Tag Archives: extravagance

Profligate propensities: haircut edition

Profligate: adj. wildly extravagant

Propensity: n. an intense preference

We care a LOT about how the dead cells that make up our hairs and nails look, even though however we fix them up they grow out in just a few weeks and have to be done all over again.  The hair and beauty salons bank on this constant growth, and bring $46 billion a year to the American economy. Even in a recession, it’s only down 2% over last year.

I too care about how my hair looks because it’s difficult – fine, short and limpish. A bad haircut can be disastrous.  Over the years however, I’ve found some hair stylists who were really gifted with the scissors, and I paid them well (I thought) to work their magic — up to $65  at a trendy salon in Portland. My current gal in Vancouver, who is every bit as skillful, only charges $35.

I knew prices were high in Manhattan but I had no idea HOW high. Evidently women just fork over the big bucks without a second thought.  But perhaps the recession is beginning to register with some of them?  Groups of friends are now organizing hair-cutting parties where they hire a fancy stylist to bob the group after hours at a discount – paying “under the table”.

Not all stylists find this appealing (hold your hats!):

“I had someone call me last week,” Ted Gibson, who charges $950 a cut, said recently. The potential customer was a guest at the Ritz-Carlton and wanted Mr. Gibson, who boasts a celebrity clientele and owns Ted Gibson Salon in Manhattan, to cut his girlfriend’s hair. “He was trying to negotiate for me to come and do it for $650. I was like, ‘No, I charge double if I go out,’ ” Mr. Gibson said. “Needless to say, they did not book me.”

$950!! For the price of a month’s rent could I get a haircut that was 27 TIMES better than what Gina gives me?
If I lived in New York, I’d just grow my hair out, put it in a pony tail, and call it good.
Ted Gibson can stuff it.