How I Spent $50 to Save $6,000 and 5 Days of My Life

Written By: Jon Finkel

Floyd Mayweather reportedly spends $1,000 per haircut, or in other words, $1,000 more per haircut than me. I have paid for less then 5 haircuts in the last twenty years and it isn’t because I starred in the outstanding Barbershop series or that I’m Willie Nelson or that my wife is a barber. No. My hair is DIY.

I prefer Wahl clippers. In fact, the picture below is my second Wahl. I bought the first one when I was a freshman in college and it recently died after 20 years of hard time. That thing was indestructible. It cut half my fraternities hair for most of college and then it had a Lou Gehrig-worthy*, decade-and-a-half run as my personal pair of clippers, completing hundreds of haircuts consecutively.

wahl clippers

My trusty Wahl clippers.

I don’t remember the exact haircut that caused me to ditch the barbershop forever, but I remember the feeling. The 10 minute ride in. The 10-15 minute wait. The 15 minute haircut with either forced small talk or awkward silence. The $20 fee. The $5 tip. The 10-minute itchy ride home. Man, just typing this reminds me exactly why I hated getting my hair cut so much.

I should mention here that I have thick, tight hair. There is nothing I can do with it. It’s like the opposite of Thor’s hair. I am confident that if I had hair like Thor or just regular dude, non-Norse God hair, I’d at least consider paying for the occasional haircut. But alas, we play the hand we’re dealt.

Therefore, when I was 18, I made a choice. I could either spent $25 and 20 minutes in the car and 15 minutes in the chair to get a #3 on the side with a #5 or #6 on top for the rest of my life, or I could learn to do it myself.

I chose the latter. I’ve never looked back and I’ve never regretted my decision. In fact, I know I made the right one because every time I tell people I cut my own hair they’re surprised, which means I’m not jacking up my dome too badly.

After 20 years, I can do the whole thing in about 8 minutes. Only one time, about ten years ago, when an attachment broke and I gashed the side of my head, did I truly screw up. It grew out in a week.

After I cut my hair in the bathroom, I immediately hop in the shower. No itchies. No problem.

I don’t need an appointment and there’s never any line. Actually there is now, because I cut my three year old’s hair too and he looks like a stud.

By my math, I’ve saved $6,000 and 5 days of my life with this decision.

$25/haircut x 12/yr x 20 years = $6,000

30 minute round trip x 12 months x 20 years = 7,200 minutes / 60 mins = 120 hours / 24 hours =  5 Days

Men, there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same.

*The last few seasons of Cal Ripken’s streak were a media-driven charade. He has the record, but I’d rather use the Iron Horse as a reference.

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Jon Finkel is the author of Forces of Character with 3x Super Bowl Champion and Fighter Pilot, Chad Hennings, Heart Over Height with 3x NBA Slam Dunk Champion Nate Robinson, as well as Jocks In Chief, the hit fatherhood book, The Dadvantage – Stay in Shape on No Sleep with No Time and No Equipment, and all twelve volumes in the Greatest Stars of the NBA book series for the National Basketball Association, which won several ALA Young Reader Awards.

As a feature writer, he has written for Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, GQ, Details, The New York Times,,, Yahoo! Sports’ and many more. His work received a notable mention in the 2015 Best American Sports Writing anthology.

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