An article in The Economist reports that “the lipstick index,” the theory that women buy more lipstick in tough economic times, is probably not valid.
A better index might instead be hairstyles. As The Independent reports, Japanese researchers found that women tend to have longer hairstyles when the economy is doing well, and shorter styles during harder times.
Later on in the article, Susanna Sallstrom-Matthews, a cultural economist at the University of Cambridge, offers this explanation for the apparent short-hair/recession correlation:
People enjoy fewer material pleasures in periods of recession, so want more visual pleasures, and there’s more variation among short haircuts than long.
But since trendy, short haircuts cost around $60 each and require more frequent upkeep than long hair, do they make sense when you’re trying to save money?
I passed up the salon altogether and opted for this deal at a neighborhood bar:
The result was a mediocre haircut, but a pleasant bourbon buzz.