Woman talking(l+r), Hairstylist cutting hair(c)

hedgehog94/Shutterstock @crazy_daisy11111/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Strippers are the first people to know’: Hairstylist says she thinks a recession is coming. Here’s why

‘I’m too poor to be blonde anymore.’


Amara Thomas


In 2022, @botticellibimbo, a New York stripper, tweeted, “The strip club is sadly a leading indicator and I can promise y’all we’re in a recession lmao.” 

The tweet went viral, sparking much discourse about this theory, which The American Genius called “the Stripper Index.” Defining it as “an index that says if strippers, who rely on cash tips in their line of work, see significantly less money for an extended period of time, then the economy is experiencing strain.” 

According to the Stripper Index, strippers understand how the economy is doing based on the spending and tipping patterns of their clients. When tipping is high, and clients are frequent, the economy is good. However, when tipping is low, and regulars are infrequent, the economy may be shaky. 

Yet, hairstylist and content creator Daisy Gowin (@thefunblond) took to TikTok to share that strippers aren’t the only ones first to know when a recession is looming. 

“We’ve all heard that strippers are the first people to know when the economy is getting bad, and there’s a recession coming or whatever because nobody’s giving them business because they don’t have any extra money,” she shares. She then argues, “As a hairstylist, I have my own theory. When girls start going natural or getting more low lights, getting smudge roots—that’s how we know.” 

“It’s not just because they don’t have enough money for maintenance, but they also don’t have enough time to come to the salon and get their highlights touched up every four weeks because they’re working or they’re stressed or busy,” she explains. 

“They don’t have enough time for self-care,” she continues.  

A recent growing TikTok trend supports Gowin’s theory. Creators have been uploading videos under the hashtag #recessionbrunette showcasing their translation from blonde to brown with captions like, “When you finally embrace your brunette hair to save money and find grays.”

Why is #recessionbrunette a thing?

According to Business Insider, people going #recessionbrunette is the result of blond hair maintenance being “expensive and time-consuming, leading some to forsake it right now.”

The publication reported, “If you’re not a natural blonde — or, even if you are, but want consistent color — hair treatments to maintain a lighter color can be much more expensive and time-consuming. And they’re only getting pricier.” 

This resulted in hairstylists like Daisy Gowin seeing clients return to their natural colors or a color that is less hassle and money to maintain. 

Gowin says she “understands” because “we’re not making any money. Nobody is.” 

Gowin’s viral video has 580,200 views and thousands of comments. Many agreed with Gowin’s theory, sharing their own experiences and reasoning for becoming a #recessionbrunette. 

@thefunblond Hair theories 💵 ##hairtok##conspiracy##lowmaintenancehair ♬ original sound – Daisy Gowin

“I’m too poor to be blonde any more. I can’t even afford to get my nails done. I’m more concerned with affording food,” one viewer commented. 

Another shared, “I can’t pay $500 every 4 weeks anymore. It’s so expensive it’s wild.” 

Some argued that the #recessionbrunette trend may be because “the cost of services is unreasonable for people.” However, Gowin responded, “Most [hairstylists] raised our prices bc we’d be out money with inflation on everything else.” 

The Daily Dot reached out to Daisy Gowin via Instagram direct message and TikTok comment. 

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