The best hair care from a professional stylist in Sydney can be as much as $500 per appointment, according to a new report from the Hair Institute of Australia.
The report, which looked at over 300 salon operators across the country, found the cost of hair care in the major cities and regional areas ranged from $500 to $1000.
Its not just the big cities where people are spending big bucks on hair care, the report found the costs in the outer suburbs were as high as $600.
In the inner city, the cost for hair care was only $500, and the costs ranged from around $400 to $500.
“The biggest difference is in the rural areas where we see much lower costs,” Hair Institute president Professor Peter Dickson said.
This is a huge change in Australia, he said.
Hair Institute chief executive Peter Dickson says the cost is dropping rapidly and is expected to stay low for many years.
We are seeing the cost to the public coming down.
Professor Dickson says that the average cost for a hair care appointment is $100, with the highest fees in the inner cities and inner west.
Dr David Lassiter, who co-authored the report with Dr Jennifer Williams, said there was a significant gap between the cost and the quality of the services being provided.
“[In the outer metropolitan] areas, people are paying the best for services because they’re living in those areas, they’re in the suburbs, and they’re looking to get out of those areas,” Dr Lassit said.
“In the rest of Australia, people don’t live in the towns.
They live in regional areas.”
In regional NSW, Dr Lattiter said the cost difference between a salon and a salon in central Sydney was about $400.
A study published in 2014 by a private research company found that the cost per hair treatment in NSW was between $300 and $400 in the Sydney metropolitan area.
Professor Dickson noted that a number of local hair salon owners in the CBD had also reported that the price of services had fallen.
But he said the biggest barriers to hair care services were affordability, access and quality.
“We are finding that the biggest barrier to accessing hair care is access,” he said.
“It’s the lack of choice in hair care that is causing the issue in some parts of Australia,” Dr Dickson added.
“Access is a big issue, access to services, quality of service, and also access to the people who need it.”
The report also found the average length of time a salon would take to deliver a service was around 6 weeks.
Hair Institute chief medical officer Professor Tony Dickson with a hair salon customer.
Photo: Jessica Shapiro In a survey of more than 1,000 salon owners, the majority said they had not had a problem with the cost.
And the average time to make an appointment was nearly 3 months, Dr Dicksit said, compared to the average of 3 to 5 months for private hair salons.
Despite the cost being higher than private salon rates, the study found salon owners reported that there was no significant difference between the price and quality of services.
Some salon owners even reported the costs of their services were cheaper than private hair salon rates.
According to Dr Dackson, the price differences between salon owners and private hair stylists were the result of the “invisible price difference”.
“It’s really about access, it’s about access to a service, it has to do with cost, quality, and quality is a major issue in many parts of the country,” he told ABC Radio Sydney.
“So the average price for a salon is very different to what people are willing to pay, so the average difference is going to continue to grow.”
Hear more about the issue with salon hair care at the ABC’s Victoria Morning.