Author Topic: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret  (Read 2576 times)

VancouverSaver

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Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« on: October 11, 2019, 04:37:50 PM »
Hi all,

This is my first post, so please be kind. I'm a newbie Mustachian with a guilty secret. I just calculated that this year so far I have spent $1,720 (Canadian) in the hair salon on cuts/colours. Obviously this needs to stop, but I don't trust hair schools and I feel like hair dye from a store does more damage than good.

Here's the longwinded history - I'm wondering if anyone here can relate and just make me feel better about it all, as I decide how I'm going to get out of this expenditure!

-I have brown hair but have been going grey since I was 18 and have been dying my hair almost consistently ever since.  I am now 38 years old.

- As a student in the UK, I just used boxes of hair dye and went to a cheap salon for cuts 1/2 times a year.

- In my 20s in Belgium, earning quite a lot, I started going to a salon. They said I had done damage to my hair with home dying. I don't have cost records, but these salon visits were less than current expenditure.

- As I hit my 30s in Vancouver, Canada, I found myself with less money and began going to a hair school for cheaper cuts/colours

- After a while, I decided to grow my hair out, without dying it, to see how grey I was. I was VERY, VERY grey.

- Exposing my grey during this time did not go well for my career, which relied on me being seen as "cool, young, and hip"

- So after a while I returned to the hair school for cheap cuts/colours again. This was fine UNTIL...

- One fateful day, a couple of years ago, the hair school student messed my hair up totally. They ran out of dye so the colour was all patchy, and the guy didn't know what he was doing with women's hair, so the haircut was a mess. I looked a total wreck. Unfortunately, I had to go to a Facebook conference with my boss in two days time.

- So the day before the conference, I happened to walk past a salon near my house. It was really expensive, but my partner suggested I go in and ask if they could help. The next day, they saved me, by adjusting my cut to hide the worst of the colour mess, so I looked OK for the conference.

- After the conference, I returned to the salon so they could fix up the colour properly. It took a couple of visits, but finally I had presentable hair again.

- Despite the fact that my job has now changed, and does not rely on me looking young, I have been loyal to this salon ever since. I find it difficult to trust anyone else with my hair because of my previous experiences.

So my question is, a) can anyone out there relate? and b) what do you recommend?

This is, I agree, an obscene amount to spend on hair and this money could go into savings instead. But I'm worried about trying the usual moneysaving methods of DIY or hair school, because I have been so badly burned in the past.

I guess - although I know it's not the fully Mustachian way - the first answer is to just find a cheaper salon. If anyone has recommendations in Vancouver, that would be good.

Finally, for the record, all this expenditure on hair might lead you to believe I am one of those glamorous people with impeccable fashion and personal presentation. I am not. My hair is the only personal grooming I spend any money on. I'm not into fashion, don't ever go shopping recreationally, usually get my clothes from thrift stores or clothing swaps, have far fewer shoes than my partner, have never had a manicure or pedicure, use a diva cup, use only soap, shampoo, and conditioner to wash with, and just have one simple moisturizer, one roll on deodorant, and one perfume... You get the idea.

Feel free to judge me - I'm judging myself pretty hard right now. And thanks for any of your helpful suggestions.

Cranky

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2019, 04:43:39 PM »
Can you really not be a young hip person with grey hair?

I get my hair cut a lot, because itís short, and colored twice/year, and I think itís total fun and vanity. My hair cuts cost $34, though.

VancouverSaver

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2019, 05:01:13 PM »
Can you really not be a young hip person with grey hair?

I agree with you Cranky, but you'd be surprised... Some of these startup companies definitely don't think so. I didn't get fired or anything. I just wasn't put forward when they needed someone to represent the company etc. Other people who fitted the image better were chosen instead, which then lowered my own profile in the organization. And yeah - who wants to be a part of a company like that? Well, I'm not any more. But it had an impact at the time. :(

Laura33

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2019, 05:14:24 PM »
I would suggest trying the home version again, but go for a demi-permanent version.  Those have much less harsh stuff and are cheap.  Plus the nice thing is with grey hair, you don't get the skunk stripe; instead, it fades out slowly, over 6-8 weeks.  I did this for years.

Or just go with a bright color, like pink or teal or whatever works with your coloring.  I have done this, and the nice thing is that all my grey just looks like highlights.

Or decide that this is your "thing" and stop kicking yourself about it.  You are doing the right thing to challenge everything and look for better options.  But in the end, as long as you are on track with your financial goals, one splurge isn't going to kill you -- particularly if it is something that is, in fact, useful for your career (which, alas, women's hair still is).

VancouverSaver

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2019, 05:26:39 PM »
I would suggest trying the home version again, but go for a demi-permanent version.  Those have much less harsh stuff and are cheap.  Plus the nice thing is with grey hair, you don't get the skunk stripe; instead, it fades out slowly, over 6-8 weeks.  I did this for years.

Or just go with a bright color, like pink or teal or whatever works with your coloring.  I have done this, and the nice thing is that all my grey just looks like highlights.

Or decide that this is your "thing" and stop kicking yourself about it.  You are doing the right thing to challenge everything and look for better options.  But in the end, as long as you are on track with your financial goals, one splurge isn't going to kill you -- particularly if it is something that is, in fact, useful for your career (which, alas, women's hair still is).

Thanks Laura33, really appreciate the ideas and comments. Hadn't thought about that skunk stripe. Sometimes there are benefits to DIY, hey?!
« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 07:27:35 PM by VancouverSaver »

Riccardo

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2019, 05:33:01 PM »
YouTube has a lot of helpful videos on dying your hair. I buy my permanent hair color at Sally Beauty Supply and dye the gray about every 3-4 weeks.  This is better quality dye and a better price than the boxed drugstore dye. You buy a big bottle of creme developer, a brush and bowl and gloves, and it's also all less wasteful than boxed dye. I also give myself highlights every few months using the cap and crochet hook method (this is commonly sold as a kit, or you can ask at Sally -- they will help you get everything you need).

I think longer hair shows roots less than short. My hair is longer than it has ever been because my increasingly gray hair is coarser than the brown hair was, and dying it helps to smooth that coarseness down, while the gray hair itself is stronger than my younger hair. Unlike bleaching or straightening or heat styling, depositing color (covering gray) is not damaging to your hair, in my experience. Oh and salons ALWAYS tell you your hair is dry, needs help, etc. and then sell you expensive products.

I'm one of those annoying people who finds a lot of joy, beauty and success in aging. However I agree with you about discrimination -- gray can be tricky in a tech setting. Tech is rampant with ageism.

Ultimately, the most flattering cut and color FOR YOU is more important than not being gray. So you might want to switch it up and try a different salon, or if you think that the look you have is really serving your face and lifestyle well, you could explain to them that you want to start doing touchups on your own, and can they get you set up to do that? They might hate it, but you might emphasize what a loyal customer you are and say you've been mentioning them to others.

Or accept that this is simply your little luxury, and you deserve it.

Zikoris

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2019, 05:57:55 PM »
Fellow Vancouverite!

I used to spend a lot on haircuts because my hair is naturally massive and hard to cut, and the only stylist who could do a good job worked at an expensive place. Eventually we figured out a simple hairstyle that worked out better (shaving half my head), that hairdresser moved to Europe, and I started going to the barber for maintenance for MUCH cheaper. I picked up some nice hair clips while travelling, and most of the time for work I just pin my hair up nicely, and nobody ever has complained.

I can't offer much advice for colour, but maybe some of that might be mental? If you want to start working on Just Not Giving a Fuck, there's a very active Vancouver FIRE club with lots of women (myself included) who could be a good influence in that regard.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2019, 06:28:01 PM »
I used the semi permanent home dyes for years and they worked fine. My sister goes the whole dye route and her hair is straw without deep conditioning. I went to her hairdresser once when I was visiting and her hairdresser said my hair was fine, no conditioning needed. No damage from the semi permanent dye.

VancouverSaver

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2019, 07:00:17 PM »
YouTube has a lot of helpful videos on dying your hair. I buy my permanent hair color at Sally Beauty Supply and dye the gray about every 3-4 weeks.  This is better quality dye and a better price than the boxed drugstore dye. You buy a big bottle of creme developer, a brush and bowl and gloves, and it's also all less wasteful than boxed dye. I also give myself highlights every few months using the cap and crochet hook method (this is commonly sold as a kit, or you can ask at Sally -- they will help you get everything you need).

I think longer hair shows roots less than short. My hair is longer than it has ever been because my increasingly gray hair is coarser than the brown hair was, and dying it helps to smooth that coarseness down, while the gray hair itself is stronger than my younger hair. Unlike bleaching or straightening or heat styling, depositing color (covering gray) is not damaging to your hair, in my experience. Oh and salons ALWAYS tell you your hair is dry, needs help, etc. and then sell you expensive products.

I'm one of those annoying people who finds a lot of joy, beauty and success in aging. However I agree with you about discrimination -- gray can be tricky in a tech setting. Tech is rampant with ageism.

Ultimately, the most flattering cut and color FOR YOU is more important than not being gray. So you might want to switch it up and try a different salon, or if you think that the look you have is really serving your face and lifestyle well, you could explain to them that you want to start doing touchups on your own, and can they get you set up to do that? They might hate it, but you might emphasize what a loyal customer you are and say you've been mentioning them to others.

Or accept that this is simply your little luxury, and you deserve it.

Thank you so much for all these tips Fru-Gal! I am definitely going to start looking into all these options. As for the discrimination, yes, itís mad. When I did stop dying my hair for that one year, I even got disparaging comments from women in my own family, and older female family friends, whose tone indicated they were worried for my mental health!

VancouverSaver

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2019, 07:01:54 PM »
Fellow Vancouverite!

I used to spend a lot on haircuts because my hair is naturally massive and hard to cut, and the only stylist who could do a good job worked at an expensive place. Eventually we figured out a simple hairstyle that worked out better (shaving half my head), that hairdresser moved to Europe, and I started going to the barber for maintenance for MUCH cheaper. I picked up some nice hair clips while travelling, and most of the time for work I just pin my hair up nicely, and nobody ever has complained.

I can't offer much advice for colour, but maybe some of that might be mental? If you want to start working on Just Not Giving a Fuck, there's a very active Vancouver FIRE club with lots of women (myself included) who could be a good influence in that regard.

Thanks for this Zikoris! Where can I find details if the Vancouver FIRE group? Iíd love to meet up 😊

VancouverSaver

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2019, 07:03:10 PM »
I used the semi permanent home dyes for years and they worked fine. My sister goes the whole dye route and her hair is straw without deep conditioning. I went to her hairdresser once when I was visiting and her hairdresser said my hair was fine, no conditioning needed. No damage from the semi permanent dye.

Thanks RetiredAt63, this is very good info to know!

Zikoris

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2019, 07:29:11 PM »
Fellow Vancouverite!

I used to spend a lot on haircuts because my hair is naturally massive and hard to cut, and the only stylist who could do a good job worked at an expensive place. Eventually we figured out a simple hairstyle that worked out better (shaving half my head), that hairdresser moved to Europe, and I started going to the barber for maintenance for MUCH cheaper. I picked up some nice hair clips while travelling, and most of the time for work I just pin my hair up nicely, and nobody ever has complained.

I can't offer much advice for colour, but maybe some of that might be mental? If you want to start working on Just Not Giving a Fuck, there's a very active Vancouver FIRE club with lots of women (myself included) who could be a good influence in that regard.

Thanks for this Zikoris! Where can I find details if the Vancouver FIRE group? Iíd love to meet up 😊

We organize everything on Facebook - there are two groups, Money Mustache Meetup Vancouver and ChooseFI Vancouver. It's mostly the same people in both, but the ChooseFI one is a more active.

VancouverSaver

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2019, 07:52:08 PM »
Fellow Vancouverite!

I used to spend a lot on haircuts because my hair is naturally massive and hard to cut, and the only stylist who could do a good job worked at an expensive place. Eventually we figured out a simple hairstyle that worked out better (shaving half my head), that hairdresser moved to Europe, and I started going to the barber for maintenance for MUCH cheaper. I picked up some nice hair clips while travelling, and most of the time for work I just pin my hair up nicely, and nobody ever has complained.

I can't offer much advice for colour, but maybe some of that might be mental? If you want to start working on Just Not Giving a Fuck, there's a very active Vancouver FIRE club with lots of women (myself included) who could be a good influence in that regard.

Thanks for this Zikoris! Where can I find details if the Vancouver FIRE group? Iíd love to meet up 😊

We organize everything on Facebook - there are two groups, Money Mustache Meetup Vancouver and ChooseFI Vancouver. It's mostly the same people in both, but the ChooseFI one is a more active.

Great! Iíll join up now!

six-car-habit

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2019, 08:22:24 PM »
 I was hoping you'd be describing a situation like my dad's . There are some things he is mustachian on [ a few] .

 But not this one - " Hair Club for Men" .  average of Approximately $250 / mo ,  going on about 35 years.

 I suppose dyeing womens hair color is different [???]

Maenad

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2019, 10:52:25 PM »
Or decide that this is your "thing" and stop kicking yourself about it.  You are doing the right thing to challenge everything and look for better options.  But in the end, as long as you are on track with your financial goals, one splurge isn't going to kill you -- particularly if it is something that is, in fact, useful for your career (which, alas, women's hair still is).

As always, Laura brings the wisdom. It's good to challenge our spending assumptions, but it's OK to have something that you splurge on, especially if it has significant career impact.

Alternately, you could see if there are more edgy haircuts that give women with gray hair an impression of being funky, vibrant, a whole bunch of other things that people usually associate with youth. There's been a number of famous women with signature wardrobe and/or hair styles that kept them from being "old" for a long, long time.

MayDay

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2019, 07:06:50 AM »
I second that going a bright fun color might be the answer. I don't know that it would really be cheaper but it sounds exhausting to keep up with all that dying. I feel like a bright color you could go longer between because showing roots doesn't matter, especially if you do some chunks blue rather than whole head.

TomTX

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2019, 10:19:09 AM »
Tried the Light Mountain Natural hair color for my wife - worked great, no hair damage. It's not just "henna red" anymore - they have quite a few colors. Half box for roots treatment. Less than $7/box at the local hippie store.

SunnyDays

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2019, 10:25:25 AM »
Seems to me that the current trend is for young women to actually dye their hair grey, so now might be the time to let it go natural!

Instead of going to big salons, which have high overheads, look for someone who has a home-based salon.  They're usually way cheaper and you develop a better relationship with the stylist.  Also, ask around.  When you see someone with a great cut/colour, ask where they got it.  I found a great little "hole in the wall" where I've gotten the best results of my life for quite cheap.  Been going there for about 12 years, and I shudder to think of the stylist retiring.

familyandfarming

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2019, 11:12:57 AM »
I was THAT woman who spent lots on my hair. It did make a difference in how I was perceived in my art job. Then my "best in the area" hairstylist's husband was injured, resulting in her having to quit to take care of him full time.

The salon she worked at offered a replacement. Not good. I was adrift! After years of trying to find the right combination of hair color and cut, I came upon for me, the best way to attack this problem. I found a good beauty school and made a deep connection with the teacher in charge of teaching color. (Involving Starbucks gift cards.) I now religiously get my hair colored at that school every 6 weeks with a formula the teacher developed and I wrote down. The student puts it on with her watching over their shoulder. The color is $34. I tip $10 to the student, and at appropriate times give that teacher additional Starbucks gift cards.

The cut? I pay a master stylist $56 for a cut every 9-10 weeks. Her salon runs twice a year specials where you can buy services for 20% off in advance. I prorate and get the cost down to $45. I also tip. She does a very good job!

In the end, I've saved 1/2 of what I previously spent, and my hair is back to it's previous glory!

brooklynmoney

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2019, 02:05:18 PM »
I spend about $400 4x a year so right there with you. If I had my choice, I would just dye myself using drugstore stuff, but I used to do that and it didnít look professional. Iím thinking of switching to my friends stylist who is cheaper, but my salon is right across the street. I think of this expense as a tax I have to pay for high earnings.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2019, 03:18:24 PM »
I started going gray young like you and my hair would be completely gray now if I didn't color. I just look much better (and younger) with my hair colored, and would not look good as a blonde (too washed out with my skin color).

My hair grows fast and I go every two weeks for color. I could however save money by going every 3-4 weeks and using my root touch up stick (it's like a giant hard crayon, you get it wet and apply to to roots where they show, works great and the crayon is inexpensive and lasts a long time).

If the salon is significantly more expensive than others in the area you also might choose a less expensive salon (my hairdresser trained with Vidal Sassoon in the 60's and teaches other hairdressers, but her fees are reasonable and a lot less than the fancy salons. ). Really any reasonable salon should be able to do your color without the disaster you described. You could look for a salon that uses the same products as your current salon.

But I'm just here to tell you that if you love your current salon, there's nothing wrong with spending this money on your appearance if that's valuable to you.

happy

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2019, 04:23:59 PM »
I had a professional job where my hair needed to be reasonable and I also had some bad hairdresser experiences, including one hairdresser who I'm sure deliberately sabotaged me when I said I wanted to go grey by bleaching my roots. I looked a fright, I really can't imagine she thought this was a good result. Sure enough within 2 weeks I had a job interview and had to have emergency hair remediation like you!

As a result, like others I then used semi-permanent dyes at home for as long as I could. When the colour started looking too dark and hard on my 50s face, I gradually started using lighter colours in the hope that I could just gradually fade into grey. This worked until I got to a light brown when the box colour was really flat , boring and ugly. I hit a compromise by finding a hairdresser who put highlights in every 3 months, and in between I would use a home colour to touch up once a month. I gradually went blond this way due to the successive highlights. I was intending to stop but found that I looked really good blonde and so I've just stayed that way. I've retired now and could grow it out, but I like doing what I'm doing and intend to keep on for the foreseeable future. Its an expense but I can afford it.

Quote
Despite the fact that my job has now changed, and does not rely on me looking young,
If you are now in a job where you can get away with it, maybe its the time to change. And grey hair is fashionable.

Tris Prior

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2019, 04:49:54 PM »

Instead of going to big salons, which have high overheads, look for someone who has a home-based salon.  They're usually way cheaper and you develop a better relationship with the stylist.  Also, ask around.  When you see someone with a great cut/colour, ask where they got it.  I found a great little "hole in the wall" where I've gotten the best results of my life for quite cheap.  Been going there for about 12 years, and I shudder to think of the stylist retiring.

This has saved me, too - I found via word of mouth a great stylist who works out of her home. I pay $120-$150 (depending on how fancy the color gets) for a cut and color which includes bleaching during most visits. In my city, this "should" cost more like $300.

What color are you dyeing your hair? I stretch out the time between hair appointments by touching up my (bright and unnatural) color myself. I don't bleach it myself because I'm scared of the damage that may do, but my stylist is fine with me dumping more dye on top of my head myself. I use the same stuff that she does, which one can buy online, it's semipermanent and costs around 8 bucks for a thing of it which lasts through a few applications. Unlike the box dye I used to use, you don't have to dump out your leftovers, it's still OK. It doesn't look as good as when she does it, but it looks OK and I can usually go 3-4 months between appointments now. So, if that's an option for you, that might be a way to cut down on the visits. If bleaching is totally necessary each time, though - like, if you're going blonde - then it might not work. But I've been surprised at how long I've been able to stretch it out before I have to cough up more salon money.

mozar

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2019, 05:17:59 PM »
For a young hip cool person with grey hair check out claire who does food videos for bon appetit on YouTube.

lisabobisa

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2019, 06:24:26 AM »
Don't use boxed dyes!

Go to a beauty supply store and get the tubes of color and the developer and mix it yourself.  You'll also need to get a bowl (non-metallic) and gloves.  My stylist (who I see once a year for a haircut) suggested this... it's the same color the stylist use anyway.

SunnyDays

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2019, 10:45:29 AM »
Where I live, you must have a hairdressing licence to be able to buy colour at a beauty supply store.

TomTX

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2019, 06:52:40 PM »
Where I live, you must have a hairdressing licence to be able to buy colour at a beauty supply store.
Does Amazon deliver where you live?

gipsygrrl

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2019, 07:17:19 PM »
What I have learned from my money journey is that everything I spend on has an intrinsic value TO ME. The things of highest priority on my list are the things I spend money on and the lower things are the things I can scrimp and save and be a frugal beast about. Hair is not one of those things for me. I'm glad that other people can go gray without societal ramifications and I'm glad that others can use box dye without issues. I've not been able to do either of those things successfully. And like you, I've tried. So, having my hair colored professionally is just something that I shell out for and I look towards other things in my budget to cut back on. If you can find a cheaper stylist, awesome. But if not, cut that amount out of a lower priority area of your budget and call it a day with your lovely hair and your matching self-image.

Malcat

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2019, 08:13:49 PM »
It really doesn't take all that much to learn how to do your own colour. A bit of reading, a bit of trial and error, and you'll figure out exactly what works best for you.

It's really not all that difficult once you get to know your own hair and how it responds to peroxide and pigments.

Strand tests are your friend.

VancouverSaver

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Re: Newbie Mustachian with a guilty hair secret
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2019, 11:26:26 PM »
Wow - I hadnít checked this thread for a few days and already there have been so many replies! These are all great ideas and you have all really inspired me to try to make a change, see how it goes, but also to know that itís ok to spend on this and save in other areas too, if it doesnít work for me. I have so much to investigate! Many thanks from a newbie!