The folks behind Square, the mobile device-based point of sale system, sent us this fascinating map showing the comparative cost of haircuts for both men and women in cities across the country. According to their calculations—based on data from shops that use their technology—San Francisco handily beats New York for most expensive average price for a haircut: $60 to $55. New York came out just ahead for women’s cuts, however: $73 to $71. It’s the significantly higher average price of men’s haircuts in San Francisco ($49 to New York’s $37) that translates to a higher average price there.
Square gathered this data, based on tens of thousands of transactions, over the past six months. It includes all instances where purchases were classified as haircuts, as revealed by keyword searches in Square’s own system.
These prices look on the expensive side—hairdressers who use the Square system might be at the higher end of the spectrum—but there’s an interesting comparison to be made here: if you look at the ratio between the cost of men’s and women’s haircuts, large cities east of the Rockies evidence a much larger spread than cities on the West coast. For example haircuts for women are on average nearly twice as expensive in New York, Dallas or Chicago, whereas in Seattle and San Francisco, women’s haircuts are on average only about 40% more expensive than men’s. Even Los Angeles has a men’s to women’s haircut cost ratio of only 1.53.
This trend is due entirely to the higher average cost of men’s haircuts on the West coast, where male vanity is apparently alive and well.