There aren’t too many things in the life of a Black man that holds special place like a haircut. A haircut can make a Black man feel like he can take down the colonizers in one leap (word to Killmonger). A fresh lineup can make someone who is a strong 3 shoot his shot with Kim Kardashian without issue. The relationship between the barber and client is essential for a Black man to thrive in the world. Now, what happens when the rules of engagement change? What do you do when your barber makes a sudden decision that impacts your life and well-being!?!
Recently, I went to get a cut when my barber hit me with the confused face after paying him. I gave my usual $20 with a $5 tip and was about to be on my way. Immediately he shared that the price went up to $25 total (no tip) and would let me slide this time. Needless to say, I was befuddled. I was not properly prepared for this change in our engagement. There wasn’t a warning or a trial period for this new price.
Now, some people might be reading this and say, “why you tripping?” Dear reader, here’s why:
That’s easily about a $30-$35 haircut per visit if I’m including tip (I tip pretty well especially during holidays or random times). Listen, $30 may not sound like a lot but it is! $30 is a tank of gas, two movie tickets, and if you catch them at the right time, it’s 1 one way ticket to NorCal. Multiple that $30 by two to three times a month and I’m easily paying for a full round trip ticket to Oakland.
Its not just my barber either. I spoke to my some of my students who say that haircuts are getting expensive now and they’re letting their hair grow out or started cutting their own. When I was younger, I might’ve laughed at this, but it’s not all that bad when I think about how much I spend a month/year on cuts. I know it’s nothing compared to women that get the lavish hairstyles with the 4C, but the fact that I used to be able to get an amazing cut for $10-$15 is now rare, is tripping me out. Is the knowledge that I get out the shop worth $100+ a month? Is shooting the breeze and talking s*** really worth a whole tank of gas?
What say you good people? How much is too much for a cut nowadays?