By Ryan Alphonso
As Maryland senior Brandon Mao paid for his monthly haircut, he said goodbye to the money he had budgeted for dinner, but not just for the day, for the entire week.
According to a stats.gov study, men’s haircut and hair care prices reached all-time highs. The study reported that average haircuts cost men between $28 and $42 per visit.
This means it could potentially be cheaper for a man to rent a car ($25 per day), enjoy a movie date ($34), or adopt a dog ($40) than it could be to get a haircut. So are the “hottest new 2013 styles” worth the money?
“It’s way too expensive sometimes,” said Mao. As a man who gets at least one haircut every month, Mao spent more than $380 this year on haircuts alone. “I don’t get why it costs so much. It’s unnecessary,” he said.
Despite the costs, Mao still takes great pride in his hair. To him, hair completes an outfit. “Hair is just like anything else you wear, it’s gotta look good.” Mao believes that keeping hair neat is the key to looking put-together and organized; messy hair shows signs of a messy person.
And Mao isn’t the only one. Male hair care and salon attendance has been on the up for years. According to an article by L’Oreal, the number of men who visited salons rose 50 percent between 2008 and 2010. Today, four out of five men regularly visit a salon or barber.
“I care about my hair, but not that much,” said senior Andrew Lewis. “That’s pricey. The absolute max I’d ever spend is like $30.” Lewis believes there are more important things to spend his money on. “If I have to eat dinner, I’m not going to go get a $40 haircut; that’s ridiculous,” he said.
Sophomore Tito Onyekweli felt similar. “I don’t have that kind of money to be spending all the time.”
Years ago, Onyekweli taught himself to cut his own hair so he could save on constant trips to the barber. He finds it much easier and more convenient. “I can do it myself, at home, and don’t have to worry about killing my wallet,” he said.
He even started a small business that he ran through his bathroom where he offered to cut his friends’ and other students’ hair for a minimal charge. “I turned something that cost me money, into a way to actually make it back and then some,” said Onyekweli.
Both Mao and Lewis said that they wished they knew of more people that did what Onyewkeli does: make cheaper options for students. “It would be great if there was a University barber shop or something run by students,” Lewis said. “If I thought I could get a quality haircut there, I would absolutely go.”