How much should men pay for a haircut?

What's a good cut worth to you?
What's a good cut worth to you? Photo: iStock

How much is the outward face you present to the world - your brand, if you like - worth?

It depends on how often you get it done but, if you're getting a cut every month or so, what do you regard as a snip versus getting fleeced?

$25? $50? $100? Just how much are you prepared to pay? And what do you get for your money?

  • How much do you spend on a haircut? Vote in our poll below, or leave a comment

To make sure we were comparing apples with apples, Man Scape spoke to a selection of haircutters across Melbourne to get a feel for what's being charged.

The closer you get to the CBD, the more you'll pay. Some barbers in the city's outer reaches charge less than $20.

Closer to the heart of things, in deepest suburban McKinnon, Carrie Euvrard has just opened 187 the Barber Room. Her shop is set out like an old-style barbers, with swivelling chairs and beer in the fridge. She charges $28 for a men's cut.

The strip of shops that 187 sits on contains four hairdressing salons, but Euvrard doesn't regard them as competition. Cutting men's hair, she says, "is a different skill set".

"Men's hair is cut in a different way to women's, it's feathered and more manly."

The shop may be new, but Euvrard has been in the trade for more than 20 years. She was apprenticed to an old-school barber who, in turn, got his training in the 1940s. So 187's style is steeped in tradition.

"We were taught by the best," she says. These days she says no-one is taught men's barbering and the industry is in "a crisis".

Not long ago Man Scape spoke to Miguel Guttierez (aka the Nomad Barber) who was on a trip round the world, one haircut at a time.

He echoed Euvrard's words: "Australia lacks an accredited course for our trade," he told me.

Guttierez, who passed through Melbourne on his round-the-world trip, was full of praise for Uncle Rocco's barber shop in Port Melbourne.

Uncle Rocco's Fabian Sfameni - who was taught the trade by his father, a Sicilian barber - charges $35 for "standard barbering" which he believes is "pretty much average" for young barbers across the city.

Prices are a bit higher again in Sydney. The Grand Royal chain - which has three branches across the city - charges $56 for a 'textured cut' and $104 for 'The Royal Package', which includes a shave.

Steve Salecich, the man behind Grand Royal, told me recently his stores were  "about giving the guy a good service. We know how to cut men's hair properly". 

This focus on service and skill is echoed by one of Melbourne's top salons - Toni and Guy Georges – where director Jo Smith is content that they charge a fair price for the work they do, and for the training her staff have received.

"You're paying for the education. You get the whole service,"' she says.

"We put some effort and time and knowledge into our work. It can take an hour and a half - we spend a lot of time to get the cut right. We adapt the cut to the individual's face."

The cost reflects that. Smith charges the same for men as for women ("hair's hair, why should men get a cheaper deal?") - between $87 and $112.

"A burger's a burger," Smith says. "You can go to McDonald's and that'll satisfy you, but if you want to pay a bit more for something better, you can."

When it comes to hair are you a Big Mac kind of guy, or do you prefer to spend a bit more on the wagyu burger? How much is too much for a haircut?

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