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Two people enjoy a day at Snoqualmie Falls. Photograph ©2013 by Brian Cohen.

The Cost of a Haircut in Many Countries Around The World

Which country has the least expensive haircut — and which one will shave you of the most money?

Hair grows — no matter where you are in the world.

Except for those people who are considered “follicle challenged” or “follically challenged” — all right, bald; and there is nothing wrong with that at all — or those people who prefer that their thin strands of pigmented keratinized filaments which emerge from their epidermises, people prefer to have their hair cut, trimmed, or otherwise have the length of their hair controlled in some manner. Perhaps the reason is merely for appearance and looks; or maybe it is for comfort.

Regardless, I have been given express written permission to use the illustrations, maps, and the verbatim text from this article — which was written by Barbara Davidson from NetCredit — in this article which pertains to the cost of haircuts in many countries around the world. In which country is a haircut least expensive in general — and in which country could having your hair cut be the most expensive?

The price of a basic haircut — no beard trim or wash — for both genders in 102 capital cities was sourced. If prices were not advertised on the Internet, businesses were either called or sent e-mail messages for a quote.

The Cost of a Haircut in Many Countries Around The World

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.

The problem is that money is tight right now for most of us. And a proper haircut tends to be a payday treat. Can you afford to give a little dignity back to your ‘Barnet’?

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.

Key Findings

  • 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.

Click on the graphic for an enlarged view. Source: NetCredit.

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.

Click on the graphic for an enlarged view. Source: NetCredit.

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.

Click on the graphic for an enlarged view. Source: NetCredit.

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.

Click on the graphic for an enlarged view. Source: NetCredit.

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.”

Click on the graphic for an enlarged view. Source: NetCredit.

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?

Final Boarding Call

My hair grows fast, which means that I usually need a haircut more often than some people, and that can be rather irritating — but when my hair grows longer, it tends to get wavier and in my way, as it is more difficult to wash and groom. That is more annoying to me; so I have my hair cut.

For some people, wearing a hat or some other covering on his or her head is the solution. As I typically do not wear hats, the haircut is the best way to go for me.

Photograph ©2013 by Brian Cohen

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