When it comes to hair, all women want to look their best. While you might find many who spend a lot of time at the hair salon, more and more women are spending less cash to get their hair done in these tough economic times.
“I do my hair at home I’ve ventured out but not as much as I would before the economy got bad so I really do my hair myself or have my sisters do it for me,” Nythia Ellie said.
“I definitely think the economy has affected the way I maintain my hair before when things were going better for me at least I could go to the hairdresser like once a month to get my hair done…and then once I got into college when things really changed a lot I decided that it was too much,” one college student said.
According to a 2009 survey conducted by Design Essentials, 36 percent of African-American women have significantly reduced their regular visits to the hair salon.
Hairstylist Rueben Ellision says the economy and high unemployment rates, particularly among black women, are affecting his beauty salon and others like it.
“The salons are not as busy as they used to be,” Ellison said. “Now with the economy everyone is grabbing for a dollar, so it’s that the business that we are used to experiencing has now spread to other vendors.”
In some cases, it’s beauty supply stores that are reaping the benefits in this difficult economy.
Alex Martinez, Wigs and Plus employee, says he noticed an increase in customers during the recession.
“Coming to a beauty supply and finding all these kind of products and seeing that you know I can do my own relaxer, I can get my own treatment, I can shampoo my own hair…I think that a lot of women find the exercise of coming to the beauty supply [store] and finding what they need and going home and doing it is working a lot for them,” Martinez said.
But even with the shaky economy, some women are not scrimping on their hair budgets.
“My hair comes first, I mean, I’ll spend what I have to spend on my hair and maybe cut back on other things,” Raquel Ellie said.
Some even said if they were to lose their job tomorrow, hair maintenance would continue to be a priority.
“I’ll probably have to go to the salon less often, but it would still be a priority,” Brianna said.
For these women, a troubling economy doesn’t necessarily mean a bad hair day.