Having a haircut is an important task for Nigerian men. Another is trimming the hair, which comes after a few weeks of having such a haircut.
This tradition comes with lesser prices in the 90’s, as the cost of a haircut was as low as N200.
Most men even abandon the trimming ritual and embrace the full haircut weekly or bi-weekly.
In that era, average men were also able to get an electric hair clipper to cut their hair themselves.
However, the drastic deterioration of the economy, resulting from price increases, has affected most men, making them unable to afford such lifestyle.
Economy & Lifestyle discovered that some men now cut their hair with shaving sticks, especially those carrying a clean shave.
Mr. Ahmed Olasimbo, a mechanic, said he used to cut his hair at a barber’s shop. But discovered recently that the cost of having an hair cut that normally attracts N700, before the fuel subsidy removal, suddenly jumped to N2,000,
“I used to have an haircut three times in a month, because I don’t like looking unkempt.
“I used to spend a maximum of N2,100 a month to get it done.
“When the fuel subsidy removal problem started, the barbers had to increase their service cost by over N100 per cent.
“You must have at least N2,000 to have an haircut on the mainland, where shaving attracts N1,000.
“On the Island, you are charged N10,000 to N20,000 for an haircut.
“With the way things are now, how can I spend N6,000 to N20,000 to get an haircut in a month?
“How much do I earn? That is why I resorted to using shaving stick for a clean shave.
“Sometimes, I seek the services of those who cut hair with knives for a clean shave for just N200.
“In two weeks I will have another shave.
“Life is not a do or die affair. You cut your coat according to your cloth”
For Mr. Mayowa Adeshina, a fan repairer, he bought hair clippers twice in just three months this year which got spoilt. It was then he resolved to cut his hair with a shaving stick.
“Nigeria today, you don’t look at another’s clock to work because whether rich or poor we are all feeling the sting of the poor economy.
“Just this year, I bought two clippers. They developed faults. After repairing them many times I abandoned them and decided to cut my hair in a clean shave with a clipper.
“Most of the affordable clippers are of low quality and buying them is a waste of money.
“The cost of having a haircut in Surulere here is very expensive.
“How many repairs do I do in a day? I will spend almost N10,000 monthly to cut my hair.
“I have rent to pay and a family to feed. If you look at many middle class and low class married men today who could afford money for haircut in the 90’s, they can’t anymore.
“We use the shaving stick or the services of those who cut hair with a knife for a clean shave.”
Mrs. Shindara Makinde, a teacher, who has three boys lamented how she has been spending N9,000 to have their haircut in a month.
“I have three boys. I spent nothing less than N9,000 to have their hair cut, before now.
“As of January this year, the price of their hair cut in a month is N3,000.
“I was complaining bitterly when a colleague with two boy children told me about using a shaving stick to cut their hair.
“I tried it and it worked magic. I give them clean shaves twice a month and save my N9,000 every month.
“How much do we earn that we will be spending such an amount on a haircut alone.
“I have even become my husband’s hair stylist because I shave his hair and he loves it.”
A visit to some barbershops revealed that the cost of having a haircut has increased due to the rise in cost of fuel and electricity bills.
Mr. Agbo Jeremiah, a hairstylist on the mainland in Lagos, said he spends thrice the cost of fuel he was using before to carry out his business which made him and his colleague in the business increase their services price.
“There is no business that has not increased its cost of goods and services after the removal of fuel subsidy. The cost of electricity bills has doubled.
“Apart from these, the cost of servicing generators, maintenance bills, prices of clippers and blades has increased.
“Even in my area of business, my colleagues and I have increased our service fee which has resulted in low patronage as most parents now use shaving sticks or blades to give their kids a haircut (clean shave) while some adults are also using shaving sticks or blades to cut their hair.
“Kids aged 1- 15 haircut goes for N1,500 to N2,000. While the cost of hair cut for adults depending on the quantity of hair to cut goes for N2,000 and above.
“Most of the young men allow their hair to grow out before having a haircut once a month or twice in two to three months.
“Only the few, who are well to do, can spare such an amount to have a haircut twice in a month.”