Can a seven dollar haircut really be that bad?
It can be pretty bad
My husband is spoiled. He forgot what a bad haircut was like.
Depending on where you live
in the world, the cost of living and commercial rents will impact the price you will pay for a haircut.
For example, you will most likely pay more for a haircut in the heart of San Francisco vs the suburbs of New Hampshire. However, there are other factors that need to be considered.
Barbers/ Stylists are paid in one of two ways. They either receive a commission (anywhere from 40-70% depending on the shop- 50% is typical) or they pay a weekly booth rent (anywhere from $200-$400 a week depending on the shop. $300 a week is typical in Austin).
There are pros and cons to both methods. Booth rent is a better option for someone that already has an established clientele, as they will get to keep a higher percentage of their service income. However, even if they take off work for a week or two, they are still obligated to pay. Booth renters are usually considered self employed for tax purposes. You don't usually find booth renters in chain shops; they know that as a shop they will make more money with commission. Most commission shops generally start their service providers with 40%, making them work up to 50%. Some will grow from there, but it can take a very long time to earn more. Commission service providers are usually employees, but sometimes can also be considered self employed for tax purposes.
You are probably wondering why I brought up how barbers or stylists are paid.
This is really important when understanding why a seven dollar haircut is probably not going to be very good. Let's say the person cutting your hair is doing a $7, $10, or even $15 dollar haircut. Most likely you are in a Supercuts, Sports Clips, Cost Cutters or some place similar. They are most likely paying their staff a commission of 40-50%. Meaning they will only receive $3.50 + tip for that seven dollar haircut. And if you are a bargain shopper (I understand we all have our budget, so some must cut corners where need be)- You paid for your seven dollar haircut with a ten dollar bill and told them to keep the change. This service provider now earned $6.50 for that cut (before taxes). If they live in an area such as Austin, you will want to make at least $20 an hour to live modestly. Thats a lot of haircuts in one hour. Which means your barber or stylist is going to try to get you in and out of that chair as fast as possible. Maybe it's possible for some, but for myself personally, there is no way I could give someone a proper haircut in 15 minutes.
Another factor to consider is skill level.
Is a highly skilled barber or stylist going to work in a place where they are barely making a living? Or is a highly skilled person in demand and more than likely working in a place where they can make a livable wage? Just something to think about.
But you didn't go to Supercuts you say.You went to Bird's Barbershop or Floyd's and paid $30 for a haircut, or you went to a high end salon and paid $70 for a haircut. Why did that haircut turn out so horribly?(I get this question often).
Before making an appointment or walking in anywhere, if you are looking for a short men's haircut you should ensure your service is being provided by a barber.
- Price (and how much of that money your service provider actually keeps. The cost of living in your area, and how much time are you getting for that price?) Time is $, and if you want 45 minutes of my time for a perfect haircut, you are going to pay for it.
- Time (how much time is spent on your actual haircut. How much time is spent on shampoos or added services. Does their shop give them time limits for completion )
- License (are they are barber or a stylist)
- Size (how big is the shop? Do they have multiple locations? The bigger they are the bigger the chance their main concern is quantity not quality. Quality control is much easier to maintain in a smaller scale shop)