Doug's rants, raves & observations on life...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Things Cheap People Like #3

Welcome back to the newly rebranded Doug's Tips for Cheap Living, for now on out to be known as Things Cheap People Like. Yes, an obvious rip on a now very popular blog, but when you're in the quest for the ultimate in cheap living like I am, piracy is fair game. Or cheap knock-offs. Just ask my closet-full of top-notch Präada clothing.

But today's tip has nothing to do with clothing, nor piracy, nor even my growing love of pocketing leftovers from random potlucks I happen to stumble upon at work. No, this week's tip for cheap living has to do with the one thing we all fret about. No, not somebody breaking into our homes in the middle of the night, making themselves and sandwich and not bothering to clean the crumbs off the counter, but hair. Yes hair. Many people wouldn't dare skimp on their hair for fear of screwing up and being publically ostracized, but fortunately, I am not one of them.

The Problem: Expensive haircuts.

Men, are you with me? The last time I went for an actual haircut, the barber actually charged me $12.99! Plus tax! And a 25 cent tip! Well, the tip was my fault, but as I left the barber shop that grey April afternoon, I decided that I would never again pay a professional to cut my hair. That, and the fact that my hot hairdresser Moe has decided to go and do whatever, and the new girl looks anorexic. And I've been anorexic. It leads to the shakes, and I really don't want her coming at me with a pair of scissors, shaking them towards my left ear - the one that I affectionately refer to as "the completely intact one."

The Solution: Why it's simple silly! Cut your own hair and watch the savings pile up as fast as the hair clippings at your feet!

You may be nervous cutting your own hair the very first time, and you might want to schedule it at a time when you won't have to appear outside of your house for at least a month. But after a few kicks at the can, you'll be an expert and wanting to cut everybody's hair! For a fee, of course. Nothing in life is free.

You will need:

Knifes. Can be purchased at the dollar store. Scissors are too expensive and will only get lost. And besides, after you're done cutting your hair, you're ready to sit down and enjoy a nice steak. Or some TVP, like me.

Cheap, low grade hair gel. Preferably in industrial sized quanities because you will need lots of it for the first few days if you plan on venturing outside of your home. Failing pre-made, you can whip up a batch of your own using gelatin, hand cream and a dash of cinnamon for a pleasant, long-lasting smell. However, don't make the same mistake as I did - do let it chill for several hours before applying. That's a mistake you only make once, trust me.

As well, water and a mirror. Any will do.

And perhaps most importantly:

Finger crossing. Lots and lots of finger crossing. Crossing the toes wouldn't hurt either.

Starting off, you probably look something like this:

In this picture, I am showing off a scarf that I knitted for Marco. The rest of the picture if for his eyes only. As you will notice, the hair is long, straw-like and completely unmanageable. But we're going to fix that!

Step #1: Completely wet your hair and then, whilst strattling the bathroom sink, pull close up to the mirror and grab a chunk of hair.

Step #2: Cut. A serrated edged knife works best.

Be careful! Always remember to measure twice and cut once!

Step #3: After you've whittled the front down to the desired length (be careful, too much random cutting and shaving it off may be the only option!), it's now time to work on the back. I recommend unstrattling the sink as this can get complicated. If you do choose to continue strattling the sink, be unextremely careful. An accidental dismount is entirely possible and you may end up stabbing yourself in the back.

For this part, you'll mostly have to rely on your own good judgment. This is where the crossed fingers come in handy. Just remember not to keep them crossed while you're in the process of cutting. As an alternative, you could cross your toes instead.

Step #4: By this time, you're probably standing knee deep in your own hair and verging on tears as you look in the mirror. There are bald spots, yes. And it's grossly uneven. And you got bored 20 minutes back and don't even care if you finish the other side. Now is the time for the low-grade gel I mentioned previously, or a concoction of your own making.

Throw a large dollop on your head. And then some more for good measure.

Remember, be very liberal with the gel, because gel fixes everything.

Step #5: Massage gently into your scalp, covering all areas. Style in a very disorganized way. It's trendy and it hides the slight uneveness. Move hair around to cover any bald spots. If you do it right, you should finish looking something like this:

But try not to look so scared. Cutting your very own hair for the first time is a tramatic experience, and many have been known to cry. For instance, this picture was taken just as I opened my eyes to the mirror for the very first time.

The best part of all? You've just saved yourself $13.24. Now go out and buy yourself something nice from the Dollar store!


6 Outsider observations:


    How did I not know that you knitted?

    I have secretly always wondered if people who knit have ever considered making a cozy for manly bits. Yes, I wonder stuff like that , which does qualify me for a badge of weird, I know.

    Anyway, back to your knitting skills...I'm totally impressed (and also totally relieved that you didn't get all nekkid with one of Erin's knit creations, because that would just be a little weird, ya know?).

    By Blogger Loralee Choate, at 5/24/2008 12:46:00 PM  

  • Erin taught me to knit a few months back. Marco wanted me to ask Erin to knit him this really dorky R2D2 hat, so I decided to take it upon myself to learn. It's really not that hard, though after the scarf I have no desire to knit every again in my entire life.

    Except for a cozy for my man bits. Thanks for the suggestion, LL.

    By Blogger Doug, at 5/24/2008 03:25:00 PM  

  • I;ve always wanted to cut my hair... I mean maybe it's cause it is SOOO Expensive...I've now choose to color it on my own...No help whatsoever and no brush ...Did great as you can see. I might try the cutting when in full moon again ...there is nothing to be lost...just sacrifices for the sake of my pocket!! Hey I knit TOO! or I did...lolz

    Luv YA!

    By Blogger Kathy, at 5/24/2008 05:29:00 PM  

  • Impressive! I personally prefer to integrate the carrot peeling into my hair cutting adventures!

    By Blogger Nat, at 5/24/2008 07:49:00 PM  

  • I've tried to cut other people's hair before but never my own. With your step by step instructions, I will be successful.

    My only question. Do you have a vegetarian alternative for the gelatin in your homemade gel?

    By Anonymous Al, at 5/31/2008 06:56:00 PM  

  • Well, you could try to make a paste from flax and/or sesame seeds. you'll have to grind them up really well though, and be careful with the water content. The only problem is that, should it rain, you're going to have a mess of tahini running down your neck.


    By Blogger Doug, at 6/01/2008 02:45:00 AM  

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