Best places to get free or cheap haircuts for men and women

Think it’s time for a new haircut, but your budget is a little tight this month? 

We know how hard the decision can be – when you’re scrimping and saving every penny only to find that haircuts just seem so expensive everywhere.

That’s why we’ve gathered a long list of the best salons and barbershops offering affordable haircuts. We’ve even found some nifty hacks that will let you get your haircut for cheaper, or even for free!

So before you take a pair of shears to your own head, read this article all the way to the end. You might just find a hair salon near you, or a neat trick that could save you hundreds every year!

There’s no reason to let your hair become an unruly mess even if you’re on a budget. Let’s begin.

How Much is a Haircut in the USA?

Before we look at the best places to get affordable haircuts, what do we consider to be “affordable”?

You might be here after looking around for a barbershop or hair salon and gawking at their prices. Isn’t $60 too expensive for a haircut?

Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. The average haircut in the US costs $53. Although prices can vary greatly depending on where you live.

Here’s how haircut prices vary by state:

StateMen’s Haircut PriceWomen’s Haircut Price
New York$118$163

According to Good Housekeeping, hair treatment experts recommend cutting your hair every 6 to 8 weeks. If you cut your hair every two months, that means you’re spending a whopping $318 every year.

Now, let’s find some places where you can get your hair done for much less than the national average. 

Where are the Best Places to Get a Free or Cheap Haircut?

We couldn’t possibly list every place in the US that offers affordable haircuts, but we did find 6 affordable chains/franchises that you’ll be able to find near you. 

Supercuts: Best for Basic Haircut

Currently, Supercuts has over 2,700 branches across the country. Find out if there’s a nearby Supercuts shop to you by visiting its Salon Locator page. Input your zip code, press enter, and the site will show the list of branches closest to you.

Here’s what you can expect to pay at Supercuts.

Supercut$18.45Haircut and Hot Towel Refresher
Supercut II$22.45Shampoo, haircut and Hot Towel Refresher
Supercut III$36.98Shampoo, haircut, blow-dry, and Hot Towel Refresher
Supercut Jr.$16.45Kids’ haircut and Hot Towel Refresher

Since $53 is the average price for a haircut, you’ll save up to $34.55 when you go for a haircut at Supercuts.

Great news: it offers services to men, women, and children.

Great Clips: Best for Both Men and Women’s Haircut

Great Clips has opened more than 4,500 salons since its establishment in 1982. Like Supercuts, its services are available for men, women, and kids.

Think you’d never find a place offering a $10 haircut? Great Clips has a Haircut Sale for those who want to spend less on haircuts. In May 2021, its haircut services were priced as low as $6.99. Check out their website, Facebook page or your local shop.

In any case, these prices for haircuts at Great Clips is still a steal:

Men and women’s haircut$16
Kids’ haircut$14

With their normal prices, you can still set aside $37 for other expenses.

Sport Clips: Best for Men’s Haircut

Sport Clips has been around since 1993, with over 1,800 locations in the US. Check out its Store Locator page to know where the nearest salon is in your area.

Although it specializes in men’s haircuts, women can still go to Sport Clips for a basic haircut or trim. As its name suggests, it caters mainly to men, with live games playing on their salons’ TVs.

Here are the current prices at Sport Clips.

Varsity$25Precision haircut
Jr. Varsity$20Precision haircut for kids
Sr. Varsity$20Precision haircut for senior citizens

You can save up to $28 if you choose the Varsity, which considers your hair’s natural design lines and wave patterns if any.

Refer to this table as a guide if you want additional services.

MVP$32Shampoo, haircut, steamed towel, neck and shoulder massage
Double MVP$38Twice longer than the MVP
Triple MVP$46Thrice longer than the MVP

Even if you take advantage of the MVP haircut, you can still have $21 more in your wallet than the average $53 haircut.

Fantastic Sams: Best for Haircut with Blow-Dry

Presently, Fantastic Sams offers haircuts, color, styling, treatments, waxing, and hair extensions in over 1,000 branches.

Visit its Find a Salon page to discover the nearby Fantastic Sams branches around your neighborhood. Take note that pricing varies based on your location and chosen services.

Good news: The services are available for men, women, and even children 11 years old and below.

Here are the average prices of haircuts at this budget-friendly salon.

Haircut with shampoo and tousle dry$25
Haircut with shampoo and blow-dry$30
Haircut with shampoo, blow-dry, and style$40
Kids’ haircut$15

SmartStyle: Best for Buzz Cut

Aside from Walmart’s low prices, it also houses one of the cheapest hair salons, SmartStyle. It caters to men, women, as well as children. Aside from haircuts, it also offers perms, color services, styling, and waxing.

So how can you get an affordable haircut at SmartStyle?

  1. Visit the website and choose haircut inspirations.
  2. Input your zip code to check the nearest branch from your house.

If you’re wondering about the average prices of SmartStyle services, check the following table.

Buzz cut$10.00
Haircut with shampoo$15.95
Haircut with shampoo and express dry$18.95
Kids’ haircut with shampoo$10.95 to $13.95

Rudy’s Barbershop: Best for Men’s Haircut

Rudy’s Barbershop has been around since 1993, offering its services mainly to men. 

Even though it’s generally for men, you can still book a haircut for women. However, their prices are pretty steep for women’s haircuts.

Follow these steps to book Rudy’s Barbershop.

  1. Enter your zip code on the website.
  2. Choose your preferred branch.
  3. Select from Individual Appointment, Group Appointments, or Purchase a Gift Card options.

After clicking the Individual Appointment button, tap Haircut. The website will ask you to pick from a buzz cut, short cut, or long haircut.

Here are the average prices for haircut services.

Buzz Cut$22
Short Cut$39
Long Haircut$52

Save as much as $31 when you go for a buzz cut, but only $1 when you get a long haircut.

Tips on Getting a Cheap or Free Haircut

In addition to the hair salons above, there are other places you can visit and hacks to help you get your hair cut for even less.  

Cut your hair

If you need a free haircut today, the quickest  solution would be to cut your own hair.

All you need are a pair of scissors, clippers (if you’re a guy and need to shave), and a mirror. 

Then watch tutorials on YouTube. Even professional and well-known hair stylists give free online haircuts, styling, and coloring classes.

It might take you a little longer to get the look you want (not to mention the risk of messing up), but it’s completely free. You can also get your hair done today, instead of searching around. 

Get your hair cut by a hairdressing trainee

Most local salons offer cheap or even free haircuts. Like a typical barbershop, they cater to men, women, and children.

Contrary to what most people think, trainee hairdressers are knowledgeable about the different styles and haircuts. You might even be chosen as a hair model, allowing you to get free haircuts several times.

Get your hair trimmed during happy hour

Did you know that beauty parlors, especially the new ones, offer happy hours? This strategy helps them attract new clients and give a good impression by providing discounts.

If you’re able to take some time out of your work day, keep a close eye on the new hairdressing salons in your neighborhood and take advantage of happy hours.

Aside from a discount, some places also offer free drinks and additional coupons.

Use coupons and join loyalty programs

Do you want a haircut every two months but need to save on salon services?

Ask your favorite beauty parlor if they have loyalty programs. Most salons offer 20% off on their regular-priced services, including haircuts.

You might even get additional services, such as hair treatment and blow-dry for less than the original amount. Make sure to collect coupons every time you visit so you can use them when you need a cheaper haircut.

Skip the shampoo and other treatments

As you’ve discovered in Supercuts’ average prices, there is a $4 difference between the SuperCut and SuperCut II since the second option includes shampooing your hair. Also, you’ll notice a $5 difference between a basic haircut and one with the blow-dry by Fantastic Sams.

If you want to save on salon prices, choosing the basic haircut without additional services like shampoo, blow-dry, and style is recommended.

Get a low-maintenance haircut.

With a low-maintenance haircut, you can go to a beauty parlor every six months rather than every two months. This way, you can save up to $212 per year.

Here are the top 5 low-maintenance haircuts for men.

  • Buzz cut
  • Taper haircut
  • Crew cut
  • Side part
  • Ivy League haircut

Check out the top 5 low-maintenance haircuts for women.

  • Blunt cut
  • Lob
  • Layered
  • Mid-length cut
  • Pixie

Take advantage of student discounts.

Bring a valid student ID when you go to the barbershop so you can ask for a student discount. Expect 10% to 30% off on services, but be wary of the starting prices.

If you’re keen on saving more, then choose budget-friendly salons then avail of student discounts. 

Is it Possible to Get a Free or Cheap Haircut?

Yes, it’s definitely possible to avail a cheap or free haircut. Places like Supercuts, Great Clips, Sport Clips, Fantastic Sams, SmartStyle, and Rudy’s Barbershop could see you saving up to $44 compared to the average haircut price in the US. If you want to go a step further, there are a few places that can cut your hair for free, such as hairdressing institutions. Or you could even cut your own hair at home!