Hi there! I’m Lily, the Rich Miser’s
boss wife. I was reading his article on how much to spend on a man’s haircut, and demanded this space because I couldn’t let it stand without a woman’s perspective. So we had some pillow talk and decided that I’ll be giving my take every so often.
A hairy dilemma
I moved to Miami a couple of years ago and needed a place where I could get my hair done well, but at a good price. So like any good millennial, I did some online research and came upon that big ol’ corporate chain called Ulta. As it turned out, they have a hair salon. I decided to give it a shot.
At first I hesitated because getting my hair done at a chain doesn’t sound glamorous or like you’re going to the best beauty salon. I decided to give it a try since my crazy schedule only let me squish in an appointment on a Sunday, conveniently within Ulta salon hours, and when most other salons are closed.
I made the appointment online through their pretty straightforward booking system, and even got a confirmation text giving me the option to cancel with a reply text back. Here’s how it went.
Getting 20% off on the first appointment
As I learned that first time, you can get a 20% first-timer discount just by telling your stylist that you’ve never been to Ulta before. Also, you can continue to save by referring a friend, for $15.00 off your next service. To put even more cash in your bag, be on the lookout for their “happy hours” for particular services.
Join Ulta’s free reward program: Ultamate rewards
Ulta’s got a free rewards program called Ultamate rewards, which lets you bank points to redeem for “cash” to spend on products. Here’s how it works:
- Once you spend $450 in a calendar year you reach platinum status, which means you get points faster –1.5 points per dollar, instead of 1, and your points never expire.
- Regardless of platinum status, you also get a free gift on your birthday and double points on all your buys on your birthday month.
- If you’re platinum, you get a $10 off coupon on your birthday.
Ulta hair salon prices
If you get your hair done at the Ulta hair salon, chances are that you normally go in for a tune-up every 4 to 6 weeks, which would most probably turn you into a platinum member within a few months (depending on the service that you’re getting).
This is where the benefits really kick in.
For example, a hair color retouch and blow dry can cost between $60 to $75 in total, and getting hair extensions installed or re-applied around $120. This doesn’t include tip. If you make your appointment online, you can see a menu of the Ulta hair salon prices so you know what to expect.
The range in price is determined by the stylist you choose, and what appears to be their length of experience; my stylist recently received a “Master Designer Pro” designation, which for me translates in spending like $15 more than what I would with another stylist there.
Still, I consider the Ulta hair salon prices to be good (especially for my home city of Miami). In my experience, it’s the best beauty salon for your buck.
Watch out for points multipliers
Download their App so you don’t miss out on coupons or free gifts on select products. Also, be sure to open their e-mails since they frequently send offers that you activate by clicking on a link . This includes offers for multiplying the amount of points you get per purchase. You can also activate these “multipliers” in the offers section of their app. There are also products designated as “platinum perks”, which gives you extra bonus points. All of these speed the time it’ll take you to earn points, meaning get cash.
When to redeem?
While this post is not intended to give an in-depth analysis of when is the best time to redeem points at Ulta, as there are other blogs that explain this in detail, I will say this: as a general rule, the best time is to redeem your points is when you get to 2,000. I did not know this in the beginning and made the mistake of redeeming points at random, whenever I wanted to minimize the total at the cash register. I then saw a store display that stated the cash back you get per point and was hit with the truth: I was wasting my points. For instance, you get $3 off for 100 points, $30 off for 700 points, $50 off for 100 points, and $125 off at 2,000 points. I now make sure to redeem at 2,000.
A Quality Styling
So back to the experience, I was happy to find that they use Redken and Pravana products, and occasionally Living Proof (when they are running special promotions/events). In my experience, these are high quality products that are used at some of the best beauty salons, but which may charge you over twice the Ulta hair salon prices for the same work: I’ve paid from $230 to $280, and once an outrageous $400 for hair color, highlights, trim and blow dry. (Surprise Rich Miser!, you did not know this hahaha…)
Being the productivity freak that I am, trying to maximize every second, I was glad to be able to shop around the store and get some of my to-do-shopping out the way while I waited for the hair color to process…this is doable only of you don’t mind looking like a mad lady with the hair up in bun and black robe full on… In my experience, I did not care and no one seemed to mind. Actually, it is a fairly common practice among my fellow Ulta salon goers.
Ulta hair salon stylists also seem to be knowledgeable of the latest trends in hair styles. The place has displays of these looks in posters around the salon, which can serve as inspiration for your next look. I believe most if not all of their stylists are Redken certified which is good to have. Also, some of their establishments have a Benefit Brow Bar, and a Dermatologica Skin Bar, which you can do simultaneously to make the most of your time and rack up even more points.
So book away!
To sum it up, at the Ulta salon you get great quality style that gives you cash back which you can use to redeem on beauty products. I also love that it’s open on Sundays; bookable online and you can get awesome products for half the price.
That’s my take!
What has been your experience getting your hair done and scoring extra benefits off of it? Have you tried the Ulta hair salon or are there other places you’d rather recommend? Let me know your take on it!
I’m Lily, a lawyer and aspiring Miami fashion entrepreneur sharing life hacks and my favorite tidbits on lifestyle, shopping, fashion, and beauty.