get fresh with citrus

Teenage boys can get quite smelly. We’ve tried countless body washes and body sprays, and they just don’t seem to last beyond a few hours. To help keep teenagers smelling fresh, try giving them an exfoliating cream. Then, squeeze the juice of a lime into the bath water and let them soak for 20 minutes. The citrus juice acts as a natural deodorizer and sticks around longer than smelly soaps. You can also rub half a lime directly on smelly feet or underarms for added freshness.

3. Use your household products

For example, you can clean up stains on fingernails and toenails by soaking them in cornstarch and water with a teaspoon of baking soda.

4. Reuse your razors

Now, this may not work for everyone, but I’ve found that I can recycle my husband’s razors. After a single use on his burly facial hair, his razors don’t provide a comfortable shave. However, my thinner leg hair seems to do just fine for a week or two with a recycled razor. Give it a try, and if you notice pulling or a rash, use a new razor instead.

5. Try a substitute

Instead of buying different shades of eyeliner, I mix powdered eyeshadow on a wet eyeliner brush to match or complement my chosen eyeshadow.

6. Remove nail polish with glue

To easily remove glitter nail polishes or dark color, paint fingernails with a thin layer of Elmer’s school glue before applying polish. Let the glue dry, then polish as usual. The polish will peel off or be easily removed with polish remover, instead of having to soak nails for minutes.

7. Mix and match your colors

Instead of throwing out old nail polishes, try mixing similar colors in one bottle and add a little clear coat to create a new shade.

8. Don’t throw out broken compacts or eyeshadows

Grind up any remaining chunks of powder so you have a fine, loose powder in the compact. Add one drop of rubbing alcohol to the powder and stir with toothpick. Continue adding one drop of alcohol at a time until the powder reaches a creamy consistency. Smooth the top, and allow to dry for two to four hours to create an intact powder compact!

David’s Note: My wife now cuts my hair, and the first experience can be lots of fun. What DIY grooming tips do you have to help save MoneyNing readers money?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Paul says:

    I purchased a complete hair cutting kit for under $20. For the cost of just one or two haircuts, the savings paid for the purchase of my hair cutting kit.
    I’ve also saved a ton of money when I stock up on bar soap, toothpaste, shampoo, and body wash by taking advantage of the deals posted on coupon sites.

  • Bert says:

    I have cut my own hair for 45 years, and people are surprised when they find this out, so the results must be at least adequate.

  • Amy says:

    I bought an electric hair trimmer 15 years ago for under $30, and have been cutting my husband´s hair ever since. Since he likes his hair short, he get a cut every couple of weeks. That´s about 390 haircuts since we got the trimmer. How much would that cost in a barber shop? And there´s also the convenience of cutting his hair any time he wants without having to leave the house, much less wait in line at the barber shop.

  • Marbella says:

    Compare prices from different stores for your favorite products and you will find big price differences, shop where it is cheapest of course.

  • Joe says:

    The day I went bald was the day that I saved tons of money on haircuts. I just shave it all off now. No need to go to a hair salon anymore.

  • Kate says:

    I have never used makeup in my life. I have a perfect complexion and there is no need for any expensive paint. For moisturizer, I use an all-purpose body lotion called Nivea, and it keeps my skin pliable and smooth. My hairdresser dyes my eyebrows which are pale, and that’s the extent of my “beautifying” routine. Epsom salts baths are good in the winter to soften your skin and keep your feet from smelling like feet. Change your socks regularly and soak them in water with a few tablespoons of baking soda before you put them in the laundry.

    If you spend much time in gyms and are concerned about your feet picking up something, soak them in 1/2 cup white vinegar with a 1/4 cup Listerine — the kind with the alcohol in it, for 15 minutes per foot. That will kill anything and it’s not only cheap, but safe.

  • KM says:

    I have been cutting my hair myself until recently, and with the quality of haircuts I have been receiving lately, I think I might just go back to that. I don’t think I am going to touch my husband’s extremely thick hair, but I do cut my son’s hair and will continue to do so for a while (probably while he lets me).

    For shaving, one investment my husband found worth it is an electric shaver. Not only do I like the results better, but it’s a lot easier and less messy for him and it’s cheaper. We bought it for $80 over a year ago and still haven’t had to replace anything. The cost of razors at this point would probably have been in the hundreds. Another radical alternative to consider is laser hair removal – shaving much finer, sparser hair is cost efficient! I have been using the same razor for at least a year or two without nicks, rash, or any other problems.

    Lastly, I know it might be tough for all those women who adore their beauty products, but less is definitely more in this area! This applies to complexion health (skin is healthier when it can breathe more and is not attacked with a slew of products on a daily basis), budget (it’s cheaper to have 10 things instead of 100 and keep buying even more), and mental clarity (simplicity is wonderful and having only a few things to deal is so much easier).

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