How Much Is a Haircut? What to Pay & How to Save!

Beauty, Budgeting

If you've ever wondered, “how much is a haircut?” you're in the right place! We've got the 4-1-1, plus tons of tips to help you cut costs, along with how much to tip. Because spoiler alert: we don't think you should spend an arm and a leg on beauty products or services.

picture of Jordan Page after a haircut, from Fun Cheap or Free

Okay, we know we're stepping into dangerous territory here. If you have undying loyalty to your favorite hairdresser, we get it. If you're nervous about trusting your hair to just anyone, we get that, too! But here's the thing. If you're not careful, haircuts can get pretty dang expensive!

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The truth is, too many people overpay for haircuts. And when you're learning how to embrace frugal living, cutting costs on services like haircuts can really save your budget. So, who's up for saving HUNDREDS of dollars each year? We'll show you how!


a woman paying with a credit card at the salon, from Fun Cheap or Free

Ready for a little fun trivia? We did some research and pulled together stats on the average going rates for haircuts! Here's what we found:

  • Kids' Haircuts – The average kid's haircut will set you back about $15. It might not seem like a lot, but by the time they're 18, you'll have spent close to $1,700 per kid on haircuts. And that doesn't include tips. Gulp!
  • Men's Haircuts – Wondering how much your hubs should be spending on haircuts? The going rate is around $28. In cities like San Franciso, the average is closer to $50. A bit of good news? Those totals do include a tip.
  • Women's Haircuts – Now for the really tough pill to swallow. On average, women in the U.S. spend about $45 per haircut. Ouch! And that does NOT include color OR the tip.

Keep in mind, these are averages. Haircuts in New York City cost way more than they do in Ohio or Utah, so you may need to shift your expectations slightly depending on where you live.


woman getting a haircut, from Fun Cheap or Free

Now for the awkward question! You know we never shy away from the tough topics, right? So, let's talk about tipping! Here are a few general guidelines:

  • For a Haircut – Tip 15-20% of the total bill before any taxes.
  • Highlights/Color –15%-20% is typically acceptable for these services, too.
  • Style/Blowout – A 10-15% tip is usually okay.
  • Not Happy with the Service – Most stylists and salon owners agree. If you're not satisfied with your service, it's okay to skip the tip.

If you find a regular stylist you love, show them your appreciation with an extra tip during your last cut of the year, or give them a small gift. Check out these fun and easy homemade gift ideas for inspiration!


woman towel drying hair, from Fun Cheap or Free

Okay, now that you know how much to tip and how much you can expect to spend, let's talk about our favorite topic: How to save money! With these tips and tricks, you'll be sure to get the best possible prices on haircuts in the future!

  • Head to Your Local Beauty School – Cosmetology schools and training centers offer deep discounts to customers who are willing to give students practice. And because students are being graded for their work, they do a pretty dang good job! Just a heads up: You could spend hours for a full head of hair color plus a cut, but if you don't mind, you'll save a fortune in dollar bills (and you're helping a student achieve their dreams).
  • Scale Back the Frequency – Most stylists suggest a cut every six weeks, but if you can stretch it to every eight or ten weeks, you'll end up paying for two fewer haircuts each year. It adds up!
  • Splurge Once or Twice Per Year – If your hair is a bit unruly, consider heading to a high-end salon a couple of times each year and getting trims at budget salons in-between visits. You'll save a ton! It's the perfect compromise.
  • Become a Hair Model – Many salons offer free cuts and styles for customers willing to serve as models for training courses. Others offer discounts in exchange for agreeing to pose for Instagram photos. If you're not camera-shy, go for it!
  • Take Advantage of First-Time Customer Deals – A LOT of salons offer discounts to first-time customers. For example, at Ulta salons, you can save 25% on your first cut. Call ahead and ask if your local salon offers a similar incentive!
  • Opt for a Dry Cut – Wash your hair BEFORE you head to your salon and you can save a ton by opting for a dry cut instead of paying for the style and blowdry.

Remember, a cheap haircut does NOT necessarily mean a bad haircut!  The stylist matters more than the price tag from our experience, so just be sure to read reviews before you book.


One last tip before we go, and then we have a question for you!

Fun fact: Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days to get a haircut. Why? Salons usually have more openings on those days, so it's easier to score a last-minute appointment, and your stylist probably won't be as rushed. #TheMoreYouKnow

Now, we're curious! How much is a haircut where you live? And how do you save money on cuts? Leave us a comment below!

Image with text that reads "5+ ways to save money on a haircut" from Fun Cheap or Free

Looking for more ways to save money?

Go get your glam on!


  1. Carolyn

    We have been doing haircuts at home for years. My two boys were quite young when I made the switch from taking them to the barbershop where they received multiple bad haircuts in a row to having my guy cut their hair. It was supposed to be me cutting their hair, but I got flustered and had to hand it off to him, next time my older son said no, he didn’t want me to cut his hair and my younger son followed his lead, stinkers! Now as teens, they are still happy with his work, they get their haircuts every three weeks as they like their hair kept short, well groomed, not shaved, he has given them hundreds of haircuts. i take a seat every couple months and he trims my long hair. I figure being a decent boy’s haircut where we live is about $25, at 17 haircuts a year, that is $850 a year, my thick, elbow length hair would be $100, so there is another $600, plus the transportation costs and the travel and wait times. My mom and my best friend also have him cut their hair as they like his work and getting free haircuts. He has also done a number of haircuts for other friends of mine that have asked him, and my best friend’s adult daughter came with her mom for a trim when she came for a visit a couple years ago. So my hair care costs are low, so I do buy good quality shampoo, conditioner and oil for my hair.

    • Fun Cheap or Free

      Wow, that’s just AMAZING!!! You have saved so much money over the years, way to go hubby for being awesome! And way to go mom, for making the switch!

      • Carolyn

        It was a tough decision at first, my boys had such awful haircuts, my mother and sister both yelled at me, accusing me of doing the awful hack jobs. I decided that I was no longer going to pay for terrible haircuts. I did the research, bought the clippers, child cape and watched a lot of Youtube tutorials. I waited until the school year ended, in case I had to cut their hair shorter to fix errors. I thought I was ready, but thankfully my guy finished and did a great job. When my mom saw my boys, she fawned over how great their haircuts looked, then in a quiet concerned tone, she asked how much I had to pay for such nice haircuts. When I told her the full story, she told my guy that he was now going to be the regular barber for my boys, he did a fantastic job, and she went on about how much money that I would be saving, and how nice it is to see my boys looking so handsome with fresh haircuts. Of course, she still thought it was wrong for him to cut my hair for me, that I should being going to a salon. It took another two years for her to accept it, then she took a seat on the stool after hubby had finished giving my boys their haircuts asked him to give her a trim on her shoulder skimming bob. He did as she asked, and she liked the results. Her comment was that was going to be saving money too, no more spending money on trips to the salon. I was tempted to say I told you so, but instead I complimented her on how nice her hair looked, and then I did her color with henna. My mom doesn’t make very much at her job, so I like that we are saving her money.

        • Fun Cheap or Free

          Turning away from the professionals can be a scary thing since they’re *supposed* to know what they’re doing! But it’s amazing that through it all, you’ve all had such success with it and have saved buckets of money for not only your family, but your mom as well! So great!

  2. Stacy Menlove

    I am a hairdresser in Utah-so maybe our prices are cheaper here. There’s no way I would ever pay $45 or more for my haircut. I charge $15 for men and women’s cuts and that comes with a hair wash included. I also blow dry all of my clients free of charge-if they wanted a style that would cost more. I feel like a lot of what you said is coming from really high end salons. Maybe this is just my opinion but it is sad when I’ve seen moms try to cut their kids hair and they just look awful. What kid wants to look back 20 years from now and say “yeah my mom cut my hair to save a few bucks.” If you can’t afford it I understand but don’t head out to McDonalds either. Find a beautician who you like and trust (that isn’t from Great Clips)and I’m sure if you needed a discount on cuts that stylist would work out a deal for you.

    • Fun Cheap or Free

      Thanks for your perspective as a hair dresser! Will hairdressers really work with you on discounts? That’s amazing!

  3. Kim

    I normally use Groupon, but it still ends up being pricey :/ I did try the beauty school recently. They did a good job

    • Fun Cheap or Free

      That’s so great to hear! Beauty schools can be a great place to go for cheap.


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