You might be an entrepreneur if…you cut your own hair.
I was going to say I don’t think my dad has paid for a haircut since 1949, but I’m not altogether sure he has ever paid for a haircut. I’m positive he hasn’t since I was born. He even installed a large mirror in his bathroom that is on a wall perpindicular to the wall the main mirror is on. It swivels out from the wall so that he can stand in front of the big mirror and has another large mirror behind him so he can see the back of his head. While that doesn’t solve all the problems of cutting your own hair as anyone who has tried will atest to, it sure helps.
Have you heard of the Flowbee? My dad invented something similar years before the Flowbee came out, but he never got a perfectly working model and so it never made it to market. His was a metal cone with what looked like a jet turbine inside that was set up to act as a blade against another grating. It really did look like a miniature version of a passenger jet engine if you looked inside. You would just put the attachment on the end of vacuum cleaner and off you went. No fuss, no muss. Except that I don’t think he got it to the point where it always cut evenly, and I think sometimes it would grab your hair instead of cutting it. Once the Flowbee came out my dad gave up on his own version and bought the Flowbee.
My dad’s obsession with cutting his own hair and coming up with inventions to facilitate it were, I believe, driven by two motivations; creativity and frugality. I think more than just saving money my dad enjoys the process of creating things. He is a rocket scientist, after all. No, I mean he really is. He worked for NASA and CalTech for decades.
Of all the haircuts I’ve had in my life probably a third have been done by myself. Another third were from my dad, who cut everyone else’s hair in our family other than the women who I don’t believe would let him anywhere close to them while he was holding scissors or clippers, and the last third of haircuts have been the traditional kind from a barber or Great Clips.
When I was in high school I used to just shave my head, which was the style at the time for skaters such as myself. Not only was it economical but it was pretty easy too. Just put the #2 attachment on the clippers, run it around, and you’re done. I used to shave it off, grow it out for a full year, and then shave it again, just to experience the extremes. If you’ve never had six inches of hair one moment and no hair the next you haven’t lived.
So when I became an entrepreneur it was nothing much for me to cut my own hair and save some money. Although the last year or so I’ve been paying for haircuts it hasn’t been easy for me. Here’s a little math for you:
1 haircut from Great Clips = $12.00
Tip (I hate them, but…argh, I hate them) – $2.00
Total haircut cost = $14.00
Haircuts per year = 5
Potential years of haircuts in a lifetime = 80
Total potential cost of haircuts in a lifetime = $5,600
Of course this doesn’t even include my time, which of course is worth more than the haircut itself, but since it takes me time to cut my own hair I figure it evens out.
But if you want to really save money, shave your head. I don’t necessarily mean you should Bic it, but shave it with hair clippers. The cost of clippers is $20 or something. Electricity is cheap. You can maintain a shaved head with 2-3 minutes of time per month. And you can then wash your head with cheap soap, which means you’re also saving money on shampoo, conditioner, etc. I did the math on that once and figured out a person could easily save upwards of $14,000, not counting the value of time saved.
But I finally decided that I don’t look that great with a shaved head, and my self-supplied haircuts didn’t come out that great when I had longer hair, so I asked my wife to cut my hair. My wife’s a great lady, but after three or four haircuts that took as long as 2.5 hours each, I gave up and started paying for haircuts. Sure, I feel like I’m getting ripped off every time I go, but at least my hair looks ok and it doesn’t take too much of my time. But somedays I’d like to just go back to shaving the dome. Those were simpler days.