During 2020, a lot of people began doing at home haircuts because their regular barbers and hair stylists weren’t open or because they didn’t feel safe going to a salon. Totally understandable. But now that vaccinations are rolling out, a lot of people are considering going back to a salon or barbershop. But after saving so much money with at home haircuts, is it worth spending money on an expensive haircut? What are your options?
What does a haircut cost?
In the U.S., the average price of a men’s haircut is $28. Of course, that all depends on where you live. The average is a lot higher in cities like New York and Los Angeles, and I’m sure in small towns, the average will be cheaper. Some places price by style, so a cut that takes a lot more time and skill will be more expensive than a basic buzz cut. In other shops, those two prices will be the same. I’m not a guy, but I’m not sure it’s worth paying $50 for a buzz cut when you could just get a set of clippers and do it yourself. That said, there is something to the pampering that can come with a cut at a high end salon.
How often should you get your hair cut?
Whether or not it is worth spending money on an expensive haircut may have a lot to do with the length of your hair. Did you know the length of your hairstyle determines how often you will need to get a trim?
If you have very short hair, you will need a cut every 1-3 weeks. Short hair should be trimmed every 2-7 weeks. Medium hair should be trimmed every 6-8 weeks, and long hair can go 2-4 months. Of course, this is just a recommendation and assumes that you want to keep your style. If you’re trying to grow out your short cut, you can go longer. And if you wear your hair long, you may be able to go longer than every 2-4 months. I actually only get my hair cut every 18-24 months!
Are more expensive haircuts better?
Hair stylists and barbers have to be licensed. Assuming your salon or barbershop is following the law, the person cutting your hair should have some training. Does that mean that they’re good at their job? No, but a salon or barbershop is unlikely to keep on someone who can’t cut hair. So we can assume that everyone cutting hair has at least a basic level of skill. But frequently, your higher end salons have people with additional training. Depending on what you want done to your hair, you might find that added training incredibly worthwhile. Also, there are hair stylists and barbers who are true artisans when it comes to cutting hair, and they tend to charge more.
You will likely find a different atmosphere at a place that offers an expensive haircut. Bargain salons get the job done, but you might have to wait a bit longer, and don’t expect any amenities. That’s okay – sometimes you just want to get in and out. But maybe you want a bit of pampering with a good head and neck massage. Maybe you want that long shampoo, or for someone to hand you a glass of champagne when you walk in. These are all valid options – and it depends what you want out of your haircut.
What are your priorities?
Here, the answer really depends on your priorities. If you don’t want to spend a lot and you want a basic haircut, you don’t need to go somewhere expensive. If you want a cut that requires a bit more time and skill or you want a more spa-like experience, an expensive cut might be right for you.
Personally, I have curly hair. I’ve had some very bad cuts by people who don’t know how to cut curly hair. I’ve found a salon that specializes in curls. It’s not cheap – but I always love my hair after I leave. It’s worth the money I spend. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, I only go every 18-24 months. I am sure I would feel differently if I were going every 8 weeks.
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Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.