The Million Dollar Haircut

Most people might not enjoy the process of going to a hair salon. In the past I loved to go to the same hair salon repeatedly. My hairdresser knew how to cut my hair and over time we became friends. However, hairdressers do change jobs. That’s when the pain starts. You must explain your hairstyle preference to a new person from scratch. There is a high chance you will not like the “new” haircut – but you have to pay for it anyways.

Money – and time – that you could save and invest otherwise instead. For instance by cutting your own hair. Yes, learn how to cut it yourself. It’s not that hard. It saves time and money. In itself this new habit can be worth a million dollars. Read on!

Safe Time

For myself, going to the hairdresser was usually a series of activities wasting my time: First, make a phone call to reserve a time slot, then by commute to the hair salon, followed by more waiting time – despite the previous arrangement – as the customer before you takes somewhat longer than planned. A simple hair salon visit could easily take up more than one hour of [my] time, all actions combined.

Time is my most valuable asset and I love any hacks to optimize and reduce time spent.

Safe Money

Haircuts are available at discount or at super high prices. They all have one thing in common? You will pay money to someone else – repeatedly – to get the job done.

Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.

A simple haircut in Taiwan sets you back about $4, in Singapore around $10 and in Switzerland $40. Some people might even spend more than just for their regular trim! Repeatedly.

Let’s assume you could get this job done yourself. You could actually save $40 per month perpetually going forward, isn’t it? Now, that’s where the magic starts…

Cutting Your Own Hair – A Million Dollar Habit

While $40 does not sound like a lot, saving it persistently WILL amount to a lot – over time. In my case, if I keep cutting my hair until the end of my days – expecting I can live to a 100 years – and keep investing (!) the savings at 10% annual returns – keeping a 2% inflation in mind – we are talking:


Assumptions: $40 per haircut, 12 trims a year, invested at 10% instead. Haircuts increase in price by 2% per year due to inflation and proceeds are accumulated and compounded:

1 MILLION DOLLARS (!) by age 92, and THEN ANOTHER ONE MILLION by age 100.

The true power of compounding!

How To Cut My Own Hair?

Chances are you have never cut hair. Not your own, and not other peoples’ hair. Do NOT despair. In the age of the almighty internet there are plenty of free resources available for getting yourself ready for the task.

You might want to prepare yourself by watching as many YouTube videos as you need to get comfortable before getting started.

Give it a Try!

Not sure if you can do it?

You think DIY haircuts are more a guys thing and nothing for ladies to try?

Well, guess what.

First, I’m not so much the technically gifted kind a guy… and second, if I can do it: You can do it! …as my friend Chrissy from “Eat Sleep Breathe FI” concluded in her own recent blogpost “It’s the perfect time for DIY haircuts!” – yes, she’s a lady – check it out!

Not sure if you will like the result?

Don’t worry, go for a trial run first!

Cutting your hair is like most things in life:

Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.

Rest assured: Even if the result sucks, you did not spend $40 for it and you have just skilled up yourself. Most likely your results will improve when you keep trying.

Life’s too short for boring hair.

Once you’re mentally prepared, invest into a good tool: A hair trimmer.

I gave it a try and bought this badass-cuts-twice-as-fast machine!

The Philips Hair Clipper Series 7000 worked extremely well for me. I can highly recommend it if you like to give it a try:

If you truly like to “try before you buy”: Maybe one of your friends might have a trimmer. Ask if you can borrow first.

Keep in mind: During times of Corona, a self-cut head will still look much better than letting your hair grow wild.

Worst come to worst: Just still go to a hair salon and have your hair fixed there.

Opportunity Costs

I’m an economist by training. That’s why I have the habit of justifying the way I spend my time very systematically. Hence, you might also be asking: “Why should I spend time on cutting hair if I could delegate to someone else instead? Wouldn’t I preferably be generating more value focusing on my vocation?”

My conclusion on this one is simple:

Cutting your own hair is a relatively “easy-to-acquire” skill. Similar with cooking your own food, it doesn’t cost you much time or money to “skill-up”. Indeed, over the past two years my hair cutting skills have improved. Not only did I get faster but also better at it. This will make you increasingly competitive vs. outsourcing.

Opportunity costs represent the benefits you miss out on when choosing one alternative over another. Because – by definition – they are unseen, opportunity costs can be easily overlooked if one is not careful. Understanding the potential missed opportunities foregone by choosing one way to spend your money or time over another allows for better decision-making.

Sometimes I trim my hair more often than one per month – because I can…

To sum it up: Yes, I prefer cutting my own hair multifold over going to any hair salon. Opportunity cost-wise it’s not an either or, it actually does save me both: Money AND time!


If you invest the little money (for a trimmer) and time required to learn the skill, cutting your own hair is as awesome as can be. It’s a creative new skill that adds freedom and independence to your life. No more scheduling, no more waiting at hair salons, no commute, no hassle, you can cut your hair whenever and wherever needed. You may even experiment with new hair styles – up to going bold to cover up mistakes!

You will usually be done within 5-10 minutes (yes!) and most importantly you do not have to pay someone else and can save the proceeds!

That’s how your own haircut is a “Million Dollar Haircut”!

Happiness is: A fresh new “Million Dollar Haircut”

Extra Bonus

If one million is not sufficient: Your ROI can be multiplied if you – like me – start cutting your kids hair! During Corona lock-down some friends where asking me questions about my hair as it was usually finely trimmed while some others let it “grow wild”. That’s where I figured this skill might potentially even be marketable. However, cutting other people’s hair – outside of my family – is surely not my goal.

Let your haircut do the talking!

Happy cutting, Matt

If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy this post about “Baking Yourself Rich“. Please don’t forget to follow Financial Imagineer on Facebook or Twitter.

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