Paprika: Your New Weapon in the Money-Saving Salon Wars . . .

Hey, Skint pals,

Hope you’re all having a great week so far. Sun shining here, second load of washing on the line . . . ah, the glamour! Speaking of which, last time I shared some insider secrets from a city stylist following my gobsmacker of a bill, and promised you a second round of tips this time. And guess what? They’re getting curiouser and curiouser . . .

My stylist’s a redhead. I covet her hair, big time, but it does look high maintenance. How, I wondered aloud on my last visit, does she cope with root regrowth, since the colour’s quite far removed from her natural shade? Okay, she works in a salon, making touch-ups more easily available  to her than the rest of us, but even so . . .

‘Paprika.’She told me flatly. ‘I sprinkle it in at the roots as soon as they come though. It matches my colour perfectly.’

save money on hair colour, rihanna

Use paprika, Riri! Honest, it’ll save you a bomb.


Wow. Really? Her hair isn’t even paprika coloured but she swears that paprika covers just about all shades of red.

What, I asked, suits brown and black hair that’s showing its true colours? Mascara, for black hair, she told me, just brushed in with the wand.

Brown eyeshadow for brown hair, applied with a toothbrush. And failing those?

Good old felt tip pens/Sharpies – honest! (Just be careful not to get caught in a downpour I’d say.) All of these colour tricks buy you a spare couple of week between salon visits, and will cover-up roots in an emergency such as unexpected date/big meeting/ night out, when there’s no time to visit the salon.

And she told me some clients get creative, mixing their own concoction of, say, paprika and eyeshadow together, to get the perfect shade and save money on hair colour, a la George’s Marvellous Medicine.

For blondes? Trickier that one, if your natural roots come through darker, but don’t underestimate the power of flesh coloured eyeshadow, mixed with some gold to reflect the light, which basically helps to dazzle people into not noticing your roots. (the stylist explain it more scientifically, but that’s the gist!)

You can also buy nifty colour wands, such as these Instant Haircolor Touch-Up Sticks, which you can carry around in your handbag and whip out in any roots emergency. Many moons ago, when my hair was black, I used one of these and found that it did the job nicely. They come in a good range of colours and I’m thinking that you could extend the life of your colour for a good few weeks with them. I’ve also used Loreal Root Touch-Up between salon visits to do the same job.

Some Other Quick Tips 

Reader Meg reminded  about loyalty schemes when she email to say: ‘Always find out if there’s a discount for repeat booking.  My salon gives a 10% discount for bookings taken up to 4 months in advance.  Once the booking is made I can change the date, time, stylist and what I have done and still get the discount.  They also have a loyalty scheme and for every six visits you save about £30. ‘ Go Meagan! My hair salon also operates a similar scheme, giving me 20% of the total bill every fourth visit, which is quite a chunk, ahem, based on my last bill shocker.

 If you don’t mind being a salon floozy and hopping around to take advantage of the best deals then you can’t beat Groupon or the lesser-known but more beauty-focused Wahanda, for the best cut and colour deals.

Standby appointments at your usual salon are even better in my book. Often half the price of standard cuts, you’re on home ground, meaning they’ve got your notes about which colours to use, and even if your usual stylist isn’t free, he/she is often around to advise the person doing your hair about your preferences. 

So, what about you folks? Got any roots cover-up tips that are wacky but work? Egg-yolk, gravy, Mojitos, Cosmopolitans – whatever weird and wonderful things you use on your locks you fellow Skint pals would love to know!

Like this? Then you might like these:

How to Save on Haircuts

Beauty and the Bizarre





About Skint in the City

Skint in the City provides stylish, practical tips and advice on how to live the high life on a shoestring budget.

One thought on “Paprika: Your New Weapon in the Money-Saving Salon Wars . . .

  1. I need to grab a sharpie or some mascara for my grey hair!

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