Is expensive shampoo worth the money? Who should you tip? And, how come a haircut costs THAT? We asked Master Stylist and bob + page co-owner Frank Calandrino all your burning questions (so you don’t have to).
1) Why do some stylists charge $100 for a cut and others $35?
Pricing of haircuts typically reflects the experience of the stylist. It includes the amount of training they have, how long they’ve been cutting, and their general knowledge about hair. I always say, you pay a master stylist more because we know how to say no really nicely! Because of our experience, we know when something won’t work on you and we pretty much prevent that situation from happening.
A great haircut isn’t just technically perfect, it also looks fantastic on the person. A good hairdresser focuses on the technical aspect of cutting, but the greats also know how to make it aesthetically look good on the client. This is the ultimate goal.
Some people don’t look good all coiffed up while others do. Senior and Master stylists understand how to make those calls, and read the client. And that’s what you’re paying for.
2) OK, so what’s the difference between a Master Stylist and a Junior Stylist?
It all comes down to training and experience. It breaks down like this:
Juniors are our newest stylists. They’re able to do all cutting services including short, medium and long haircuts to the standards we’ve set. We like them to run their formulas and ideas off of someone more experienced so all our juniors are mentored by a more senior stylist. It allows them to double check they’re going in the right direction.
Top Stylists have 3+ years of salon experience and a more established clientele.
To reach Senior level, a stylist has to be able to handle all situations. A senior can assess client face shapes, when hair is damaged and recommend changes. If your hair needs to take a break from colouring they’ll be able to tell you that.
Master Stylist is the most experienced. They can do anything!
Whatever their level, a good stylist is always gaining knowledge and education. We do most of our training through the Goldwell Academy. Juniors typically take basic cutting courses, while seniors do more advanced training. They are also colour programs like Master Colourist level that could take up to 5 years to achieve. At bob + paige, our educators are Violet, Conner and Joey. They give courses around the world and bring their expertise back to the salon.
3) Why are men’s haircuts priced differently than women’s haircuts?
Cutting hair, like with any service, is priced based on the time it takes. At a barbershop, a man’s haircut is done in 20 min. A Master Stylist like Joey could take up to an hour to cut a man’s hair. When you factor in things like washing and styling, women’s hair generally takes longer. I’m happy to say we’ve been narrowing the gap in pricing! I think pretty soon most salons will start charging based on time instead of gender.
4) Who do I really need to tip at the salon and how much?
This is a tough one to answer! Hairstylists aren’t in the business of working for tips. We’re getting paid already and tips for us are really just a gesture. But, if you’re happy with your cut or with the person who washed your hair then by all means, leave a tip.
5) Is salon shampoo really than much better than the one I get at the drugstore?
I have to say, drugstore products have gotten a lot better! If it’s a reputable brand there’s probably some decent ingredients in it. But, if it’s really cheap, it’s probably not that great. I just don’t think it’s possible to use good quality ingredients and charge so little.
Remember, drugstore staff aren’t hair experts and what works on thick hair may not work on fine hair. Your stylist knows you and can recommend a product that suits your hair type. That being said, your salon shouldn’t be pushing expensive products on you. We carry four tiers of products from less expensive to higher-end. A good stylist can tell you why something is worth the money. You may decide to invest more in styling products, and less for shampoo. Whatever you decide, buy your shampoo and conditioner in bulk. You’ll save a lot that way!
6) Help! I can’t get an appointment with my favourite stylist!
Listen, if you have a good hairdresser they will likely be really busy. Here are a few tips to get an appointment:
- If they have a wait list, get on it! We have one and it definitely works.
- Pre-book all your appointments well in advance. I have clients that pre-book the entire year!
- Don’t be afraid to see someone else on same salon. Go with someone who’s at a similar level (ie another senior stylist). If you stay at your existing salon they’ll already have your colour formulas and you’re more likely to get the same result.
- Ask your regular stylist to recommend someone else you can see when you can’t get an appointment with them. It used to be that seeing someone else at the same salon was taboo. Those days are over. Good salons work as a team.
7) What do clients do that drives you nuts (and be honest!)
- Not showing up for your appointment without even calling is the ultimate insult.
- Being more than 30 minutes late and expecting us to do everything you want. We probably won’t send you home, but we won’t have time to highlight your entire head and do a blow out.
- Cancelling appointments day-of. It’s almost impossible to fill your space last minute with someone else.
- Changing your mind while we’re in the middle of cutting your hair! It’s difficult to so something different mid-cut without basically starting all over so, please, just don’t.
- Coming to your appointment unprepared. If you have something specific in mind, show us photos! Instagram is a great resource.
8) What’s one thing you wish all your clients knew?
Hairstylists are human and we’re always trying to do our best work for you. Be open with us, communicate. If you aren’t happy, just let us know. You’d be amazed at what we can fix with toner or layers if you tell us as soon as possible. Even if it’s right there in the chair, be honest. If you don’t think you can be honest with your stylist, you’re probably not sitting in the right chair.
Find your best stylist by making an appointment at bob + paige salon.