84 comments

Get Rich With: The Universal Men’s Grooming Device

Imagine a device so advanced that it can keep any boy or man, from birth to beyond age 100, looking trim, clean and handsome for life. It can sculpt, trim, shape, or completely remove any hair on your body. It will save you hundreds of dollars and dozens of hours of time EVERY YEAR, forever. Over thirty thousand dollars over a lifetime. But yet this device costs less than $50.00.

“Is such a thing possible?”, you may ask.

Well thanks for asking, yes it is!

OK, I will admit I am not the first person to come up with this idea, but I am still its most enthusiastic supporter. You see, I was once your average pay-for-a-haircut type of guy myself. Throughout my childhood, my Mum would take my little brother and I to the barber shop for haircuts every few months. As an older lad, I would walk alone to the manly establishment downtown to get the mop chopped.

I was always quite excited immediately after a haircut because this was when I looked my best. I felt more confident and did more posing in the mirror. But within a few weeks the hair would grow in and I’d lose my edge, and the waiting game would begin – when would the hair be big enough to justify yet another expensive professional haircut?

But then at last, my pain came to an end. A friend informed me of the existence of the Universal Men’s Grooming Device. It turned out that they had been selling these buzzing hair trimmer machines in stores for years, and I just didn’t know about them. I bought one, and I started cutting my own hair immediately and frequently.

From that point on, I never had to lose my edge! I never had to waste time sitting awkwardly around in the barber shop, watching the old dudes talk about hockey. I had gained control over my own ‘Stash of hair.

As I grew older, I realized the UMGD  is the ideal machine for Mustache and Beard work as well. A man can easily carve out a nice choppy set of sideburns, or a flowing Circus-Performer Mustache, or a zig-zag Statement Beard in just minutes at any time of day or night. And there’s more! If he should decide upon the clean shaven look, the UMGD will instantly lop off all facial hair, leaving only a very fine, uniform and protective Manly Stubble across the target region. So much better than the artificial and painful Girlyman Smoothness produced by razors! And so much more Mustachian, both because of the preservation of a base layer of armor, and the savings of an additional layer of cash from the Gillette Marketing machine.

Again we find ourselves at a crossroads in the article. There are a group of you, probably mostly ERE readers, who already cut your own hair and laugh at my naivete for thinking a tip like this could be useful for anyone.

But I still had to write the article, because I’ve seen another side of humanity. I have seen adult men from my own group of friends, not rock stars or presidential candidates, but engineers and everyday office workers, who actually pay to have their short basic haircuts maintained. And lest you assume they must be trust fund billionaires or dot-com angel investors, they are not – these are working people with non-infinite money, some even with car loans!!

I know, I know.. it is hard to believe that precious money could be squandered in such a carefree manner, but I live in a wild area where anything goes, and I haven’t even told you the half of it yet.

So, if I did surprise you with this lesson about the amazing Grooming Device, you might want to pick one up instead of your next scheduled haircut. Watch a video on YouTube if you need a quick lesson on technique, or get your wife or roommate to help you.

I have deliberately left out the Lady’s Perspective on the matter, because I don’t know much about it, but I HAVE heard that it is possible for ladies to cut each others’ hair in a non-salon environment, enabling both bonding and enhanced riches. I may even have a few pictures of this happening in my collection.

But for now, MEN: You have been saved from a lifetime of haircuts, razors, shaving cream, and time-wasting. The only grooming products you will ever need for the rest of your life are: this one single device, a bottle of shampoo, and a good stick of deodorant. The rest of the multibillion dollar industry can completely fade away now and the airwaves can fall silent because there is nothing left to advertise. And you will be more handsome and manly-looking to go along with it.

Congratulations again. Send us pictures of your fancy new Mustache!

 

  • AMY May 30, 2011, 9:32 am

    I have used this devise on my husband since we first got married. I now use it on my son. We had to replace it last year after 6 years of use. It has saved us countless amounts of money. As for my hair I usually go to a place where I can get my hair cut for $20.

    Reply
    • Laura @ Frugal Newlyweds February 5, 2013, 5:53 pm

      I’ve used this device as well on my husband for the last 4 years. I was nervous when I began, but now I’m fairly confident:). My mother cuts mine.

      Reply
  • Executioner May 30, 2011, 9:37 am

    Amen. I’ve been doing this for years. Sadly I think the time may be coming when I have to drop another $50 or less on a new UMGD, since the current appliance is having trouble matching its performance from years ago.

    Reply
    • Mr. Frugal Toque May 30, 2011, 11:37 am

      I thought the exact same thing about my UMGD. It had served seven or so years when it began to make terrible sounds and function poorly. I was about to discard it when my wife found the instructions and pointed out that I was supposed to pop a thingie off and oil another spinny thingie every few months or so.

      It went back to working fine and I still use it. Could yours be suffering from the same unawareness of maintenance?

      Reply
  • WM May 30, 2011, 10:44 am

    My wife has cut my hair for the last 15 years using the same trimmer. I thought about buying a new one (as mine really just needs to be sharpened. I’m not even sure they can do this) but anyways… When looking at the new ones they look very cheaply made and would probablly break within 3 years. Old items were just made better years ago.

    Save some money and cut your own!

    Reply
  • Heather May 30, 2011, 11:11 am

    A ponytail freed me from my monthly haircut dependence.

    Reply
  • Mr. Frugal Toque May 30, 2011, 11:39 am

    I had to look up the term “shampoo”.

    Odd stuff.

    Why would a separate product be needed when I already have a bar of soap. To increase my “volume”? Bring out my “highlights”? Make my hair “shine”?

    Also, it has the word “poo” in it.

    Reply
    • MMM May 30, 2011, 1:24 pm

      Haha.. You definitely get Mustachian Points for using only soap, Mr. Frugal Toque. I switched to Only Shampoo (or any liquid soap) because it seems to prevent soap scum buildup on the shower floor. But a good soap bar made without sticky animal fat could do the same thing and might even come in less plastic packaging.

      Reply
      • qhartman October 29, 2011, 12:00 pm

        You can actually go further than that. With the exception of times where I actually get properly dirty and I need something to break up the mess, I don’t use any soap or shampoo at all for daily bathing. I’ve been doing it for over a year now. It takes a few weeks for your body (mostly your hair) to get acclimated to managing itself properly after a lifetime of self-imposed chemical warfare, but once that is done, you are home free. My hair is more manageable, and a number of minor skin conditions I’ve thought I’d just have to deal with forever have either improved considerably or gone away entirely. Just hot water and washcloth is all I need.

        About six months ago I made the mistake of washing my hair with shampoo, just because it had been so long I wanted to remember what it was like. It felt good, but my hair didn’t seem any more clean afterwards. It seemed kinda limp and lifeless, and for the next several days things were totally out of whack as I recovered from the chemical strip. Never again!

        This article is what inspired me to try it: http://blog.seanbonner.com/2010/02/01/ive-given-up-using-soap/

        Here is a follow up from the original author:
        http://boingboing.net/2011/01/04/i-havent-used-soap-i.html

        Those articles have more links in them.
        For the ladies, my wife does this too, and she seems happy with it. She just does a vinegar rinse once in awhile if things seem to be getting to oily. She is pretty dang low-maintenance in the personal care arena though, so your mileage may vary.

        Another interesting side effect of the no-soap bathing is that it takes a heckuva lot less time and water to do it. Anything longer than a 5 minute shower feels decadent, and I find myself standing around with nothing to do but enjoy the hot water.

        Reply
        • Gerard July 27, 2012, 8:38 pm

          Everything this man says is true.

          Reply
        • Quark October 21, 2013, 1:24 pm

          Unfortunately I have dandruff so I cannot go completely ‘poo-less. I use baking soda instead, with a vinegar rinse. It gets rid of any itching and some amount of the dandruff. I can easily live with the rest. Baking soda is also a Universal Hygiene Device. Use it as shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, dishwashing soap, laundry soap, stain remover, etc.

          Reply
  • Chris May 30, 2011, 11:59 am

    We live a parallel life (seriously)! Awesome.

    Reply
  • Geek May 30, 2011, 12:40 pm

    Ugh, I just feel unfrugal! I’m a lady and I chemically straightened my hair for a couple of years, and am now waiting for it to grow out enough to get a short cute mop-ish cut.
    But in the meantime, it’s awkwardly growing out all curly while the ends are straight, and I need Keratin to make it not look like crap.
    Sometimes, I wish I could be a guy for a while, this sounds great and saves so much ! I’ll see if DH is open to the idea.

    Reply
    • Mrs. Money Mustache May 30, 2011, 12:53 pm

      As a lady, I have 3 hair products at my disposal: (1) a hairbrush, (2) elastics for ponytails, which as Heather points out above, are indispensable, (3) a hair straightener — I just got a new one to replace my 10-year old one that stopped working — they’ve come a long way in 10 years!

      I get my hair cut once a year on my birthday, as a special treat to myself. Cost is $40/year or less.

      Geek – is a hair straightener an option? They are pretty fancy mcpancy these days and mine cost about $30, I think. And, how about ponytails?

      Reply
      • Geek May 30, 2011, 10:33 pm

        I’m growing out, so I’m ironing the roots. It’s a pain in the butt (I’m unwilling to spend so much time in the morning), and I’m definitely going for the shaggy look soon, as I have very curly hair. I have any number of hair ties from previous years, and a brush. Having to get a hair dryer for this straight look was my big concession, but I’m done with it!

        Reply
      • Geek May 30, 2011, 10:34 pm

        Also, ponytails are fine but I’m in the software business and need to look older for another few years (at which point I’ll start desperately trying to look younger, sigh).

        Reply
    • Jess February 26, 2013, 9:39 pm

      This is an old post but in case anyone else is in Geek’s situation with a keratin hair straightening dependency. Getting it done at a salon is breathtakingly expensive – for my hair the quote would be about $800…for ONE TREATMENT. However, as an FYI you can buy the product on Amazon and do it yourself. It’s still not a cheap product by mustachian standards, but for about $300 I get 4-6 treatments instead. Someone with shorter hair would probably get closer to 10. So, if you’re determined to do it anyway, don’t fear the DIY – it’s really not complicated and its a savings of anywhere from $2900-7700. Oh, and it lasts for months.

      Reply
  • Macs May 30, 2011, 4:21 pm

    I concur totally, this is an essential device!

    There are yet more advantages:

    - Unlike your friendly local barber, it does not look amazed and ask ‘Are you sure?’ when you present your shaggy winter coat on the first day of Spring and ask for a ‘number one all over’.
    - Unlike your friendly local barber, it does not ask about your holidays or prattle on incessantly about football and cars
    - If you have a garden, the clippings make an excellent barrier mulch to keep slugs and snails away from your delicate seedlings, as they don’t like having their tummies tickled.
    - It also provides hours of endless amusement for friends…. I think this may be because I don’t have a mirror at present, though :-)

    Reply
  • Tomas May 31, 2011, 2:51 am

    I’d encourage fellow moustachian apprentices to go poo-less completely!
    Just not in the literal sense, of course.
    see http://www.marksdailyapple.com/going-poo-less/

    Reply
  • Steve May 31, 2011, 10:38 am

    I just bought one of these last month. Haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, but I look forward to the extra $150 extra cash per year it will pay me.

    Reply
  • Kevin M June 2, 2011, 12:30 pm

    I barter my haircuts in return for tax return preparation, but used the UMGD method in college with much success.

    Reply
  • Kelli June 5, 2011, 8:14 pm

    I cut my hubby’s hair and save $15-$20 a pop, totalling hundreds!

    I should learn to do a flat top so I can do my Dad’s for him, too.

    Reply
  • Sam June 6, 2011, 12:56 pm

    When I first started dating my (now) husband, I remember he asked me to do him a favor on our third or fourth meeting. I was a little hesitant…what sort of odd favor would I have to do? He pulled out his clippers and told me to cut his hair. What? I was terrified I’d drill into his scalp or something, but I found it to be a very satisfying task. Over the 11 years we’ve been together, we have not spent a single penny on cutting his hair. I cut my hair most of the time, but spend $25 (including tip) once a year at the local super cuts just to make sure I don’t look like a complete ragamuffin. I can’t cut my hair into layers very well (despite all my reading and youtubing), so this isn’t something I find a waste of money. Along with the purchase of good quality double edge razor shaving kit, all our hair removal needs are as thriftily accomplished as possible

    Reply
  • Mr. Frugal Toque June 7, 2011, 1:47 pm

    “The only grooming products you will ever need for the rest of your life are: this one single device, a bottle of shampoo, and a good stick of deodorant.”

    And sunscreen.

    Trust me on the sunscreen.

    Once you’re spending about 7.5 hours per week bicycling around town, you’re going to want some sunscreen.

    Reply
    • MMM June 7, 2011, 5:53 pm

      Yeah, we’re definitely in agreement about sunscreen, and it sounds like you and I might even spend a similar amount of time on a bike each week.

      I just hadn’t thought of it as a grooming product – more in the “outdoor equipment” category alongside hiking shoes, a water bottle, and a backpack. That way we can keep that sissy “grooming” category as spartan and Mustachian as possible.

      Reply
  • Bakari Kafele June 7, 2011, 7:58 pm

    I started using clipper at about age 16, just because it felt weird having strangers all up on my head. Bought my own soon after moving out.

    While I was traveling with family once, for the first time in my life I paid for a haircut (when all the males went to get them together).

    I couldn’t believe it…
    Getting ONE HAIRCUT – not anything fancy, mind you, no cornrows or mohawks or words trimmed on the back of the head, not even a high&tight, just trimmed lower – cost the same as a new pair of clippers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    When I pointed this out to the family matriarch (who handled money) she said that last time the husband had failed to oil them and they were no good after just a few uses.
    Ok
    but… um… even using clippers as disposable STILL makes it cheaper than going to a barber, so long as you get just one time in for both males in the family.
    sigh

    As to a beard: I am legally required to be clean shaven for 2 days of each month, and 2 weeks of each year. But I am thinking of trying a straight razor once my gillette blades are all worn out

    Reply
    • Brett July 5, 2011, 1:05 pm

      I’m intrigued by the legal requirement to be clean shaven. What’s that about? Are you in the TA or something?

      Reply
      • Bakari July 5, 2011, 10:37 pm

        Coast Guard Reserve

        Reply
        • turboseize February 19, 2013, 3:21 am

          Does “clean shaven” mean no facial hair at all?

          German army allows beards, as long as they are well kempt and do not impair the tight fit of the NBC-mask.
          You are, however, not allowed to let your beard grow while on duty, only on a leave. When on duty, it is either cleanly shaven or (well kempt) beard, but nothing in between.
          After all, you’re supposed to look good.

          Reply
    • JZ December 19, 2011, 10:12 am

      They still make safety razors, too. I didn’t feel quite up to dealing with a straight razor, and got one. Much cheaper for blades, not as much to learn, and you don’t have to add blade maintenance to your routine.

      Reply
    • Jeff November 18, 2013, 5:00 pm

      Some advice on the straight blade. They are tough to learn and require more maintenance than I care for. I’ve tried. I find that a simple safety razor is just perfect. I use a blade for a week and that is it. Blades at WalMart are $1.44 for 10 and so blades are like $7.50 for the year. I use a brush also and Taylor of Old Bond Street Shave Cream (avocado) which costs about $16 on Amazon and lasts me about 9 months. Truly mustachian except for those that just use the clippers on face and head.

      Reply
      • Matth July 11, 2014, 12:31 pm

        I realize this is now a very, very old post, but I want to polite offer another view on the whole straight razor thing.

        I used a straight razor exclusively from the summer before my second year of college until well after I had started full-time employment, which was ’04-’09. It was great. It started as a splurge, one which I fretted about since it was nearly $200 between the razor and strop, and I wasn’t sure it would work out. But the possibility of savings were too large not to invest.

        What I found was that it took me two or three very nervous shaves before I felt comfortable, and about another six months of shaving two or three times a week before I had gotten as good as with the Gillettes. After a year, I was consistently better than the best shave I’d ever gotten with a disposable blade.

        The amount of care was also really minimal: stropping before the shaves (less than a minute), drying the blade thoroughly and storing in a dry location (not in the bathroom if it remains humid). I had a sharpen it on a stone about once a month, but a straight razor is very easy and mindless to sharpen compared to other knives, since the angle is set by the spine of the blade resting flat on the stone. In all, maintenance was less than the amount of time I spent going to the store to buy new blades.

        The control and capabilities of the straight razor are also incredible. It’s trivial to get a tight, accurate line when shaving along the jaw, if you have a beard. Also, since I grew a beard in college every winter (it was Minnesota), I found that there was no pain when I just straight shaved the damn thing off in March. No trimming required, because there’s nothing to clog. Damn that felt nice. I even used it to shave my head, which wasn’t fun but was doable. The head is a funny thing to shave.

        The savings were considerable: I got a superlative shave for five years with a total investment of $200, or $40 a year. If I had continued, or go back to, using the straight razor, that annual cost goes down. Using the same razor for my entire life, a distinct possibility, gives an annual cost of about $3 a year. Adjusting for inflation, that is incredible.

        Given all this, what eventually did it in? I never got very fast. I can shave with a disposable razor in about 4 minutes, give or take. I never got a straight razor shave below 15, although I never really tried to cut time off. I think about 10 minutes is my personal minimum. So, for me, it was the morning rush and the need to shave daily that did it in.

        Which means… if you’re a Mustachian, unconcerned with getting into work because you’re financially independent at a young age, there’s definitely nothing to hold you back. You know I will start up again the day I leave the normal workforce. It’s a solid investment, one which can last a lifetime, and which has obvious advantages to being tied to the Gillette marketing world. There’s also no chance that your razor will rise in cost or suddenly stop being made.

        And it’s pretty damn badass to shave with a straight edge.

        Reply
        • Matth July 11, 2014, 1:11 pm

          A couple of things to add that I thought of after posting it.

          1. Be safe. Never move the blade side-to-side across your face. That will slice it open. But in five years, the only cut I got was when I absent-mindedly smashed the tip of my thumb into the blade while shaving.

          2. I find the first shave or two, like after shaving off a beard or using it for the first time, were incredibly painful compared to a normal razor. After gritting through those, though, there is significantly less irritation than a safety razor.

          3. When stropping, you drag the blade backwards. Otherwise, the blade catches the linen or the face of the leather and destroys the strop.

          Reply
  • Jenny June 21, 2011, 9:43 am

    You would be proud of us – I went out and got one of these trimmers, and started cutting my husband and little boys hair myself. It’s been GREAT!!!! I’m not brave enough to cut my girls’ hair, or my own, but I do have a cheap place to go!

    Reply
  • William James Teskey July 29, 2011, 4:43 am

    I’ll ask my wife to pick one up this week, we’ve actually been talking about this recently and your article made the decision that much easier!

    Reply
  • MaudMan August 11, 2011, 6:28 pm

    Are there any recommended brands/models of this elusive UMGD?

    Reply
  • J S August 14, 2011, 6:51 am

    I did it for the time. Money saving has been great, but the time was the biggest savings .. drive to the barber/salon, wait, get it cut. But then I grew up in a household that cut our own hair.

    Some Tips:

    -use your fingers ‘combed into your hair’ to put more length on the clipper’s cuts. Salon girls will use scissors, measuring off their fingers for your cut. I didn’t like nicking my knuckles with the scissors.

    -Get a heavy cord or leather shoelace, pull it tight across the back of your neck or forehead where you want a straight line and use it as a guide for the clippers.

    -Secret of a good haircut is the ‘edging’: (straight along) back, around ears, ‘burns, ‘bangs.

    -Be prepared, you’ll have some odd-ball cuts once in a while. Just like I used to get going to different barbers.

    -keep a note card for what cut length you used where, cross off the ‘don’t do that one again’ cuts and keep the good ones. This gets more important if you have a few kids to cut.

    -Try updating your cuts every so often. don’t get stuck in a time-warp. I see people that have been going to the same beautician (more often this problem is women) and still getting the same 1980′s cut.

    -Your wife/girlfriend will be less likely to risk such a haircut. That’s just the way it is. Even if it’s probably easier to cut theirs since you just have to even out the ends and take a 1/4inch off. That’s still just the way it is.

    Reply
  • Brave New Life October 10, 2011, 12:43 pm

    I’m going to raise the bar on your suggestion.

    In college, I not only began cutting my own hair to save money – I started charging my friends to cut their hair. i charged $2 beers per cut, and I only worked on Fridays between 5pm-8pm. I drank the beers as I cut, which meant people were always rushing to go first (I wonder why?). Then we would go out, and I saved even more money because I’d spend less at the bars having already consumed several beverages for free.

    Also, I blasted Neil Diamond while I cut. Nothing inspires a good haircut like Sweet Caroline.

    Reply
    • MMM October 10, 2011, 12:50 pm

      Wow! .. Even thought this article is almost 5 months old, I hereby retroactively award you with the MOST MUSTACHIAN COMMENT OF THE ARTICLE AWARD for this one. ;-)

      Reply
    • GregK May 17, 2012, 1:14 pm

      Hah I did this a couple of times for friends in college. I used scissors, and it took me forever, but I got rave reviews, and my friends got compliments on their haircuts. I took cold, hard, cash, however. No scissors under the influence!

      Reply
  • Spork October 13, 2011, 9:39 am

    There’s ANOTHER function for this fabulous device you didn’t mention! You totally misunderstood what the acronym UMGD stands for: universal MAMMAL grooming device. It also grooms dogs!

    Furthermore, there is another secret many people don’t know: Dogs just don’t care if they have a bad haircut. Therefore, you can practice your skills on the smaller mammal, bond with him, let him think you’re just an awesome piece of bacon-giving-out human … and THEN use this device to groom yourself once you get the hang of it.

    One other secret: the dog then can serve as an indicator. When you look down at the dog and think “Bobo is a little shaggy today…” this should also indicate to you: “Hey… maybe I need a haircut, too.” Win-win.

    Reply
    • Mike November 14, 2011, 9:26 pm

      True that Spork. I bought our Oster buzzer for the fuzzy cat after the DW took her to the groomer once and came back home with a $60 bill. After a while I thought why not turn this thing on myself and save $15 a pop every 6 weeks or so. It’s been going strong for 5+ years now for both of us – but do remember to drop a little of the lubricating oil on the blades every time or two. I love the freedom and the ability to get my groom on whenever the mood strikes.

      Reply
    • Justin Lilly September 18, 2012, 10:35 pm

      Be careful with this. The clippers you use to shave a dog ($200) aren’t the same sort you use to shave a human ($50). The dog ones are much heavier duty. I think if you got the dog-version you could use them for yourself.

      Source: I used to work in a pet shop, lots of people came in telling us they burnt out their clippers on their dog and bought the $200 pair of dog clippers which were (according to my boss and our groomer) up to the task.

      Reply
    • Lizzard August 23, 2014, 2:26 am

      Beg to differ. Dogs do care. I have seen my own cower in shame in front of the other – maintenance-free (MF) – dog. I swear I saw MF smirk every time.

      Reply
  • Kevin October 31, 2011, 12:29 pm

    Here I was just about to pull the trigger on the Wahl Deluxe Chrome Pro Trimmer from Amazon, when I thought to myself, “I wonder if Mr. Money Mustache” has ever written a post about cutting one’s own hair? A hop, skip, and a Google search later, and here I am. Buying it now – will pay for itself after two haircuts. Thanks, MMM! You’re the mustachiest!

    Reply
    • MMM December 9, 2011, 9:52 pm

      Uh-oh.. I just checked Kevin’s blog and I found out he DID buy the trimmer, but failed on his first haircut and gave up immediately, taking refuge at Supercuts!

      http://kevinmeyers.com/post/12449075306/cutting-your-own-hair-is-a-bad-idea

      Wah~wah~wah~wahhhhhh. (that’s a horn playing the “fail” song in case you can’t tell).

      Kevin:

      #1: You are the first person I have EVER heard of not getting a great haircut on his first time cutting his own hair. I mean, this is a seriously easy task. Almost all the men I know now cut their hair this way, either by discovering the awesomeness themselves, or due to my relentless egging and ridicule.. So unfortunately, this does mean you are deficient.. for now. But you can still learn!!

      #2: Don’t you have any friends or wives who can help you figure out what you’re doing wrong? Do you want to send me a video of you trying to cut your own hair and we can make a big article here called “Let’s Help Kevin Meyers Cut His Hair” and we can all help you with your technique?

      The Mustachian Way forbids you from quitting something just because it didn’t work out the first time you tried it.

      Reply
      • Kevin January 11, 2012, 11:24 am

        Aaand I just saw this comment. Nice. I will give it another shot, with my wife’s help this time around.

        Seriously, it looked pretty brutal.

        Reply
        • Kevin January 11, 2012, 1:16 pm

          Also, holy shit do I have to step up my blog game if one of my heroes is actually reading it.

          Reply
  • redeyedtreefr0g November 14, 2011, 7:15 pm

    Hi Mr. Mustache, I’ve just found your website. I think I was searching for information on riding bikes in the wintertime. I’m from Florida and am finally close enough to work (3 miles!) to commute by bike. Now in Oregon, I’m very nervous about the whole deal, but so far so good! I’ve been hooked onto your blog since finding it- you have a wonderful writing style.

    I cut my husband’s hair occasionally with the clippers. I think it looks the same as when a barber does it, only faster, without the trip and tip.

    The topic got me thinking about another device I briefly encountered in a magazine. An epilator? I think it is supposed to be a tweezing device to pluck hairs. That sounded like a wonderful idea (no, I’ve never waxed, but I’m SO tired of shaving) if it works.

    Also, perhaps less of a macho mustachian concept, but I’ve heard of something called a Divacup for women. That would eliminate LOTS of unneeded spending.

    Do you have any experience with either of these things? I apologize if I simply have not read far enough into the present if you discuss it, but I tend to forget things if not said soon.

    Reply
    • Bakari November 17, 2011, 3:09 pm

      Never used it myself (don’t have the right parts for it) but my ex-wife, current girlfriend, and all my female friends (who I am close enough to know stuff like that about) all use either the Diva or the Keeper, and I know of noone who has gone back to the old way after having tried it

      Reply
    • Kadi March 4, 2012, 2:31 am

      Read more about divacups and epilators in forum!

      If u never have used epilator it can be painful at first.

      Reply
    • MooseOnTheLoose November 3, 2012, 10:32 pm

      I use both an epilator (Braun Silk Epil) and The Keeper (what you call a Diva Cup). I’m very happy with both, and after the initial purchases (something like $30 each, I think), I’ve spent zero on razors and feminine products in seven years. They’ve both more than paid for themselves, and seem to have lots of use left in them. (As an added bonus, once you get the hang of it, the Keeper is more convenient than the mainstream way of dealing with these things IMO ;)

      Reply
  • CG January 25, 2012, 6:34 am

    I started cutting my husbands curly hair with my sewing scissors 13 yeas ago when we were dating. I didn’t like other girls touching his hair. I was cutting my own at the time, a long, layered style.
    It’s actually really easy to do. Go to a salon and have your hair cut. Pay close attention to the process. Write it down if you need to(maybe in the car afterward so you don’t insult the cutter). Then simply copy the process at home. I even maintained a pixie cut at home after seeing what the stylist did.
    I’ve spent less than $100 on haircuts for my family of 5 in the last 12 years. My kids have never had a store bought haircut.
    I got my buzz clippers and haircutting scissors at Walgreens for less than $20 together. Sure I’ve made plenty of oopsies. But a week or two of growing fixes most issues. A hat, gel or a barrette will hide the error in the interim.

    Reply
  • JaneMD February 5, 2012, 3:16 pm

    We tried this for two haircuts. I kept having flashbacks to medical school when I had to shave off a guy’s afro in the prison unit before his brain surgery. The other three convicts thought it was great entertainment and spent the whole 40 minutes giving me advice.

    I stopped doing this on Hubby JD’s hair because he is VERY specific about how he wants his hair to look and I never felt confident achieving his desired result. Not worth the stress. He spends more on his hair than I do.

    Reply
  • Concojones March 6, 2012, 11:28 am

    Forgive me my ignorance, but I’d like to start cutting my own hair and I want to make sure I’m understanding this post correctly: should I use a UMGD (not scissors) to cut my hair (not beard) to my preferred length (not buzzcut, but about 3 inches)? If someone could help me get this straight, that would be much appreciated! I’m taking note of the “use your fingers combed into your hair to put more length on the clipper’s cuts”.

    Reply
  • Jeremiah J.K. Martin May 10, 2012, 12:01 pm

    If you do still like the feelin of a close shave though, you can save considerably on razors by running with the blades ( so you are NOT cutting) 15-20 times on a rough piece of denim or the rough side of a leather belt. This flattens them out, removes rust, and makes you feel considerably more badass before every shave. I have the luxurious Gillet fusion razor, but use the same head for 2 months at a go.

    Also, I would just like to say that as a 22 year old, MMM stands as a very inspiring figure as look forward to me and my fiancee’s future. We hope to become mustache twiddling Swami’s in our right in no time flat!

    Reply
  • Andrew W June 25, 2012, 5:13 pm

    Hi MMM,

    Would you recommend buying a trimmer new?

    Andrew

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache June 27, 2012, 3:01 pm

      Sure, they’re cheap enough to justify the time savings vs. trying to find a good used one. I use a pro-style one called Oster Fast Feed that cost about $60 new.. but it has now worked flawlessly for 12 years and I just upgraded to its second set of blades (which cost me $18).

      Reply
  • Mister money pinch September 11, 2012, 4:14 pm

    Since I happen to like the girly-man look for my face, I went out and found a specialized version of the UGMD. It does a very smooth job on face or sideburns, and for the hot man can be used on the cranium for that super-testosterone look. Not that I could be credible in it, but it IS possible.
    Mustachian part of it: mine are usually good for a decade.
    Cheers!

    Reply
  • Dvortygirl September 14, 2012, 10:10 pm

    My sweetie and I have learned to cut each other’s hair. I like mine longish, straight across the bottom. His is a basic men’s cut. Personally, I prefer a good pair of scissors for most of it, including the beard and mustache, using the buzzer doodad to tidy up around the neck and sides.

    If left to go to the barber, he lets it get pretty shaggy, so my doing it for him means he gets it done more often, and because I know how he likes it, he has less explaining to do and it turns out more like what he wants.

    A little time spent watching videos online certainly helped with getting confident about cutting his hair for the first time.

    Reply
  • Carolyn October 29, 2012, 5:17 am

    I cut my own hair as a woman with this method: http://feyeselftrim.livejournal.com/

    I prefer long hair cut straight across the bottom, luckily. So I haven’t been in a hair salon in over five years.

    I’m young and have white hairs so I also dye at home with henna instead of expensive (and chemical) boxed dyes.

    Reply
  • Scott November 20, 2012, 4:22 pm

    A few years ago I quit using deodorant because of skin irritation and a desire to use a simpler product. Initially the results were as you would expect…ok for me but uncomfortable for anyone within 10 feet. Soon I stumbled on using milk of magnesia which is effective as a deodorant and makes you sweat a bit less. It’s cheap (one $5 bottle lasts a few months) and all you have to do is splash some on after a shower. Also, it can last a few days if you can’t make it through the wash every day for one reason or another. I’ll never go back!

    Also, it can be used in the recommended fashion for acid relief. This is pretty great when traveling and needing one less thing to carry around.

    Reply
  • Kriegsspiel December 31, 2012, 12:24 am

    just shaved off a ton of hair the the UGD. I used a 5 on top and a 4/3 on the sides. It was pretty easy, with minor use of a second mirror. Just wanted to throw it out there.

    Reply
    • turboseize February 19, 2013, 3:38 am

      Finally bought an UMGDa, Grundig 3140 for less than 20€. Most higher-priced UMGDs seemd to have ceramic blades and where marketed as maintenance-free, while the cheap Grundig came with a brush and oil…
      As I firmly believe “mantenance-free” to be a marketing euphemism for “will break eventually”, it was abolutely clear I was NOT going to pay a premium for that.

      Haircut and beard cost about 15-17€ at most immigrant barber shops (turkish and arab barbers seem to be better, faster and cheaper than everybody else), so the UMGD will pay for itself in less than a month, and even faster when you compare it to a barber in a middle-class neighbourhood. This means my UMGD equals rougly 3600€ in dividend stock.

      Only remaining question: why didn’t I listen to MMM earlier?

      Reply
  • Maria February 23, 2013, 6:50 am

    I’m interested in cutting my own girl cut…anyone has any good sites/YouTube videos that they recommend…preferably for a layer look. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Cat October 4, 2013, 9:21 pm

      Pretty big delay since this article was posted I know. But check out this way of cutting hair: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dl1cy_VxQ6U Alternative, search 5 minute hair cut. I’ve got curly hair and it works well to layer my hair, and I’ve also seen videos of people with straight and wavy hair doing the same thing.

      Reply
  • Laurie March 18, 2013, 6:17 pm

    My dad cuts his own hair with a Flowbee. Its a trimmer you attach to a vacuum hose. You can cut your hair as long as the vacuum hose or shorter, and there is no clean up. We always make fun of him, but he prides himself on the money he saved vacuuming his hair short.

    Reply
  • SteveinNC May 25, 2013, 2:53 pm

    After 40 years of shelling out $20 for a haircut ($15 + tip) to the local barber , I finally decided to give the UMG a try.

    First time I buzzed my entire head down with a #2. Looked like a monk.

    Second time, I tried a 1-2-3 cut (google it for an explanation). Looked a little better but somewhat like a geek-convict.

    Third time, did a #3 on the sides and #4 on top. Looked pretty good.

    4th time, #2 on sides and # 3 on top. Meh.

    4 Cuts for a total one-time cost of < $60. I bought the same UMG MMM uses plus 10 varies sized blade guards from Amazon. I already saved $20 plus several wasted hours at the barber shop.

    I might try a #1 all over next time just to see how I looked almost shaved- although my wife prefers me to keep it a little longer.

    For any other guys thinking about cutting your own hair, there are hundreds of videos on YouTube. For a business professional cut like I need in my corporate job, the most helpful video instructed me to buzz from back to front so the bangs stay longer.

    It's pretty easy to do this by yourself. My wife helps me cleanup the back and any missed spots but I could also do this by using a handheld mirror. I prefer to buzz outside though to minimize any cleanup effort and I just use my reflection in the window as a mirror.

    Easy – peasy. Will be even better when I retire and can experiment with unique and interesting buzz cuts.

    Reply
    • Becky O. July 29, 2013, 2:58 pm

      I know this was so long ago, but I just had to say that SteveinNC’s post made me literally LOL. Would have loved to see the geek-convict.

      Reply
  • biquet June 12, 2013, 4:49 pm

    Thanks for this post! It gave me the courage to pick up a $30 Wahl haircutting kit at Costco on Sunday and enlist my partner’s help in taming my increasingly raggedy-looking hairdo. I am thrilled to report that he did a great job on the first try! And because I had been in the shameful habit of going to a fancy-pants salon every month to get my Basic Male Cut for $50(!), the UMGD has already more than paid for itself.

    The only payment my new barber requires is that I make him a mojito when we’re done :)

    Reply
  • Anoop June 14, 2013, 12:02 am

    Here in India, I can get a decent haircut AND a head massage (with oil) for the equivalent of $2 (about 0.1% of my monthly expenses). Should I still get a UMGD?

    I honestly don’t think it is worth the effort (clipping, cleaning) and time (my wife’s) to do it. My kids’ haircuts are both together another $2.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache June 14, 2013, 7:26 am

      Ooo, a head massage with oil. I might have to look into that next time I’m in India :-)

      I guess it all depends on what you like doing with your free time. I personally love the freedom of just noticing that my hair is getting too big, and doing a 5-minute trim before I jump in the shower. And I do this at least once a month. If I had to actually go out to a barber, it would eat 30-60 minutes of my free time every month, which is way more than I’d like to spend on hair.

      But for you, it may be different. Enjoy!

      Reply
  • Ryan Good June 18, 2013, 4:43 pm

    Awesome advice! I started cutting my own hair so long ago I can’t even remember the last time I went to a barber. And I’ve had a full beard for a long time- which I also trim with very own UMGD- so no expense on razors. I wonder how much I’ve saved over the years….? Another thing I don’t bother with is deodorant. Years ago, I decided to try going without it for a bit and see what would happen. And I found that it had no effect at all. I smelled the same as I did with it. I have asked a number of close female friends- who I KNOW would tell me honestly if I smelled bad- and they’ve always said I smelled fine. In fact, they have been, every time, amazed that I don’t wear it- because 1) they can’t believe that anyone would not do this thing that we’re all taught to do every day from a very early age, and 2) because I don’t use it and I still smell okay. Even with bike commuting daily, odor is just not a problem. So I’m saving lots of money and- just as important to me- not creating more waste.

    Reply
  • Garrett June 24, 2013, 10:12 pm

    Also, I haven’t used commercial shampoo or deodorant in years. I use baking soda+water and apple cider vinegar+water for shampoo and conditioner, and coconut oil+cornstarch+baking soda as deodorant.

    That said, since a few months ago I stopped using shampoo altogether–just water–and I eat a holistic vegan diet, which helps a lot in the odor department.

    Take that beauty industry. :}D

    Reply
  • Robert November 2, 2013, 8:09 pm

    Just discovered your blog and am catching up. Great stuff!

    My dad always had a buzz cut so being contrary I always resisted the idea, and growing up in the 1960s/70s I kept my hair longer. This continued after college and into work, but then buzz cuts started coming back in style. I didn’t care; I still didn’t want one. But my expensive hair stylist finally convinced me to let her do it. I loved it. No more fussing with the hair in the morning or after swimming. But after a couple buzz cuts I wondered why I was paying her $20 for that? Seemed easy enough. So bought a pair and had my wife (nervously!) do it. Been doing it about 25 years now and wouldn’t go back. My dad was smarter than I knew as a young man!

    I’ve been through about 4 clippers (I think mostly Wahl). They would eventually run rough and pull my hair and stall out. I oiled them as required but it didn’t matter. I have thick hair and they would get hot too, and tend to pull my hair.

    I finally got fed up with it and shelled out some serious money for a professional pair of Andis clippers with ceramic blades (Model BGRV. They are awesome! They run so much smoother, no hair pulling, don’t get hot, and I expect them to last the rest of my life (we’ll see!). We bought the #3 and Outliner attachments and it came with #1. That’s all I need.

    My only recommendation is to buy a high quality pair of clippers and don’t buy the cheap ones at Walmart.

    Reply
  • Jay January 10, 2014, 11:26 am

    The Mrs found a great way of getting professional haircuts for free, for herself. Once every 2-3 months, she looks for postings on Craigslist for haircut models (I think that’s what they’re called). You show up at a salon and a trainee cuts your hair while being supervised by an experienced hairdresser.

    My own haircuts are courtesy of the Mrs and a 20-year old hair trimmer

    Reply
  • Joggernot January 29, 2014, 6:12 pm

    We went with the FloBee system bought used through Craigs list about 10 years ago. This allows quick semi-styled cuts for both of us in about 10 minutes each. The UMG is used for special trims and scissors for around the ears. The $40 was paid back in the first two sessions of haircutting and it has saved money ever since.

    We went with the FloBee because my wife didn’t trust me with scissors around her head…:) She needed a good cut for her retail work.

    Reply
  • Elaine March 10, 2014, 5:39 pm

    After reading this section almost a month ago I started thinking about going without shampoo. I researched shampoo alternatives and came across an article on another blog: http://lulastic.co.uk/thrifty-2/ten-alternatives-to-shampoo/ . The author has follow-up articles about her ‘poo-less experiences over the past 2 years, and lots of others have added their experiences. Almost 3 weeks ago I decided to try going without shampoo, soap, and deodorant cold turkey, and it’s been great. And as a result, I’ve discovered that my “new hair” styles better if I just let it air dry (it’s fine and not thick so it doesn’t take long), so that also saves electricity. I’ve had a pretty easy transition compared to what some people have. My hair is better than ever – more volume, keeps its shape longer (so much for “volumizer” shampoo!), my skin is less dry, and some problem skin areas are getting better. I wish I’d done this years ago. I’ll still go out to get my hair cut, but I’ll be saving a lot of money, as well as being healthier as a result of reading this post and comments. Thanks, everyone!

    Reply
  • Oh Yonghao April 9, 2014, 1:50 pm

    When we moved to the states from Taiwan I had trouble trying to justify paying $20 for something that used to cost me about $6. We got a set of clippers and my wife set off cutting my hair.

    After many tears and crying my hair was cut, the wife was a little upset too. It’s gotten better over the past two years, and my wife is content with getting her hair cut once every couple years when we go back to Taiwan.

    Reply
  • Leila April 26, 2014, 10:16 am

    I know this is an older article, but lots of people are obviously still reading the older posts.
    My 2 cents for women is to consider a beauty school. I get my hair cut for $10, including wash and style. and try to go as long as possible between cuts. Students are a little slower, but try really hard to do a great job, and usually do. Then it is checked by a teacher.
    Because my hair is insanely thick, wavy, and generally unruly, cutting it myself isn’t an option. It needs lots of layers and thinning. Nice problem to have as a woman, I suppose. But, as I am also very petite, I cannot grow it long or it overwhelms the rest of me.
    Beauty schools will also do color for significantly cheaper than a regular salon – even Cost Cutters and the like. Although, I have mastered the art of coloring my hair myself. (Through lots of trial and error!). Not ready to go gray yet!! : )

    Reply
  • Richie Poor June 20, 2014, 9:29 am

    I find cutting my hair to be quite adventurous. My heart gets pumping wondering if this will be the time I twitch and have to buzz it. You usually have to pay for adrenaline rushes like that. I always like the results though and the self-sufficient satisfaction that comes with it.

    Reply
  • Sarah C July 21, 2014, 3:42 pm

    I’ve cut my husband’s hair for years, using scissors. I was nervous at first because I’m not naturally good at things like this, but after a few rough-looking cuts (we were grad students then, so it didn’t matter so much) I got pretty good. For myself, I usually just avoid getting haircuts more than one or two times a year (I have long hair), but I just looked up a local fancypants cosmetology school (the Aveda salon school) and a haircut and style is only $14! Wowie, that’s a huge savings over the regular salon prices!

    Reply
  • Future Mustachioed Marvel August 17, 2014, 1:58 am

    Really old post I know, but I’m just reading through all of this great stuff for the first time. Long hair is even easier, one haircut a year that can be done with scissors, less time wasted and no buying fancypants shaving gadgets ;)

    Reply
  • Jeremy E. August 19, 2014, 8:25 pm

    I’m all in on the getting my girlfriend to shave my head. but for shaving my mustache/beard, I’m all about my safety razor, Years ago(I think 3?) I bought 100 blades for $20 and have only used 1/3 of them so far, I have to buy soap slightly more often but I can live with that to have my smooth cut.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

To keep things non-promotional, please use a real name or nickname
(not Blogger @ My Blog Name)

The most useful comments are those written with the goal of learning from or helping out other readers – after reading the whole article and all the earlier comments. Complaints and insults generally won’t make the cut here, but by all means write them on your own blog!

connect

welcome new readers

Take a look around. If you think you are hardcore enough to handle Maximum Mustache, feel free to start at the first article and read your way up to the present using the links at the bottom of each article.

For more casual sampling, have a look at this complete list of all posts since the beginning of time. Go ahead and click on any titles that intrigue you, and I hope to see you around here more often.

Love, Mr. Money Mustache

Ads

$25 Unlimited Smartphone
The Lending Club Experiment
A $500 Signing Bonus... WTF?
How to Start a Blog

latest tweets