Hair is a crown you never take off, so you should always take care of it because it determines your appearance. Perhaps that is why people are willing to invest heavily in their crowning glory. While some feel that forking out a few hundred dollars is the ultimate investment in their hair, others go the extra mile of even paying thousands of dollars for a flight to their favorite hairstylist. Do not be surprised to learn that the most expensive haircut of all-time cost over $16,000, per the Guinness Book of World Records. Was it worth it? Well, let’s see.
A Haircut to Fly For
On October 29, 2007, Beverley Lateo went down in history as the recipient of the most expensive haircut. The woman from Pisa, Italy, wanted a hairdresser in her hometown but could not find one whose results pleased her. Thus, she extended her search to Europe. She landed on Stuart Phillips in April 2007, a name she instantly recognized because the hairstylist had been featured in many British magazines due to his job as a stylist for The British Academy Television Awards. Lateo booked an appointment for a haircut that cost £8,000 or $16,300. Phillips spoke to Indulge in 2008 and explained why the haircut was costly. According to him, the client spent the entire day with him, being treated like royalty, and Phillips paid every attention to detail. He said that the premises are worthy of royalty because it is adorned with 23,000 Swarovski crystals that attract people to take photographs.
Besides the beautiful environment for a client to spend a day in, the $16,300 haircut package comprises flights, champagne lunch or dinners, transfer from and to London airports in limousine rides, and a whole day of luxurious treatment in the VIP section in the salon. Phillips is also keen on ensuring his clients take proper care of their hair even after leaving his salon, so the package also comes with a basket of hair products tailored to each hair type and a master class on how to style your hair. Lateo welcomed the royalty treatment and enjoyed a first-class trip from Italy to Lindon. She got a head and scalp massage and left with L’Oréal hair products. Although Lateo could have had anything she wanted for lunch, she only asked for some cream tea. Getting the $16,300 haircut only took an hour, so the rest of her day was spent in the company of Phillips. The retired property developer loved her haircut so much that she described it as “perfect” and did not mind becoming a regular client at Phillip’s salon. While Lateo’s haircut may render fear in Phillips’ potential customers, you will be glad to know that you can have your hair styled for $300.
Not Really the Most Expensive Haircut of All-Time
The 16,300-haircut has been acknowledged as the most expensive haircut in the world and it remained at the top for a while. Phillips revealed that he had been looking to give the most expensive haircut worldwide when Lateo booked her appointment. The hairstylist recalled that the money Lateo paid went to charity, and even after establishing the £8,000-package, he still wanted a more expensive haircut deal for his clients. He, therefore, came up with a £20,000-pacage. The £20,000, which translated to about $40,000, has the same royal treatment as the £8,000 package but with a few more additions. Clients get a personal shopper, and upon arriving in London, get 2-day accommodation in one of London’s posh hotels, a personal chef, bodyguard, and private performances by Pop and Rock bands.
The best thing is that if you carry a friend along to Philips’ salon, he is kind enough to offer you a discounted rate of $55,000 instead of the fee of $80,000 he would charge both of you. Still, there has been another haircut that has been documented as more expensive than Lateo’s. The Sultan of Brunei, Haji Hassanah Bolkiah, spent $24,000 on a haircut. According to Luxuo, the amount catered to the flight costs of his barber, Ken Modestou, because the Sultan feared his barber would contract swine flu from other passengers. Therefore, the private cabin that housed Modestou during the flight from London to Brunei set the sultan back $18,000. Other times, the Sultan usually flies the barber first-class and pays him with an envelope filled with cash. The Sultan has trusted Modestou with trimming his hair for over a decade. Funny enough, in London, the haircut only costs £30.
Stuart Phillips, The Celebrity Hairdresser
Phillips never planned on being a celebrity hairdresser, but the moment the Guinness Book of World Records entered his name in their records, he became the go-to stylist for the crème de la creme of the society. All he wanted was an exquisite salon, and he got it when he dreamed about diamonds. Phillips consulted his friend good at making headdresses, and the friend created a headpiece with Swarovski crystals. He used diamonds that Serena Williams wore during the pre-Wimbledon party in 2008; they were worth over a million pounds. The salon is in Convent Garden on Monmouth Street and has been home to celebrities from all over the world. Phillips has styled the likes of Jean Claude van Damme, Jackie Chan and Dolph Lundgren. He has flown across the world to style celebrities on film sets and even became the official hairdresser for various TV awards. Still, celebrities have been hard to deal with in a business where every minute counts. Clients are by appointment, but 90% of the celebrities Phillips works with are late. Unfortunately, he accommodates them lest they seek services elsewhere. He prides himself on giving every client top-tier services, so they all leave his salon feeling and looking like royalty. Whenever you make an appointment, Phillips will spend at least 30 minutes on consultation. The session determines the best hairstyle depending on your face shape, personality, occupation, bone structure, and body type.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson