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David Creel: Beauty on a budget


David Creel



Pinching pennies? Clipping coupons? It helps to shave off a buck or two here and there, but it''s not just for milk and bread anymore. Nowadays, folks are putting their beauty on a budget as well.  


If the average salon client visits her favorite stylist once a month for a haircut and color costing $100 (some less, some considerably more), over one year she will drop at least $1,200 for the sake of beautiful hair. That''s no small expense.  


I have been teaching women from behind the chair in my salons, in my beauty columns and even my Millsaps College workshops, about strategies to get the most bang from their bucks. Some might want to consider investing in at-home foolproof fixes such as quality haircare products to keep split ends under control. By using a thermal styling fixative, which is a protective barrier that repels heat, on the hair strands prior to daily heating instruments such as flat irons, curling wands and blow dryers, that five-week trim can be cut down to every eight weeks, maybe more. Ching, ching!  


Next, if money is at all any issue, consider a hairstyle that grows out more naturally, requiring less time in the styling chair. Warm up to one of the season''s new bobs, layered or one-length, and your hair will need less sprucing up and tend to grow out more gracefully.  


Even though I love a pixie, if you are in search of low-maintenance, pass on the shorter pixie cuts that only do well with monthly snips. With any of these cuts, consider asking your stylist for softer, rounded layers instead of blunt, choppy pieces. While stunning to behold, the latter will beg for more attention in a few weeks, and we are trending towards more time in the sun, not the salon, right? 


Hair coloring is a big ticket salon expense that can drain your summer beach trip allowance, so opt for some of the following color cost choppers. During the summer months, ask for a color gloss, which is a semi-permanent, non-ammonia hair color option that gradually fades away with no line of demarcation (read: roots) staring back at you. The best part is that you know you are giving your locks their own vacation from harsher chemicals, if only for a season.  


Those old habits of coloring the strands of hair "as close to the scalp as humanly possible" is giving way to a more modern approach with color "floating" throughout the hairstyle. It lends a more natural effect which ultimately calls for less time with foils, a diet coke and this month''s ELLE magazine in your lap at the salon. Ching, ching again. 


So, my last piece of advice for beauty on a budget is to never trade the quality hair service for the quest to save a few George Washingtons, but do begin the dialogue about your hair budget with the stylist of choice. I speak with my clients often about a strategy and long-term plan for us to reach their ultimate hair goals together -- beautiful hair without breaking the bank.


Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at [email protected]


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