The Cost of a Haircut in Every Country
Everyone in the world faced the same tough question during endless months of coronavirus lockdown: grow your hair or let your mom cut it?
But now, hairdressers are re-opening, and so are bars, theatres and wedding venues. The Salon de Mom literally won’t cut it anymore. It’s time to get a proper haircut.
It depends where you live. NetCredit researched the price of women’s and men’s haircuts in every country around the world, and we found that the disparity between countries and genders is massive. Read on to find the places where getting a haircut is a snip.
- Denmark has the most expensive haircuts in the world overall, with an average price of $75.20 across genders.
- Denmark also has the most expensive average women’s cut, at $102.20.
- The most expensive average cut for men is $64.50 in Norway.
- The biggest gender price difference by proportion is in Nigeria, where a woman must pay 634% of the price of a man’s cut.
- The biggest gender difference in dollars is in England, where a woman’s haircut costs $58.97 more than a man’s.
- The cheapest average haircut across genders is $5.24 in Argentina.
Argentina is Home to the World’s Cheapest Haircuts
Scandinavians are famed for their golden locks, and the price of a haircut in this northern European region also glitters. Averaged across genders, four of the top ten most expensive haircuts are in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland). Other big economic powers also feature, including the UK.
At the cheap end of the scale, you’ll find a cut-rate cut in South America, Africa, parts of Asia, and eastern Europe. Argentina is the cheapest overall. Nigeria is sixth-cheapest overall, but it would be different if it weren’t for the 634% disparity between women’s and men’s cuts: a trim costs $13.43 for a Nigerian woman but just $1.83 for a man.
A Man’s Haircut in Norway is the World’s Most Expensive
Think Vikings had messy, unkempt hair? Wrong. The steep price of a man’s haircut in Scandinavian countries today reflects a long tradition of Scandi men taking their grooming seriously. A man’s cut in Norway costs $64.50 today, the most expensive men’s cut in the world. Norway also has the narrowest price gap between genders out of the top 20 men’s cuts: a woman’s cut costs ‘just’ 20% more, at $77.72.
We found nine countries where the five-buck cut (or less) is still the norm for men. The cheapest three are African countries (Zambia, Mozambique, and Nigeria). In Taiwan, a man’s cut costs $2.23 more than a woman’s – but it might just save your life. At the height of the pandemic, one Taiwanese mom paid for a “do not dare to go outside” hairdo for her 15yo son: a haircut so bad that he wouldn’t dare leave the house to see his friends.
The World’s Cheapest Women’s Haircut is in Bosnia – and it’s Cheaper than Men’s
A different Scandi country tops the table for expensive women’s haircuts: Denmark is the only country in the world where a haircut costs more than $100. However, the US and UK aren’t far behind, at $95.00 and $94.71 respectively. The Danish Board of Equal Treatment ordered individual salons to reduce the gender price disparity in 2013, but courts later ruled that it was okay to have different prices. Today, the average women’s cut in Denmark costs 112% more than the men’s.
All in, Bosnia and Herzegovina may be the fairest place for a woman to get a haircut. Bosnia has the cheapest women’s haircut in the world ($6.20) and a disparity of just 8% – a man’s haircut costs around 47¢ more. Sarajevo, where we took our data, is lined with hairdressers, and the competition keeps prices down. But grooming remains a point of pride for citizens, who even maintained standards during the longest military siege in modern history – to the extent of holding a “Miss Besieged Sarajevo” contest.
Why (and Where) Does a Woman’s Haircut Cost More?
Men pay more for a cut in just 11 of the 102 countries with available data. The biggest gaps are in Africa and parts of Latin America, although Paraguay has the second-lowest disparity. Fairest of all is the microstate of Andorra in southwestern Europe. Andorran men pay more than women, as is the case in eight of the ten fairest countries.
But why does a man’s cut usually cost less? “[I]t doesn’t take as long to cut their hair, but also they’re in the salon more regularly,” explains celebrity hairdresser Adam Reed. “And there’s less time taken and fewer products used on the finish – for a man it’s four to five minutes, whereas women’s blow-dries can take a long time.”
Still, others are aiming for parity: “We allow exactly the same amount of time for an appointment whether it’s for a man or a woman,” says Covent Garden hairdresser Neil Moodie. “It has been a slow process, trying to convince men that they should pay the same as women, but this was mainly due to the cheapness of going to a barber back in the day versus going to a women’s hairdressing salon.”
Our prices are averaged, so it’s always possible to find a cheaper cut in your area. If you’re time-rich and money-poor, you can always snag yourself a cheap training session with an apprentice hairdresser. And if you can’t afford to make it back to the salon, why not take inspiration from these unlikely quarantine self-haircut wins?
METHODOLOGY & SOURCES
We sourced the price of a basic haircut (no beard trim or wash) for both genders in 102 capital cities. If prices were not advertised on the internet, our research team emailed and called businesses for a quote.