A conservative newspaper slammed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for getting a $300 haircut, but that's actually a pretty good deal for DC

AOC collage U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks at a public housing town hall at a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residence on August 29, 2019Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez before and after the alleged haircut. Appearing (L) in New York on August 29, 2019 and (R) at in New York on October 3, 2019.Getty

  • A conservative newspaper slammed Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-professed socialist, after she reportedly spent $300 on a haircut.
  • The Washington Times, citing sources at the Last Tangle Salon in Washington DC, reported the Congresswoman "shelled out $80 for a haircut and $180 for lowlights" plus a 20% tip.
  • As it turns out, $300 for a cut and color is a pretty normal price to pay in Washington.
  • A Business Insider survey of price lists for six nearby salons, offering similar or identical treatments, yielded an average cost of $297.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A conservative newspaper lambasted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday after she reportedly spent $300 on a haircut, while proliferating socialist ideals.

The Washington Times, citing hair salon sources, said Ocasio-Cortez visited Last Tangle Salon, 3.2 miles from Capitol Hill, in September, "and shelled out $80 for a haircut and $180 for lowlights."

"The self-declared socialist, who regularly rails against the rich and complains about the cost of living inside the Beltway, spent nearly $300 on her hairdo at a pricey salon she frequents in downtown Washington," the newspaper wrote.

The article went on to quote Richard Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, who said: "She preaches socialism while living the life of the privileged," adding that it "is a bad look to spend hundreds of dollars to get your hair done to make a video decrying income inequality."

The Washington Times' total assumed Ocasio-Cortez would leave a 20% tip ($52,) although it did note that Ocasio-Cortez's stylist did not respond to a request for comment on how much she tipped.

Despite the protestations of the paper, $80 for a haircut and $180 for hair coloring is perfectly normal for central Washington, DC, commentators jumping to Ocasio-Cortez's defense said. It's far below what any public figure scrutinized daily on TV spends.

Business Insider conducted a simple survey of salons near to Last Tangle Salon and to Capitol Hill, Ocasio-Cortez's place of work, and discovered that spending $300 for a cut and color is par for the course in the nation's capital.

AOC haircut AugustA photo of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in August 2019, the month before she allegedly got her hair cut.Getty

Here are a handful of the prices we found:
  • The same cut and color would have cost Ocasio-Cortez $336 at Ian McCabe studio, 3.5 miles from Capitol Hill and near Last Tangle Studio, with a ladies cut (from $95,) half-head coloring ($185,) and 20% tip ($56.
  • At Jasmine Lynette Aesthetic, 1.6 miles from Capitol Hill, Ocasio-Cortez would have paid $288 for a woman's haircut ($80,) a partial coloring treatment ($160,) and a 20% tip ($48.)
  • At Michael Anthony Salon, Ocasio-Cortez could expect to pay a maximum $341 for a haircut ( $79 to $115) and partial coloring ($139 to $169.) Plus a 20% tip ($56.80.)
  • At Norah Critzos, a salon three miles from Capitol Hill, Ocasio-Cortez could have forked out up to $360 for a cut ($65 to $130) and lowlights ($170,) plus a 20% tip ($60.)
  • At Bubbles, in Capitol Hill, Ocasio-Cortez could have got the same package for $160 with a women's cut and blow dry (from $58) and partial coloring (from $75) plus a 20% tip ($27.)

The average cost across all six salons for the same cut and color Ocasio-Cortez reportedly asked for is $297.

Alexandria Ocasio-CortezRep. Alexandria Ocasio-CorteRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talks to reporters outside of the US Capitol Building on September 27, 2019 in Washington, DC.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Washington Times, quoting a staff member at Last Tangle Salon, said: "AOC was extremely nice and even took several selfies with patrons."

Many internet users were quick to come to Ocasio-Cortez's aid, noting what Business Insider found, that $300 for a haircut is not that much, given that public appearances are her job.

Author and columnist Jessica Valenti wrote on Twitter: "This is not an expensive haircut/color for a public figure who is frequently on TV."

Author and opinion columnist at the Washington Post, Helaine Olen, tweeted: "Leaving all other issues aside, $80 for a woman's haircut is a bargain in NYC. What are people expecting #AOC to do? Go to a salon's free hair model night?"

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