Cutting Costs: Why MQ kids are taking the scissors into their own hands


Words || Ruby Poynter

Where did the above haircut come from? Was it a genuine attempt at a haircut, a drunken mistake, a pitiful excuse at humour – or are mullets really making a comeback?

Seeing as I can’t remember when they were actually ‘in’ enough to be able to even make a comeback, I doubt this is the reason. Is this just another example highlighting Australian stupidity, or is it stemming from the absurd cost of a haircut?

Haircuts are a general necessity to most people and yet they often come at an exorbitant cost, especially if you’re not wanting to end up looking awful. So why are they so expensive, and why is there often such a significant difference between men’s and women’s cuts? I did some investigating to local hair salons to discover the cheapest haircuts and can solidly recommend certain places over others.

I first got launched into this subject when three of my friends turned to other friends to cut their hair. Why? I asked, because it’s not worth paying $30+ for just a necessary trim. Being good friends with a hairdresser at home, I’ve never had to pay a cent for my own cuts and thus was totally new to the world of the amateur student hairdresser. From Issie B at RMC to Hunter S in the Village, this is a trend across the Macquarie Campus.


Many shops within the Macquarie Centre do student discounts for other necessities such as food and clothing, like Grill’d and Glassons. However, only four out of eleven surveyed hair salons offer a similar discount. Another phenomenal difference I discovered was the price variation between an average men’s and women’s cut.

With an average cost difference of $16.5, and a staggering $45 difference at two separate hair salons, I was left appalled and curious as to why this was. Only two of the eleven salons offered the same price on an average cut, and when pressed on the matter many hair stylists stated the differing hair length was the reason. But what if a boy had especially long hair or a girl quite short? Didn’t matter, most shrugged, citing ‘company policy’. The price difference was to stay. Additionally, women’s hair conditioner and shampoo usually costs almost double the price of a similar men’s product.


Is this really an issue of hair length, or is it a patriarchal inequality owing to some archaic reasoning?

So whether this poor, mulleted soul just ended up trusting the wrong friend or genuinely meant to end up this way, I can understand the choices that led him to this place. Some may say I’m a brave soul, entrusting my tresses to an amateur. But putting your trust into an untrained mate is always going to be better than paying $60 just for a simple trim. Even if you end up looking like this.