// 23 March 2008


The scene: me in a pub, with three male friends, T, S and A.

S: How’s J?

T: Fine. She texted me the other day, said she was just about to get a haircut for £50.

S & A: (aghast) £50?!!!

Me: Yeah, sounds about right, mine are normally about £45-£50.

S: Did you know [local barbers] have put up their price to £11?

T & A: Tsk!

Me: Oh, boo-hoo! (sups pint dismissively)

T: Actually I knew I was really bored yesterday when I started to calculate how much J would save if she just had a man’s haircut instead. I started to create a spreadsheet comparing all the costings…

All: (chortling at obsessive spreadsheet geekery)

T: Then I added a field for the inflation rate, which you can amend as things change, and calculated the total compound savings each year…

All: (guffaw)

A: If she went into a hairdressers they’d probably just charge her a special “womans’ rate” anyway regardless of the style.

Me: Yeah, exactly

S: Nah, not at [local barbers], I reckon they’d charge the same for a woman as a bloke.

T: …So then I added a column showing how much it’d be if she just bought clippers, taking into account the need to replace them every ten years or so.

All: (laughter)

Me: He he, spreadsheets are just brilliant!

T: I worked out that over a lifetime she could save about £54,000.

S & A: (stunned silence)

Me: (splutter)

Me: (drops jaw)

Me: £54,000????? (thinks what I could do with £54,000, seriously considers having a man’s haircut)

T: Yup

Me: Oh my god send me that spreadsheet, I have to blog about this.

T: Maybe I should add a column that recalculates what the savings will be worth in todays money?

Comments From You

Jess McCabe // Posted 23 March 2008 at 7:06 pm

That is – a lot of money!

Although until recently, I’ve been going to Hair by Fairy in Covent Garden, which costs £13 a pop and is pretty good.

You can get pierced and tattooed at the same time :)

Sadie // Posted 23 March 2008 at 8:01 pm

Far be it from me to doubt T’s spreadsheet expertise, but a quick comparison between the cost of my haircuts (£42) and my partner’s (£11) every six weeks suggests that I would pay around £13,400 more than him over 50 years at today’s rates. Which is still not to be sniffed at!

Catherine Redfern // Posted 23 March 2008 at 8:53 pm

I think the £54,000 comes from investing the yearly savings and includes compound interest at 6%…(which by the way on the spreadsheet you can change the interest based on your account!) so that’s why it could be more. Told you it was geeky!

Martin // Posted 23 March 2008 at 9:08 pm

Them boys are going to the wrong barbers, the one opposite south wimbledon tube is only six quid!

or maybe that’s just for my crappy haircut…

Suzanne // Posted 23 March 2008 at 10:06 pm

I love how it’s “Girl Haircut” vs. “Man Haircut”. Not “Woman’s Haircut”. “GIRL haircut”.

Sunny // Posted 23 March 2008 at 10:15 pm

Wowza! That is a serious amount of cash! This blog piece made me laugh.

I made the best decision a few years ago to shave my head myself using a razor, thus spending about a 1 pound a week on razors. That’s it. Less than £50 a year for haircuts.

Catherine Redfern // Posted 23 March 2008 at 10:57 pm

Ooh a razor! That’s another column to add to the spreadsheet methinks. You must be a millionaire by now! :-)

Catherine Redfern // Posted 23 March 2008 at 11:02 pm


Yeah, you’re right, I am a bad, bad, terrible, feminist to let that one through. :)

Feminist Avatar // Posted 23 March 2008 at 11:39 pm

FA glories in the fact she has not paid for a haircut in eight years, (cutting it herself). Unlike her husband who pays £6 every six months.

Sunny // Posted 24 March 2008 at 1:08 am

Heh, I wish.

jean williams // Posted 24 March 2008 at 10:23 am

re haircuts, I think all your correspondents must be London-based. Here in yorkshire I can get a perfectly good hair cut for £9.00

lucy // Posted 24 March 2008 at 11:56 am

I believe that barber cuts (not male equivalent cuts at expensive salons) are cheap because they specialise in the kind of short cuts one needs to maintain more frequently.

for example, my boyfriend and 3 male housemates all pay to have their short hair cut on average 9 times more frequently than me. their cuts are often cheaper, but not 9 times cheaper.

"A" // Posted 24 March 2008 at 5:50 pm

I’m just worried that our pub conversations are now becoming blog fodder!

Holly Combe // Posted 24 March 2008 at 7:32 pm

Those old excuses about “longer hair” and “more complicated styles” have always annoyed me. What about women who just have a straight round one-length trim or a short back and sides? Why should they pay more just for being women? And what about guys who get feathered cuts that are then straightened and styled afterwards? Why should they get a better deal just for being men? Like A, I’ve often wondered if even the simplest cut for a woman would still attract a “woman’s rate.”

My way round this is to go to a well-known chain to get a specific cut (I’ve only ever found the exact one I want at the place in question) but make sure I get an appointment at the model school where it only costs a fiver!

Davina // Posted 24 March 2008 at 8:46 pm

I get my hair done at a Reflections training academy. It takes about 2 hours, yes, but it’s only £5 for a trim and if I ask to have it straightened (as my hair’s pretty curly but also quite long, so I can never be arsed to straighten it myself) then they’ll usually oblige. Sure, it’s a bit worrying that they’ll get it wrong ‘cos they’re newbies – but even if they did, I wouldn’t care too much. It’s only hair.

Danielle // Posted 24 March 2008 at 11:09 pm

I once got a haircut for £1. Admittidly, I only had my fringe trimmed, and it took about 2 minutes but I still brag about it.

Laura Bennett // Posted 29 March 2008 at 7:24 pm

Entirely off topic, but my mind makes these six degrees of separation type connections, if you want to do an impression of a good old-fashioned BBC RP type (think Celia Johnson in “Brief Encounter”), simply say “air hair lair”.

You may well decide not to publish this, still, hope it vaguely amuses you at F Word Towers for a while.

Li // Posted 30 March 2008 at 12:11 am

Danielle – When my sister and I were kids, our local hairdresser cut our fringes for free! Hah!

lIsa // Posted 30 March 2008 at 8:08 am

I think it is totally shameful that salons can charge such ridiculous prices – How does this translate at all in the grand scheme of things?

I ataully wait now til i go to visit my mother in France bout 4/5 times a year for my haircut, her hairdresser is great and about £14 – I had to go in the UK before xmas – my ends were so straggly – I could only get in at Toni and Guy – £40 was the cheapest – the woman was moody and she spent about 3 mins cutting off my ends and about 35 blow drying then complained how long it itook to dry my hair cos it’s so long!!!!! How are they getting away with this and why are we paying for it??

Lindsey // Posted 31 March 2008 at 11:39 am

I was most upset once to be told my hair was too thick to just be sprayed and I’d have to spend the extra £5 to get it washed before they’d cut it! Now I just stand on the back step and have my boyfriend trim the ends – how many years does it take for scissors to go blunt?

Jen // Posted 31 March 2008 at 4:37 pm

I agree with what lucy said. short haircuts need more trimming to stay neat. Ive had short hair before and it was a nightmare. Dont be afraid to cut your own hair. Just do it really really slowly, one strand at a time. Dont do it drunk and have someone you trust to snip the back bits. I used to pay around ten pounds for a haircut but then far too frequently found myself on the recieving end of a hairdresser with a crazed ego who wanted to sculpt my hair into frothy peaks and not just take an inch off at the end.

Juliet // Posted 31 March 2008 at 11:08 pm

I cut my hair last week after hearing that some hairdresser from the 1970s (or who knows, the 1790s) used a technique of gathering it all on top of the head and snipping off the ends, thereby ensuring evenly distributed layers. Sooooo simple!

I wasn’t drunk when I did it, but the result looked as if I’d been hitting the absinthe before I picked up the garden shears.

Next day I went to Toni & Guy. A ‘guy’ took one look and said ”MATE! What ”ave you DONE?!’

Never. Ever. Again.

Sheeka // Posted 9 April 2008 at 2:32 am

Id love a Mia Farrow haircut she had in film Rosemarys Baby

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