Barbershops Have Evolved But Did Customer Service Fade?

Bring back $700 rent! Bring back $5 dollars making a difference in your gas tank! More importantly, bring back $10 dollar haircuts!

Photo Credit: Chris Knight/Unsplash

We know none of that is going to happen. Especially the $10 haircuts. Gone are the days when going to the barbershop was affordable. Nowadays, going to the barbershop is equivalent to a utility bill. Over the last few years, we’ve seen an interesting spike in the price of a man’s haircut. Not saying the rise in prices isn’t warranted, but are they? We know that everything costs more and an inflation in society has occurred, but has there been a serious increase in barber supplies outside of everyday tool use? Has the price of sanek neck stripes, oil sheen, brushes, combs, and clipper guards risen that much?

The average haircut these days go for $25. Factor in a good barber, geographic location, popularity, skill set, and we end up with the real cause of inflation, which isn’t the supplies, but supply and demand. Once supply and demand are accounted for the price then increases to $30, $35, $40, and maxing out at $60, if you’re lucky. Supply and demand have allowed barbers to charge the prices they do. It’s not always about being a good barber. It’s very much about the demand for the chosen barber. The pay isn’t solely based on time and talent. Many barbers are capitalizing on the high demand of a reliable barber. It’s the good barber verse the bad barber. The reliable verse the unreliable. Skill set verse popularity. Plain and simple, some barbers are only barbering by default.

A starting place to justify the pricing would be the barber’s ability to differentiate a haircut from a shape-up, from a taper. Being able to properly describe the difference in those services can support the barber’s asking price. Too many barbers have lumped them all together and leave the customers feeling that regardless of their requested service they’re paying one price, which eventually ends up being the highest price. How are all three services titled differently, require different time lengths, but priced the same? I know barbers who say, if I’m touching your hair for any service, it’s a haircut, so haircut price. Tapers and shape-ups are just terms to describe the kind of cut you want.” Also, distinguish if the client is a walk-in, or if having a scheduled appointment makes a difference? What of a difference do the two make in relation to price?

Barbers must also ask