Tight Budgets Lead to 'Recession Hair'
At-Home Hair Styling Is a Sign of the Economic Times
By STEPHANIE SY
Oct. 4, 2009
Much has been written about uncommon economic indicators, such as economist George Taylor's hemline index, which predicts that women's skirts get shorter in bullish times and longer in bear markets.
Many hair salons around the country are noticing a new trend: call it recession hair. It is increasingly do-it-yourself, especially when it comes to hair color.
It's usually longer, possibly greyer and, generally, less well-coiffed.
"Yes, we're seeing 'recession hair,'" said Janine McIntyre, owner of Hair Attractions, a family salon in Monroe, Conn. "Our clients are just giving up coloring, they have gone natural and are coming in with their roots. They are really letting their hair grow long and just trimming the edges."
Recession hair is also, increasingly, do-it-yourself, especially when it comes to hair color.
Andrea McPadden, a working mother in her mid-30s, wore a chic precision-cut blonde bob for four years. She said it was pricey to fight against Mother Nature -- she's really a dark brunette.
"I was going into the salon every three weeks, which is what my hair required, paying probably $60 to get my roots touched up," said McPadden.
Since the recession hit, McPadden has gone back to her natural color and dyes her grey roots with a home-coloring kit. She is also wearing her hair in a longer style, so she hasn't had to get a professional hair cut for several months. She maintains her shiny brown mane by trimming her split ends at home.