Salon vs Beauty DIY

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I've always had a 'do it yourself at home and hope it doesn't end up completely bodged' approach to beauty treatments. Sometimes this has gone in my favour and I've done an amazing job on my hair, nails, skin or tan and saved myself a fortune. Other times, ehh well you can probably guess. I have a list of beauty DIY mishaps as long as my arm, including accidently dying my hair grey, reactions to hair removal cream, burning myself with wax and cutting my fringe too short. Sometimes when evaluating the cost and time I've spent putting things right I've seriously had to take a hard look in the mirror and ask myself if it was really worth it, and should I have just left it to the professionals. Usually the answer is yes. But I love experimenting with products, and there's nothing more satisfying than a beauty DIY job that goes perfectly to plan. I've come up with a list of salon vs DIY procedures with what I think are the positives and negatives of each.

Hair Cuts
I made the mistake of trusting a so called 'friend' to cut my hair when I was younger and I'll never do it again. I have to question if it was really an accident like she said or whether it was done out of spite, but a trim from  the bottom ended up being about four inches from my long hair. It was always a bit of an iffy friendship and so maybe I'll never know, but I learned from then on that it's not a good idea to trust just anyone to cut your hair. I've cut my fringe too short quite a few times over the years which has been a nightmare, so if you're going to mess about with it be careful! Most of the hairdressers I've ever been to have done a good job, it's common knowledge that they can be a bit scissor happy but if you tell them EXACTLY how much length you're prepared to part with you should be fine.

Hair Colour
Box dyes are pretty fail safe, although you rarely get the exact shade on the box I think it's difficult to mess one up completely, although admittedly I have managed it in the past. My best advice with box dyes is that anything with 'golden, warm' etc in the name has reddish undertones and anything with 'cool, icy, ash' will have greyish green tones. Particularly important if you're dying light or blonde hair. Bleaching on the other hand can go seriously wrong, to the point that your entire head of hair could quite easily break off at the root. Can you imagine the horror? On the plus side though, bleaching your hair at home will probably cost you a lot less than going to a salon- if you're going from a dark shade they will most likely tell you that you'll have to come back for multiple visits which can soon add up. Bleaching at home can lead to many unflattering shades of neon orange and buttercup yellow which can be difficult (and potentially expensive) to fix. At least at a salon you can be fairly safe in the knowledge that they'll know how to fix any brassiness and will have the products on hand to do so.

Hair Removal
Hair removal might not be the most glamorous of topics, but it has to be done! Unless I'm going on holiday and want smooth legs for longer I don't tend to reach for wax very often, but personally I'd rather do it at home and keep the undignified screams of pain behind closed doors (I'm a wimp). I've never had any experience of electrolysis or laser hair removal but have heard people have had great results from them. On the down side electrolysis can be pricey, but it's good that the option is there for people who need it.

I know I was tweezer happy when I was a teenager and I bet I wasn't the only one, luckily I never plucked them too thin because the hair that I plucked never fully grows back now. This is something I don't think you realise when your fourteen plucking away at your eyebrows, and it can be a disastrous mistake when you're a bit older and want a bit more to work with. Eyebrow threading and waxing is inexpensive and quick, and definitely the better option in my opinion. Although if you're quite sensitive to pain, or need them doing regularly going to the salon might not be the best option.

Spray Tan
Some at-home self tanners can be good, but it's difficult to get it completely even or go more than a shade or two darker than your natural colour without it looking unnatural and patchy. Professional spray tans are likely to give you a much more even result, although there are things that can still go wrong (who's seen the Friends episode where Ross gets a spray tan? lol). At £20-30 a pop, spray tans are definitely expensive for what they are and so are much better for one off occasions. Self tanners you can use at home are better for general daily use, or when you need to get your milk bottle legs out for a night out on short notice. Or of course if you don't want to stand in front of a stranger in a paper thong and be hosed down with fake tan at a salon, which lets face it is not the best look for anyone.

Do you do your beauty treatments at home, or prefer to leave it to the professionals? Have you ever had a bad experience with a salon procedure?


  1. I'm a beauty therapist and hairdresser and my friends are too but I still go to a salon haha! I really love your blog by the way! It's great to read. xxx

  2. I always cut my own hair! It's long now, but it was butchered in the hairdressers about 2 years ago and I hated my hair so much. I asked for 2 inches off, and she took 5 off :( I was devastated, as I loved my long hair! Never again! Haha! xx
    Gemma | ♥ Miss Makeup Magpie ♥

  3. I love having my hair washed, cut and blow dryed in a salon and would never trust a friend to do that for me. I do my own eyebrows, waxing etc... xx

  4. Can you believe I've never been to spa.... Have only had hair cuts, highlights and nails done.... SMH.... I did have a lady that chopped 3 inches more than she was suppose to. I was in tears! And was meeting my husbands family the next week.... I was upset and pissed!

    Marine Wife Mommy & Life

  5. I think everyone's made some bad beauty mistakes over the years lol, but sometimes the professionals are not much better and get it wrong too then charge loads for it! x

  6. Amazing blog I love your tips

  7. This post is really amazing! I'm also planning on doing one like this for my own blog, I think so many people rather check out what's available on the cheap and yet works out equally well! :)

    xx, Sam