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How much did you pay for your last haircut?

By Steven Bailey - 16 June 2015 44

cosmo hair and beauty

Call me a metrosexual or whatever you like, but I love getting my hair cut. Unfortunately it doesn’t make me any better looking. I still walk out with my worry (and laughing) lines, and my nose is just as big and my muscles are just as small. But I do walk out happy. I’m happy with my haircut, and I’m happy with the conversation that I’ve just had.

Hairdressers, similar to taxi drivers, are great political bellwethers and I’m just as satisfied with the conversation as I am with the service, which is why I have no problems parting with $50 when everything is said and done.

I must admit that my more blokey friends do give me a bit of curry when they hear how much I spend at the hairdressers, and sometimes I’m equally astonished at the price of a haircut for some of my female friends. Two, three, or four-hundred dollars seems crazy to me, but after speaking with some respected hairdressers recently, I think it’s only fair that we consider some of the realities and pressures that face the industry.

Hair and beauty teacher at the Canberra Institute of Technology, Suzie Walden, says the industry is experiencing significant pressure, particularly in the ACT.

“It is very difficult [for small businesses] to secure skilled workers with three to fifteen years of experience, and being a predominantly a female industry, many hairdressers leave to start families and don’t return to the industry or decide to work from home,” she says.

“This is problematic for the hairdressing industry as it can create unfair competition with salon owners when they are competing against ‘backyard workers’ without any high overheads like insurances, rents, and tax.”

The award wage for a qualified hairdresser is $746.20 gross per week. When you consider that a qualified hairdresser has completed a four-year apprenticeship which includes two to two-and-a-half years of formal study whilst on the job, it really isn’t a lot of money.

In every other state and territory in Australia, hairdressers are required to train for three years. However, Canberra’s hairdressers must train for an additional year before they are qualified.

“This is difficult to believe when we have apprentices from Queanbeyan training with ACT apprentices,” Suzie says.

Owner of Cosmo Hair and Beauty, Tony Basilisco, has been in the hairdressing business for 30 years. He pays his staff above the award wage and contributes 50 per cent of his staff’s ongoing training.

“We’re just trying to stay alive,” Tony says.

“It’s hard for our industry because it does seem like it is often undervalued by society, but I do have some great customers who are very loyal. My father was a hairdresser and I’d encourage my daughter to do whatever her heart told her to do in life but being in the hairdressing industry really can be a struggle.”

The attrition rate is very high in the hairdressing industry, with the current projected attrition rate at 47.3 per cent, according to CIT.

With half of apprentices dropping out, a long study requirement and low wage prospects for the future, I think Canberra’s hairdressing industry needs our support – especially the small businesses.

(Photo: Tony Basilisco from Cosmo Hair & Beauty with long-time customer Mary Gaskill)

What’s Your opinion?


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44 Responses to
How much did you pay for your last haircut?
Tymefor 6:03 pm 16 Jun 15

vintage123 said :

Dame Canberra said :

vintage123 said :

Dame Canberra said :

I find this puzzling. I pay around $250 every eight weeks for a cut and colour with a stylist who is just about to finish her apprenticeship. It takes about two hours, so let’s say that works out to $125 per hour. I’m more than happy to pay that amount, as they do a great job and I always have a pleasant experience.

Like most salons, the one I visit is open extended hours and has a pretty regular stream of customers both during the week, on weekends and during late night trading. Even once you take out the cost of hair dye, rent and other expenses, I can’t understand how Canberra’s hairdresser businesses are struggling when it costs around $20 per hour for qualified staff – and less for apprentices.

Are there any hairdressers out there who can offer some insight?

Is it possible the owners of the salon don’t work there yet are being paid a handsome income as owners are entitled to. Most business owners I know are earning hundreds of thousands of dollars and not working on the floor.

Definitely possible, but if it was true in this instance, why would the businesses say they are struggling, as in the article?

(As an aside, this is what frustrates me about the childcare industry. Parents fork out huge sums and the staff don’t see much of it at all… meanwhile, the owner of the centre makes a killing.)

I think they are saying they are struggling to find cheap labour to continue supporting their lavish income. Why would you do a four year degree to then go on to earn $19 an hour. Crazy. Considering trades are charging $100 an hour plus GST and most public servants on the average APS6 level position do not hold an undergraduate degree are on $50 an hour, you have to ask yourself how people expect hairdressers and childcare workers to survive. It’s the business owners who are raking it in.

$50 dollars an hour??? really…..help me out here. Quick google of av aps lvl 6 get me the max pay point of 85k from ABS.

http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/a3120101.nsf/8ecbadc23e5b7f8eca256de4002cb2e8/27682c5cb6a75caeca25712b0016e5ff!OpenDocument

85k = 1634 pw = $43 ph

Now that’s for a 38 hour week. A 38 hour week for an APS lvl 6 on 85k. Not sure if we have any APS lvl 6 people here but maybe they could share about how often they do ONLY a 38 hour week. Also share about how like the work stops when the office closes.

Also this sort of talk of $100 dollars an hour is a bit of a fantasy to use in any assessment. Think about it in a bit of a bigger picture. If I employ someone full-time at 38 hours a week, assume that they are generating $100 per hour for every single hour that they work. That really quite impossible, but lets play make believe. So for $3800 as an employer you need to pay for every! cost related to that persons employment. Put some aside for continued training. All of their payments don’t just magically happen, so you have to pay someone to do them. Hell maybe id like a bit of profit aswell.

The thing that’s close to my heart that people forget is that, some of the 3800 also has to go towards providing continued job security for that employee. That security for so many small business people is the business owners personal assets and future of their own family as-well. Now perhaps when times for a business owner are good, that money being used to pay off their mortgages or funnelled into varied investments could definitely be called “lavish”. But it is also providing security for everyone involved.

rubaiyat 4:29 pm 16 Jun 15

pink little birdie said :

I’m always totally shocked when people complain about the cost of trainees and apprentices and having to release them for offsite training. Especially as in most industries the employer can get Large chunks of the trainee/apprentices wage paid by the government ($4000 federal) and exemtion from payroll tax in the ACT for the apprentice.

Not any more. The Abbott government has of course cut that all off because they are “all for” training and full employment. My son the chef says he can’t take on adult apprentices because there is no support from the government anymore and the pay right is not commensurate with their ability to do the work.

Tymefor 4:04 pm 16 Jun 15

Not really sure anybody really complains about it. My comments are mostly for people who believe that apprentices cost a lot less than qualified workers. There are, naturally, incentives to promote business to employ more apprentices. Anyone still training will never be able to preform or generate the same sort of income that someone who has finished their training has. So the economics of choosing whether your business can afford to employ MORE apprentices, is often tipped in the apprentices favour by our government providing these incentives.

That’s why in the hairdressing industry you will often find relative tiny businesses still able to support 1 or even 2 apprentices. Although recent changes to what costs employers must cover, will probably lead to a drop in how many apprentices you see in each salon.

vintage123 4:00 pm 16 Jun 15

Dame Canberra said :

vintage123 said :

Dame Canberra said :

I find this puzzling. I pay around $250 every eight weeks for a cut and colour with a stylist who is just about to finish her apprenticeship. It takes about two hours, so let’s say that works out to $125 per hour. I’m more than happy to pay that amount, as they do a great job and I always have a pleasant experience.

Like most salons, the one I visit is open extended hours and has a pretty regular stream of customers both during the week, on weekends and during late night trading. Even once you take out the cost of hair dye, rent and other expenses, I can’t understand how Canberra’s hairdresser businesses are struggling when it costs around $20 per hour for qualified staff – and less for apprentices.

Are there any hairdressers out there who can offer some insight?

Is it possible the owners of the salon don’t work there yet are being paid a handsome income as owners are entitled to. Most business owners I know are earning hundreds of thousands of dollars and not working on the floor.

Definitely possible, but if it was true in this instance, why would the businesses say they are struggling, as in the article?

(As an aside, this is what frustrates me about the childcare industry. Parents fork out huge sums and the staff don’t see much of it at all… meanwhile, the owner of the centre makes a killing.)

I think they are saying they are struggling to find cheap labour to continue supporting their lavish income. Why would you do a four year degree to then go on to earn $19 an hour. Crazy. Considering trades are charging $100 an hour plus GST and most public servants on the average APS6 level position do not hold an undergraduate degree are on $50 an hour, you have to ask yourself how people expect hairdressers and childcare workers to survive. It’s the business owners who are raking it in.

pink little birdie 3:23 pm 16 Jun 15

Tymefor said :

Dame Canberra said :

I find this puzzling. I pay around $250 every eight weeks for a cut and colour with a stylist who is just about to finish her apprenticeship. It takes about two hours, so let’s say that works out to $125 per hour. I’m more than happy to pay that amount, as they do a great job and I always have a pleasant experience.

Like most salons, the one I visit is open extended hours and has a pretty regular stream of customers both during the week, on weekends and during late night trading. Even once you take out the cost of hair dye, rent and other expenses, I can’t understand how Canberra’s hairdresser businesses are struggling when it costs around $20 per hour for qualified staff – and less for apprentices.

Are there any hairdressers out there who can offer some insight?

Well around 20 dollars per hour is so crazily wrong. And an apprentices COST about the same as a qualified, when as an employer you have to pay for their course fees, tools, allowances and all their learning objects and then need to release them from the salon at normal pay for at least 1 day per week.

Really the cost of employing someone is never just an award pay rate. Super, Allowances, Worker’s comp, ongoing training and money set aside for holiday pay. Are just some of the easy to quantify costs but still not the whole story.

So for a fresh just out of training hairdresser at the beginning of their qualified career. Think gradate, from a 4 year degree, but one where they only had to work 38 hours pw, were paid a reduced wage for that and got holiday leave, sick pay, access to free tutoring and interest free trade support loan of up-to $20k.

a rough! cost to employer for this “qualified” hairdresser would be

746.20 / 38pw = 19.60 ph But almost every hairdresser works some of those 38 hours at times that incur loadings, let say its only Saturday for 7 hours no other late nights or overtime (lol I wish). so now we are $811.6 (42.2k) then we have holiday pay (4×811.6)+ 17.6% loading = $3939 then Super $4.2k (roughly) Worker comp 2% $860 and lets say I’m dodgy and only do about $1k worth of training with them in a year. 42.2k + 3.9k + 4.2k + .8k = 51.1k

= $25.86 ph but the TOTAL wage cost for a service would also include a percentage of every other persons wage that helped achieve the result. Were you greeted by a receptionist? Did an apprentice wash your hair? do they have a helper making coffees and cleaning up?

Most of the time Id put the wage cost at conservatively at $30ph per stylist for an average salon. This can vary as wildly as an experienced!! hairdresser wage can be more like 60-70k per year with top stylists ( those ones you can never get into ) at about 80k.

I’m always totally shocked when people complain about the cost of trainees and apprentices and having to release them for offsite training. Especially as in most industries the employer can get Large chunks of the trainee/apprentices wage paid by the government ($4000 federal) and exemtion from payroll tax in the ACT for the apprentice.

dungfungus 3:21 pm 16 Jun 15

Silly me, I saw the headline and thought “great, another thread about the rising cost of TAMS services”.

Aragornerama 2:14 pm 16 Jun 15

Maya123 said :

“How much did you pay for your last haircut?”
Nothing. I don’t pay to get my hair cut. My mother cuts my hair and I cut my fringe. She does it as well as a hairdresser would do. When one day she will no longer be able to, a friend will take over. For me, paying someone to cut your hair is an unnecessary expense and waste of money. In the same league as having your nails done. It’s money that can be saved to spend on better things, such as an extra payment on the mortgage, a holiday, etc.

Me too. It’s surprisingly easy to cut your own hair, and you also get much more control over the final outcome than at a hairdresser. I don’t anticipate ever paying for a haircut again. You probably need someone to check the back is even though.

rosscoact 1:20 pm 16 Jun 15

$30 plus $5 tip when I have a spare $5 and a damn bargain at that Bobby’s Barber Shop Gungahlin. So happy you guys are there

Tymefor 1:14 pm 16 Jun 15

Dame Canberra said :

I find this puzzling. I pay around $250 every eight weeks for a cut and colour with a stylist who is just about to finish her apprenticeship. It takes about two hours, so let’s say that works out to $125 per hour. I’m more than happy to pay that amount, as they do a great job and I always have a pleasant experience.

Like most salons, the one I visit is open extended hours and has a pretty regular stream of customers both during the week, on weekends and during late night trading. Even once you take out the cost of hair dye, rent and other expenses, I can’t understand how Canberra’s hairdresser businesses are struggling when it costs around $20 per hour for qualified staff – and less for apprentices.

Are there any hairdressers out there who can offer some insight?

Well around 20 dollars per hour is so crazily wrong. And an apprentices COST about the same as a qualified, when as an employer you have to pay for their course fees, tools, allowances and all their learning objects and then need to release them from the salon at normal pay for at least 1 day per week.

Really the cost of employing someone is never just an award pay rate. Super, Allowances, Worker’s comp, ongoing training and money set aside for holiday pay. Are just some of the easy to quantify costs but still not the whole story.

So for a fresh just out of training hairdresser at the beginning of their qualified career. Think gradate, from a 4 year degree, but one where they only had to work 38 hours pw, were paid a reduced wage for that and got holiday leave, sick pay, access to free tutoring and interest free trade support loan of up-to $20k.

a rough! cost to employer for this “qualified” hairdresser would be

746.20 / 38pw = 19.60 ph But almost every hairdresser works some of those 38 hours at times that incur loadings, let say its only Saturday for 7 hours no other late nights or overtime (lol I wish). so now we are $811.6 (42.2k) then we have holiday pay (4×811.6)+ 17.6% loading = $3939 then Super $4.2k (roughly) Worker comp 2% $860 and lets say I’m dodgy and only do about $1k worth of training with them in a year. 42.2k + 3.9k + 4.2k + .8k = 51.1k

= $25.86 ph but the TOTAL wage cost for a service would also include a percentage of every other persons wage that helped achieve the result. Were you greeted by a receptionist? Did an apprentice wash your hair? do they have a helper making coffees and cleaning up?

Most of the time Id put the wage cost at conservatively at $30ph per stylist for an average salon. This can vary as wildly as an experienced!! hairdresser wage can be more like 60-70k per year with top stylists ( those ones you can never get into ) at about 80k.

Maya123 12:41 pm 16 Jun 15

“How much did you pay for your last haircut?”
Nothing. I don’t pay to get my hair cut. My mother cuts my hair and I cut my fringe. She does it as well as a hairdresser would do. When one day she will no longer be able to, a friend will take over. For me, paying someone to cut your hair is an unnecessary expense and waste of money. In the same league as having your nails done. It’s money that can be saved to spend on better things, such as an extra payment on the mortgage, a holiday, etc.

pink little birdie 12:39 pm 16 Jun 15

I usually pay around 80 for cut and style takes about an hour at various newish places around town.

Dame Canberra 12:11 pm 16 Jun 15

vintage123 said :

Dame Canberra said :

I find this puzzling. I pay around $250 every eight weeks for a cut and colour with a stylist who is just about to finish her apprenticeship. It takes about two hours, so let’s say that works out to $125 per hour. I’m more than happy to pay that amount, as they do a great job and I always have a pleasant experience.

Like most salons, the one I visit is open extended hours and has a pretty regular stream of customers both during the week, on weekends and during late night trading. Even once you take out the cost of hair dye, rent and other expenses, I can’t understand how Canberra’s hairdresser businesses are struggling when it costs around $20 per hour for qualified staff – and less for apprentices.

Are there any hairdressers out there who can offer some insight?

Is it possible the owners of the salon don’t work there yet are being paid a handsome income as owners are entitled to. Most business owners I know are earning hundreds of thousands of dollars and not working on the floor.

Definitely possible, but if it was true in this instance, why would the businesses say they are struggling, as in the article?

(As an aside, this is what frustrates me about the childcare industry. Parents fork out huge sums and the staff don’t see much of it at all… meanwhile, the owner of the centre makes a killing.)

vintage123 12:02 pm 16 Jun 15

Dame Canberra said :

I find this puzzling. I pay around $250 every eight weeks for a cut and colour with a stylist who is just about to finish her apprenticeship. It takes about two hours, so let’s say that works out to $125 per hour. I’m more than happy to pay that amount, as they do a great job and I always have a pleasant experience.

Like most salons, the one I visit is open extended hours and has a pretty regular stream of customers both during the week, on weekends and during late night trading. Even once you take out the cost of hair dye, rent and other expenses, I can’t understand how Canberra’s hairdresser businesses are struggling when it costs around $20 per hour for qualified staff – and less for apprentices.

Are there any hairdressers out there who can offer some insight?

Is it possible the owners of the salon don’t work there yet are being paid a handsome income as owners are entitled to. Most business owners I know are earning hundreds of thousands of dollars and not working on the floor.

Dame Canberra 11:38 am 16 Jun 15

I find this puzzling. I pay around $250 every eight weeks for a cut and colour with a stylist who is just about to finish her apprenticeship. It takes about two hours, so let’s say that works out to $125 per hour. I’m more than happy to pay that amount, as they do a great job and I always have a pleasant experience.

Like most salons, the one I visit is open extended hours and has a pretty regular stream of customers both during the week, on weekends and during late night trading. Even once you take out the cost of hair dye, rent and other expenses, I can’t understand how Canberra’s hairdresser businesses are struggling when it costs around $20 per hour for qualified staff – and less for apprentices.

Are there any hairdressers out there who can offer some insight?

Genie 11:27 am 16 Jun 15

About 2 years ago I would pay about $140 for a half head of foils, colour on the rest and a cut. These days I’m paying about $125 just for a shampoo and hair cut.

While I do love the spoils of going to a salon where my hair gets washed and a head massage, plus the offer of a hot drink. I honestly can’t afford it anymore.

I stopped getting my hair dyed at a salon and run a supermarket dye through 2-3 times a year to cover pending greys and how much my hair lightens over summer.

I even pushed out my hair cuts from every 2 months, to 3-4 months and most recently cancelled my latest appointment as my favourite salon has priced me out of their market.

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