Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saving Money on Hair

I've done 2 things this weekend that save me money on hair care costs, both mine and Dog's.

First of all, let's talk about Dog. He's a miniature poodle, which means he has people type hair rather than fur and needs to have it cut every so often. Usually that means regular trips to a grooming place for a bath and a haircut. That sets me back $53, since I haven't yet convinced Dog to get a job. Ideally (from the groomer's perspective perhaps?) he should be groomed every couple of months. That means his hair care alone would cost $318 per year!

No human in this house spends that much annually on hair care so I get around it by a) letting him go longer than 2 months between haircuts, b) doing it myself for the most part and c) only getting him groomed professionally about once per year. Okay, sometimes twice. But I'm moving toward just doing it annually as I improve with my canine clipping skills. Perhaps, eventually, I might become enough of an expert that he won't have to go to the pro at all.

Then there's my hair, which I cover with either a snood or a sheitel (a wig). Underneath my head covering my hair grows until it gets to be down the middle of my back. I have quite fine hair and it's not terribly thick, so I just put it in a ponytail and wrap it under the nylon stocking cap that goes under my sheitel. It's really not noticeable. When it gets really long I go to a hairdresser who cuts my hair at her home and have it all cut off in a pixy cut. I've saved 2 lots of hair from this over the past 8 years or so and am growing it out again now.

When I get it cut again I think I'll finally have enough hair to have a wig custom-made with my own hair! In the meantime, I do wear a human hair wig but the hair in it didn't originate on this continent. The problem with that is that the hair is coarser than my own and has been rigorously straightened. For the most part it stays straight, even when I wash it or I'm caught in a downpour, but the occasional strand suddenly gets a mind of it's own and kinks up.

Let's face it. Hair that's been bleached, dyed, straightened and styled just doesn't feel and move quite like my own. A sheitel from my own hair will be a very special treasure but I'm planning to move one step closer in the meantime.

The sheitels I've bought over the past 25 years have ranged from synthetic to mixtures to pure human hair but they've generally been at the lower end of the price scale, say from $50 to $200. For my birthday my big kids got together and got me a credit at the best place to go for a quality human hair wig in Vancouver. They put $600 in but I'll still need to add some more to that, so I'm waiting for our financial situation to calm down a bit so I'll be able to come up with a couple of hundred dollars of my own.

Until then I need to take good care of the sheitel I'm wearing currently. That means wearing a stocking cap under it to keep oil from my own hair off the wig, and washing it on some kind of regular basis. Again, this is something people often leave to a professional but it's easy to do. Here's how.

Fill the bathroom sink with warm water and add about as much shampoo as you would use to wash your hair. Agitate the water so the shampoo froths up a bit on the surface. Lay the wig in the water and let it sit for at least a couple of minutes. Then squeeze the shampoo laden water through the wig gently for a couple of minutes. Don't rub it or you'll end up with a tangled mess. The water will get dirty and there may be a tiny amount of dye released as well.

Drain the sink, fill it again with clear water and rinse the wig until all the shampoo is out. If necessary, drain and fill the sink again or hold the wig under the tap. Don't rub or twist but gently squeeze out the water when you're done.

Take a bath towel, lay the sheitel on it at one end and roll it up. Press on the towel a bit, then undo and set the wig to dry. If you have a wig "head", that's the best place for it. Otherwise try to find something to drape it over. When it's about half dry comb it out gently, removing all the snarls. Then let it finish drying.

If you want to curl it, you can use heated rollers or a curling iron or blow dryer. You can also straighten it with a straightener. Note that all of these are for use only with 100% human hair wigs. Using heat on a synthetic wig may melt it!

My sheitel is currently draped over a vase. It's been blown dry and combed out and looks pretty good as is. It looks even better when I get Eldest Daughter to use her straightener on it but that takes quite a while. It didn't cost any more than to wash my own hair, took only a little longer to dry and comb out and will look great on me tomorrow.

1 comment:

Bouncing Back said...

Hopefully your groomer has the dog in a puppy clip which is less labor intensive on the dog, hopefully a litter cheaper and you can go a little longer in between cuts (he may just look a little shaggier).

A couple of my friends are groomers and yes, their clients are cutting back or doing things like bathing and nails at home and only coming in for the major trim