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Inside the World of Black Hair: The Cost for a Good Cut

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

In a series this week we're taking you inside the world of black hair to learn more about the significance of style in the black community. NBC29's Madison Carter took us back inside the barbershop, where barbers say the cost of a cut hasn't kept up with the times. 

For black men, a groomed look costs money, but just how much money is a problem many barbers take past a dollar amount. 

William Jones started cutting hair when he was 15 years old.  He started in New Jersey, where he says everyone had a barbershop. 

“[When] I came here [Charlottesville], it felt like dudes were a little different here,” Jones said.

People in this area spent money elsewhere: “The country guys, where they would cut themselves, and all that type of stuff. - in the house, or their dad used to cut them in the house,” said the barber.

Jones came to Charlottesville in 2006 and says haircuts were priced around $12 to $15. Now, His Image Barbershop charges $25 to $30 per cut, and between $12 and $20 for kids.

“But we really had to force Charlottesville into that. And other barbershop still aren't even doing that yet,” said Jones.

Barbers say the increase was warranted. “We go to classes, we go to shows, will try to stay up on this industry as much as we can. Not like being a part of the community, or being a good dude should end at monetarily in your pocket, but like it does because people respect us,” said a man identified as Ray.

They say it was still hard asking for money that reflects their work.  “I think black barbershops have always been culturally responsible with their community, and so they try to keep as much pressure off as possible,” said Jones.

As a business owner, Jones takes that stance with his employees: “I started cutting here in 99 at a barbershop I was paying $150 for  booth rent. I still charge the fellas here $150 a week for booth rent and it's 2018.”

Inflation may have never hit barbershops, but it definitely kept up for the ladies next door at the salons. In tomorrow's look inside the world of black hair we look at pricing for the ladies and why non ethnic salons have a hard time getting black business.