Hair-raising prices: Kelowna stylist charges based on time, not gender - InfoNews

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Hair-raising prices: Kelowna stylist charges based on time, not gender

Dylan Raine measures a length of hair at Purnama Style Lounge.
April 11, 2019 - 5:30 PM

KELOWNA - Dylan Raine is a big fan of Juliette Lewis, so it was a dream come true when he got to work as her hair stylist on a film set.

"[She's] a rock star in every way," he said.

Raine has been a hairstylist to the stars at several film sets and he's worked in Toronto and Kelowna perfecting his craft for 14 years. He was inspired to get into the profession by his sister.

"It's a practical way to be creative," he said. "I didn't want to be the starving artist."

Across the industry, women typically pay more than men for haircuts, even if their cuts are similar. He's offering a new service that will charge customers based on time and skill, not gender. He's hoping to spark a conversation.

Raine, who will be offering haircuts at Purnama Style Lounge in Kelowna, has created what he calls a "gender-neutral" pricing structure for his services. Male and female clients will pay for haircuts based on what they want done to their hair and how long the trim, style, or buzz will take. He was inspired to introduce this pricing when he noticed men and women paid different fees for 45-minute appointments.

"[The pricing] clarifies what customers are getting," Raine said. "Shifting the language."

Raine said women typically pay more for haircuts because, on average, they have longer hair than men. This assumption can fuel some of the price discrepancies. However, Raine's seen a recent influx of men who want high-maintenance haircuts and women who want simple cuts; despite the change, women typically pay more.

"Girls with short hair [sometimes] pay more than men," he said.

A glance at hair salons across Kelowna show women usually have steeper baseline prices than men when it comes to straight-forward cuts. A women's cut at one store we contacted can cost $59 while a men's cut can run a bill of $35. Another stylist we checked in on will charge a man $45 and a woman $63 for a haircut. A shampoo and cut for a man at another costs $20, while a woman's cut costs $25.

Many Kelowna salons and barbers note on their websites that these prices can be different based on stylists, individual needs, and time requirements. Women and men's hair salon costs can also vary wildly depending on what they get in addition to a basic haircut.

Raine wants absolute clarity when it comes to his prices, which is why he lets customers know they're paying him for time and skill. He said he's seen a movement in his industry to focus on skill and time pricing over gendered costs. He's hoping this pricing model can find a home here.

"It creates a dialogue," he said. "It stirs the pot at least."

Raine might not be alone in his efforts. The Great Clips hair salon said they offer $18 haircuts for men and women.

You can find Raine here. 

Dylan Raine hard at work at the 2014 Toronto Fashion Art show.
Dylan Raine hard at work at the 2014 Toronto Fashion Art show.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/D.Raine Hairstylist

To contact a reporter for this story, email Sean Mott or call (250) 864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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