How far would you drive for a great AFFORDABLE haircut?


How far you would drive for a great AFFORDABLE haircut?  Would you drive 2.5 hours?  I confess, I did exactly that.  Included in that haircut was color to banish the gray, a few caramel-colored highlights that my sister says is needed to lighten up the face, and since I had to wait for the color anyway, I went ahead and had my eyebrows waxed.  So there, I drove 2.5 hours up and over the mountains (round-trip) from Asheville, NC to Unicoi, TN for a day of high maintenance.  On the way, I picked up my friend Betty in Marshall where we had breakfast  at Zuma’s before heading out to the Dragonfly Salon.

Me, Betty and Zuma's

“Why do it?, my husband asks.  “You’re crazy.  You mean to tell me there is not one hairdresser in all of Asheville who can cut your hair?”  Of course there is, but I don’t feel like paying two hundred dollars every time I need a cut and color.  You see, I was spoiled by Mari, who is not only a great haircutter and colorist, but does it very affordably.

The Infamous Dragonfly Salon in Unicoi, TN
Me and Mari - the process begins

When Mari first moved to Tennessee I told myself I would never drive to another state for a haircut.  That was before I spent two years in search of the perfect hairdresser, stopping women everywhere asking them who cut their hair and how much they paid.  I had no shame.  I want to tell you, no one has ever accused me of being cheap.   I completely support stylists getting as much as they can for their haircuts.  It’s just that I can’t pay those big city prices, and let’s not forget that the economy tanked and without any cost of living increase over the last three years, my salary has been going down instead of up.  And yes, I’m happy to have a job – no whining here.

So, after considerable introspection, I embarked on the Big C (the big compromise).  I opted to go local and accept a mediocre haircut and color at half the price.  That lasted for two years until my mediocre stylist turned what was supposed to be brown hair (with caramel highlights) totally blond.  I screamed.  I had no one to blame but myself.  Why did I tell her to leave her lazy husband who hadn’t worked for two years and forced her to pay the mortgage, the loan for his houseboat, and his kid’s vacation at Disneyland?   No doubt, my blond hair was  punishment for giving out free advice when not asked!

So that’s how I ended up driving 2.5 hours to Tennessee with my good friend Betty,  only to return to North Carolina at 4:00 in the afternoon, nicely coiffed and colored.  And in case you’re wondering why I  just don’t go gray, let me tell you, if the economy gets any worse, I will have to because I won’t be able to afford the gas.

Annice and Betty looking good!

9 thoughts on “How far would you drive for a great AFFORDABLE haircut?

  1. So who’s counting?? We had the most fun day I have had in months – coffee, conversations, and cut & curl! I love a good road trip. Throw a great friend and haircut into the mix and I call it a perfect day. It’s your turn Sadhvi!

  2. Hi Sal…yes, that is about all the farther I want to go too! Annice does have the best hairdresser in the world…it is just too bad that she is not living within that 2 mile radius! Isn’t it great that she makes an outing out of it…I should know, I have done that outing with her. And it is FUN!

  3. I do understand the cost piece. I went from paying about 160.00 for a color, cut and highlights to paying 26.00 for a haircut and 45.00 for color. No highlights for now. I’m too cheap. Although I don’t drive 2 hours, I would think about it. I do drive 40 minutes. A good haircut makes it easier for me to keep the maintenance low and not have to fuss with it. It just falls into place.

  4. Lisa, I hadn’t thought about going bald, but of course that is an option – maybe after my gray period.

    And Va, do come please. It’s a blast. Haircut only-$32.00

  5. Hey, Annice–I understand completely! Altho I wonder–how much did your gas cost you? Well, divided by two of you. Anyway, next time you go I’m thinking I might like to go with you for the whole smear. Dare I ask how much it did cost? I have a pretty good (and very affordable) hair stylist here, tho don’t look at my hair as a testamonial for her. She is entertaining too.

  6. As much as I believe where I live is too crowded for my comfort, it is a blessing to walk less than a mile for a $22 hair cut. I would have driven with you to keep you company, and what an adventure you two had while getting so beautiful in the process…. but what will you do when there is snow on the ground? I think I won’t be able to move to Asheville until I’m bald and won’t have to worry about it anymore…. love your writing. Do MORE of it!

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