Inflation has increased at its fastest pace in more than 40 years, pushing up the price of food, gasoline, housing, and other necessities — so why not haircuts?
Many in Black America are complaining about the high costs of men’s haircuts and fades costing $80. Is barbernomics an indication of more price increases? Some experts say yes.
Haircuts had an average annual inflation rate of 2.56 percent between 1997 and 2022 compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.31 percent during this same period, according to the Official Data website, which collects and processes government data.
“Everything from neck strips, conditioner, rubbing alcohol, cleaning spray, disinfectant sprays, everything has gone up,” said Terrell Solomon, a barber at ProFRESHional Cuts in Smyrna, Georgia.
“The price of a haircut has jumped $10 since I got here a little over a year ago,” he said.
Barbers are charging higher prices because the cost of their supplies has gone up, so they are passing the increase on to the customer.
“Some of the clippers that I got … were $80 when I first got them, now they’re $120,” Solomon said. “We couldn’t get what we needed, so the prices went up.”
Twitter users were keen to weigh in.
“I understand not wanting to pay $80 for a haircut but you smoking crack if you think a good haircut is gonna run you $20 anymore. This ain’t 1994,” tweeted Brotha Maady.
Haircut prices can be indicative of how much inflation will increase, according to Andrew Sheets, chief cross-asset strategist for Morgan Stanley and host of the Thoughts on the Market podcast.
There’s a “theoretical demand curve representing how much demand there is for haircuts at a given price,” sheets said. “And there’s also a so-called supply curve for how many haircuts are offered at a given price. Those two lines are sloped in opposite directions, as expensive haircuts will mean lots of people will want to provide them, but there’ll be fewer takers. The price of something, in theory, is where these two lines meet: the equilibrium.”
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The demand is there for haircuts, even at higher prices, according to Twitter users.
“I’m paying $50 + tip every weekend. My sons only going every other, other week. I’m dropping $140 when all 3 of us get a cut, about every 3 weeks. I pay because that’s what my barber charges. If I wanted cheaper I’d have to find a barber who I like and who can cut like I like,” tweeted Soul American.
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