The cost-of-living crisis is starting to affect our hair

R.I.P to regular root touch-ups

Beauty Crew Beauty Editor / December 19 2023

Budget-friendly hair cuts and colours became more popular in 2023 as a response to the cost-of-living crisis. Accommodating bigger grocery bills and higher rents meant that we had to make compromises elsewhere. For many of us this meant being smarter about how we got our hair cut and coloured so it lasted longer, while others made the decision to forgo regular appointments altogether. 

As we look ahead to 2024, rising inflation shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon and experts predict that the rental crisis being experienced in Australia’s biggest cities will only continue to worsen in the months ahead. 

So with 2024 forecasted to be a somewhat nightmarish hellscape, BEAUTYcrew wanted to speak to some of Australia’s leading experts in hair to determine if we can still realistically maintain one of the last vestiges of normalcy in our lives — our hair salon appointments. 

Ahead, Jaye Edwards (Founder of EdwardsAndCo salon group), Anthony Nader (Founder of Raw By Anthony Nader salon), and Michael Kelly (Founder of HER salon) share their expert tips on how to maintain your hair during Australia’s cost-of-living crisis.  

Find a hairdresser you can trust

“My sole advice is, find a hairdresser who you know listens to your desires,” says Michael Kelly. “If you are wanting to simplify your hair so that you aren't having to visit the salon as frequently then communicating with your hairdresser to ensure you're on the right track to achieving this [is important].”

Prioritise low maintenance hair with longevity

“I think that hair that lasts longer was what became more popular in 2023. Even though [my clients] may have been coming into the salon less frequently, they still visited and spent a similar amount of money on their service and their hair care,” says Kelly. “We will be continuing to give minimal maintenance hair so our clients feel that they aren't a slave to their hair. It's important that we respect the rising cost of living and ensure our clients can continue to have beautiful hair cuts and colours without feeling the stress of the  maintenance.”

“Let’s be frank: we’ve all had to become conscious of our spending, even down to hair services,” states Anthony Nader. “Salon owners are really aware of this and we’ve had time to adjust to what our clients want to tide them over for longer periods between salon visits. What I’m hearing loud and clear is that clients want a haircut/hair colour that has longevity and endurance.” 

“For me personally, it’s about cutting in a strong/technical haircut. The stronger the cutting foundation the longer your haircut will last you and it should for at least 3-4 months,” he continues. “You know when your haircut doesn’t last the distance it’s because the foundation is weak and therefore doesn’t stand up to the test of time. Yes, you can have a “lived-in” effortless haircut, but there still needs to be a strong foundation behind it.”

Steer clear of solid hair colours that don’t age well

“Clients want a longer-lasting colour that will tie them through for hopefully one season [and they] aren’t asking for one solid colour anymore,” says Anthony Nader. “In one to two weeks they notice that dreaded regrowth… God forbid there are greys in that regrowth [too].”

In the place of a solid colour, Nader recommends using a mixture of complimentary lighter tones and a natural base colour. “Adding a sprinkle of micro foils around the face and the partline will always help camouflage harsh regrowth for example,” he elaborates.

Embrace natural hair texture

“I think since COVID, hairdressing around the globe has become more in-tune with looking at natural hair textures and what’s going to be less maintenance and upkeep,” says Nader who predicts clients will start to prioritise strong, technical cuts that flatter the natural texture and shape of their hair.  

Jaye Edwards says that the EdwardsAndCo team always aims to ‘future proof’ their clients' hair. “We will work with what hair texture you have, rather than against it, to protect the health of your hair,” he explains. “This increases the longevity of each hair appointment, meaning you're spending less money and time at the salon for longer lasting results.”

Maybe it’s a sign of the times, but TikTokers have stopped washing their hair and are calling it ‘hair training’, but does it even work?

Image credit: Getty

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).

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