The Strength Of The Economy Corresponds To How Often We Cut Our Hair

The dearth of split ends sprouting from the heads of Americans means more than that we’re obsessed with our looks, it’s an indication that our economy is growing strong. The more we make frequent trips to the salon and barber shop, the more we spend. Just call it The Haircut Index.

CNBC says there’s been a rise in business at our grooming places, citing research by Sageworks. They say sales at hair salons are up 5.37% since 2009, and hairdressers’ profit margins are averaging 7.8% over the last two years. So they’re making more when you tip better and then they in turn, go out and spend that cash.

Another indication of the economy-boosting hairapalooza comes from the Professional Beauty Association index, which says that 57% of salon owners saw a same-store sales increase between 2010 and 2011 in the first quarter, and over a third added employees at that time as well.

CNBC quotes John Paul Dejoria, founder of hair care company Paul Mitchell, who says it’s all related: “Beauty salons are the best economic indicator. Typically, customers will visit every six weeks; in downturns, that drops to every eight weeks. When it goes up again, things are on the mend.”

Keep cutting and coloring that hair, people, and the economy will continue to grow. Bring on the scissors and the bleach!

Haircut Index: Economy Grows as People Keep it Short [CNBC]

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  1. Blueskylaw says:

    When the economy was really bad, I was getting my hair cut every two to three months; now i’m back to around once a month.

    Maybe the economy is really getting better, or maybe i’m just feeling better about myself because the meds kicking in.

  2. Dallas_shopper says:

    I dunno about that; I used to go to pricey salons until I figured out that Great Clips does just as good of a job with my hopeless hair as any pricey salon. So I’m spending far less on my hair than I did at the peak of the recession. ;-)

    • Traveller says:

      But I bet you made that decision based on your then current economic position or outlook.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        Nope, I haven’t really suffered at all in this recession; I have been very fortunate. I just coincidentally realized that it made no sense to pay $60+ for a mediocre haircut when I could pay $14.99 (or less with the frequent coupons they publish) for a mediocre haircut at Great Clips.

  3. nybiker says:

    Hey for once I can truthfully make the ‘I make my own haircuts at home’ comment.

    • Taed says:

      Me too. I’ve been cutting my own hair for 25 years. Prior to that, my mom did it.

    • redskull says:

      Same here. What’s it say about the economy when I cut my own hair at home?

    • Yomiko says:

      I cut my boyfriend’s hair at home. Mohawk: buzz sides bi-weekly, trim middle as needed.

      I was nervous the first time, but I have gotten good at it.

  4. SerenityDan says:

    I get mine cut once every few years. I keep letting it get long, get sick of it so get a nice short cut then let it grow long again.

    • Jevia says:

      Yup, I do the exact same thing. Its long enough now to donate to Locks of Love, then I won’t have to go back for another few years.

    • foodfeed says:

      Same here. I usually get sick of it after a year or two and grab the scissors and start playing. If I mess it up enough I’ll offer a brave friend a sixer to fix it or just shave it off.

  5. The Upright Man says:

    I got mine cut on the regular bad economy or no, but then I only spend about 15 for a cut and a line-up, so haircuts have never been a huge hit for me.

  6. eezy-peezy says:

    My spouse and I cut each other’s hair. You can blame us for the bad economy.

  7. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I thought it was underwear sales

    (Note: it is)

  8. comedian says:

    When I’m job hunting I get haircuts more often then when I get them while I’m employed.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      I thought of that angle before I read down to the plain old “obsessed with our looks.” Can’t be looking all shaggy for that big interview!

  9. nbs2 says:

    While I was properly employed during the heart of the recession – 2009-2011, I’ve been laid off/underemployed since then. However, my barber spending has gone up. When I was working, I didn’t need to worry about how long my hair was, etc. Now, I have interviews and need to offer a specific appearance.

    And thus, my spending has gone up during the recovery, but that’s only because I’m on the wrong side of the fence now.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      So that makes it a specific job hunting expense. You should totally write that off, give your accountant the hair dusted receipts.

  10. Daggertrout says:

    I usually get my hair cut quarterly. My last one was before Christmas so I’m about due…

  11. SmokeyBacon says:

    Well, I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I had my hair cut – some time in 2011 I am sure. But I like it long, so it isn’t even obvious when it is cut. And since all they ever did was basically just cut it straight across the back anyway, I got sick of paying for that and now my boyfriend just does it. I would love to get a fancy haircut somewhere that the stylists are really good but I can’t afford that, and most places don’t know how to deal with my crazy hair anyway (which is why it ends up getting a straight across cut). Since I don’t take the time to straighten it most of the time, it really doesn’t make a difference.

    Sorry to ramble on like that – I am sleepy and when I am sleepy I ramble. Wonder what that means about the economy?

  12. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    Mary Beth hair is cut with “shears”. Scissors are used to cut paper. The reason for this distinction is because when a professional stylist buys good shears they are paying anywhere from $300 to well over a $1000 dollars on them. With that cost in mind when someone says to them can I borrow your scissors to cut this haircut coupon (and screw up the shears) they can honestly reply “I don’t have scissors!”

    That the beauty industry is an accurate economic indicator is well known. When I worked supporting the industry we saw people getting work done in salons when the economy was hot and buying product to do it at home when the economy was cool. There was always money to get the look, but who did it was the indicator.

  13. yabdor says:

    What if you cut your own hair? ;)

  14. Sad Sam says:

    I normally get my long hair cut every 8 weeks. But, last time I was in the salon I let the reception person talk me into making my next appointment, so I ended going back at 6 weeks and my hair dresser asked why I was there so soon. And my bangs were not really long enough to cut so she just trimmed, now two weeks later they are kinda too long. The whole system has been through into chaos.

    • imasqre says:

      I have been on tough times and haven’t received a decent haircut in about 16 months. The whole thing can run at least $60 with tip. I’ve gone in with freshly washed hair and passed on blowouts (which take at least 20mins) bc that’s most of the cost. Which sucks bc that’s my fav part. I can’t wait to get to the point where I can drop $100 at the salon to boost my confidence and all that crap. Luckily I work in a kitchen so my day to day hair is always up and covered.

      • vorpalette says:

        Wow, they charge you for a blowout/wash? I have my hair trimmed every 6-7 weeks, $27 for a wash, cut, and whatever style I want (blowout/flat iron, curled). Takes about an hour, best haircuts/stylist/salon I’ve ever had. I used to work at a “high end” salon/spa, and while the cuts I got there were good, the atmosphere was no, and the stylist was so-so personality-wise.

  15. Yomiko says:

    Haven’t had a haircut in 6 months. Don’t miss it.

  16. framitz says:

    I probably mess up the stats, I stopped paying for hair cuts over 10 years ago. I manage to keep it reasonably cut my self, it takes a few minutes, but far better than waiting, then paying through the nose for mediocre services.

    The last straw was when SuperCuts used a conditioner on my hair after I explicitly told them not to as I am very allergic to most of that crap. NEVER AGAIN

  17. Mambru says:

    I heard on the radio that you can do the same study with how pretty your waiter/waitress is. When the economy is bad you will see prettier servers (usually models or actors) whereas when the economy is improving

  18. Froggee285 says:

    Last haircut I got was in August…iI would love another haircut, to reshape it all, but I can’t when at the end of the month, after the rent and bills, I only have $20-40 left until my next paycheck comes in. Even if its a good month, and we have $100 left, I don’t want to waste it all on my stupid hair. I am not in debt at all, and we are working very hard to keep it that way. My mother took pity on me for my birthday and took me shopping to buy a pair of work shoes, because I have been wearing the same ones for years.

    Its so expensive living in NJ, and until my fiance has a full time job, this is life.

  19. wkm001 says:

    The $30 I spent on a pair of clippers at Sam’s was money well spent. I cut my hair every 10-14 days and have been for over three years. I have only been spending ~$10 a year….

  20. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I need to keep my hair looking decent because I’m job hunting. And I need to have it trimmed so I can color it so I can cover the gray I have. But I just trimmed my bangs myself. Luckily I go to Fantastic Sam’s and there are sometimes coupons floating around. It’s only about $20 each time– $15 for the cut and I always tip my hair lady $5.

  21. AllanG54 says:

    There was an article on here also about the economy and men’s underwear purchasing habits if I’m not mistaken. I cut my hair when it feels too heavy on my head. About every seven weeks or so.

  22. technoreaper says:

    If you’re a guy and want to look decent for virtually nothing, buy a pair of clippers. Use a 2 guidecomb all around, blend if you’re a little more skilled. Use a mirror on the back to trim, left and right tapers on the sides, trim the edges and you will look sharp. Don’t worry if some hoodrats snicker at your “line”, they’re the only ones who care. You will never have to let your hair get shaggy to save money on haircuts, plus you won’t have to deal with low-class, bottom-of-the-barrel hair stylists who seem to hate their customers and work. I used to have them comment on how often I got my hair cut(every four weeks is too often?) and all sorts of garbage. I never used to tip them, because I never knew I was supposed to! I went years doing that before I finally saw on a website that you are supposed to, and then my service got a lot better. However, I was never told or hinted about it whatsoever. That’s how dumb most hair stylists are. I’m glad I never have to deal with them again. Most of them should be, or want to be on welfare.

  23. IowaCowboy says:

    One thing I noticed during the recession is that males would cut their hair very short (or shave it off completely) so they would not have to go to the barber shop as often. When money was tight, I went to Sally Beauty Supply, bought a pair of proffesional grade clippers, and shaved my head once a week. Now that better times are here, I go to the barber shop and get better haircuts.

    • technoreaper says:

      If they’re cutting it that short, they’re probably doing it themselves. Ever thought of that?

  24. Memtex784 says:

    Every 4 to 5 months I go to an old fashioned barber shop that have newspapers, guns-hunting-car magazines. Sadly it’s a dying breed. In WI currently all people who want to cut hair have to go through a beauty school of some type and be trained for a stylist. Probably puts off a lot of guys who just simply want to just be a barber. The bad thing is it went up to $14 last time I had it cut.

  25. pixiegirl says:

    My stylist said that the economy has helped her, she’s been busier now than she was before the economy went south. She’s constantly booked almost a month in advace, which makes it harder for me to get in since I don’t have a set schedule I used to luck out and get a same week appointment. She said most of her clients have said they are cutting back in other areas but will not cut back here lol.

  26. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    It’s probably the other way around.