More Black Women Are Heading To The Barbershop, Here’s Why
The sharp decline of relaxer sales was to be expected when the natural hair movement began to gain momentum again some 15 years ago, but, reports Racked, “what’s been unexpected is that many women within this realm have evolved from wearing their curls long and loose to short and tapered — cutting it all off for super short cuts. Cuts, also know as ‘low cuts,’ are traditionally mastered in barbershops.”
Respect for Life barbershop based in Brooklyn, NY, has seen a boost in female clients. “I’ve been seeing more [women with low cuts] — it’s great, I think natural is beautiful,” said Juan Spruill, a barber there. “The numbers are not the same in my neighborhood anymore, because of gentrification. But when it was predominantly a Black neighborhood, a lot of women would come in with natural hair. Everyone is getting away from the perm and going back to their roots. It’s a good thing.”
According to Spruill, most of his female clients opt for a low fade haircut, mainly because of the versatility. “No one fade is ever alike,” as Racked put it.
“I think many assume they simply don’t have the confidence to pull off such a bold look, especially when you consider all of the powerful women throughout pop culture history who were known for rocking little to no hair,” said Nikki Brown, Essence’s digital hair and beauty editor. “Grace Jones, Halle Berry, Danai Guirra, Demi Moore, Rihanna; and the list goes on. All of these celebs have played powerful characters or exude a type of fearlessness that seems unreachable. For black women specifically, I think some of us are still trying reject the assumption that the longer, straighter, lighter our hair is, the better it looks. [But] by the way… the assumption is complete BS!”“
An added benefit of going to the barbershop is saving a ton of money. Regular salon visits can cost you an average of $1,800 per year (including nails, haircuts, and blow-outs), according to Wisebread. Meanwhile, according to Square, a mobile payment app many barbers use, “the average price of a haircut charged to a credit card is $28 nationwide.”