Barber shops are booming in popularity nationwide and Wagga is no different.
According to market research group Ibis World, the hairdressing and barber franchise industry has grown nationally by 1.9% every year over the past five years and is forecast to grow by an annualised 1.4% over the five years through to 2021-22.
Meanwhile, Wagga has seen a string of barber shops open within the last five years, the most recent being Big Barber, which opened on Baylis Street last month.
Jason Lagaali of Wagga barber shop Ross C’s said business was slow soon after opening four years ago, but credits this year’s long line of customers to a resurgence in men’s grooming.
“Wagga wasn’t really known for those barber style haircuts four years ago, but it has definitely changed a lot,” he said.
“A lot of new shops have opened since then.”
“People want more than a haircut now, they want the full experience and that barber shop environment where you can relax and be yourself.”
Hair and Beauty Industry Association CEO Sandra Campitelli said the increase in barber shop popularity has been rising sharply both in Wagga and around the country for at least five years.
“It has really been the last two years where it’s gone particularly crazy,” Ms Campitelli said.
“It's driven by men spending more time and money on themselves.
“I don't think we’re going to see it turn around because the ‘metrosexual’ male is here to stay and the next generation is spending even more money on themselves.”
Ms Campitelli’s comments are supported by Ibis World’s study, which states “the male market presents a growing opportunity for industry operators” and “as men become more image-conscious, they are expected to demand a wider range of industry services.”
Highlighting the city-wide gravitation towards men’s grooming is Fitzmaurice Street hair salon Plush, which has opened a male-dedicated section called the ‘Dapper Room’.
“Times have changed,” Plush owner Cathleen Lindsay said.
“For a long time it was all about the women, so you had large proportion of the community that wasn’t being catered for.”