Are salon visits worth the cost? [ad]

The average woman in the UK will spend over £140,000 on cosmetics and haircare during her life — and this number is constantly growing, which is no surprise considering the prices of beauty treatments. (Research here.)

If you’ve ever stopped to question if it is worth it, you’re not alone, I’ve had my fair few DIY jobs done at home (including haircuts!). The fact most of these instances have not turned out as I had hoped, means that these days I arrange my budget so I can afford professional beauty treatments, such as haircuts and balayage.

There is no easy answer to any of these questions, but there are some things you definitely should know in order to make smart decisions regarding these issues.

Why are salons so expensive?

The answer to this question is quite easy, your visit to a salon is bound to be expensive because the things used there are high quality, which means they cost a lot. From advanced products for new hair and beauty treatments to professional hair colour accessories and tools*, all items used in salons cost much more than the average store-brand stuff.

I have learnt the hard way that a cheap haircut usually means cheap equipment, resulting in more split ends than I started with.

But the cost of running I high-quality service doesn’t stop there. We’re often quick to forget that they need to pay taxes, rent, utility bills, and, of course, employee salaries. When you consider this, it is little wonder that many services in central London are so expensive.

Another thing to consider is how expensive or difficult to produce the materials and ingredients are, they are the best of the best after all. For example, keratin requires a labour-intensive and expensive production process, and items like gold skin facials literally include gold in the list of ingredients.

All things considered, salon hair and beauty treatments cannot be cheap. If they are, there’s something shady going on and you should be wary.

Can’t I do it at home?

It is true that beauty and skincare products are getting better and better, you can even get your hand on some pretty high tech stuff these days for use at home. But if you are thinking about whether a salon visit is truly worth it, the simple answer is yes because they can provide results you can’t achieve at home.

As it is with many things in life, the worthiness of salon treatments is determined directly by their value. If the product is good and the treatment is performed professionally, you will get those desired results, so your money has been well spent.

That’s why it’s so important to research both the salon you plan to visit and the treatments you want to use. Find out what brands the salon uses and what kind of experience and training the beauticians and stylists have, this will help you understand whether these people can really help you — especially if you’re coming with a specific skin condition, such as acne or rosacea.

Dos and don’ts

Haircuts – unless you plan to shave your head, getting a haircut from a professional stylist should always be your default option.

Hair colouring – this one is a little tricky. Most people can do minor colour changes at home using store brand level dye, but some can’t. I am dark blonde and every time I have ever tried to dye my hair itself it has ended up ginger, regardless of whether I’m trying to go lighter or darker. The fact is, with home dye kits you can never know for sure what you’re going to get. When it comes to elaborate hair changes, like bleaching, highlighting or galaxy hair, you should definitely get the treatment from a professional.

Facials – if you can afford very high end, medical skincare products than you can probably get the same results at home. If you don’t low much about your skin, however, and so don’t know what products work best then a facial is a really great way to learn. An experienced facialist will be able to talk you through your skin and advise on products. When it comes to more advanced facials, using lasers, peels and anything that pricks or penetrates the skin, this should always be done in a salon.

Waxing – this can easily be done at home if you’re brave. Just make sure you buy decent quality products and follow the instructions. I tried to wax my legs once and ended up with a perfect square bruise on my thigh after not holding the skin tightly.

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