Sunk Costs, Paralysis By Analysis, And Why I Finally Cut My Hair Short

Me + my long hair

I cut my hair. A lot of my hair. Most of my hair, in fact. Yes indeed, today I am writing about hair. I will cover other thrilling topics such as the sunk cost fallacy and paralysis by analysis. But mostly, this is a post about my hair. With more pictures of my hair than is reasonable.

Mr. Frugalwoods told me I should tell you this at the outset because he felt that people should be forewarned they were about to read about hair. I countered that in the past, I’ve written missives on a screen door, bananas, and popcorn. Hair does not feel like a departure from these high-brow topics. I hope you agree.

Me + My Long Hair = A Dying Love

I loved my long hair two times a year: 1) When I had a photo taken (see photo at right, taken by Mr. FW for my book jacket); and 2) When I went out to dinner (with my husband, without our kids) and had enough time to wash, blow dry, and curl it beforehand. You can guess how often that happened. So… maybe more like once a year.

The rest of the time, I dragged around an entire fur coat’s worth of useless hair. It was always in a bun. And by always, I mean every hour of every day.

Hair in a messy bun

Morning time? Hair’s in a bun. Evening time? Hair’s in a bun. Bedtime? Still in a bun. Clean hair? Right into a bun. Dirty hair? Definitely in a bun. There was no variety in where my hair was at any given time. I’m a fan of the bun and my hair looks good in a good bun. But it takes time to make a good bun and time is what I do not have. So let’s clarify: my hair was in a messy bun.

The other demerit is that it took me a long time to wash my long hair. It also took me a long time to brush my long hair. It took me upwards of ten minutes to comb out the tangles after washing it. All the while, my children circled my legs, begging for drinks of water and a pet unicorn to ride through the house. The usual.

I should mention that my hair wasn’t just long, it’s also thick. Rope thick. Super thick. Could-manage-a-real-life-Rapunzel thick. Thick, long hair–sounds glorious, right? And it was glorious if I had the time and energy and motivation to do something with it. Something includes washing.

Thick, long hair is great in theory and great if you have lots of hair-related time and patience and/or a hair styling team at your disposal. Basically if you’re the opposite of me.

My Connection To My Hair

My fam! I only had to edit three photos together in order to get a shot where everyone was at least sort of facing the camera. But my hair looked great.

I made peace with the fact that my hair was more burden than blessing about a year ago. Then I spent an entire year waffling about cutting it. I knew I could make my life easier by letting go of my mane, but long hair was part of my identity. I like how I looked those two times per year (photo of the second time at right. Seriously my hair never looked like that, which is why I’ll need to photoshop in updated pictures of my kids as they age… It’s going to get awkward to paste Littlewoods into my arms, but I will find a way).

It’s vain, yes, and it’s frivolous, yes, and it’s trifling. It’s also embarrassing to ponder my hair so much when I consider the global challenges we face and the financial struggles of so many underserved populations and on and on. So then I’d stop thinking about it and continue on with my curtain of tangled hair.

I also fell victim to the sunk cost fallacy. I’d spent years growing my hair long, I was invested in its length, and I liked it long. I concluded I couldn’t just cut it all off–even if shorter hair would make me happier. The sunk cost fallacy is when we do something we don’t want to do because of the time/money/energy we’ve already invested in the process. Knowing the behavioral economics behind my problem helped. Sort of. But it didn’t change the fact that I was emotionally attached to my long hair. To combat this, I embarked on a tour of hair-related research.

How Short Is Too Short?

I needed to figure out how short I should go. Sounds melodramatic, I know, since we’re talking about HAIR here, but it felt monumental to me. I initially considered super duper short and perhaps even a Pixie cut (which is essentially a long buzz cut) and I haven’t ruled that option out for the future. The freedom and ease of no hair is alluring. To be able to shower and go! At any time! I’m tempted to this day.

I sourced recommendations. I grilled my sister-in-law, who has an awesome super short cut. I grilled all other ladies I came across with super short cuts. If you were one of those ladies, I’m sorry I accosted you in a public place and demanded to know things about your hair. It was for research purposes, I assure you.

What I gleaned from this data collection is as follows:

  1. Short lady hair cuts require frequent trimming to maintain the style. I couldn’t find anyone who trims their own super short hair.
  2. Short lady hair isn’t necessarily less work than long lady hair.
  3. Pixie cuts are less work and can be cut at home, but they are really, really, really short.
  4. Ladies were very kind to me as I accosted them about their hair and answered my questions with thoughtful kindness. Thank you, ladies.

I wasn’t prepared to plunge from waist-long hair to ear-long hair, so I decided to take a middle road. Having ruled out super short lady hair (for the moment), I then went in pursuit of data on bob haircuts. I polled friends. I polled Mr. FW (until he was tired of being polled and asked me to please just do whatever I wanted with my hair). I began researching hair salons. And then, I stopped.

The Spiral of Paralysis by Analysis and the Myth of More Choice

I closed my 7,487 tabs of photos of “bob-length hairstyles for thick hair.” I stopped texting my friends for local salon recommendations. I went outside on a hike through our woods to reflect. I was going down the rabbit hole of research and was about to step onto the carousel of consumerism. Paralysis by analysis happens when we over-analyze or over-research something to the point that we can’t take action. We stymie our progress through our own over-thinking. This is what I was doing. I was throwing resources (time and energy) at my hair because I was insecure, I was unsure, and I wanted perfection. Each of those emotions can fuel spending and spur paralysis by analysis.

My hair + one of our maple tree taps

I went back and re-read something I’d written a few years ago: The Sneaky Way That Frugality Fixes Paralysis By Analysis. In that post, I stipulate that buying used–and by extension, frugality–is a way to reduce stress and deliver you from the crippling conundrum of too many choices. More choices do not make us happier (per behavioral economics research) and the more we buy, the more choices we have to make. Thus, the less happy we are.

I often forget what I’ve written and I often forget the mini-revelations I’ve had on my journey to simplicity. I have to learn the same lessons over and over again. It’s not enough for me to commit to a lifestyle one time. I have to remind myself on the regular. I realized I’d entered into a wave of justifications about my hair and the money and time I was about to spend on it.

Once I realized this, I knew my answer: I’d have Mr. FW cut my hair short and we’d see how it went. We’d figure it out together. I’ve always heard that you can’t DIY a short haircut. But I was willing to try. Worst that happens? I have weird, short hair for awhile. Hair grows back, people.

My primary motivator for doing this wasn’t to save money, it was to save time. I’d already invested too much time resolving that I needed shorter hair. I did not want to spend another several hours finding a salon, making an appointment, driving there and back…. and then need to repeat the ordeal in a few months. Of course I saved money too, which is why home haircuts are my very favorite double frugal win.

Cut Your Own Hair: Save Money FOREVER

Back when Mr. FW cut my long hair

As you might’ve guessed, haircuts are things most of us need more than once in our lives. By having my husband cut my hair for free, I’m not just saving on this one haircut, I’m saving on haircuts every year. For the rest of my life. Mr. FW started cutting my hair in February 2015 and I’d calculate that in these four years, I’ve saved upwards of $1,600 on haircuts (that’d be a conservative four cuts per year at $100 per cut, which is what I used to pay for my haircuts).

And I’m young, people, I’m going to need haircuts for a looooooooooong time. Mr. FW, for his part, has had me buzzing his hair for nigh on seven years, which I calculate has saved upwards of $3,360!!!!!!!! That’s two buzzes per month–which is what we do–at $20 per buzz (which is what his barber in Cambridge charged). Combined, our haircut insourcing has saved us $4,960. That’s not nothing! Minus, of course, the $20 we spent on our Wahl Hair Cutting kit, which is still going strong seven years after purchase (that’s an affiliate link).

Here are the tutorials I wrote on how Mr. FW used to cut my long hair and how I (to this day) cut his hair:

Furthermore, I started cutting Kidwoods’ hair last year, so that’s another chunk of change saved! (Pro tip: cut a toddler’s hair while they’re watching television. DO NOT attempt to do so at any other time. Works best to cut it while it’s wet. I spray her hair with a water bottle, comb it back and trim across the bottom with a pair of sharp scissors.)

I want to be crystal clear: there is nothing wrong with paying to have your hair cut. This is not a treatise on why everyone should DIY their haircuts. Rather, this is an exercise in introspection about the allocation of our resources: our time, our money, our energy, and how we square that with our desire for perfection. It’s also an invitation to do the math and see how much you’d save if you did cut your own hair. Home haircuts are not perfect, but I’ve decided I’m willing to sacrifice perfection in order to gain back time and save money.

How My Husband Cut My Hair Short

How I usually wear my hair these days

Mr. FW was apprehensive when I presented this plan to him. Apprehensive might not be a strong enough word. He’s been an excellent long-hair-trimmer these past four years, but cutting short hair entails a new level of mastery. Plus, I had zero interest in spending six hours on YouTube learning how to cut short hair, so we just went for it.

Here’s what we did and, based on the below, I don’t even need to mention the disclaimer that I am not a hair-cutting expert. That’ll be obvious.

How Mr. FW cut my hair into a short bob:

  1. I parted my dry hair in its usual spot.
  2. I put my hair into a low ponytail because I wanted it short, but not too short for a ponytail.
  3. Mr. FW used our Wahl clippers (the very same I use to buzz his hair) to buzz off my hair (affiliate link).
  4. We watched as a foot of hair fell to the ground.
  5. Wow, that’s a lot of hair, we said.
  6. I washed my hair.
  7. Mr. FW cleaned up the straggling strands with a pair of scissors while my hair was still wet.

We decided to cut my hair while it was dry on the rationale that we didn’t want to get it too short. We succeeded and I decided I wanted it even shorter, so we repeated the above process TWO more times over the course of a week until it was as short as I wanted. This is another fabulous benefit of at-home haircuts: you can keep changing your mind and cutting off more!

Here is my wet hair demonstrating the angles toward my face. I never wear my hair fully down like this since it gets into my face and causes rage. Also, I swear I don’t wear black turtleneck sweaters every day…

I then realized that, with hair this short, I wasn’t going to pull it into a low ponytail anymore because there’s not enough hair to go into a bun, which was the primary reason for my low ponytails.

  1. The advantage of parting my hair on the side and pulling it into a low ponytail prior to cutting is that it yielded lovely angles toward my face.
  2. The problem is that I never wear my hair completely down. What with children and chores, I do not want or need hair flopping into my face. I need hair out of my face. Hair in my face = RAGE.
  3. The other problem is that there were some weirdly long strands at the back of my head.

Back to the clippers we went, this time without a ponytail.

  1. I again parted my dry hair and Mr. FW used the clippers to even out the back, making it shorter than the front, which preserved the nice angles toward my face.

I usually wear the top half of my hair pulled back into a clip so that it’s out of my face. I can also pull it into a high ponytail for extra face-free action (the bottom half won’t go up into the ‘tail, but I can either clip it up with little clips or just let it hang).

Result?

I love it. I absolutely love it. And I’m not just saying that because my hair stylist is reading this. It feels SO GOOD to be rid of the mop I was lugging around. My head is lighter. I’ve been told I look “20 years old,” “younger,” “sassy,” and also “hip.” Thank you, friends, I will take all of it. I am aware that I don’t actually look 20, nor do I want to, but I like the sentiment. I turned 35 last month and I’m proud of my age. I’m happy with my wrinkles–I mean, not “happy” exactly–but I accept them. I want to age with grace. I don’t want to try and look 20, but I also don’t want to look prematurely aged. Although having two kids, let me tell you, is the precise recipe to yield premature aging. P.S. I don’t edit photos of myself, tempting as that is… Hence all the eye wrinkles in the below pic.

What can I say? I love riding back here and pulling on mama’s hair!!!

I feel like my long hair represented me clinging to my past. To a time when I was younger and had fewer children (as in, zero) and a desire to style my hair. Even if I had the time these days, I have no interest in spending long minutes in front of the mirror. I want to wash, dress, and go. I want to use my time for something more important than fixing my hair. Shorter hair lets me do that.

Advantages of my short hair:

  • It takes MUCH less time to wash.
  • I’ve stopped blow drying it because it’s short enough to air dry (my long hair took DAYS to air dry. I’m not kidding. This meant my head was freezing in the wintertime unless I blow dried my hair).
  • Since I don’t have to blow dry anymore, it takes MUCH less time to style.
  • I can make my hair look decent in about three minutes.
  • It’s easier to wear my winter hat because I don’t need to pull my hair back into a bun, which didn’t fit under the hat and always gave me a headache. Oh the travails of winter sports and hair….
  • It doesn’t hurt when my kids pull on my hair or tangle it around their fingers. It’s so short that somehow, it’s much less painful. Advantageous since one of Littlewood’s primary hobbies is riding around in the backpack pulling on my hair. So fun, apparently.

Disadvantages of my short hair:

  • I can’t put it into a bun. Sometimes, I miss my bun. But mostly, I am happy to see it go.

Trying Out The Curly Girl Method

As you might’ve noticed, in addition to being thick, my hair is naturally wavy. Since I no longer need to blow dry it in order to prevent my head from freezing into a sheet of ice, I can let it air dry wavy/curly. Based on this new hair information, my friends informed me of the Curly Girl method, which I’m still largely confused about but am muddling through with the help of other curly ladies (thank you to A, especially). It essentially involves not washing your hair with shampoo, not blow drying it, and doing other curl-friendly activities. I love the idea of encouraging my hair’s natural proclivity to curl as that makes styling all the easier…. as in, I don’t have to do much of anything after getting out of the shower. That’s my kind of hair. If you’re a Curly Girl devotee, share your tips with me!

My Lifelong Journey Of Simplicity and Frugality

You’ll notice I said “lifelong journey OF simplicity and frugality” not”lifelong journey TO simplicity and frugality.” This distinction is important because I don’t think I’ll ever arrive at simplicity and frugality. In the past, I myself declared my own self to be at peak frugality, only to later discover new ways to save. Only to later backslide and spend more money.

My short hair at Littlewoods’ first bday party. The real gem here, however, is Kidwoods’ face…

I think I’m done declaring “mission accomplished.” More like “mission ongoing and mission fruitful.” Put that on a banner. Enshrining simplicity and frugality into my life are ongoing efforts. It’s not like I woke up one day five years ago, put on my thrift store dress, walked outside, broke into song, and declared myself frugal and simple.

It’s a journey. It’s a lifelong effort to be conscious of the decisions I make. And I will grant you–right here and now–that many folks will consider this much rumination on hair to be wasted time. But it’s not for me.

We each have to identify our priorities and one of my priorities is looking moderately decent with very little expense or effort. I want to feel good about how I look and I want to achieve that in a short amount of time. Without a hairdryer or curling iron or fancy styling products.

On a hike with my new hair. So happy it fits under my winter hat more comfortably than my long hair did.

I let my hair go for the past two years and, through that experience, learned that I’m not OK with letting my appearance deteriorate. Not entirely, anyway. I don’t need a full face of makeup or an expensive haircut or a manicure–all of which I used to have–but I do need some things. I needed something better on top of my head than a messy bun of neglected hair that I could barely brush for all the snarls and tangles. This doesn’t make my decision right or wrong, it makes it honest. It makes it true to who I am. I don’t want to be obsessed with my appearance, but I don’t want to wholesale ignore it either.

I want to be 100% simple and frugal, which in this instance would mean getting a Pixie cut, but I can’t quite do it. Yet. Or maybe not ever. I have to–daily, hourly–find what works for me. I have to acknowledge the things I need. Those things will sound downright ridiculous to some people. And for other people, they’ll hit a nerve of recognition. Last month I discussed how buying a Roomba brought me peace. Now you know that having my husband chop off most of my hair also brought me peace. And it was free. Unlike the Roomba, which was $259.98, by the way, and worth every last penny.

How do you handle your hair? Do you cut it yourself? Go to a stylist? Buzz it all off?

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245 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    I’ve always cut my own hair or gotten a friend to do it. Until last month, mine too was always long. When I decided I was ready for a change, I started cutting it back slowly, so I could see what it was like at different lengths. (I was pretty sure I wanted to go super short, but figured I should review all my options.)

    I actually started with an undercut as my first step; shaving the back and sides of my head to get rid of some of the bulk of my thick hair. It wasn’t visible with my hair down but dramatically cut down on drying/ washing time. Even if I grow it out again, I will keep the undercut! (It was also fun to see the look on my 14-year-old’s face as she was buzzing it for me.)

    I did get mine professionally cut when I got to it’s final very short length, because I wanted a cleaner line on the undercut than my kid or I could do. I think we’ll be able to maintain it though now that we have that to work with.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      I like the idea of the undercut! Thank you for sharing! And glad to hear your home haircut is working out 🙂

      • Kristine says:

        I loved my undercut as well. It was super low maintenance and really easy to manage. I actually hated my pixie, because I couldn’t just throw it in a braid or a ponytail. I actually had to wash it every day or it would just look like bed head. I couldn’t grow that out fast enough. 😂

        • Ashley says:

          Agreed! You think a pixie cut will be easier but you really do have to wash it/or wet it for it to be presentable. Straight from the bed pixie cut won’t cut it.

  2. Erin says:

    Your hair looks great!!!! And definitely a time saver!

  3. Faith says:

    I haven’t even read your post yet, but looked at the pics and love, love, love your new shorter ‘do! 🙂

  4. Caroline Bowman says:

    I am so jealous of your beautiful thick hair – at any length – that I feel sour in my mouth. Sour. Angry sour. My own hair is… tragic. It’s very, very fine. It is… greige in colour, not dark, not blonde, sort of the colour that root-regrowth looks like or medium-blonde hair that’s really quite greasy. Yum. It is determinedly dead-straight, as in, perms do not work for more than 1 week at most. Curling is a complete and total waste of time, even if professionally done. It wants to be dead straight, bodyless.

    There is quite a lot of it, I don’t have that scalp-showing thing. It is also naturally quite shiny and soft. Also, because the colour is a sort of grey-blonde/brown, I am 41 and have no ”actual” greys yet. Heavily highlighted into a less sad colour and expensively cut into a careful bob it can sometimes look… okay or even quite nice. Too short and I look bizarre. It’s expensive. It’s very expensive. My hair is expensive. I hate it and always have. I have crappy hair. I want hair I can cut off and have it still be thick and beautiful and like yours. Why not? Why not me? Damn you genes. Damn you.

    Your hair looks really great, it will be far easier and more practical and the cost savings immense.

    • Dorothy says:

      why dont you wear a wig?

      • Victoria says:

        I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way but to many of us with hair issues that’s a very challenging question to hear. As if wearing a wig were easy/cheap/not a complete pain in the #%€$/ is as good as our own hair.
        Wearing a wig is expensive to buy that doesn’t look like a drowned cat. It has upkeep. It’s a pain to fit every day and have to keep worrying about.
        Studies have shown the psychological impact of poor hair on women. That’s one of the reasons why cutting the hair of women for consorting with the enemy/being a witch etc is such a dread punishment.
        I don’t like being stopped in the street by people who feel able to ask me insulting and offensive questions about my hair. I don’t like the side effects of the medication I take to try to improve or minimise my hair loss.
        So rather envious of Liz, but absolutely have no problems with you cutting your hair or talking about it!

      • Caroline Bowman says:

        Or even extensions? I’d love to, but decent ones cost an actual fortune, especially where I happen to live, and then they also require maintenance, and I’m told do your own hair no good at all. A dear friend who has alopecia spent a vast amount on the most incredible, stunning wig that I swear looks precisely as her hair used to, and in her case, totally worth it. In mine, a good haircut and highlights make it presentable and okay. I just want beautiful rapunzel hair-shampoo-advert hair and I don’t have it, is all! Of course, there are many, many more important and useful things that I do have and wouldn’t trade, but still. Mrs F’s lovely hair is a crowning glory and I’m jealous!

    • Kathleen says:

      I learned, later in life, while my hair was growing back after chemo, that we all (mostly all) long for hair we don’t have—blonde if we’re brunette, straight if we have curly, you get the picture. Do what it takes to manage your hair and focus on what you do like about yourself!

      • Kathleen says:

        This was written to Caroline!

        • Caroline Bowman says:

          I do this Kathleen, of course, as most of us do, doesn’t stop me wanting beautiful hair though. Still, as my fabulous hairdresser so rightly pointed out ”you can always do something about hair. Yes it may not be cheap as such, but it’s relatively quickly doable. Other difficult features are either unfixable or only with surgery or other drastic measures”. So true!

    • Kelly Jensen says:

      My hair is the same except darker. I totally understand what you are saying. It really is frustrating.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Thank you! And I well understand the sour feeling–many members of my own family feel the same way re. their thin hair. I can’t help it! As you said GENES 🙂

    • Noel says:

      I have ultra thick hair, so thick that I can’t wash/brush the dandruff and build up out of it and no matter how clean it is, there’s visible snow on my scalp and shoulders ALL. THE. TIME. Also I end up with gross scabs on my head from scratching at it. I have spent a lot of time with my hair pixie short and also spent hours and hours flat ironing it straight, wishing it were thin and flat like the girls with pretty, silky hair. This all just to say I truly believe we each want what we don’t have. I hope you’re able to find a style that will let you appreciate your hair. I’m still searching for mine too…

      • Leah says:

        Noel, I have a similar problem with my thick hair! I use this awesome Aveda product called scalp remedy that has really helped me with the flakes! It has even helped heal all the scabs from scratching it.

        My scalp did get beyond Aveda’s help while pregnant, and I went to a dermatologist who gave me a medicated liquid for my scalp. I only used it for a bit, but that helped when it got really bad.

        Know that there are options for healing this. I lived with a horribly itchy scalp with lots of flakes for over a decade and am greatly relieved I don’t have to anymore. My mom used to spend hours once a month combing my hair and picking out all the flakes (which also caused scabs). The Aveda stuff (or the derm stuff) can be done on my own and only requires spraying/squirting and gentle rubbing, so no sores open up.

        good luck!

      • Caroline Bowman says:

        that must be incredibly challenging and frustrating at times, and you are right, we all want what we don’t have. I bet your hair is lovely, but that’s not the point if YOU are battling with it.

    • Mary in VA says:

      I’ve always had somewhat thin hair. No big deal, I was used to it. Then when I hit my late 50s, it reeeally started thinning. My dermatologist suggested Rogaine, but at the time there was no way I could commit to putting Rogaine on my head for the rest of my life (once you stop using it, all the regrowth falls out). Fast-forward a couple of years. I changed my mind about Rogaine, but apparently now it’s too late. <<>>. As a young woman I would’ve killed for thick hair. Now I’d kill for hair that wasn’t thinning and falling out.

      • cathy says:

        You could try Vitamin B12 supplements. They were recommended to me by a woman who had recovered from cancer, and had her hair fall out. My hair–which is thin to begin with–was thinning even more due to a thyroid disorder. The B12 really helped the hair come in. It’ll never be thick, but it’s not patchy, and it is healthy.

      • Anne says:

        Mary, I had a benign parathyroid tumor that made my hair fall out, and while I totally recovered my health after surgery, I never really recovered my hair. The crisis triggered alopecia areata. I spent so much money on head covers, scarves, creative spiky haircuts, cortisone injections in my scalp, and felt miserable. Then I spent $100 on a nice wig and it brought me peace. I continue to buy wigs and skip all the other hair-related purchases, and they still bring me peace and joy. A good synthetic short style wig is easy to care for and makes my morning pre-work routine a snap. They do wear out in about six months, but I found a cheaper source for the same model and the $120/year I’m spending on wigs is far less than my old days with haircuts and hair products. I crop my bio-hair short myself in a style I’m happy with around the house. We have a weird social attitude towards wigs and I don’t know why. It’s just a type of clothing that some of us need.

  5. Sandra says:

    I have always loved bobs. For me, they stand for Best Of Both worlds. The advantages of both long and short hair.
    Well done!

  6. Hi, did you think to donate your hair?

    • Bryan says:

      When my wife decided to cut her hair short, she donated it to a charity that makes wigs for cancer patients. It made the decision satisfying. .

  7. Rebecca Nels says:

    I’m a curly girl and I cut my own hair short too (with almost exactly your ponytail method so I can still get it in a ponytail!) I got shortest in the winter so it will dry faster and longer in the summer so I can pull it up and the slower drying keeps me cooler. And I don’t use shampoo unless my hair is actually dirty or covered in hairspray. I use super cheap conditioner as my method of washing (Vo5) because it doesn’t leave a residue and still leaves my hair feeling clean and smooth, and I wash my hair as infrequently as I can (2-3 days between unless I’ve been sweating). Hope that this method keeps working for you, it is so nice to have any easy hair routine!!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Thank you for the V05 tip! Is there a certain name or “type” of V05 that you find works best?

    • Allison says:

      Yes to VO5! Costs a whopping seventy-nine cents at my local Kroger. (It’s actually more expensive at Dollar General- it costs a whole dollar!)

  8. Henrietta says:

    Instead of DIY, I go to a beauty school. $8 for the cut plus $2 tip is very affordable every 6 to 8 weeks.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      That is an excellent way to do it! That’s what I did in college and loved the cuts I got.

    • Laetitia says:

      I have similar good fortune – I live near a place that does $10 “men’s” cuts, which I have. I stop there on my way home from another regular activity every 6 – 8 weeks and sometimes up to 12 weeks, if I trim around the ears at home often enough. It’s one of those walk in and wait places – best to get there before the lunchtime rush!

      I’m not game to try cutting it myself. DH has offered to buzz cut the back and sides of my hair (or even all over) but is not prepared to scissor cut the top…so I go to the place mentioned above.

  9. Amanda says:

    I donated my hair last month. It’s was super long for years so I can totally relate to all of this! Looks great!

  10. Tara says:

    Love your hair!!! My hair is a little different as have thick but fine hair (2C/3A curly to boot), so I have learned over time that I what I desire for it’s simplicity does not do well for my hair. I love straight across cuts but that leaves me with triangle head and I end up with my hair in a bun too. Until I get an at home stylist, I can’t do home cuts for my mist-be-layered hair but I can get a great hair cut in my area for $23 including tip and I can go as long as 6-12 months without another cut so it works. As you say above, think about time commitment and do what works.

    I don’t know if it works for thick curls, but have you looked at mousse? It’s a lot better now than years past and I use Tresseme which is affordable and works great for simple, air dry curls. Also, if you want to go super curly for a date night, you can bring out that air dryer with a diffuser for a different look. So many YouTube videos for hair curl maintenance now it’s awesome.

  11. Elaine says:

    Your long hair was beautiful. My long hair as a young woman was never that beautiful. BUT I totally agree. Short hair does make you look younger, is less to take care of and just more practical. I have had the same short hair cut for probably 30 years. It is a style that never seems to go out of style. Bravo for being brave enough to do this.

  12. Your short hair really suits you well 🙂 I tried cutting my hair shorter as well a year and a half back. However, because I’m blessed with thick Indian hair, cutting it short meant there was not enough weight holding my hair down and so it plopped like a mushroom haha. I did still enjoy the look though. Since then I’ve let my hair grow back to the normal length and have it braided most days. I don’t blowdry my hair which saves me tonnes of time and effort. Natural air drying is pretty cool so why do myself what nature does best!

  13. Jan says:

    My husband and I have been married almost 40 years and I have been cutting his hair almost from the time we met 41 years ago. I figure he’s saved thousands of dollars, maybe TENS of thousands since then…and I remind him of that frequently. I’ve been cutting my own hair even longer than that. I’ve had long hair, super-short hair and everything in between. I recommend the FlowBee. It is a marvelous tool and sure, people make fun of it but only until they try it. Love your blog and your new haircut!

  14. Wendy says:

    You new cut looks good.
    Life is far far too short to waste time on hair unless it brings more happiness than not.
    You forgot to mention that thing where you can’t lay down with long hair without braiding or something otherwise you roll over and trap yourself.
    This is not to make you feel bad, but I’m curious as to why you didn’t donate your hair…? You looked like you had enough…

    • Sherry says:

      It sounds like to me that would’ve taken her another month at least to research and once she was ready, she needed to take the plunge! It also may be that a professional needs to do the cutting for Locks of Love…

      • Carolyn says:

        A professional is not required, there are videos on YouTube that show you how to harvest your hair for donations. Professionals aren’t trained on how to harvest hair. It should be cut in different sections, not all in one ponytail, to get the most use out of the hair that has been cut off. And the the big chops they show on tv are the worst. After an awful uneven hack, the woman loses several more inches to even out the mess.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      I did indeed consider donating my hair and I started researching it and couldn’t find a salon nearby that does the cut + donate program.

      • Lisa says:

        You can donate it yourself! I cut the ponytail off using the guidelines on the Beautiful Lengths website and send it in a Ziploc inside a manila envelope.

        • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

          Oh man!!!! I wish I’d known this. Now I feel stupid for throwing out all that hair. BUMMER. Ok I’ll know for next time.

          • Allison says:

            Remember you can also compost hair….my husband cuts his own hair (not enough of it to donate as he wears it short), and I always sprinkle it on our compost pile!

        • Casey says:

          I’m in a similar situation… Two small kids, about a foot of excess hair, paralyzed about cutting it off because I haven’t figured out how to donate it yet. This article helped! Apparently Beautiful Lengths is no longer accepting donations, but there are a lot more organizations out there that make donated hair into wigs. Including one that has a partner salon 15 minutes from my house. Decision made!
          https://www.businessinsider.com/donating-hair-to-charity-what-you-need-to-know-2016-12

          • Lisa says:

            Thank you for the heads up! Last time I donated my hair was March 2018 so I didn’t realize PBL was ceasing operations. LOL has a lot of problems so I wouldn’t recommend them, but WFK and Children with Hair Loss are supposed to be good.

      • Katie says:

        I sent mine in via the mail!

  15. Julia says:

    I also have two very young children.and just cut off my very long very thick hair that was driving me crazy. I’m amazed that a clip now holds it back! And hats are so easy to wear! Basically this post has all my feeling exactly.

  16. Adrienne says:

    Hi Liz! Greetings from Kansas City! I’m a curly girl but have found their brand products aren’t necessary. I have everything I need- sulfate free shampoo, cheap conditioner, moose, dry shampoo, and texturizing spray- by using coupons at the drug store. I wash my hair every other day- just can’t make it 2-3 days and it made my hair limp instead of more curly. As it is air drying, I put a few pin curls in with Bobby pins to help it along. This helps me not get the wet gel look too. Hope this helps!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Thank you! Would you mind sharing which brands you use? I’ve got the Curly Girl-friendly cheapo Suave Daily Clarifying shampoo and the cheapo LA Looks blue gel, but I’m unsure about what to use for a cheap co-wash and conditioner. Would love your recommendations!!

      • Jen says:

        Any of the suave essentials conditioners are curly girl safe 🙂

      • Joanna says:

        I use Suave conditioner to wash, and the La Bella Extreme Sport Styling Gel, but I invest in SheaMoisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner (for the step that you just slightly rinse out after co-washing), and also Cantu’s Coconut Curling Creme. My hair is more wavy than curly, so a little product goes a long way. Too much weighs it down.

        I second checking out r/CurlyHair (https://www.reddit.com/r/curlyhair/).

      • Allison says:

        Herbal Essences makes a shampoo and conditioner called “Totally Twisted” for curly hair. Cheap, plus you can usually find coupons.

  17. Jane says:

    You are beautiful!

  18. Gretchen says:

    Ach! Hair is my favorite subject. Great post. About curly hair. I used to try to flat iron my hair, burning myself, and it never looked great. Now, I wash and air dry it, floofing it with my fingers as it dries, flipping my head upside down and shaking it loose. My secret is, I don’t brush my hair. I comb out the knots while wet…then let dry. I finger comb in the morning, and all during the day (My hair is longer than yours)….brushing it breaks the curls and just makes it frizzy….I can’t see NOT washing it, but I only wash it maybe twice a week. I get alot of compliments on my lions mane. Unlike you, I’ve gone on a letting it grow until I hit 60! (2.5 years away)…this is my last chance literally to have long hair, and I do like a messy bun, which is why I’m letting it grow long like your’s used to be.

    Personally, I find shoulder length hair (yours now) to be the most flattering on most woman…..Short hair is very high maintenance unless you have a buzz cut. You sleep on it funny, the cut has to be just right, and it does need frequent trims to maintain a style. Right now you look like it’s just one length around, with curly hair you can layer it up, having shorter layers on top and sides and it really is pretty hard to mess up. I could go on and on about hair.

    Basically, anything past your shoulders is just baggage you really don’t need (Mine is way past my shoulders)…..

    And like you said, it will grow back. (PS, I do spend alot on my hair, I’ve been sucked into the highlighting and getting cut by the best stylist in the county, but like you said that’s my choice, I don’t spend money other ways)

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      You hit the nail on the head in your P.S. and I love it!!! It’s all about choosing where YOU want to spend YOUR money. Yay for happy hair!!!

    • MelD says:

      I grew my silver linings out while my hair was mid-length, aiming for 50 but was done by 49. Then I let my grey curls grow… Now 54, I recently I cut my hair to below shoulder length, long enough to braid but more practical. I use a good cheap shampoo, occasionally some conditioner and oil, only comb my hair after washing and never when dry, so quite similar to you.

  19. Natalie says:

    I touch my hair constantly right after a haircut, of course by my hubby! Tell me I am not tye only one. In fact, I think you would look lovely in bangs since you’ve got a high forehead. A fun idea one day when you want a new look?! 🙂

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Oh don’t tempt me with the bangs! I want them so bad, but I fear they’ll just be more work. Maybe when my kids are older…

  20. Beautiful! And it looks like you came straight out of the salon; well done Mr FW! I have long, thick hair also and go through the same conundrum you discuss here on how much easier and less expensive (those shampoo bottle are supposed to suds up more than one shower worth?!) short hair should be. I tried the pixie when I was super young and it was NOT a good look for my round face and boyish frame. I’ve done the bobs but I don’t have the gorgeous natural waves you sport. Rather, my hair frizzes from the underside out and I end up with this nice straight layer of hear resting on what appears to be a nest of some sort nestled atop my shoulders (even though it’s completely tangle free) and people slowly trudge away with a gleaming eye on me in fear of what kind of marmot may leap from said nest onto them if they remain too close! I’m glad the short works for you – you seriously look amazing!

  21. Marina says:

    Your hair looks great! And thank you for this post. It’s so true that we hang on to a lot of things (incl hair) because of sunk cost fallacy and fear of change.

    I still love my every other month haircuts because I want to keep my bangs but my getting ready routine is so much faster than it was pre kids. I used to straighten my hair in the morning and put on makeup. Now, it’s just a quick blow dry + bb cream with sunscreen.

    Great message for your girls too, that they don’t have to spend hours “putting on their face” when they should just be running around and having fun.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      YES! The messaging to our girls is always top of mind for me and it’s been really important for me to model simplicity and being happy with how I look naturally.

  22. Liz says:

    Love the hair! As a fellow, CG devotee, I highly suggest the Curly Girl subreddit. My routine: Scrub head with conditioner (oil dissolves oil), finger-comb, and rinse. Add more conditioner to “soak” while I do the rest of my shower. At the end of my shower, rinse the scalp lightly, but I’m okay if most of the conditioner stays in my hair. I lightly scrunch/pat my hair (without wringing any water out) to encourage my curls to take shape. With sopping wet hair (still in the shower), I scrunch in a good handful of gel while wringing water out. Then, I lightly pile my hair on my head and gently wrap it in a towel to avoid dripping.

    I also cut my own hair in the pony tail method. I put the ponytail on my forehead like a unicorn. I usually cut six or so inches away from the twistie, and it gives good shorter layers framing my face, but longer length in the back. I’m basically CG Rachel from Friends.

    TLDR: I’m CG devotee Liz who cuts my hair in a ponytail.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Very helpful! Thank you!!

      • I second this! I’ve learned a lot on my journey to figuring out what kind of hair I have. It’s very fine, a lot of it, and has high protein. I’ve had luck with the products mentioned on the sidebar of the subreddit. Now I can kinda get my hair to stay all the way wavy all day! Ironically enough, I’m growing mine out. I miss having long hair. Love the new do on you!

  23. Emilie says:

    You look ‘lighter’ and your beautiful eyes appear even larger! I hope you enjoy your shorter hair!

  24. Carolyn says:

    My husband has been cutting my hair for the last 2+ years. It is a stylish pixie that started as a happy accident, and from that, my hair has evolved into the cut it is now.

  25. SB says:

    Love it! I recently cut off my own long locks after having our first kiddo, when the postpartum hair shed took place. I got so sick of pulling three-foot long strands of hair out of my son’s butt crack, that I finally decided OFF WITH IT. I had similar mixed feelings though–my hair was long and thick and curly and beautiful prior. And I hated following the trope of having a baby and chopping my hair off. But it turns out that there are good reasons for that trope! And now I’m loving my swishy short(ish) hair!

    My haircut (and hair in general) actually looks very similar to yours. And I prescribe to the curly girl method–have since I got fed up with straightening it in high school.

    This is my curl-friendly regimen: I use SheaMoisture hair products. That’s prettty much it. They’re expensive ($12/bottle), but you only need teeeny amounts, and it’s made the rest of my hair care so easy that it’s worth it for me. One bottle of shampoo lasts me about four months. I use both conditioner and shampoo from them. I initially went no-poo, but I found that it made my hair coarse and limp. The main thing is to avoid products with sulfates (in shampoo) and dimethicone (in conditioner)–they do a double whammy of drying curly hair out and then coating it so that moisture can’t get back in. I also had to play around with which types of shampoo and conditioner I used from Shea, because certain combos led to greasiness or dryness. Now, however, I wash my hair about twice a week (now that we have a four month old, sometimes once a week), condition it after, and then brush it out as soon as I get out of the shower. After that, I just let it dry! Whala, beautiful curls!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Fabulous! Thank you for sharing! And yep, there’s DEFINITELY a reason for the trope. I have no idea why I waited until after my second baby to chop my hair. Shoulda done it years ago 😉

  26. Liz says:

    I’ve been following the Curly Girl Method since last May and I really like the results 🙂 I think my hair looks pretty similar to yours in terms of wave/curl pattern. I do still wash with shampoo, but I make sure it’s a gentle sulfate-free shampoo and I only really use it on my scalp (not the length of my hair). Everything I use on my hair is sulfate-free, silicone-free, and drying-alcohol-free (there are moisturizing alcohols so I find myself double-checking ingredients a lot for this!)

    PS love the short hair!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      What products do you use for CG? I’m still in the maze of trying to figure out what’s cheap and CG-friendly!

      • Rachel says:

        About twice a week, I wash/rinse my hair with highly diluted apple cider vinegar. Like, I just cover the bottom of a big plastic cup and fill the rest with water. I slowly pour half over my hair and then flip my hair over and pour the rest from the bottom/crown all while gently massaging my scalp. I finger comb my hair a little, then rinse. It works so much better than shampoo and it doesn’t smell once it dries a little. That combined with other water only washings and the ocassional conditioner washing keeps my hair clean and soft!

  27. Brianne says:

    Your haircut looks great!

    I have super long hair and after much research, trial and error, I’ve come to feel that long hair is the easiest option for me. I keep it in a braid so it stays out of my face and minimizes tangles. Super long hair certainly has some drawbacks, but overall it’s the best choice for me right now.

    I donated my hair about 4.5 years ago and it got chopped to my collarbone. I didn’t mind the look, but I found it difficult to style. I have pin straight hair and like to shower before bed. With the short hair, I couldn’t braid it, and there was usually a weird bump from sleeping on it haha!

    That being said, I may change my mind in different stages of my life aka kids!

  28. Anne says:

    I’ve cut my hair from Super Long to short a few times. What helped give that last motivation was donating it. It felt great to have shorter hair, and that was a little plus to get me excited rather than nervous about going shorter than I was totally comfortable with – it always grows back!

    My hair is a similar texture to yours (wavy rather than curly), and what has worked best for me is a variation on curly girl method. With wavy hair going completely shampoo free can end up looking greasy easily, so I would wash with sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner every 3 days (as Long as I didn’t get sweaty and gross). Scrunch my hair to curly and air dry day 1, wear it up day 2 (awkward transition hair texture day), wear it down and straight day 3, when the curls had gone.

    I’ve also tried using sheamoisture brand leave-in conditioner as a wash-out shampoo (every 1-2 days), and That worked better for keeping my hair clean but hydrated than conditioners designed to be used as shampoo for curly hair. Feel free to reach out for more hair advice! I’ve also cut my own roughly shoulder-length hair.

  29. Jean says:

    I just love it. Looks so nice on you. I agree, you do look younger. I, too, had very long hair for many years. I started going a little shorter each year and now my hair is exactly the length of yours. I am 67. I just never wanted a real short hairdo. Too much to deal with going to a hairdresser and too much money. I have cut my own many times with my husband cutting the back and me cutting the sides. My husband gets nervous cutting my hair. I have cut his for 40 years. Now I just wait for a coupon to come in the mail for great clips and I go there for 7.99 or 8.99 plus a nice tip. Saves his nerves and I am always happy because it is a basic style that turns under in the back or I can use gel and let it be wavy. I only need a cut about 3 times a year. I try to do it in December and every 4 months, which is just enough to keep it nice. Much better on my neck and scalp. My hair actually lets me know when it is time because the clip pulls on my scalp making it sore due to the weight. Love your posts.

  30. Marilyn says:

    Long hair, medium hair, short hair … appreciate that you HAVE HAIR and didn’t loose it due to having chemo. Plus, you can always grow it long again when the Frugalkids go to school and get out of your hair, figuratively speaking.

    P.S. Although your long hair was beautiful, it tended to make you look like one of those women from the Ozarks who think that hair trailing below the butt is an attractive look.

    • A says:

      I never thought so!

    • Meghan says:

      I thought it was pretty! And maybe those women from the Ozarks are right, even if it’s not your thing!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Marilyn–you are SO RIGHT on all accounts. I am grateful to have hair. And yep, I had the sense that I was venturing into some not-so-stylish territory with how very, very long my hair was getting ;). hah!

    • Caroline Bowman says:

      what an incredibly rude thing to say. No one has suggested that they aren’t grateful to ”have hair” (the blind one-legged kitten from a Delhi slum argument is actually pointless, yes, yes we know there are always those worse off. Being lectured to feel somehow ashamed for having our own issues, big or small, rarely works and is always self-righteous in my experience). Mrs Frugalwoods was explaining a financial principle via a personal life experience. Has she claimed to cure cancer? No. She has demonstrated the sunk-costs fallacy. Making pumpkin cake is also not going to solve world hunger, but it’s useful and interesting to at least some of her many fans.

      We’ll leave the nasty insult to women who like to wear long hair in various locations alone, but really, that’s nasty.

  31. Teresa says:

    Looks so nice ! 🙂

  32. HeatherH says:

    Looks SO great! Welcome to the wonderful world of bobs. I’m a devotee – as you’ve probably seen it go from chin length, to shoulder length, to inverted, to collarbone “lob”. Congrats on making the cut! xoxo

  33. Amy says:

    Hooray for Curly Girls! I discovered Curly Girl from, of all things, a specialized dog training book about 5 years ago. I’ve never looked back. I do not miss those days of blowdrying my hair in 90 degree summer heat to straighten it. My wavy hair is so much more manageable, and I no longer fear rainy days because frizz is no longer an issue 🙂

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Ok, now I want to know how Curly Girl came up in a dog training book… was it for the dog’s fur? I must know :)!

  34. Rachel says:

    When my hair is short (my definition of short is clearly very different than yours!), I buzz it myself with a 2 guard, and scissor cut any super long bits on top, then thin the sides to oblivion so I don’t poof out. I also have SUPER thick wavy hair. When you have good hair, you can get away with doing your own short short cuts.

  35. Kara says:

    You look great! Finding an easier, lighter way (for anything) when you have little people is the biggest win. I wish I had the choice of long hair. People never mistake you for a dude with long hair, even if you’re 5’10” with big wide shoulders. Mine stops growing at the shoulders, and it looks terrible long before then. It’s so thin I have to use those tiny rubber bands to put it up, and so fine that it slips out of even the tightest rubber band in about 10 minutes. So, I guess what I’m saying is I’m glad I live in an era when short hair is ok on women, because that’s all that’s ever going to happen here, folks.

    I cut everybody’s hair around here. Buzz my husband’s thick glorious locks in the summer, then gradually even up the back and ears for him all winter until he reaches a George Cloony sort of respectability in spring (he’s early grey). I cut my own thin sad situation in a preferred pixie, but when I get bored with that I’ve done a bob, and for the last year I did it short on the left and back, chin length on the right. When my first kid was born, all his hair fell out, and it was May so everyone was too hot, and then he pulled my hair and I was kind of at the breaking point from lack of sleep and we both buzzed everything off. Felt so good.

    My now six year old son has hair like my husband, the hair I always wanted, and wants to grow it out. I undercut it so it flips under. But he’d better learn to brush it himself soon because I’m tired of that shit. I cut my 3 year old girls’ in a bob that’s short in back and chin length on both sides, but I wouldn’t do her bangs because she’s got hair like mine and it’ll take forever to grow out. So she did them herself. It looks great. The scissors are now on the top shelf.

    I have no formal training. Our cuts aren’t perfect. (Then again, they were never perfect when I used to pay for them either, because I could never get across what I really meant by ‘short’ to all those well-meaning product-smelling ladies). But you can pretty much figure out any basic thing you want if you experiment for a couple of years. I believe in you!

  36. Beth says:

    Fellow curly girl here and also new to the method! I got the Curly Girl Handbook from my library and have been experimenting with the techniques. All of my brushes, curling/flat iron, and bad hair products went into a tote in the closet until I feel confident that I won’t need them anymore! There are some helpful videos out there (and Facebook support groups for curly haired folks) that I peruse when I’m having a bad hair day. But the gel scrunch method works great! And I’m a huge fan of the pineapple 🙂 Also invested in a silk pillowcase ($10 for 2 on Amazon) to prevent sleep tangles. Good luck!

  37. Lena says:

    Hi there! I think you look great with your new hairstyle. Well done! I think it’s ok to put a lot of thought into cutting your hair short, because it is a big decision for us ladies and it’s not like you should cut it off on a whim. Also,the same wrinkles emerged on my face since I had my daught, who is now 1 year old, and who did not sleep through the night until she was 11 months old. So, you know, these are my warrior marks. I’m proud of them and you look good with them.

    Just a frugal tip: my brother has been growing his Tarzan-like hair just for the purpose of selling it, and he found a buyer online who offered 675 dollars for it. It could potentially generate money to cut off long hair 😂

  38. Toni Beggs says:

    Love your haircut. Looks great on you!. I have been cutting my own hair for years. Using just scissors I would cut it into a chin length angled bob. However, I have always loved short pixie type haircuts just didn’t like the upkeep. I finally got the courage to try to go short. Bought a pair of Wahl clippers and went for it. Turned out pretty good. Particularly for the first try!!! Needed a little cleanup but I am happy with it. Loved your book. It is one of my favorites. Waiting for the next one!!!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      That’s awesome you cut it yourself! I am impressed :)! And, I love those Wahl clippers–they work soooooo well.

  39. Carolyn says:

    My husband has been cutting my hair for me since we first started dating. At that time it had been a year since I had last visited the salon and received a really bad haircut. This first frugal endeavor came about for two reasons. One I didn’t have the money in my budget for a salon haircut. It was gas and groceries or the salon. Second was that he had good quality hair shears and he explained how he would do it for me, it sounded good and I figured he could do no worse than the bad salon haircut I got a year ago. Net result was that he did an awesome job, I got compliments on my hair and it was free. My hair was just skimming my shoulders when he put down the shears after that first haircut. Now it reaches past my elbows and I love it. I take a seat every other month, get caped and my hubby combs out my hair, he sections it just behind my ear on each side, then pins it up. He trims the bottom most layer, then lets it down in 1/2” increments to trim each successive layer. Very meticulous in ensuring it is done right and the ends are neatly trimmed and even. My mother thought it was wrong to have him cut my hair for me, but after a bad salon haircut herself, that she paid way too much for, she decided that taking a seat at my house and getting her haircut for free wasn’t such a bad idea. She was watching hubby give my older son his haircut when she mentioned she needed her hair cut and I told her you are next, take a seat and have him cut it for you. Well she did have him give her a haircut, she liked the results and the fact she gets a free haircut. She now asks if hubby will be home and will he have time to cut her hair for her when she is coming to visit when she wants one. My best friend stopped by one day while I was seated and getting my haircut. She watched the process intently as my hubby let down each section of my hair and trimmed it. She complimented him on his handiwork and as he was taking the cape off my shoulders, she announced I’m next! That is if you have the time to cut my hair too. I nodded, he said have a a seat and he secured the stylist cape around her shoulders. As he was lifting her hair to secure the snaps, he asked how much she wanted taken off. Her hair was to her midback. She said to just trim off the splits/damaged ends and keep her ends neat. He said that will be about an inch and a half to two inches. She said that was fine. He did the same process with her hair taking about two inches off as she wanted, leaving her ends neatly trimmed. She was very happy with her free haircut. Hubby took over giving my two boys their monthly haircuts after a couple bad ones at he barbershop. I bought the clippers, watched YouTube videos with him, but I ended up handing that monthly chore to him. He does a great job with their haircuts as well. It saves me hundreds of dollars a year, insourcing our haircuts. He probably gives over 50 haircuts a year between, mine, my boys, my mom, and a couple friends of mine. So he gets plenty of practice doing different lengths of hair from my boys’ short hair to my long hair and various lengths in between for my mom and my friends. I have had days where I felt like asking him to chop off a lot of my hair. Last summer I had him take off a good six inches, which he was very hesitant to do, and while he did do as I asked, I was having second thoughts when I saw the long pieces of hair hitting the floor. I wear my hair in many different ways. I prefer having my husband give me different braids. He will do French, Dutch, side, simple three strand and fishtail braids for me. It isn’t just a ponytail or up. And when my hair is braided, I wish it was longer. I work with small children, plus all the work around the house and garden, so it is so much better for me to have it back and out of my face. I feel my long hair is very attractive on me, I had short hair before, it was way more work, and took a lot longer in the morning for me to get ready for work. I don’t blow dry or use a curling iron or straightener on my hair. I just let it air dry. When I want my hair curly, I just have my husband give me multiple braids and when my hair dries I have gorgeous curls the full length. Some people think hair is no big deal, it grows and needs to be cut. But I know for me it is a big deal, I am a long haired lady, I feel pretty and confident when my hair looks good. I also am extremely frugal and have not spent a penny in the salon in close to ten years, and I do not miss it. Kudos to Mr FW in giving you a haircut that you are happy with.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing! And kudos to your husband–he sounds like quite the home hair stylist!

      • Carolyn says:

        Yes, he is really is quite good at doing it, he had a friend who was a hairdresser cut his and she handed him the shears to cut hers, giving very specific instructions and he just seemed to have a knack for it. His mom always did the family’s haircuts at home and so did his aunt. So maybe it’s in his genes, who knows? I figure if my friends want my husband to cut their hair rather than go to the salon, I know I have it good.
        I am very fortunate, he is definitely a DIY guy, he does a lot of projects around the property, whether pruning the fruit trees and bushes in the garden, plumbing, electrical, painting, or building something, he is always got some project going on, right now it is garden preparations for planting next month. And I enjoy learning new things as well, as we are doing the homestead life in the country as you are, and we are raising chickens, keeping bees and I plan to can and freeze more vegetables and fruit from the garden, plus make batches of jam to sell as part of our side gigs. I enjoy reading your blog seeing you do many of the same things we are doing.

  40. A says:

    Your hair looks lovely! I’m also a toddler mom, and I have a pixie cut that I LOVE. I do have to get it cut frequently, but regular haircuts are one of those things that are worth it for me since I feel so relaxed and awesome afterwards, and it builds in time every ~8 weeks for me to get out of the house and have some solo time.

    Right after I had my daughter I thought I could deprioritize my hair to have one less thing to think about, but unkempt blah hair just made me feel crappy and probably ended up sucking up more energy than if I’d just kept up with my regular pixie cut trims. I also have very fine hair, and I’ve heard pixie cuts aren’t as easy to deal with for thick hair. Especially with your awesome curls, you may have hit the perfect haircut in terms of flattering look that is low maintenance!

  41. julie says:

    this just happened to me, I had long thick hair and I wanted to cut it about shoulder length and they stylist gave me an angled bob. Super short in the back and about chin length in the front. I absolutely hate it. I feel like it takes more time than just throwing my long hair in a ponytail and now it doesn’t go in a pony at all. Now that it’s short it also weirdly seems way thinner. your hair looks great though, exactly the length I wanted!!

  42. Sarah says:

    Mrs. Frugalwoods, thanks for your frankness. Your beauty is not in your hair…or is this a late April fool’s joke–haha! Sadly, beauty is something many of us women grapple with. I’ve listened to my women coworkers go on about it for hours. The mindshare and fretting are upsetting. It’s sickening what could be accomplished if not for womanhood in our society.

    Still, I see it, and I’m in it too. I’m at what I want to say is a minimalist approach, which is letting my hair grow until it falls out. Without even paying for the scissors, it’s free in every way except maintenance. No good deal on that day to day, and definitely not minimalist.

    Some day I hope to be brave enough to move beyond hair as identity.

    What do you all think?

    • Meghan says:

      I agree that the feeling that we have to live up to a particular type of appearance and be valued based on how well we match it is not great. I also think that enjoying beautiful things can be a positive experience – and I believe we’re all capable of creating beauty, it doesn’t have to be something specially sanctioned in a museum. Why not have our hair be a beautiful thing that we can enjoy?

      The trouble is when that starts to bleed into our self worth (and, most unfortunately, our worth as judged by others in society). I’m not sure where the balance is. I do hope women don’t judge themselves or each other for caring ‘too much’ about matters of physical appearance when so many things in our society are set up to try to make us do just that. Don’t hate the player hate the game, or something? It’s definitely a systemic issue. How can women change our relationship with this external judgment without harshly judging ourselves and others for having succumbed to it?

      • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

        Meghan and Sarah: thank you for bringing this to the conversation. This is something I think about a lot and you’ve both brought up poignant ideas. I want to sit down over wine and talk with you both for hours about this!

        • Sarah says:

          Meghan and Mrs. Frugalwoods — I am so happy that someone out there is willing to comment on this 🙂

          When I think of hair and beauty, I think of the interesting colors, reflections, and light effects as I look at my own and other’s hair. I also think of the beautiful hair of others, be it straight, wavy, shiny, or muted by age. I think of the way it can change the shape of one’s head when piled up, most impressively seen with women’s hairstyles such as French twists, and African scarved styles.

          I am heterosexual, but I see that this beauty is often, but not always limited to female’s hair. It’s because it is often long, and incredibly varied, and yes, styled. It’s subject to thought, concern, and preoccupation. As you said, it can cut into a woman’s self worth. I don’t see the same with men, and aesthetics is part of a dynamic that I believe leaves women less empowered to think of greater things. This is the aspect that bothers me.

          I like to look at beauty. I see it in all of us, but the preoccupation is holding us women back.

          At some point, the healthy thing would be to start talking about this in terms of how women’s aesthetic preoccupation is too great in society. How can women get beyond cosmetics until women are equally represented, in business, government, and other positions of decision making? Maybe on International Women’s day, women can all go “bare,” meaning, we can play the part of ourselves without interventions–jewelry, makeup, hair products, hair styling, plucking, primping, polishing, perfuming, “pumping” up our height, stuffing things in, and dressing for attraction rather than doing the job. As well, we could leave behind the comments to other women about the good job they did in these areas. Just for one day.

          These are all things usually uniquely seen as part of womanhood, not manhood. If so, is this not just sexist behavior, care of ourselves as women, rather than beautification in the world? I see a lot of male artists. Is the representation equal in that world? There is an AA phrase for this that I wish more women would decide applies to them. I can only wish 😉

          Comments welcomed 🙂

  43. Ana says:

    Love the new look! Also, I see lots of people commenting on the CG method, lol, so I’ll put my two cents in. The great thing is that is can be done very inexpensively. Main idea is cutting out silicones in products means you don’t need sulfates (think shampoo) but it also means you can “wash” with things like suave (like $1 bottle) conditioner. You may become an expert at reading labels. And I would highly encourage looking at naturallycurly.com and searching Curly Girl method, that’s how I started. Lots of DIY options for styling products.

  44. V says:

    Looks great!

    I think you’d look great w a pixie cut but realize you’d definitely want it cut and maintained by a stylist… which means getting a cut every 6-8 weeks (unless you can live with it looking mullet-y). A decent cut in Vermont is $45 and up plus tips so it adds up.

    I have had a pixie at 3 different times in my life and loved it, but it was expensive and not necessarily less work.

    Curly Girl is great… check out the Curly Girl Method international Facebook group! I do CGM as well.

  45. Wendy says:

    Love your posts and your hair! This post really resonated with me. I have two little girls too and had been thinking A LOT about my long also thick hair and how many messy buns I was wearing, including to my work in an office. Ended up spending $40 at a salon, including tip, to get a shoulder length bob, which is less than the $100 I used to spend before kids. I don’t have the curls you do or the time to style, so I usually end up putting it in a low pony tail, but it’s still neater than the bun, which I also had loved for pictures! I keep thinking that if I spend a little more on the cut maybe it would be easier to style and look better, so I may end up spending more next time because of my vanity. 🙁 I also like the idea about cutting it shorter in the winter and growing it longer in the summer! Thanks again for sharing this!

  46. Lisa says:

    I love your hair!! It turned out so well. I’m the Lisa from the UFM group with the at-home curly cut, and I’m happy to see you embracing your own! (I didn’t respond to all of the lovely comments because I had a baby the next day. 😊)

    Have you read Curly Girl the book already? Lorraine Massey offers hair cutting tips in there. If you’re open to spending money once on a professional cut, it can be helpful to watch a stylist do everything and get recommendations for which gels and products work best with your hair type. I paid for a few cuts and am really thankful I did because I was able to ask the stylist all of my questions, which led me to better home haircuts. I also didn’t spend a ton of money trying products that weren’t quite right to end up with a bunch of leftovers at home. There are still techniques for zuzhing up curls (like clipping and diffusing (which you should definitely get if you’re blow drying at all)) to enhance them for special occasions.

    If it’s any consolation on the long hair front, what I typically do is grow my hair for 18 months (with maintenance trims) before chopping it off to my shoulders again. It gets down below my shoulder blades during that time. I find, by the time I start to miss my long hair, it’s getting super long again, and when I miss my short hair, it’s time to cut it off! This also allows me to donate my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths every couple of years, which is a great cause to support.

    Good luck with the new haircutting adventures and have fun embracing your natural texture! Welcome to the curly family. It’s the best! 😊

  47. Julie says:

    Hair is an interesting part of our identity. I learned this when I lost my hair with chemotherapy. It came back curly and cute and my husband loved a super short cut. Then I began to take post-cancer Tamoxifen which depresses the expression of estrogen. As a side effect, my hair has thinned. I have a nearly bald spot in the back (at the same spot my brother has one!) I now keep it in a pixie cut and get lots of compliments on it.

    I didn’t know part of my identity was expressed as my hair until I lost it, got it back, and then it thinned. I have my dad’s hair and he had a full head of beautiful silver waves. When my hair began to thin and didn’t wave, I felt I lost part of my connection to my now deceased dad, too. I mourned that loss.

    But with most things in life, I’ve adapted to the new normal and happily accept compliments on my “cute hair.” I’ve had other women my age say they wish they were brave enough to go so short!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Julie, thank you for sharing this. I’m so sorry to hear you had cancer, but I’m glad it sounds like you’re doing well now. Thank you for this reminder of how fortunate we are to have hair at all.

      • Judy Welles says:

        I used to have terrific hair — very thick, naturally just the right shades of gray, and a wonderful very short haircut. Then I started chemo, and most of it fell out (I dreaded looking at the drain after a shower). Now you can see my scalp in lots of places on my head. I’m aware that plenty of women walk around with this much hair (I should say this LITTLE hair) and they do fine, but I am grieving my beautiful hair. Maybe it will grow in again; one can always hope. I didn’t realize until I lost it how much my identity and self-worth were tied up with my terrific hair. I try to cope by seldom looking in a mirror, and I do have a wig which I wear when people are going to be looking at me, but I feel like it’s screaming “She’s wearing a WIG!!!” and I don’t like the feeling of it on my head.

        I have read every word of this post and the comments, and I mostly feel envious. For me, it was worth it to get my hair cut every 5 weeks (at about $30, so not terribly expensive) because I seldom wore makeup and didn’t spend a lot of money on clothes or other appearance factors. Just my hair. My oncologist tried to help when I was complaining about hair loss and how my hair had been my best feature, by saying “Really? I think your eyes are your best feature.” Which was sweet of him, but not that helpful because… MY HAIR!

        It has been very interesting to read all the comments. Food for thought…

        • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

          Thank you for sharing this, Judy. I’m sorry to hear about your hair and grateful to you for sharing your perspective here.

        • Staci says:

          I bet your just as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside. 🙏🏻

        • Lindsey says:

          Wow, I soooooo echo what you said. When I married, my hair was waist length and so thick that if I did a braid after washing it, the inside was still damp at bedtime. It had golden highlights and was slightly wavy. My husband loved it…then I got very ill, as in for five years, and lost the hair and it never came back as lusciously thick and it seemed to just stop growing once it reached my shoulders. Then I went on a life saving medication that has made my hair so thin I detest looking in the mirror because my hair really was my crowning glory. I feel so vain saying that but it is true. Now I have to keep it short and it is thin and straight (how can chemo take one type of hair and replace it with another?). My husband has been so kind, saying he loved my hair but he is in love with me (this after 37 years together) but I feel the cruel loss every day. God, I hate being this shallow. I am glad and lucky to be alive, but the hair, the hair…

  48. Megan says:

    Your hair looks really great! I basically do the curly girl method, but I have gotten so lax that I only wear it down 1 – 2 a month… the rest of the time a bun it is. Which unfortunately doesn’t look all that good with postpartum hair loss. Right now I only spend $30- 50 on a once a year cut, but maybe I could have my husband do it for me next time?? And now I need to read about your Roomba experience, as much as I don’t want to – I keep thinking about buying one and I can’t get the idea out of my mind.