Skip to content Skip to main navigation

How much did you pay for your last haircut?

Steven Bailey 9 December 2016 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?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
44 Responses to How much did you pay for your last haircut?
Filter
Order
madelini madelini 12:33 pm 17 Jun 15

Maya123 said :

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.

“Why would you do a four year degree…”

Surely hairdresser’s qualifications are not called a degree! I studied for four years (not hairdressing) and earned a certificate. But who knows, these days, with the weakening of what is a degree, perhaps my certificate would now be a degree, but I hope not, as that would be as silly as a hairdresser’s qualifications being called a degree.

I might be wrong, but as far as I’m aware, hairdressing is considered a trade and they receive a diploma. Whether it’s a degree or a diploma, it’s still a tertiary qualification.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back VYBerlinaV8_is_back 12:40 pm 17 Jun 15

I generally pay 35 bucks for a cut and a wash afterwards.

JimCharles JimCharles 1:13 pm 17 Jun 15

london said :

Would be just happy to get a decent hair cut in Canberra. Nearly three years here and still looking. My husband went to same male hairdresser in Penrith NSW for more than thirty years and never had a complaint. He always gave our son a great hair cut as well. Don’t know who trains those in Canberra but they are shocking! Have the nerve to charge high prices too

It’s a little known fact that the current worldwide trend for straggly hair and long unkept beards originated in Canberra from those unable to find a decent barber and just gave up trying.

I hear there’s a newish barber shop at the QT hotel in Civic. Not tried it nor know if they use a razor on the back of your neck, which is normally the next question.

bryansworld bryansworld 3:25 pm 17 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.

Sounds good. Does anyone know why womens’ haircuts cost so much more? It seems a ridiculous rip-off for a section a community that earns less money.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 3:37 pm 17 Jun 15

$25 for a buzzcut.

And when you consider I’m in and out in comfortably less than 10 minutes that works out at more than $150/hr. Yikes!

watto23 watto23 4:05 pm 17 Jun 15

Holden Caulfield said :

$25 for a buzzcut.

And when you consider I’m in and out in comfortably less than 10 minutes that works out at more than $150/hr. Yikes!

Yeah I pay $25-30 for a haircut, that takes maybe 15 minutes. But men are quicker when it comes to cutting hair.

Maya123 Maya123 4:45 pm 17 Jun 15

watto23 said :

Holden Caulfield said :

$25 for a buzzcut.

And when you consider I’m in and out in comfortably less than 10 minutes that works out at more than $150/hr. Yikes!

Yeah I pay $25-30 for a haircut, that takes maybe 15 minutes. But men are quicker when it comes to cutting hair.

My hair can be cut in less than 15 minutes, so I think it is a rip off to cost more for females. Sure if you want the shampoo, blow dry, etc treatment it could cost more, but a simple haircut shouldn’t, but it does. Another reason not to visit hairdressers. Plus, unlike many others here, I don’t enjoy the experience, and trying to up-sell to me, reduces the experience to even a lower level of dislike.

Alexandra Craig Alexandra Craig 5:14 pm 17 Jun 15

bryansworld said :

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.

Sounds good. Does anyone know why womens’ haircuts cost so much more? It seems a ridiculous rip-off for a section a community that earns less money.

I suppose it’s because women mostly have longer hair (and most salons have different prices for long, short, and medium length hair with the short hair price pretty close to the standard men’s price) so it takes much longer, and more product is used for women. Maybe there’s more technical skill required with ladies hair too.

Like any business though, you’re not just paying for someone to cut your hair. You’re paying for the salon rent, electricity, furniture, hot water, shampoo, blowdryers, straighteners, the drink they offer you, the magazines, the cutting scissors (they are actually very expensive – basic ones cost several hundred dollars, the good ones cost over $1000 a pair) etc.

Tymefor Tymefor 8:15 am 18 Jun 15

Maya123 said :

watto23 said :

Holden Caulfield said :

$25 for a buzzcut.

And when you consider I’m in and out in comfortably less than 10 minutes that works out at more than $150/hr. Yikes!

Yeah I pay $25-30 for a haircut, that takes maybe 15 minutes. But men are quicker when it comes to cutting hair.

My hair can be cut in less than 15 minutes, so I think it is a rip off to cost more for females. Sure if you want the shampoo, blow dry, etc treatment it could cost more, but a simple haircut shouldn’t, but it does. Another reason not to visit hairdressers. Plus, unlike many others here, I don’t enjoy the experience, and trying to up-sell to me, reduces the experience to even a lower level of dislike.

Most trades quote on a per job assessment. In hairdressing our customers expectation is for a set price. So the set price of a haircut service is representative of the average. If I had 1000 random mens styles to complete. The time it would take me to do them, the complexity in achieving them and the overall diversity of skills needed. Would be significantly less than doing the same number of random ladies haircuts.

Maya123 Maya123 10:29 am 18 Jun 15

Alexandra Craig said :

bryansworld said :

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.

Sounds good. Does anyone know why womens’ haircuts cost so much more? It seems a ridiculous rip-off for a section a community that earns less money.

I suppose it’s because women mostly have longer hair (and most salons have different prices for long, short, and medium length hair with the short hair price pretty close to the standard men’s price) so it takes much longer, and more product is used for women. Maybe there’s more technical skill required with ladies hair too.

Like any business though, you’re not just paying for someone to cut your hair. You’re paying for the salon rent, electricity, furniture, hot water, shampoo, blowdryers, straighteners, the drink they offer you, the magazines, the cutting scissors (they are actually very expensive – basic ones cost several hundred dollars, the good ones cost over $1000 a pair) etc.

Don’t men’s hairdressers also have expenses, but men don’t pay as much.
If I were to go to a hairdresser I don’t need the “shampoo, blowdryers, straighteners, the drink they offer you, the magazines”, but still I would have to pay more than a man does for a simple haircut. My hair is straight and shoulder length. It is just a matter of cutting around the end and taking some length off. I can’t think of a simpler cut. But fortunately I have people who are capable and willing to cut my hair for free for me, so I don’t need to go to a hairdresser. The job is over quicker too than if I were to visit a hairdresser, which is another advantage. No unnecessary time-filling, extra money-making shampooing my hair (I do shampoo my hair), delays while they attend to someone else, etc. No trying to sell me expensive shampoos that don’t do a better (proven) job than cheaper shampoos. And I don’t have much interest in what the royal family is doing, or the latest in the magazines. (Or perhaps these last comments are showing how many years it is since I have visited a hairdresser.)
If I did need to go to a hairdresser, perhaps I would find out what it cost to get my hair cut with a woman’s hairdresser, and then make enquires at a men’s hairdresser to see if this were a cheaper, possible alternative. It’s just a hair cut after all. Of course another alternative would be to do what I did until my twenties; not cut my hair. However, waist length hair no longer appeals to me.

By the way, what is the cost to get straight shoulder length hair cut in a woman’s hairdressers, versus a men’s hairdresser? Does someone know?

bryansworld bryansworld 10:37 am 18 Jun 15

Tymefor said :

Maya123 said :

watto23 said :

Holden Caulfield said :

$25 for a buzzcut.

And when you consider I’m in and out in comfortably less than 10 minutes that works out at more than $150/hr. Yikes!

Yeah I pay $25-30 for a haircut, that takes maybe 15 minutes. But men are quicker when it comes to cutting hair.

My hair can be cut in less than 15 minutes, so I think it is a rip off to cost more for females. Sure if you want the shampoo, blow dry, etc treatment it could cost more, but a simple haircut shouldn’t, but it does. Another reason not to visit hairdressers. Plus, unlike many others here, I don’t enjoy the experience, and trying to up-sell to me, reduces the experience to even a lower level of dislike.

Most trades quote on a per job assessment. In hairdressing our customers expectation is for a set price. So the set price of a haircut service is representative of the average. If I had 1000 random mens styles to complete. The time it would take me to do them, the complexity in achieving them and the overall diversity of skills needed. Would be significantly less than doing the same number of random ladies haircuts.

Understood, but three times cheaper? I find it hard to believe that the average cost is so different between the two genders.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 11:39 am 18 Jun 15

Well, we pay more for car insurance.

Alexandra Craig Alexandra Craig 11:49 am 18 Jun 15

Maya123 said :

Alexandra Craig said :

bryansworld said :

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.

Sounds good. Does anyone know why womens’ haircuts cost so much more? It seems a ridiculous rip-off for a section a community that earns less money.

I suppose it’s because women mostly have longer hair (and most salons have different prices for long, short, and medium length hair with the short hair price pretty close to the standard men’s price) so it takes much longer, and more product is used for women. Maybe there’s more technical skill required with ladies hair too.

Like any business though, you’re not just paying for someone to cut your hair. You’re paying for the salon rent, electricity, furniture, hot water, shampoo, blowdryers, straighteners, the drink they offer you, the magazines, the cutting scissors (they are actually very expensive – basic ones cost several hundred dollars, the good ones cost over $1000 a pair) etc.

Don’t men’s hairdressers also have expenses, but men don’t pay as much.
If I were to go to a hairdresser I don’t need the “shampoo, blowdryers, straighteners, the drink they offer you, the magazines”, but still I would have to pay more than a man does for a simple haircut. My hair is straight and shoulder length. It is just a matter of cutting around the end and taking some length off. I can’t think of a simpler cut. But fortunately I have people who are capable and willing to cut my hair for free for me, so I don’t need to go to a hairdresser. The job is over quicker too than if I were to visit a hairdresser, which is another advantage. No unnecessary time-filling, extra money-making shampooing my hair (I do shampoo my hair), delays while they attend to someone else, etc. No trying to sell me expensive shampoos that don’t do a better (proven) job than cheaper shampoos. And I don’t have much interest in what the royal family is doing, or the latest in the magazines. (Or perhaps these last comments are showing how many years it is since I have visited a hairdresser.)
If I did need to go to a hairdresser, perhaps I would find out what it cost to get my hair cut with a woman’s hairdresser, and then make enquires at a men’s hairdresser to see if this were a cheaper, possible alternative. It’s just a hair cut after all. Of course another alternative would be to do what I did until my twenties; not cut my hair. However, waist length hair no longer appeals to me.

By the way, what is the cost to get straight shoulder length hair cut in a woman’s hairdressers, versus a men’s hairdresser? Does someone know?

Sounds like you should go to somewhere like JustCuts. They pretty much only have basins and scissors. I’m pretty sure they don’t style people’s hair either.

I could be wrong here (and hopefully a hairdresser will see this and clarify) but I think the reason they wash your hair is because it ideally should be wet for cutting.

What do you mean in regards to “woman’s hairdresser” and a “men’s hairdresser”? I thought it worked in the way that there is hair salons that do both female and male, and then there is barbers that only do male. I’m not aware of any ‘female only’ or ‘male only’ salons. However if you mean that if you take all costs away except for the cut itself and men still pay less, I suppose it’s what Tymefore said: “In hairdressing our customers expectation is for a set price. So the set price of a haircut service is representative of the average. If I had 1000 random mens styles to complete. The time it would take me to do them, the complexity in achieving them and the overall diversity of skills needed. Would be significantly less than doing the same number of random ladies haircuts.”

And about the hair care products that are more expensive but don’t work as well – do you know where I can find the research? Not trying to have a go – I’m actually genuinely interested in reading it. I buy salon quality shampoo (not from my hairdresser) and have been using it since I was maybe 17-18. The other day I ran out and had to use a cheaper brand that I had in the guest bathroom and I could notice the difference immediately, my hair felt like steel wool. Could be a case-by-case thing though I suppose.

Tymefor Tymefor 12:12 pm 18 Jun 15

bryansworld said :

Tymefor said :

Maya123 said :

watto23 said :

Holden Caulfield said :

$25 for a buzzcut.

And when you consider I’m in and out in comfortably less than 10 minutes that works out at more than $150/hr. Yikes!

Yeah I pay $25-30 for a haircut, that takes maybe 15 minutes. But men are quicker when it comes to cutting hair.

My hair can be cut in less than 15 minutes, so I think it is a rip off to cost more for females. Sure if you want the shampoo, blow dry, etc treatment it could cost more, but a simple haircut shouldn’t, but it does. Another reason not to visit hairdressers. Plus, unlike many others here, I don’t enjoy the experience, and trying to up-sell to me, reduces the experience to even a lower level of dislike.

Most trades quote on a per job assessment. In hairdressing our customers expectation is for a set price. So the set price of a haircut service is representative of the average. If I had 1000 random mens styles to complete. The time it would take me to do them, the complexity in achieving them and the overall diversity of skills needed. Would be significantly less than doing the same number of random ladies haircuts.

Understood, but three times cheaper? I find it hard to believe that the average cost is so different between the two genders.

Well I did try to qualify that by saying “representative of the average”. There are naturally many more considerations, for every business, when choosing a set price for what could be very different services.

I can hardly try to communicate every aspect that I believe should be considered when choosing a set price. That’s the realm of a business course and there are many articles that could be googled and read.

But consider that many hair businesses are preforming a wide variety of services at any one time. All with different costs and profit margins. You need to consider how the service you are going to price fits into the “flow” of work. Will it fit neatly into an appointment book ? Can it be done at the same time as I’m doing something else? Will it conflict with, or reduce another service with a higher profit margin?

I’d suggest researching the concept of “opportunity cost”.

From my personal business’s perspective, I charge less “per hour” for a men’s cut. But I consider this more of a DISCOUNT per hour. As the overwhelming average of men’s haircutting fits so neatly into my flow of work that I want to encourage as many of them as I can. eg. In the time that a hair color is processing I can complete the average men’s cut.

Also consider that because the average time for completing a men’s haircut is less. We are able to complete more actual clients per hour. Every client represents a potential upgrade to an extra service, a potential referral and a potential retail sale. It is another reason why men’s prices are discounted.

That concept is called a “leading sale” , also something interesting to research. Our hair and beauty industry’s obsession with this when choosing prices. During the 80s and 90s. Led to crazy cheap service prices, BARELY making a profit. As the common business model had the vast majority of our profit coming a retail sale. The margins on those being as much as 250% in the late 80 early 90s. So it was all about MORE clients and sell sell sell.

Pretty much as an industry, we traded our professional credibility and profitability in our services. To the quick easy retail profit devil. We discounted and cheapened our services. We didn’t care that to many people it had become “just” a haircut. As long as we managed to sell retail to 30% of our clients we were making money. And that’s where we put our training energy. Not to increasing the cedibity

bryansworld bryansworld 2:19 pm 18 Jun 15

Holden Caulfield said :

Well, we pay more for car insurance.

Based on very solid actuarial data showing that men have a much higher accident rate, I suspect.

shellcase shellcase 3:00 pm 18 Jun 15

Average on-costs are about 65% of an employee’s wage-salary, so the hairdresser on the minimum award rate of $38,800 pa costs the employer another $25,220. Total cost pa is $64,020 before that employee gets a bum in a seat.

To that figure the employer must add margin to pay for rent, power, insurances, depreciation etc as well as a supervision factor. Somewhere, after paying out all of those costs the employee may find themselves lucky to find that at the end of the FY there is a sum of probably 3% of the businesses turnover which is called profit.

That is a dirty word in this town but if people want “service” it must be paid for and the employer is entitled to a reward for effort and risk. Otherwise why start a business at all?

garglebutt garglebutt 3:17 pm 18 Jun 15

I pay $36.50 for a wash and cut at Bentley’s in Jamison and $45 for same at Cock and Crown in Woden. Both good but the latter is a barber and includes a beer and chat. ????

Tymefor Tymefor 3:32 pm 18 Jun 15

Alexandra Craig said :

I could be wrong here (and hopefully a hairdresser will see this and clarify) but I think the reason they wash your hair is because it ideally should be wet for cutting.

Consistent is probably the best word for it. Wetting the hair will give us a consistent texture to work with. As hair naturally dries it will of curl, bend, kink and twist in many ways. Trying to cut a line across that inconsistent texture, while possible, will always tend to be less accurate. So wet or dry isn’t as important as consistent, which is why you’ll often find that cutter that like to cut with dry hair will style the hair first to achieve a consistent medium to work in.

Of course there are exceptions to that rule of thumb, as with naturally curly hair where you want to actually see what the hair “does” to be able to achieve the most accurate result. Ultimately good understanding of how different textures effect your tradecraft, then tailoring your service will get the best results. Hairdressers that get that are those ones that people say are good at doing curly hair or say things like their haircuts last for ages.

Its never really about “cleaning” the hair, I’m going to be washing my hands and tools before and after I serve you, regardless. Shampooing and conditioning is just a pleasant way to ensure the hair is saturated. It also lets us showcase some haircare products, and give us the opportunity to slightly improve the condition and presentation of your hair texture. Sure beats squirting a water bottle at people to wet their hair.

I’m partial to the head massage myself as well.

Alexandra Craig Alexandra Craig 4:24 pm 18 Jun 15

Tymefor said :

Alexandra Craig said :

I could be wrong here (and hopefully a hairdresser will see this and clarify) but I think the reason they wash your hair is because it ideally should be wet for cutting.

Consistent is probably the best word for it. Wetting the hair will give us a consistent texture to work with. As hair naturally dries it will of curl, bend, kink and twist in many ways. Trying to cut a line across that inconsistent texture, while possible, will always tend to be less accurate. So wet or dry isn’t as important as consistent, which is why you’ll often find that cutter that like to cut with dry hair will style the hair first to achieve a consistent medium to work in.

Of course there are exceptions to that rule of thumb, as with naturally curly hair where you want to actually see what the hair “does” to be able to achieve the most accurate result. Ultimately good understanding of how different textures effect your tradecraft, then tailoring your service will get the best results. Hairdressers that get that are those ones that people say are good at doing curly hair or say things like their haircuts last for ages.

Its never really about “cleaning” the hair, I’m going to be washing my hands and tools before and after I serve you, regardless. Shampooing and conditioning is just a pleasant way to ensure the hair is saturated. It also lets us showcase some haircare products, and give us the opportunity to slightly improve the condition and presentation of your hair texture. Sure beats squirting a water bottle at people to wet their hair.

I’m partial to the head massage myself as well.

The head massage is the greatest gift known to man.

geetee geetee 5:51 pm 18 Jun 15

Yeah +1 for Cock & Crown at Woden. Nice guy and even though I only pay $20 for my #2 clip, he is still happy to offer me a beer or can of softy while I’m there. One day I might take him up on it 🙂

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2020 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | riotact.com.cn | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site