How Much Do You Spend On Your Hair?

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

I am genuinely fascinated to know. I’ve mentioned on several occasions, I am officially crap at hair.

I’m not a lover of sitting in a salon for longer than absolutely necessary. I get arm ache just from attempting to put in a few waves with my GHD straighteners (which are over a decade old I might add) and having tried many a “miracle” product over the years only for the result to be disappointing, I’ve all but given up bothering with my barnet at all.

Ideally I should be having a demi weave of highlights every 10 weeks to keep them looking fresh – I just have bleach, no fancy additional colours or toners. And I really should have a trim on a more regular basis. But I never seem to have the time to do either. As it stands I haven’t been to the hairdressers since May as my usual colourist Beth is currently on maternity leave. A demi weave and a cut normally sets me back about £100 – my “cut” is literally just the ends snipped off. Pre motherhood I managed to make it to the hairdressers about four times a year if I really made an effort. These days it’s more like every 6 months.

My scraggy ends were in such terrible condition that a few weeks ago my nail technician Hannah said she could “dry” trim them there and then – literally right after my manicure* (don’t worry – she’s also a qualified hair stylist!). She charged me £15 and you know what? I honestly can’t tell the difference from when I pay more than twice that. But then I guess I don’t have any special layering and whatnot.

Some time ago I shared my product favourites – When expensive shampoo happens. Unfortunately Kerastase decided to go and change the formulation of my beloved Vital Dermo-Calm (cue massive eye roll) and it took me some time to find an alternative. I’ve tested all sorts of budget buys but alas, they all turned out to be absolute rubbish. I finally discovered Kiehl’s Rice and Wheat Volumising Shampoo and it’s worth every penny. It will leave your locks bouncy, clean and definitely thicker – without any weird residue or build up after a few washes. My Redken Silver Charge Shampoo is still my go-to for an ashy blonde tone (currently 34% off at and I’ve been bulk buying my 3 More Inches Volumising Mousse from Fragrance Direct as it is £2.99 (usually £12.99!!!!). The latter is the only styling product I use on a daily basis, I apply a big dollop onto towel dried hair and then go haphazardly with the hair dryer to create a kind of undone yet not-frazzled look. I don’t suffer from breakage so I believe it’s heat protection abilities are stellar.

Hilariously I often get asked about my hair, the colour in particular, once I inadvertently made a lady at a tube station very cross as she essentially accused me of fibbing about the fact I only use bleach a few times a year when she asked me how I achieve my silvery blonde hue (!). The magic is in the purple shampoo I swear.

How much do you spend on your hair? Do you ever experiment with home colours? Is there a budget shampoo that really is amazing?

*The irony of waffling on about not having time to visit a hairdresser but making the effort to have a fortnightly manicure is not lost on me.

Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
Follow Charlotte on instagram @charlotte.oshea
This post may include affiliate links.
[show_ltk_widget_version_two rows=1 cols=3 show_frame=false user_id=116091 padding=3 app_id=481186275 profileid=4c5b55b6-ff30-11e5-96ef-22000b0f8f3a]

39 thoughts on “How Much Do You Spend On Your Hair?

  1. My hairdresser schedule sounds pretty identical to yours Charlotte. I think if you have long blonde hair, you don’t really need anything else, it’s going to look nice regardless. A close friend of mine has a super-high maintenance style and needs to visit the salon once a month and she’s usually there for 6, sometimes 7 hours. That’d drive me nuts.

    After a lifetime of spending big in Kerastase, I use Touch Of Silver purple shampoo and conditioner which is mega cheap from the supermarket. I was tipped off on it after thinking a friend had had fresh highlights only to find out she’d been using that. A colour specialist I spoke to said you need to be careful using it too regularly as it can damage the hair shaft but I’ve been using it every wash for nearly a year now and my hair is in good condition. I don’t wash my hair every day though, more like every third day. It leaves it so shiny and reflective and preserves the colour perfectly. People often comment on my colour but like you, I just have bleach highlights, no toner or whatnot.

    My last colour, I tried a new colourist and she mentioned something about “warm tones” which I barely listened to. I wish I had because she turned me pinky-ginger. It was horrendous. I should have realised something was up when there was that extra step with me sitting with something stinging my scalp for half an hour. In my Mum-frazzled brain I just assumed I’d forgotten that stage usually happens. Turns out it doesn’t for me. I had to have it corrected by the salon owner and have learned a valuable lesson, pay attention, stick to my guns and make sure I stay well away from the toner bottle. He got the worst of it out and the Touch of Silver has brought it back to normal now.

    I’d like to know if anyone can recommend a lightweight leave-in conditioner or similar that allows hair to dry naturally sleek. When my hair is semi-dry there’s a nice wave to it but as soon as it dries out completely it gets frizzy and inconsistent. My hair is fine but there’s a lot of it so it takes me ages to blow dry so I’d like to find a product which gives me the option of air-drying it without looking like a bag lady….

    1. I would love to know this too Phillipa – what product can give a blow dry finish but by air drying, I’ve seen this recommended a lot:

      It looks as though it’s aimed at fine hair. Mine is fine but there is a lot of it – I do tend to find the mousse speeds up hair dryer time too. (LookFantastic as 34% off all redken at the moment) x

      1. I have fine hair and a lot of it too. I use the Bumble & Bumble Don’t Blow It cream (I think there is a version for fine hair and one for thick). I put it on my hair when wet and leave it at that. When it’s dry I end up with sightly messy hair but without the frizz. It doesn’t weigh my hair down at all. I also sometimes use a tiny bit of Aveda Smooth Infusion Style Prep Smoother – just on the ends if they need an extra bit of taming.

        1. I second bumble and bumble don’t blow it! I never blow dry my hair but used to have to attack it with my straighteners once dry to be presentable but now I just leave it and it looks great – I have lots of fine hair too. It’s the one spendy product I will buy again and again!

        2. I second bumble and bumble don’t blow it! I never blow dry my hair but used to have to attack it with my straighteners once dry to be presentable but now I just leave it and it looks great – I have lots of fine hair too. It’s the one spendy product I will buy again and again!

    2. Wow thanks everyone, these are suggestions I’ve never tried. I spoke to the B&B consultant at my local boots about this issue and she never even mentioned the don’t blow it cream! She just talked me into buying some UV protection spray that really didn’t do what I was after. Can’t wait to give these suggestions a go!

  2. £1.49 shampoo from wherever and I need a haircut. So bad. 6 months is a goal. Curly hair tends to require less maintenance as I’ve always been a wash and go girl but recently I’ve been plunging to new lows of self care.

    When am I supposed to find the FRICKING TIME?

    1. Mabel has curly hair, we have never ever taken her to the hairdressers – I just can’t bring myself to make her have it cut!

    2. Rebecca my little one has a curly mop and I was so out my depth until a friend bought me the curly girls handbook. Once you get past the cringe factor of the dvd it’s immense. Has made such a difference to her hair!

    3. Rebecca this is me to a T! I’m shockingly lazy with my hair. Its easier to just let it airdry in summer – curly hair, winter damp and hats arenkot a good mix… But I’m always very impressed when I hear from friends how much time (and occasionally money) they spend on their hair.

  3. I spend a lot on products but I rarely actually USE them. My hair seems to behave better when I just leave it be – most people compliment my hair when I’ve literally washed and blasted it with a hairdryer for 5 mins.

    I get it cut / coloured a couple of tones a year, 3 at most but book my Shellac appointment religiously every fortnight!

    I’m going to miss your beauty posts when you go on mat leave 😭 Still, if you need someone to take the enabling baton while you’re off I’m your gal!

    1. Lynsey…what mat leave?! Ha ha, I’ll still be writing the odd post don’t worry, you never know I might get a sleeper…’s hoping 😳

      I’m laughing at your shellac appointments – me too!!! I figure it’s because I look at my nails so much as I’m always bloody typing, they have to look presentable – my hair on the other hand is only viewed when I look in a mirror, which is less and less these days, out of sight out of mind and all that! x

  4. I visit the hairdressers about as regularly as you do! But when I go I spend about £50-£60 on just a cut and blow dry. I have quite unusual hair in that it is thin but there is a lot of it and it is really curly underneath but the top layer is straight (or nearly straight!) I am yet to find product that works well on it! I have heard the Bumhle and Bumble salt spray is worth the pennies so I may give it a go!

    1. Lucy I have heard great things about the Aveda Texture tonic – I personally found the B&B salt spray too drying and crispy.

      The Aveda is £21 but at John Lewis you can buy a trial size for £9 so you can try before you commit to flashing the massive cash – I’ve treated myself to one and am going to try it over the weekend:

  5. The majority of the money i spend on my hair is to keep the ever increasing grey hair hidden and looking natural!! My hairdresser has been on maternity leave since the summer which yes saved me some pennies as i did it myself – but did mean my hair didn’t get cut for about 6months. For actual maintenance – having curly hair over the years i have spend ridiculous amounts trying to tame the frizz, but I now understand that less is more works better for it – I probably wash max twice a week – and have found an amazing conditioner and curl cream in Sainsburys that is super cheap and makes my hair very happy!!!

    1. Janey I love a bargain – do put links in for the products if you have time as I’m sure other curly haired ladies would love to know x

    2. Doh linkies to these amazing products (well my hair loves them) are these: – I have only tries the conditioner and curl cream – but i am on i think my 4th repeat purchase of the curl cream – that never happens!!!

      Also have to say – i did also stumble across the curly girl method on facebook i think when i was in absolute despair – and i think that has also helped – it is actually how i used to manage my hair years ago and i think i had just got too heavy handed with it over the years trying to make it do what i wanted it to do!

  6. This is so timely! I’ve just changed hairdressers in a bid to save some cash.
    I go to the salon every 8 weeks, I have done since I started colouring it red (not pillar box -although I probably have at some point!) about 15years ago. I used to go to a local salon which was about £60 for a cut and colour. Then I moved towns and stared going to a fancy city centre salon which started off as £90 then on my last visit in June it had increased to£120!
    So last Friday I went to a local salon a friend goes to (who always had good hair) and paid £65 for a cut and colour. It’s brilliant and I’ve had lots of compliments on it! Admittedly I don’t get free wine or glossy magazines but st half the price I can cope!

    Shampoo wise I used Pureology for years then I’ve no idea why I decided not to buy it! I’m currently going budget with L’Oréal Elvive which I am living. Styling products wise I use bumble and bumble (they work and don’t make my hair stiff or weird!).
    My ghds are about 12years old!
    I have curly hair which I blow dry straight (I know!) so I have a ghd hair dryer also (which is about 8years old) and still going strong!
    So a proper mix of cheap and expensive!
    Ive not used a box dye since the late 90s..,.

    1. Vicky respect for such dedication, I bet your hair looks fab. I didn’t know GHD did a dryer – I use a Parlux which I’ve had for years, I have the travel size as it’s easier to store but seems to do the job just as well as the larger one I used to have yonks ago. I can’t believe how much some salons charge, it makes my eyes water x

  7. I’m quite lucky with my hair that its quite long, thick and an ok colour and it seems to play ball, whatever I do with it, which these days isn’t that much…..!
    I get it cut a couple of times a year and use whatever shampoo and conditioner I like th smell/packaging of!
    I have however been using the Bumble and Bumble Sunday shampoo for th past 6months or so, which is GREAT for getting it really clean/removing build up of product (when I say ‘product’ I basically just mean dry shampoo!) and I use a heat protecting spray/oil every time I blow dry it. Currently Bumble and Bumble Hairdressers Invisible oil…..a little goes a long way!
    I really resent spending money on my hair, but don’t think twice about spending an actual fortune for shavings (and everything else🙄) for my horse that gets pooed on and thrown away…..go figure!

    1. Jane it’s all about what’s important I guess – I’m the same, I spend a small fortune on my nails and regular eyebrow shaping but never bother with my hair or spend a lot on skincare etc

      Loving the sound of this Sunday shampoo – a good cleanse really makes a difference.

    2. Jane – hilarious about shavings. If I spent as much money on myself as I do my horse I’d be so well looked after!! x

      1. Oh gosh me too… actually terrifies me to think what we have spent on them over the years….I can’t even joke about it as I know it will be a horrendous amount….😬

  8. I am a big believer that you should spend money on your hair – it is the one thing you wear every single day. Apply the price per wear mantra and it is minimal!
    I always invest in a good salon and when I find someone I trust then stick with them – my colourist of 7 years moved back to Malta last year and I’m yet to find a suitable replacement. I have a lot of very thick hair and it infuriates me when a hairdresser halfway through a half head of highlights says “gosh, you really do have so much hair” then huffs at how long it’s taking them.
    I only wash my hair once every 4-5 days so it has very little heat on it and I invest in good shampoo and conditioner which lasts a long time. I like Kerastase but mix up the shampoo as my hair doesn’t like overuse of one brand.

    1. Urgh Sophie I hate a huffy colourist so many times that has happened to me even when i have prewarned the salon in advance!

  9. Hello.. I have long hair and a lot of it, some of it is thick at the back but the top more thin. I’ve so much of it it would ridic to try and curl or wave which i would really love to do. It has no natural wave to it or pointy straight just something in between. I found washing it and drying it a real drag for years but last November I had a large undercut shaved in the back. If I have my hair down you can’t even tell it’s there, and even in a high pony it is covered but i also show it off from time to time. It has saved me so much time washing and drying. I really should use a heat protector on my hair and my hairdresser berates me for it. I do however use his recommended shampoo from TIGI and a spray in conditioner which saves me even more time as there is no time wasted on washing it out and makes my hair feel a lot lighter. A lot of the time i don’t even need the conditioner.
    I also struggle to make it to the hairdresser – maybe three times a year for cut and colour… but it should be more like 5-6. Enjoyed reading everyone’s recommendations!

    1. Wow the undercut sounds like a great idea – I certainly never would have considered that for thick hair, I bet it looks uber stylish when on show too x

  10. It was every 2 months for a cut as I had a crop. however am accidentally growing it out as my hairdresser left and I don’t trust anyone else! I have finally bitten the bullet and got a recommendation but am not going to let her crop it til she’s proved herself with a couple of decent cuts!

    I choose shampoo based on the smell and whats on offer as they all seem to do the same!

    1. I wish I wasn’t allergic to so many products Rachel – I would love to be able to buy a supermarket apple shampoo and get on with it!

  11. I’m crap with hair too. I go to the hairdressers twice a year, once for a cut and colour, and once just for a cut. Since I’ve been having balayage I find colouring my hair cost effective. I’m naturally a mid-brunette and if I stick to a similar natural brown I occasionally colour my hair at home using just Nice and Easy or something similar. I wouldn’t go lighter from a home dye.

    My hair is naturally curly and I straighten it a couple of times a week so I should probably find time for a third trim, but I just can’t be bothered. As I’ve got old my hair has become more manageable. I use Ogx sea mineral shampoo and conditioner and I tend to stock up when it is on offer (I’ve not paid more than £3.99 for it yet, despite the £6.99 regular price), argon oil after washing, and a spritz of Tresemme hair spray. Less seems to be more!

    1. SO many people on this thread seem to agree with the less is more approach Claire, definitely less damage in the long term if we are not colouring it every five minutes and using heated styling tools frequently etc x

  12. Argh, I started getting greys at age 30 and 5 years later there are a lot more! Its hard to get away them with if you’re brunette. So, gasp, I go to the salon and have a full cut and root tint every 8 weeks religiously. It costs me a fortune but my hair is super thick and also grows very fast so a proper cut and colour is the only way of taming it. I still have to touch up the emerging greys between appointments at home too! For that reason I can’t really justify speedy hair products or regular nails as all my budget (and time allocation!) goes on bloody salon visits. x x

  13. It’s like you can read my mind, I’ve been having hair dilemmas all week. I haven’t found a hairdresser I want to stick with, having been on maternity leave twice over the past 3 years I flitted between home cuts and Soho expensive salon haircuts, not that you could ever really tell the difference.

    My hair is also fine, and incredibly straight. I’ve been using the Redken colour extend for years, I always buy the huge salon bottle from FeelUnique and it works well, seems to keep my colour fairly fresh. Also for touch ups (as the greys are aggressive!) I use the Josh Wood root colour from M&S, it matches mine really well and you just wash it off each day.

    I might have to give the bumble and bumble cream a go, I long for the day I can blow dry and put a wave through my hair, but with 2 girls under 3 and a full time job, a straighten of my fringe is about all I can manage!

    Carlie x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *