FOR A HAIRCUT.
I just had the most expensive haircut of my life.
It wasn’t even in Melbourne or Sydney, either.
It was in Adelaide. City of Churches. Where I just went to my local hairdresser for some foils, toner, root colour, a trim.
What was the damage?
FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY EIGHT DOLLARS. And thirty five cents.
No, there weren’t gold flecks in the shampoo. I didn’t see any diamond encrusted serum. There wasn’t an elaborate head massage or chackra alignment either. Just a good colour and a trim that, evidenced by these photos and the inability of my boyfriend to notice, looks like I haven’t really had anything done at all:
To be fair, I expected this hairdressing trip to burn a slight hole in my pocket. I have long hair, and I only go a few times a year. Plus good balyage, despite supposedly looking effortlessly chic like you spent last summer in Europe and your hair naturally went lighter and now it’s casually grown out- requires good skills.
I went to a great hairdresser. I had the works, and I bought products.
I only kinda expected to crack the $200 mark. With the products, maybe $250.
So when the tally hit $438, my face, it could not lie. It was this.
$438 is dinner for me and 5 mates at a really good restaurant. It’s a pretty good digital camera. It’s a new phone. It’s a Marc Jacob’s handbag. It’s four and a half years of Netflix.
Hairdressing prices have been creeping up like foreign investors at a real-estate auction. The following graph shows how housing prices have risen (in black). Note how the hairdressing prices have risen alongside. A slight peak in the ’80’s with perms, then “The Rachel” cut and colour saw salon prices spike again.
The horror stories flew thick and fast in the office today: salons sneaking in pricey treatments while you’re at the basin. Blondies forking out hundreds every six weeks to get roots done. Hairdressers that prefer to be called artistic directors and then charge like they’re in the Guggenheim.
I don’t know if it’s the rising cost of small businesses, an over-legislated industry, or just salons being punch-drunk on their own self-importance, but paying that much for a haircut takes all the shine out of it.
I know hairdressers have overheads – good products aren’t cheap, those weird chairs that lay you back into a sink are probably pretty expensive, and the coffee machine needs servicing.
But holy f**king dreadlock, Australia. This is out of control.
How much is too much to pay for a haircut?