Kellye Fox | 

How to Save Money on Back-to-School Hairstyles

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The cost of kids’ back-to-school hairstyles is a gray area that parents probably don’t consider until school starts again. Let’s face it — as kids get older, they spend more time in the bathroom trying to look cute. And all the products and accessories cost more.

There’s no reason to break the bank on hair products to maintain your kids’ style. How about a few useful tips to save money on hair care maintenance AND ideas on back-to-school hairstyles? Even better, tips on where to get free haircuts and the best places for kids’ cheap haircuts.

Be sure to check out great deals on hair care and styling products by downloading the Krazy Coupon Lady app or text HACKS to 57299 for more savings hacks and smart shopping tips.


1. Lighten up your shampoo and conditioner costs by using the right amount.

A person holding bottles of TRESemme shampoo and conditioner in the hair care aisle of Walgreens.

Using the right amount of shampoo and conditioner can save you money, and you probably use too much anyway. You can actually trust the directions on the bottles. A dime-sized amount of product (not a half dollar!) does the job.

Buying expensive shampoo and conditioner shouldn’t put a damper on your planning and budgeting of back-to-school hairstyles either. Discount options can save you money, but if you’re loyal to a brand, use shampoo and conditioner coupons the next time you stock up:


2. Incorporate 10-minute back-to-school hairstyles into your daily routine.

A mother braiding her child's hair

Trust me when I say that your kids’ daily hair care routine shouldn’t dominate your morning routine. With trial-and-error and planning, these quick back-to-school hairstyles can get you out of the door in no time.

Plus, incorporating new hairstyles breaks up the repetition and may even boost their confidence. Whether you have long or short hair, natural hair or some add-ins, most of these styles only look complicated.

Don’t forget to take advantage of hair accessory and hair product deals:


Double Buns

A little girl showing off her hairstyle - two high buns with big red bows
  1. Part hair down the middle, dividing it into two sections.
  2. Put each section into a high ponytail on top of the head.
  3. Twist each ponytail and wrap it around itself.
  4. Tuck the ends underneath each bun and pin.


Natural Curls

A little girl with natural curls sitting outside smiling.

Just wash, add your favorite leave-in conditioner, and go!


Looped Pigtails

A little girl standing outside, showing off her hairstyle - looped pigtails

You need a comb with a stick end (ie: a rat tail comb) for this one, and you have to work each side independently.

  1. Start by parting all of the hair into a very clean, straight part, front to back.
  2. Put one side tightly into an elastic to keep it from creeping into the other side.
  3. On the loose side, start at the front of the hair and separate a horizontal section about an inch and a half back.
  4. Put that into a tight elastic.
  5. Work your way towards the crown and separate another section, another inch and a half back.
  6. Place that section under your first section and secure them both together tightly to the head with another elastic.
  7. Continue working your way towards the nape of the neck, like a french braid, overlapping each previous section on top of the new one underneath, until you run out of hair.
  8. Then move over to the other side and repeat, being sure to line your sections up with the other side.


High Bun

  1. Brush and smooth hair into a high ponytail using water, hairspray, shine serum, or edge gel for a “sleek” look. Secure with a ponytail holder.
  2. Divide your ponytail into two sections, and twist hair all of the way down to form one piece.
  3. Wrap hair clockwise around the hair tie. Secure with a bobby pin, scrunchie, or another ponytail holder.
  4. Include a headband for added cuteness.

This style is great for any child (think: “man bun”) with medium to long hair.


Crown Braid

A young girl with a crown braid
  1. French braid hair starting behind the ear and braiding closely around the entire head.
  2. Pin the braid’s tied end under existing braided pieces.
  3. Pull the braid slightly to create a fuller-looking crown.


Asymmetric Ponytails

A young girl with asymmetrical ponytails
  1. Diagonally part hair into two equal-sized sections from the front top corner to the opposite side nape.
  2. Tie each section with a ponytail holder, then braid it.
  3. Add pom pom hair ties or bubble balls to adorn the ponytails.


Double French Braid Pony

A young girl with two french braids joined into a poytail with a bow

This is one of those back-to-school hairstyles that work well with short or long hair. And it’s even cuter if it’s a bit messy, in my opinion!

  1. Divide the hair into two sections.
  2. Secure one side in elastic so it doesn’t creep into the other.
  3. French braid the other side, angling the braid toward the nape of the neck.
  4. Tie it off with a clear elastic, then do the other side.
  5. Tie them together with a larger elastic or a cute bow.


Regular Double French Braids

A young girl with two french braids

In the world of quick hairstyles for kids, double French braids are ones to keep in mind. Here’s how to get it done:

  1. Part your hair down the middle, creating two equal sections. Brush your hair to remove tangles and knots.
  2. Start with one section. Gather a small piece of hair near the hairline and divide it into three strands.
  3. French braid by crossing side strands over the middle while adding small sections of hair from each side.
  4. Continue braiding until you reach the nape of your neck, then braid regularly and secure the end with an elastic. Repeat the process on the other side.
  5. Use hairspray for hold if desired.


Sectioned Bubble Ponytails

With a bit more time (perhaps the night before), these sectional bubble ponytails are sure to keep your kid fashion forward.

  1. Brush or comb your hair to ensure it’s smooth. Decide where you want the first bubble to start. You can begin higher up near your crown or lower down near the nape of your neck.
  2. Use a comb to section hair into boxes. Secure the hair with a hair elastic to create your first ponytail.
  3. To create the “bubble” effect, hold the hair elastic and gently tug the hair above the elastic to make the section puff out. This gives the appearance of a bubble. Optional: Use a small, clear elastic to wrap around the “bubble” to accentuate the look.
  4. Take the hair below the first bubble and gather it to create a new ponytail. Secure with an elastic just below the first bubble. Again, gently tug on the hair above the elastic to create the second bubble. Continue this process, sectioning off hair and creating bubbles with each new ponytail, until you’ve reached the desired number of bubbles.


3. Save money on hair products by making your own.

A woman combing through her wet hair with her fingers.

A DIY hack of any kind is a favorite in my house, so why not try it for your hair? You don’t need the added pressure of creating new back-to-school hairstyles AND shelling out a fortune for products.

By using household ingredients for problems like breakage, moisturizing, and lack of shine, you’ll save money and control the ingredients that you put on your scalp.

DIY Coconut Oil Hair Treatment

Did you know that coconut oil is great for dry, dull, and damaged hair? There are other helpful beauty-related uses for coconut oil:

  • Cleans makeup brushes.
  • Treats lice and dandruff.
  • Removes makeup off your face.
  • Useful for scalp moisture, split ends, and shine enhancement.

DIY Manuka Honey Hair Mask

Manuka honey isn’t just for your skin; it can be used on your hair as well. It has hygroscopic properties (attracts water), so it’s a natural hair conditioner. With antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes, manuka honey can help your hair be shiny, manageable, and healthy.


  1. Add ¼ cup of honey to a bowl with enough water to thin it out a bit.
  2. Massage into wet hair and scalp.
  3. Wrap up hair in a towel, and either leave on for 30 – 40 minutes or overnight.
  4. Remove the towel and rinse hair. Shampooing after the rinse is optional.



4. Cut your kids’ hair at home to save on the cost of back-to-school hairstyles.

A little girl getting her hair cut at home

Haircuts can start at $15 depending on your city, salon, and kids’ hair length. That price doesn’t even include a style, shampoo, conditioner, and tip!

You can also save money on haircuts with these tips:

  • Get a dry cut instead. Wash your hair at home and head to the salon just for a haircut. Style as usual at home.
  • Change your frequency. If you take the kiddos every six weeks, scale back to eight weeks if you can.
  • Opt for a haircut at your local cosmetology school. Students need someone to practice on, so you’ll receive a discounted price for a basic haircut. Sure beats salon prices!
  • Ask for a first-time customer discount. If you found a new salon, ask if they offer discounts for new customers or back-to-school offers. The worst thing that they can say is no.
  • Look for salons that offer back-to-school haircuts. Great Clips, JCPenney, and Supercuts often have year-round haircut discounts.

Related: Here’s Where to Refresh Your Style With Free Haircuts

5. Shop BOGO promotions to save money on products for back-to-school hairstyles.

Bottles of Batiste dry shampoo on a shelf in a store with several BOGO sale tags.

When I see “buy one, get one” (BOGO) sales at any store, I get butterflies in my stomach because I love free stuff. The best way to know when BOGO sales are coming is to text HOT DEALS to 57299 and we’ll ping you when we see something worth your time.

In the meantime, bookmark the pages of these retail gems to learn how to coupon during BOGO sales:

Don’t you dare forget about Dollar Tree for cheap hair products. Discount stores have name-brand shampoos, conditioners, hair accessories, and even hair color.


6. Use coupons at drugstores to buy hair accessories and products for a steal.

Grocery stores and drugstore chains are probably the last place you think of to buy hair products, but you can get really good deals if you shop during sales AND use coupons.

The prices for hair products and accessories may be a little higher than big-box stores, so I usually read their weekly flyers and circle products that I want to buy. Then I look for store deals or manufacturer coupons.



7. Get free beauty samples through the mail or in stores.

A box of beauty product samples sitting open on a table.

It’s so frustrating to buy a product and realize that you don’t like it, it smells funny, or just doesn’t work for your hair needs. How about trying it before you buy it?

Most of the time, you can get free samples after buying a product (think Sephora) Sometimes it can take weeks for your samples to arrive, so plan before school starts.

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