Walking around the campus of Florida A&M University, a variety of visual styling preferences are immediately evident.
From shortcut fades to artificial eyelashes to braided synthetic hair, one may wonder how these students go about budgeting their aesthetic preferences.
Now it is no surprise that college students dip into student loan money, better known as “net checks,” to cover the cost of necessities outside of tuition. However, is grooming considered a necessity?
According to Forbes.com, a survey conducted revealed that 33 percent of students spend student loan money on clothes and accessories- and those were just the students who would admit to doing so.
Imani Evora, a graduating public relations student at FAMU, believes that grooming is a necessity.
“I have a child, so her grooming care, as well as mine, is important to me. My net check really helps with supporting my routine in that sense,” she said. “I buy hair products for my daughter and do her hair myself. It costs me about $200-$300 for our grooming needs each month. I also work 40-plus hours to afford our lifestyle outside of grooming as well because being a single parent and student can still add up.”
This is a time that is also considered the zenith in a scholar’s life. Rising beauty product prices means more money is needed to support a lavish lifestyle when grooming while in college.
Brittany Johnson, a Florida A&M alumna and YouTube hair vlogger, attests to always having a fluctuating budget when it comes to using hair products.
“Back when I was a student, I looked for the cheapest route and kept my hair cut short and permed. Now that I am a part-time vlogger, I must include various hair products to try for my audience. Obviously, higher quality means more money being spent for my viewers that are in college,” Johnson said. “My focus on natural hair can accumulate to almost $80 in an overall package of products, hair accessories, tools and upkeep. This type of styling is very popular for college students now who don’t mind stretching their budgets.”
There are students, however, who try to minimize their grooming needs as much as possible.
Traeyon Sargent, a third-year theater performance student, said he puts an emphasis on low-maintenance and low-cost grooming among all the necessities of his life as a student.
“I spend about $25 on all of my grooming products each time I replace them. I get my haircut every two weeks and the most I’ve spent on hairstyle is $60, but that is only for special occasions. So, when I only use my allowance [from parents] on these necessities, my budget is reasonable,” said Sargent.