How Much Do You Pay For a Haircut?

how much should a haircut costEach of us has our own level of interest in our hairstyle. For some of us, our hairstyle is a big deal in our lives. For others, it’s mostly important to look good but not something we think about that much. Some people just don’t care at all.

Personally, I’m in that middle category when it comes to my hair. I want to look professional at work, and keep a low-maintenance hairstyle. It can’t be a bad haircut, but as long as it meets a certain standard, I’m cool with it. Therefore, it’s not high on my list as far as things that require a large expenditure.

Bottom line: In terms of how much to pay for a haircut, I’m not looking to spend big bucks

A friend of mine (great guy), however, has always seemed to care about haircuts….just a little too much for me to comprehend, actually.  He was recently telling me a story about a place where he and his wife both go, where the person cutting their hair has had a few higher profile clients. One of those was a past professional basketball player. This is likely the reason he brought up the whole topic, just since we are both big sports fans and have been for years.

Anyway, I remembered this conversation for 3 reasons:

  1. The sports connection stuck in my mind
  2. I found it interesting that he goes to the same place as his wife for his hair.
  3. The high profile nature of that place’s clients must mean that it was expensive.

Recently, after getting my own haircut for $15 – including tip – I recalled the story my friend told me. I decided to send him a random text with just the following question:

“How much do you pay for a haircut?”

He responded back by telling me that he spends “only” $50 on a haircut, and that he cut back.

Huh?

I responded by instead asking “Why so much?”

He responded by telling me that he and his wife go there because it’s great quality at a reasonable cost. Plus, he says $50 is worth it as it helps him look his best at work, and it’s worth it for that alone. He’s gunning for the highest levels. Fair enough, but $50?

He’s a longtime friend, so I told him that I spend $15 a month, which therefore means that I’m spending $35 less per month less than he is. Annualized, that’s $420 less. Actually, it would have been more, as he later said that his figure was not including tip – while mine was.

His response to me: “Haircuts are like anything else, you generally get what you pay for.”

I smiled, as I picked up on his defensiveness and his thinly veiled shot at me. It was all in fun, by the way.

Aside from the fact that 2 grown, married men were texting about haircut costs (please ignore that for the moment!), does something strike you as unusual here? To me, it was that he spent $50 on a haircut. I don’t think it’s worth it for most guys to do that.

Now, I do understand that we all have our quirks, and our own sense of priorities. A great haircut may be more important to some people than others. That said, I don’t think the difference in quality between a $50 cut and a $15 cut is that great. Why do I say that? Because when I was younger, I regularly paid $35 to $40 for a haircut. I wouldn’t go anywhere else at the time. Once I tried a lower cost place, I discovered that you can get a cut that’s not easily discernable from one that’s more expensive – as long as you kept a simple, straightforward hairstyle to begin with. As a fan of frugal living, it seemed like a good deal to me.

Plus, as a typical guy who’s no longer a kid anymore, I just don’t care that much anyway. As long as it’s normal, and they aren’t shaving bald spots in my head or giving me a mohawk, I’m cool with it :)

Now, I realize that things might be a lot different for the ladies. I can’t speak to that with a lot of experience, obviously, so I won’t go there:) But for guys of normal means, it seems like $50 is a lot.

What do you think?

  1. If you’re a guy, how much do you spend on a haircut?
  2. If you’re a gal, how much does your guy spend on a haircut? Am I being too cheap frugal here, or do you think it’s worth it for a guy to fork over that much more for a haircut?

One more thing: Ladies, please feel free to add what you pay to get your hair done…if you’re open to sharing. Might make for interesting comparisons.

Comments

  1. philip says

    ~$16 at Sport Clips. I go there because it is usually a shorter line and can get in and out, plus there is stuff to read besides women’s day or whatever. I have gone places before that are more expensive like $35 but really, I get a fairly short haircut and they are all close enough. I don’t even get picky about the stylist that I use.

    I actually prefer barber shops but have not found one near me since I moved a couple years ago.

    • Squirrelers says

      philip – I see it the same way, and go to similar places. I can’t imagine that I spend so much on haircuts before. What a waste for me.

  2. says

    I’m a woman and spend 20 bucks for my haircut. In Romania this is STEEP. I can get something like this for 5 bucks. But the girl is a good stylist and for a woman, a short cut needs to be done OK, so that I don’t look like a recruit. My man pays 3 bucks for a cut, it’s way easier than what the girl does to my hair (I have a VERY thick hair and she spends more than 1 hour trying to make it “smaller”.

    For a guy though, I think you’re right on the money there. You’re not having a fashion show to attend, why pay a lot for something that shouldn’t cost as much? Well, in the end you can have service in a smaller studio or go to a very high profile one for 300 bucks. You get there a better “surrounding” and maybe a cup of champagne, but the cut shouldn’t be too different :D

    • Squirrelers says

      Ramona – your guy pays $3 for a cut!? What a deal! I can’t remember ever getting a haircut for so little, even 20 years ago. Not even close!

  3. says

    I’m a $15 guy myself…..although I’ve been butchered on numerous occassions by the hair cutteries and great clips of the world. If I could find a regular barber/stylist I liked, I’d up the amount a little and become a regular….but $20 is probably my limit.

    ….although, my friend recommends this place that gives you neck massages and serves you beer for about $25…a bit of a drive for me, but the extra incentives may make it a great bang for your buck!

    • Squirrelers says

      CNC – yeah, that’s true about the $15 places, it can be a risk. I should add that I have been fortunate that I haven’t encountered an incompetent sylist. The thing is, I think most are fine, so as long as you find a place with one that’s good, you’re home free.

  4. says

    I haven’t paid for a haircut for years. My wife used to cut it for me with a clippers until I started working for a company that sells a clipper you can use yourself called the AirCut. I know I’m biased because I work there, but the product does work and it vacuums up the hair as you cut it. The product is $100, but if your buddy had one he’d pay for it in two haircuts. No better way to squirrel your money away than that, no?

    • Squirrelers says

      Interesting, Russ. I don’t think I would trust myself to cut my own hair, but for those that do (and I know a few that have done that), it might be a good option.

  5. says

    My husband pays $15 every 2 months. I haven’t had a hair cut in 2 years and will most likely only be having it trimmed for $20 in the next few months. If I do ever want short hair again, I’ll be donating my 2 feet or more of red hair to Locks of Love and I think the cut is either free or discounted then…

    When I did have short hair and wanted to keep it that way, I was spending $20-$30 every 6 months or so.

    In regards to that “you get what you pay for comment”, a coworker told me yesterday that she had over $5000 of makeup and perfume at home. I said that I usually spend about $4.50 for foundation every 2-3 months and that’s about it. She gaped at me and a few minutes later when someone else asked her why she spent so much on makeup, she said, “It’s my face. Who puts cheap crap on their face?” I just smiled and said “meow”…I just think I rather spend my $5000 on something I like way more than makeup…

    • Squirrelers says

      Crystal – that’s great that you’ll donate like that. Cool. Also cool how you guys spend so little on hair cut/style. For me, it has to be a monthly thing, as my hair still grows like a jungle. Not nearly as thick as back in the day, but it’s still a full-looking head of hair that grows fast. So, it’s $15 a month for me.

      I got a kick out of your makeup comment. I enjoy those situations, where you’re happy you’re you and not the other person:)

      Also – $5,000 of that stuff at home? I’m a guy, so my perspective is different, but that seems like a complete and total waste of money for that woman. I don’t get that at all. But what do I know, right:)

  6. says

    Haha, my husband and I go to the same stylist too! We’ve been going to her for almost 9 years, so she’s kind of like family at this point. My husband has a “challenging” hair type, and it’s hard for him to get a good cut with someone who doesn’t know how his bad hair works. Having our own personal stylist who can give us a good cut every time just takes a lot of the annoyance factor away.

    I believe she charges him $30 for a cut, but he can stretch it to every 6 weeks instead of every month. She charges me $40.

    • Squirrelers says

      Lindy – ok, confession…I went to the same stylist as my wife for a very short time, years ago:) I thought it was unusual then….maybe it’s not so unusual in reality. Who knows. I guess it just seemed odd at the time because the stylist made such a big deal out of it, how we were the only couple she worked with.

  7. says

    I pay $20 about every five or six weeks, but only because I overtip a little. I like the barber shop, have been going there for years , and I like the guys (and one gal) that work there. For the last year or so I’ve been getting near buzz cuts, #2 on the sizes and a little longer on top. I figure what I overpay on the tip I save on time and hair care products.

    “Haircuts are like anything else, you generally get what you pay for.” Err, no, a buzz cut is a buzz cut, kinda hard to screw one up, even for one fresh out of cosmetology school. Your friend is in full rationalization mode.

    • Squirrelers says

      101 Centavos – yep, I agree with your assessment on the value proposition of haircuts! And yes, I agree with the rationalization mode comment. The funny thing is, he despises spending money on many things, so to him this must really be worth it!

  8. says

    DH spends I think $15, including tip.

    I spend whatever I need to when I’m actually someplace that cuts hair when I have time to cut hair (usually in another city when I get in early for a conference that starts the next day… once or twice a year). Sometimes that’s $10 and sometimes its $80. When I’m at the $10 places I just get a straight cut. At the nice places I get a much more professional cut.

  9. Jenny says

    I’m a woman and I haven’t spent anything to get my hair cut in over 15 years. My hair is long, straight, and simple to cut, so my mom cuts it for me. Just straight across the back, nothing fancy. And I usually only have it done every 6 months to a year. I bought entertainment books a few years ago, and they had some free hair cut coupons in them, so I used them, but only got a slightly fancier cut with a few layers in the front. The time when I paid to have my hair cut was when I was 10 or so and my mom thought it would be a treat for us to get our hair done together (so I guess I didn’t actually pay for it then either, but it was paid for, and I have no idea how much). Unfortunately now my hair needs it again and I’ve moved halfway across the country :-(

  10. says

    My husband usually goes to one of the Great Clips or Supercuts and pays $13. He says he usually just gives them a $20. Which drives me nearly batty, because *I* usually cut his hair using scissors and clippers. But sometimes he doesn’t want to wait for me to do it, meaning he hasn’t said he needs a haircut and just decides to stop and get it cut on a whim. And don’t think I do a terrible job cutting his hair. As for myself, I keep my hair long on purpose so that I don’t have to spend money on a hair style. My hair grows pretty fast, so I would have to get a trim every six weeks. It’s just easier to wear it wound up in a bun, or a french twist, or a braid, or a pony tail. My husband cut my hair one time, about ten years ago. He followed a hair cutting book that we have, and did a pretty darned good job. It was a cute haircut, but it was his first and he cut it a little shorter than it was supposed to be. The other thing for me about maintaining a hairstyle – it’s just one more thing I would have to worry about every single day. I just don’t want to take the time. Great post.

  11. says

    I spent $25 on my last haircut and it was a great hair cut with a free Miller if I wanted it. :)
    Previous to this haircut, I had about 5 bad haircuts in a row. 2 at Great Clips, 1 at a beauty shop school, I don’t remember where else, but I was just tired of bad haircuts.
    I paid $6 at the haircut school and I should have jumped out of the chair and left when the gal said “oh, this is the first time I am giving a haircut to a guy.”
    $15 is my target price, but I haven’t found a good barber for that yet.

  12. Dee says

    I spend $16.00 on a cut every 6 weeks. I trim my bangs myself in between haircuts if they get shaggy. In this economy, I would not even consider spending more, besides, my stylist is wonderful!

  13. says

    It can be so hard to find the right place to get your hair cut!

    My husband and I both go to the same place. We started there because it was close to our new house and someone recommended it. Now we both go because we don’t know how to leave!

    I pay 23 for my haircut every couple of months and I don’t know what my husband pays. I think it depends on what you have done in terms of where you should go. If I colored my hair, I would probably be real selective, but not to the point of your friend.

    I think 50 dollars for a man is crazy!

  14. says

    I am a woman and I pay 40.00 a cut. Includes wash, cut and blow dry WITH tip. I like the way my stylist does my hair and am okay with that amount. I have gone to a cheaper place… and HATED how they did my hair. Peace of mind and easy to manage hairstyle. Heaven.

  15. says

    I usually pay nothing… I have my husband cut my hair. I can’t usually tell if people (women) have expensive styles, so I figure most people can’t tell if I do. Once a year I go for a nice “real” haircut, which is around $60.

    I have to say, this is possibly an area where women can spend both much less and much more than men. More, obviously, on good stylists and coloring. Less because long hair can be cut much less often than short hair!

    My husband cuts his own hair (or I do it) with clippers, so again nothing. We are generally happy with all this!

  16. says

    My husband cuts my hair (for free, thank god!).
    He cut it for years and then one day, I don’t know what came over me, I made an appointment for a haircut that cost $100!
    The kicker was it looked exactly like all the haircuts my husband gave me. I’m back to my husband, again, he’s free! FREE!

  17. says

    First try got lost–I’ll try to comment again.

    My just-graduating-high-schooler is also a hairstyling apprentice. Her high school has a hairstyling classroom where anybody can make appointments (certain times and days only) to have a student work on their hair. It’s very inexpensive–not an option for everyone since the students’ time is limited, but good if you want a simple style or want to get a child’s hair cut.

  18. says

    I cut my hair myself…I’ve had too many bad haircuts, so I taught myself how to cut my hair the way I like it. I can understand guys paying for haircuts or anyone that isn’t very good at doing it themselves, but I wouldn’t pay much…it’s just hair and it grows back.

  19. Allison says

    I found this discussion to really be helpful. I have been a hairstylist at a Family Salon for almost ten years. In this time I always wondered how much men would really pay for a hair cut. The place I work I only charge 15 ( not including tip ) for men’s haircuts. Women I charge quite a bit more, but that is only because women require much more time, and come less often. I am not trying to brag, but I am really good at my job. And I also have been fortunate to work with some amazing stylist and barbers in my time. I have also seen lots of new to doing hair, or some with tired out skills stylists. I have also know several stylist who charge the 50 dollar range for a haircut. Some are really good, and worth the money. They will spend a lot more time an attention to you. They will also more likely have the extra income to have a salon and support staff to make your appointment the best. And I also know other stylist who charge the high range who’s haircuts are horrible. So this brings me back to your question. What are haircuts worth? I would say to you it is all about who you go to. If you are lucky to find someone who can cut your hair and not charge you a fortune. Go back to them. Treat them with respect ( doing hair is a hard job physically and mentally ) were not there because we just love playing with hair. Being a stylist or barber is a job, not play time.And the majority of hairstylist ( about 95%) do their job to make others feel good about themselves. So try to return the favor by being nice. And for God’s sake, tip them well. I know my haircuts are worth way more then 15 dollars. The only reason we keep the prices low, is we know we can get lots of volume with that price tag. So the ones who only charge the smaller price tag really support themselves on the tips they receive. But the time we pay for taxes, pay the shop rental, and for supplies, we really don’t have much left. So tipping for good service is vital .Thank You

  20. Melissa says

    The guy paying $50 for a haircut (does he still do that?) is getting ripped off, but I don’t care as it’s not my money. lol If spending that much money to get dead cells trimmed gives him a feeling of self-worth, more power to him. ;)

  21. says

    I usually wait until I have a coupon for the local Great Clips (or similar) and pay $10 plus tip for my haircut. I’m not particular about it and there’s nothing special about my haircut. My wife, on the other hand, pays $50 plus tip for a hairstylist in her hometown who she’s been seeing for 20+ years. She has tried going to other local salons and haircut places, but has been unhappy with all of them no matter the price. As long as it fits in our budget, her satisfaction with her appearance is worth the difference.

    As for men getting more costly haircuts, I can think of some instances where that might be justified (for example, they’re in the entertainment industry) but it sounds like an opportunity to save money when you can get a good haircut at a fraction of the price.

    • Squirrelers says

      Everything you said here makes sense. For some of us, the modestly priced haircut works well. For others, it’s worth the price differential if it’s personally very important.

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