Hairdressers cutting back

2008-07-25 00:00

Even the most perfectly coiffured are cutting back and hairdressers believe that because of the current financial woes, their businesses are on a scissor’s edge.

This is a fiercely competitive market and few are prepared to discuss their woes — but all admit that high overheads, this month’s electricity price increase and ever-escalating prices of products are just some of the reasons they are in a tangle right now.

Wayne Fairley, owner of Pascal’s Place in Morningside, said he has noticed “a definite slump” in clients, both locally and in Cape Town where he sometimes works.

However, his biggest problem was the ongoing escalation in the price of hair care products.

“Normally, there is an annual increase, but now I am going to have to put up my prices again … A product we use daily went up from R70 to R90 a bottle in two months. It all adds up. I just can’t carry that anymore.”

Sandra Naidoo, owner of Hair Glitz in Queensburgh, said she, too, has noticed that clients are coming less often and that products are increasingly expensive. However, because of intense competition, she is prepared to take a knock rather than put up prices.

Her main gripe is also the large number of hairdressers operating from their homes or even their garages with no overheads. In addition, she said more and more people are using off-the-shelf products, which reduces their costs, but practically bankrupts hairdressers.

House of Hair’s Alan Ferguson agreed that “people are holding back and doing their hair at home”.

He said he is not necessarily losing clients, just seeing them less often — at 12-week rather than four-week intervals.

Another upmarket hairdresser is “quite busy”, but confessed that he suspects many of his client’s cards are “maxed out” as he is processing fewer credit card transactions.

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