The Cost of Beauty

Posted on March 29th, by Birdie in Bonne Vie Birdie, Fashion and Style. 2 comments December 14, 2012

I was riding the bus downtown last weekend for lunch and some light window shopping. I had a window seat and a girl sat next to me. It wasn’t anything remarkable, until we passed a little house, with a sign for haircuts out front. The sign said “Haircuts, Men & Women: $40.00″.  I was surprised when she looked agape, and said to me, “Fourty bucks for a HAIRCUT!” as if the sign was some insult to her sensibilities.

$40 for a haircut… I looked at her, and wrinkled my face. Is that expensive, I wondered?  I spend a little more than that on mine and they’re worth it every time.  I learned long ago, from my fair share of shitty haircuts that it was worth it to spend the money for something so precise.  I wanted to ask how much this girl’s haircuts normally cost (to be frank it didn’t look like she’d had a trim in a while) – and the differences between what she considered essential and frivolous.

Where do you draw the line at the cost of beauty and what do YOU consider essentials to your routine or look?


My hair inspiration by Vidal Sassoon


I often dye my hair myself, if I’m in a solid color.  I do pay for professional dyes because they’re not as harsh, and the color holds better (and if you want to go from black to blonde, apparently it’s easier to do with professional color?).  I keep the color fresh with veggie dyes (Special Effects).  This, in itself, isn’t overly costly…

But then, sometimes, I get bored of the same old color and want something fun – I want to be pink or orange or fire engine red, and I don’t balk much at paying for that.  In that case, the price jumps considerably for a color and a cut.   Even if we do home hair, I still try to pay full price for a good cut and color if I can.  I still have no problem going to Vain and paying out $45 + tip for an amazing cut (because Scarlet at Vain only gives me amazing cuts).  Oh and let’s not forget, I have featherlocks in – and the price for feathers is continually climbing.

Does my choice in hair styles seem steep when you add up all the maintenance involved?  Is my vanity overriding my wallet by paying so much just so I love my look?  That’s what I started to wonder when this girl sounded so appalled that the price of a haircut could be around $40.  I felt conflicted about this because I’m on a limited budget.  I could go get hack-job haircuts for cheap, but I don’t.  And what if I wanted fairy hair?  Would I continue to spend the money on that?   The thing is –  I probably would.  Part of paring down my budget should be rethinking what I consider essential services that I spend money on, right?  But when it comes to that mess of hair, I have a hard time giving up the luxury.

I guess I consider that an essential part of me.  There are girls who say, “I’m broke, but I cannot give up my weekly manicures.”  I look down at my own sadly chipped nail polish and scoff.  But aren’t I doing the same thing, essentially?  I am still committed to playing around with my hair style, but the interaction definitely gave me something to think about. What do you think, readerland?  Would you pair down on hair color if you had to, or do you consider the money well spent?


2 Responses to “The Cost of Beauty”

  1. I appreciate and will pay for a good haircut, but no more than $50… I had $100 haircuts before, some worth it, some not, but ultimately my hair just grows back

    That reminds me. I need to get my hair cut again.
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  2. Michelle says:

    I’ll pay for hair; it’s one of my vices. I don’t usually spend a ton of money on clothes – big thrift/consignment/eBay shopper here – but I’ll shell out a moderate amount for hair. (And shoes, as we all know, are my total weakness.)

    As far as color goes, I do my color at home, but only because it’s fairy hair and I don’t really see any need to go to a professional for it when I know exactly what I need and I can leave it on all night if I want it, when I do it at home. I would like to start going to a stylist to bleach out the roots because it is a PAIN. But I never really plan ahead when it comes to doing the roots, so that hasn’t happened yet.

    My last haircut was $55, and I’m definitely going back to her again. (Just emailed her about setting up an appointment yesterday, actually.) For one, she’s a fellow curly girl, and it is surprisingly impossible to find people who know how to cut even white-girl-curly hair. I’ve had many a horrid haircut in the past. She knew what to do with my hair and how to cut it, showed me how to style it, and it was a generally great experience. I think I paid $60 with the tip.

    Plus, she gave me a 10 or 15 minute scalp massage after shampooing that was so awesome I was afraid I was going to start making awkward noises in the chair. I think I’d pay $20 for that alone.
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