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Don't be afraid to ask your stylist about any money-saving options available -- you may be surprised at what you find out. If your salon has a referral program, you'll likely get a bonus for bringing in new clients. For example, at Mark Garrison we offer a free service for every three clients you recommend.
Most salons offer complimentary bang trims between cuts. Take advantage! Tell your stylist you'd like to maximize your time between appointments and go a little shorter than you normally would. As for color, depending on what process you get, you may be able to touch up your roots at home and save a visit here and there. Ask your colorist if this is something you could do, and if so he or she should provide you with information on your shade as well as product recommendations and instructions.
A salon with an internal training program is a salon that is invested in the quality of their services. New stylists and colorists go through a training and practice period where they offer deeply discounted cuts and color. In fact, if you choose a reputable salon, a senior stylist will likely oversee the entire process, or at least consult with the junior stylist to ensure he or she makes the right choice for your hair.
The Internet can also be a good source for a bargain. Salons often use social networking sites like Craigslist and Lifebooker to advertise their services at discounted rates. In addition, salon Web sites sometimes post coupons or specials that you can take advantage of. So you don't have to break the bank to look your best, after all. If you follow these tips, you can penny pinch your way to perfect.
Originally published on LHJ.com, October 2008.