tale of two haircuts: does price correlate with looks?

Haircuts are interesting.

Before last week, I'd never spent more than $22 for a haircut.  When I got married, I went to my go-to local barber (then it was $12) and got a good cut because I didn't want to trust my hair to a newcomer.

When I'm in San Francisco (where I live) I now go to a place that is one block from my house and open on Sundays.  I got there primarily for the convenience and that the cut takes approx 10 minutes.  Also, the price is $5 … and even with a 60% tip, the final price only sets you back $8.  I get more joy bragging about the bargain than from the haircut itself.  

This week I was in New York, had an hour, and needed to get a haircut.  I chose a place for convience (it was directly across the street from where I was staying) but it wasn't a place I typically would go to.  They gave me a robe when I walked in.  And they had a different person give a shampoo both before and after the cut.  The total time was 45 minutes (was expecting it to be a lot longer) — much longer than my normal 10 minutes in-and-out.  And the price was $106 ($86 with a $20 tip) which is almost 5 times the price I have ever paid for a haircut.

Now objectively, the more expensive haircut is probably better.  But because I paid so much for the hair cut (they call it a "salon"), I actually feel better.  Which leads me to a theory:

The more you pay for your haircut, the better you think you look.

After doing an informal poll, there seems to be a direct correlation with how much you pay and how good you think you look (now how good you actually look).  This seems to be the reason people pay so much for things.   And it seems to be a good investment if it makes you more confident and happier.

For me, I enjoyed the experience of going to a higher-end "salon" but next time, I'm going back to my $5 regular.

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