Frugal Solar Haircuts

Frugal Solar Haircut?

When I penned the title for this post, I had visions of my head being tickled by the warm rays of the sun, and my golden locks falling graciously about me.

Well, no. This is not how it happens, really (I don’t have golden locks either).  It is just a simple haircut enabled by harnessing the sun’s rays and utilising the electricity generated by it.

I personally groom my hair on a monthly basis. Yes, I cut my own hair which may seem strange to some, and I find it quite easy to accomplish, with minimal fuss.  No booking an appointment or having to sit through the endless small talk or having to stare at the vanity magazines that grace those sorts of establishments.

This is because I am a practical man, who is not looking for a fashionable coiffure, just nice clean short hair, cut for comfort.

The faithful hairdressing kit.

Hair clippers are my weapon of choice, with a 7 mm comb attached. I power this miniature lawn mower by solar power, specifically from the 240 v AC inverter connected to my small solar DC battery bank.

Essentially, apart from the cost of the clippers, which I have owned for over 15 years, the hair cut is free. Gratis. Zilch. For nicks!

So, let’s work out the savings of my grooming technique over the past 15 years.

If I give myself a haircut once a month, that is twelve times a year. Over 15 years, that is 180 haircuts. If each haircut costs approximately AUD$25, then the total savings, less the cost of the clipper ($50), is a massive $4,450.

My brown and grey locks on the garage floor.

That is an amazing saving. Over a year it is only $300, but still, that is money in my pocket, not someone else’s. If I add in a twice-monthly haircut for Ben, then the savings mount up even more to $450.

Best of all, the remaining off-cuts of brown and grey trimmings get placed into the compost bins and returned at a latter date back into the veggie patch as part of a rich compost.  Talk about the full circle of life!

Well groomed Gav should’ve smiled

The regular savings go towards paying down the ever reducing mortgage, and is yet another step towards early retirement.  This is a frugal and green approach to start saving money and minor CO2-e emissions on haircuts.

Does anyone else save money in a similar way with their grooming?


  1. says

    Gav, It’s scary how alike we are, and not just in our amazing good looks :)

    I’ve been running the clippers over my scone for a few years now as well. Although, I think I’m going to have to relent and get a local barber to do it for me here as I left my clippers at home.

  2. says

    We do all our hair cutting at home though we haven’t yet gotten to the stage of solar powering the operation. We do also avoid ironing anything but the essentials, so I might only iron once or twice a year.

    I think wrinkly clothes should be a new fashion trend as it would be saving us a lot of energy & pollution & money. If an iron has a 2000W element then using it for an hour is consuming 2 kWh of energy.

    If we’re doing 2 hours a week (would that be a rough normal average?) that’s 4kWh a week, 208kWh per year. In 2010 we were using on average 11,000kWh each, so that would be around 2% of a person’s annual use just for flat clothes.

    If 10 million people in Australia are ironing for 2 hours a week, that’s 40 million kWh a week, or over 2 billion a year, which is of course over 2 billion kg of CO2-e…

  3. says

    I cut my 2 girls hair with just plain old scissors, they’ve never been to a hairdresser (the eldest is 6 1/2) and they prefer it that way. I’ve offered them haircuts from professionals, but in the end they still want me to do it. I think Andrew would prefer if I got the professionals to do it, he’s afraid I’ll make them look like boys! Nice work doing it yourself!

  4. Anonymous says

    I have a friend who was a hairdresser in a previous life. I buy the box of hair dye when it’s on special and she does it for me. We have a cup of tea and a chat and then she rinses it off and drys it for me. Sometimes if I get it done in the evening i even get fed dinner! Nice friend indeed. Haven’t been to a paid hairdresser in years
    In return I feed her cats and dogs when she goes away
    Claire in kalorama

  5. TechChik says

    I used to get my hair cut and highlighted once every three months (at over $100 a shot). I used to use store-bought shampoo, conditioner and hair gel (about a bottle a month at $10-12 each). It didn’t seem like much at the time – after all, my grocery bill was much more than that.

    Then I had my own green epiphany, gave it all up, and I’ve probably saved $800-900/year ever since. My hair is healthier than it’s ever been, and I only have to trim my ends twice a year to keep the ends tidy. The only problem is when I tell people I haven’t used shampoo in 5 years, they instantly look at my hair and search for lice or roaches or something. 😉 Then I have to explain that I use baking soda for washing, vinegar for rinsing and flax seeds to make hair gel. Eh well, small sacrifices. :)

    • TechChik says

      Super simple recipies. 😉
      Shampoo: 2 tablespoons baking soda + 2 cups water
      Conditioner: 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar + 2 cups water
      Put in something convenient and use like regular shampoo/conditioner. Adjust strength to your personal preference and give your scalp a month to adjust to the new routine. A little oilyness at first is normal because your natural oils aren’t being completely stripped out anymore. Your scalp will adjust.

      Hair gel: 2 tablespoons golden flax seeds + 2 cups water. Simmer on low for 30-60 minutes, strain out the seeds and use as much as you like. Any extra can be stored in the fridge for a few days or frozen (single serving containers?) for months. It defrosts in the microwave reasonably well, or put it in the fridge the night before.

  6. Anonymous says

    I have just been letting my hair grow! However if we all took this approach, imagine the amount of unemployed hairdresers…Sometimes it is OK to share our money with others. After all we depend on others for our living too and there is no way we can do everything for ourselves.

  7. says

    I have cut OH’s hair for about 11 years. We bought our clippers for about £30. So not as cheaply as Attila. Hair cuts are considerably more now. I walked past one barbers and it is about £15 here in the South West. So Attila £4.50 in London is a bargain!!! Wonder why it is more expensive here

    • says

      I think at the time, 17 years ago, where we live in East Anglia it was about £3 in a barbers and £4.50 in London. I asked a friend locally what he pays now, here; £3.50 but that’s mates’ rates as he knows the owner. I think it depends how posh the place is, how smart the area is (here, not at all smart!) and whether it’s called a salon or not!

  8. says

    This is on the cards for my boys. I’m not sure what the longest clipper length is but that would be what we use. Not sure if hubby will let me cut his curls that short or if I want to cut my other boys hair that short either but it’s either that or invest in some sharp scissors and try and get 3 fidgety kids to sit still whilst I dodge their ears. I pay to get mine done but I’m lucky if I get there once a year and I only ever get a cut, never a wash and dry (can’t stand the thought of those chemicals when I am shampoo free).

  9. says

    When we adopted one of our dogs, a Schnauzer, he’d been returned to the shelter 3 times (3 times!) in his 3 years of life. The last excuse was that the grooming was too expensive. With a pair of $20US clippers, we’ve been doing it ourselves the past 4 years we’ve had him.
    Now that my husband is a stay at home dad without an income, he’s started buzzing his own hair as well. That’s saved us $20 a month on his haircuts, plus the $60 twice a year for the dog = $600US saved…

  10. says

    When we got married 17 years ago, we had a voucher for £20 and spent it on some hair clippers. He asked me if I was sure I could cut his hair; I am not a hairdresser. Looking at the photo, I could see they were identical to the clippers I used to clip horses in the days when I was a groom. Clipping a horse is much harder than cutting a man’s hair! Now why was he not reassured by this information?! At the time he was paying £4.50 every four weeks in London for a haircut; assuming the price hasn’t gone up; so that’s…… £918 saved.

  11. says

    Not me, but I do groom my own dogs. At $40 each per groom, and 4 sessions per year, that would be over $300 a year for two dogs. $200 spent on grooming tools (stripping knives, clippers, as well as combs/brushes that I would have bought anyway, and an instruction book so they would look tooooo bad!) is worth it, in my opinion. Yes, it takes time, but the savings is worth it. I’ve had one dog for almost six years now, and the second for 3, so I figure I’ve saved over $1000 on their grooming so far. Not a huge amount, but it adds up, and it fits in with my philosophy of not paying someone to do something I can do for myself.

  12. Anonymous says

    The first time I cut my husband’s hair his work colleagues asked if he had a fight with the shearer? With practice I improved my technique and he now gets compliments.

  13. says

    I’ve been cutting Hubby’s hair for years! With clippers. I also cut my three children’s hair but I use scissors for them. Two girls and a boy. I still go to the hairdresser myself though. I chose to go grey so that I didn’t use dye but I’m not ready to EVER take the step of letting hubby cut my hair!!!

  14. says

    Hubby and son have the same sort of haircut you do Gavin. You’re right about it saving a fortune at the hair dressers/barbers. Just wish I was game enough to have a short back and sides too – would save me money as well.

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