I spend relatively little money on my appearance. For example, I am currently using Lacura shower gel that costs 55p / bottle from Lidl to wash both my body and hair. Consequently, I smell like the pine-scented air freshener hanging in your Dad’s Skoda. One expense I do choose to bear, however, is getting my hair cut once a fortnight. My hair grows fast and experiments of growing my hair long as a teenager weren’t pretty. I also have a beard, and so I find a regular haircut an effective means of looking less homeless.
Until recently, I was living in East London and paying £18 for a haircut at an independent unisex hair salon. The local barbershop was a lot cheaper at £10 per cut but there was always a queue, even in the middle of the day. I recently moved house and, due to the lockdown, am yet to find a new place to get my haircut. I started wondering what the going rate for a men’s haircut is these days. So I thought I would do some research into how much does an average men’s haircut cost.
Men's haircut prices in the UK
|Where?||Haircut price||Haircut plus beard trim|
|Average UK barbershop*||£13.70||£18.70|
**Prices may vary from store to store
Men’s haircut costs over the course of a year
As you can see, there is quite a difference in price between your local barbershop, where the average price is £13.70, and hairdresser chains like Supercuts and Toni&Guy. Toni&Guy is, of course, a premium hairdresser brand but you would have to really value the quality of cut and service to be able to justify the 270% difference in price versus going to a barber. Indeed, someone getting their hair and beard cut every two weeks at Toni&Guy would be forking out £1,222 a year on grooming! But, over the course of a year, even your average barbershop isn’t that cheap: fortnightly cuts total £486 for those getting their beards trimmed too. So here are four ways you might look to cut the cost (pun very much intended).
Cut your own hair
At the time of writing, the UK is currently in lockdown and many of us guys are discovering what we would have looked like if we had joined the army. The fact is, cutting your own hair just isn’t that easy unless you suit the buzz cut style. Even then, it can be hard to do the back by yourself. However, perhaps with some practice, and the help of a Youtube tutorial, your partner could become your stylist? This would surely save you a lot of money over the longterm if your partner is willing, and you can put up with some potential shoddy initial cuts whilst they practice.
One thing you can definitely do yourself is trim your own beard. I never really understood why people throw away money to pay a barber to do this because it’s actually very easy. I have been happily using this £20 Philips beard trimmer for a couple of years now.
Wait longer between cuts
Perhaps, like me, you prefer your hair really short on the sides. Some people like this look so much that they frequent the barbers weekly, which can be ver expensive. However, if you are able to wait, putting off your next haircut by a week or more could help you save over the course of a year. For example, a cut every 3 weeks costs £324, versus £486 every 2 weeks. The represents an annual saving of £162.
Get your hair cut at the local college
Are there are any colleges or training centres local to you that teach hairdressing? If so, then they are often looking for people on which to practice either for free or very little money. Of course, you will be getting your hair cut by someone who is not yet qualified. However, you needn’t let you put this off as they will be under the guidance of a trained stylist.
Get your hair cut in the week
For the majority of hairdressers and barbershops, the weekends are almost always busy. However, trade can be slow during the week. For this reason, some barbers reduce prices mid-week to attract extra customers. Prices in the week can be 10 to 20% cheaper than the weekend.
Whilst it’s important to find a good barber/hairdresser who you trust to do a good job cutting your hair, you should consider the price you’re paying and whether you can get a similar cut for less elsewhere. It’s also worth factoring in your time. The older I get, the more I realise the saying “time is money” is so true and, personally, I don’t enjoy wasting my time waiting to get my hair cut. If your barbershop/hairdressers don’t do appointments then, again, maybe it’s time to look elsewhere? Some stylists will even come to your house to cut your hair, although you will probably pay extra for the convenience.