My Free Haircut

by Katy on March 1, 2024 · 22 comments

I finally got my free hair cut at the Supercuts training center, which is always an interesting experience. Tucked in the back of a regular Supercuts salon, the room is without ornamentation and the approximate size of my minivan. I think if it as a speakeasy, at it’s a special secret for those in the know. Only without bathtub gin.

Zero ambiance for zero dollars.

Of course, I’m not one to complain about decor. I like to save my dollars for more important things than haircuts. You know, like the cost of groceries or a full tank of gas.



I mostly get my hair cut once a year or so depending on how much it’s bugging me. So I can now check this off my 2024 to-do-list!

This frugal hack is not just local to Portland, as Supercuts is a national chain. I know that my friend Joel from How To Money in Atlanta has employed this specific money saving practice as well. The way I found the person to contact for a free haircut was to just call different locations until I found the right person. Something you can do as well. I’ve gotten my hair cut at the training center four or fives times at this point and have only had positive experiences. All the stylists are licensed and it actually takes less time than at a salon as it’s just the cut without any frou-frou add ons.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon H. March 1, 2024 at 2:20 pm

You look beautiful, Katy.


Katy March 1, 2024 at 11:12 pm

Thank you!


Denise March 1, 2024 at 3:34 pm

Do you tip the stylist, Katie?


Katy March 1, 2024 at 9:24 pm

Yes I do!


Ecoteri March 1, 2024 at 10:04 pm

Nice Cut, Katy! You have reminded me that my once-yearly cut is due.
I usually suck it up and get a cut at the local stylist, however my Daughter has been offering to cut my hair (I cut hers- age 23, and her brothers – age 25, and they keep coming back for more).
I have a mass of greying hair that was fairly curly in its day, pre grey. now it is still kind of curly, where it isn’t grey, and often frizzy because I simply don’t bother with doing much to it at all other than try to yank the knots out on occasion and put it in a high ponytail or braid(s) to get it out of the way… In other words, I ain’t no fashion plate most hours of most days.
Cutting long curly hair can be a very forgiving experience, the curls bounce up and hide most oopsies. The proper hair cutting scissors I purchased do help, so maybe I will let her give it a go next time we are together…
After all, don’t we want our kids to have life changing experiences? Cutting someone’s hair and learning that the ongoing mantra of “It’s only hair, it will grow back” is one of those life milestones, isn’t it?


Katy March 1, 2024 at 11:10 pm

My son has cut my hair a couple of times and he did an A-Ok job.


Linda March 2, 2024 at 1:32 am

Nice cut, Katy! Very becoming.
You made me rethink how many times a year I get my hair cut (4). And it’s just shoulder length. Mine does start to drive me crazy when it gets too long. I’m thinking I could stretch it out longer. I think I read on the Frugal Girl’s blog that she only gets hers cut once a year too.


Juhli March 2, 2024 at 5:59 am

Very nice haircut!
I wear my hair short so get a cut every 7 to 8 weeks but for a while your comment about a minivan was apt. An enterprising hairdresser where I used to live in S. Cal converted a van into a one person salon during the pandemic. She left to sliding door open to improve air circulation, wore a mask and came to your house. We were also delighted with our haircuts and her fee was low so we kept going to her until we moved.


Ruby March 2, 2024 at 8:16 am

You have lovely hair, Katy, and it looks great after the cut.

I can and do cut my own hair, which is worn in a pixie cut, but it’s getting harder with the arthritis in my hands. The last two times I gave in and went to the salon, which sends me coupons fairly regularly. I tip a little more than usual when using a coupon because the stylists are working like crazy and still cheerfully doing a great job.


Mary Ann March 2, 2024 at 8:35 am

Great solution. It makes you feel good and it is a good job.

After many, many trials for me, I have opted on driving two hours north with a dear friend to get our hair cut by her high school buddy. She is reasonable priced ( too reasonable she needs to up her prices) but the gas makes it unequivocally expensive. However, it forces my good friend and I to calendarize each other and we get a good gab session in roundtrip. The stylist is excellent and understands my hair that is curly except for a wavy front patch and has a “widow’s Peak” on each side. We usually gab over ice cream afterwards or shop antiques. We now seem to go every six seven weeks but my friend cuts my bangs in between.


MB in MN March 2, 2024 at 9:28 am

Gorgeous, Katy! I have a pixie cut and my hair grows fast and thick. I get it cut about every five weeks at a Great Clips for $25 a pop ($18 for the cut plus $7 for the tip). I tip more generously because they charge me the senior rate – $18 instead of $20 – even though I’m not yet 65, so I give the extra $2 to the stylist instead. I couldn’t cut my own hair to save my life.


A. Marie March 2, 2024 at 10:21 am

Good-looking cut as usual, Katy. And this reminds me that it’s about time for me to get my semi-annual trim of my split ends. Not only does there no longer seem to be a Supercuts training center in my area (a 2018 article in Clark Howard listed one, but that seems to be long gone); three Supercuts on my side of town have closed in the last several years. So I’d better get myself into the remaining one near me while the gettin’s good. At least I now qualify for the senior discount.

But I save on hair care in other ways. I never blow-dry my hair unless I’m in a tearing hurry, which I’m usually not (I’m guessing that Katy doesn’t blow-dry hers either). And I’ve mentioned earlier that I’m currently using a warehouse club twin pack of Tresemme shampoo and conditioner, still in the shrink wrap when I trashpicked it a while ago.


Fru-gal Lisa March 2, 2024 at 5:47 pm

A.Marie and everyone,
If you can’t find one of those training centers, see if there is a beauty college or cosmetology school near you. We have both a commercial “beauty school” and a cosmetology dept. at the local junior college here. I think some high schools also teach cosmetology. Those places need folks willing to have their students cut/style their hair (an instructor supervises), and their prices are supposed to be really cheap. I personally haven’t gotten my hair done at one of these places due to them being way across town and open only when I’m at work, but one of my frugal friends goes to the junior college’s salon and her hair always looks fantastic.


Lindsey March 2, 2024 at 1:24 pm

I don’t mind spending the money as much as I hate the smells and noise at the salons. It is worth it to me to have the husband cut it, even when there are errors.

We had a Supercuts but it died. I went there once years ago and the woman pulled out the electric razor to do the back of my neck AND THEN said “Men don’t like peach fuzz and you have some on your face” as she started to shave my face. It turned into quite a horror show because I screamed like a hyena, the manager came over, the hairdresser started trying to show her my face to get the manager’s agreement, customers were staring because this was being done in stereo. My haircut was free, I didn’t even have to ask. I went home feeling like Wolverine and it took weeks before my husband could make a joke about it (“Too soon?” is a phrase used with regularity around our house because both of us cannot resist making cracks). Also, for weeks I would examine the faces of my friends to try and figure out what is normal peach fuzz (as opposed to long whiskers). Thus endeth my forays to Supercuts.


Ecoteri March 3, 2024 at 1:01 am

OMG – I hate to say it but you have the BEST stories, Lindsey – even if many of them are at your own expense… I literally hooted in shock at this one. My goodness, some people were born with broken tact filters, don’t you think?
Mind you, to stretch real hard and look for kindness, I imagine she just got her training – after spending all that $ to get trained – and likely didn’t have a job at the end of the day. but still, ouch for you.
isn’t it STILL “Too soon?”


A. Marie March 3, 2024 at 10:30 am

Lindsey, any so-called hairdresser who pulled that trick on me would have had the razor wrested out of her hand and applied to her own face (or other portions of her anatomy)–and I’d probably be sitting in some women’s prison Downstate today. I applaud your relative restraint.


Blue Gate Farmgirl March 3, 2024 at 6:09 pm

Oh my word! In my head the phrase “Men don’t like”…came out in a deep southern accent, somethin’ like my Nana would propose… I went to a Supercuts once, too, went in for a trim, I had very long hair…cowgirl. Came out with a bonafide mullet. Paid $0 and cried for a week. Got a pity cut from my bougie cousin’s salon. I’m still giggling 5 minutes later at the “too soon” phrase between you and your husband. Snark is my love language.


Christine March 2, 2024 at 5:16 pm

Very cute haircut! That’s a great length on you.


Katy March 2, 2024 at 6:56 pm

Thank you!


K D March 3, 2024 at 3:34 am

Haircuts are not a frugal area for me. I go about every seven weeks for a haircut since I wear my hair short and it is cut into a multitude of layers and often thinned as well. I use a stylist that rents a chair so most of what I pay goes to her (and I tip generously since I think she needs the money). I spend very little time and money on my hair beyond that. I wash it with a shampoo bar every 2-3 days and use a dab of conditioner. I towel dry, brush it and go. I have never colored it and I don’t use styling products. I walk to my appointments and when I go on a Monday there is usually just one other stylist there so it is a nice experience.


Carolyn March 4, 2024 at 8:29 am

I cut my husband’s hair about once a month and I take a seat every couple of months to have him trim my long hair. He loves it long as much as I do, so there is never a worry about him cutting it too short. I did have a couple times where I cut his a little too short on top and it stood up rather than being combed. He forgave me and said I would do better next time. I have seen a few women at my church come in with bad haircuts as well as just cut too short, and I give thanks that I don’t have to play roulette every time I get my hair trimmed. I have hubby braid my hair for me as I don’t like having it in my face, plus before bed to keep it from getting tangled. A friend of ours asked hubby to cut her past waist hair to her elbows last year as I was afraid to cut her long hair and my step daughter mentioned that her butt length hair needed to be cut last week and I think I need to defer that to hubby because he has a lot more experience with cutting long hair than me. Mine was a ponytail on top of my head, cut straight across and then keeping it pinned up, so it wasn’t noticeable that it was uneven when I went out.


Michelle H March 8, 2024 at 8:32 am

Looks great! I’ve used the same stylist for almost 30 years, have followed her as she’s moved locations. She charges me a low rate since I just get it washed and cut and leave with damp hair. She doesn’t have to dry or style, and I’m in and out quick for comparable to what I’d pay at a Super Cuts kind of place.


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