Saturday December 4, 2010

Community News

Splittin' Hairs Over Prices

ISO the Chilliwack ten-buck cut

Craig Hill/Voice photos


ost people need haircuts. Even us guys who look like Chia pets with the small tuft on top sticking straight up need one. How much did you pay for your last trim?


When Bill Higginbottom, the kindly gent in the powder blue smock, finally closed the doors to Bill's Barbershop on Yale Road earlier this year, a lot of us were taken by surprise. We knew the day would eventually come when he'd be laying down the scissors for the last time but if the others were like me, then we had no contingency plan. Bill's was quick and easy cut.


No muss, no fuss just a quick ten-buck cut. No laser lights and funky music happening. Sometimes the TV was on and always a current newspaper on the table. His was such a cool price that you couldn't help but leave the guy an extra toonie for a coffee. We were spoiled. But then the holiday was over.

The nearest $10 cut that someone mentioned was Frank Da Barber in Yarrow. But you just want a cut and not a trek.

Over at the mall you just paid $20 with the tip. Why was the same cut $10 at Bill's?

That prompted a phonebook search which gave a good perspective of what's out there for salons and barbers in Chilliwack. Unbeknownst to me, many of salons listed in the yellow pages were business in people's homes. Women working from home by appointment. Many were booked solid and numerous ones were not even taking new clients.

For some odd reason, when calling the different listings, the question of; 'who are you?' came up a number of times. When you call for the price of a haircut, what does it matter who's head it is?

Something equally humorous was that when I rang them up and asked how much for a cut for me, the response was "for a man?" I can assure you that my voice is mellifluously male.

So the calls were not without some humor and even some drama. After being asked the same questions I began to generate responses like "Would I get a cheaper rate if I was a somebody?" and "Yes, a man's cut". I wanted to ask, 'do I not sound like man?', but had no desire to make them feel silly. After all, they're the ones wielding the scissors.

Some were cautious with an interloper calling about the price of a haircut, and for whatever reason, hesitant to give out a price over the phone sight unseen.

During one call, the lady asked how I found out her number and after being told it was in the yellow pages, she declared that she hadn't been paying for the ad and didn't think it was still in there. Needless to say she was pleased about that however its easy to see how many calls her yellow page ad generated since the last printing of the phone book. Do people even use the yellow pages these days? And I thought I was the only one that didn't.

In the end, what I came up with was a list of various prices. Some high, but most reasonable. If you're interested in what the price of a haircut is in Chilliwack these days, below is a list with both women's and men's prices.

Tax laws stipulate that a barber/salon that makes less than $35,000/yr. they don't have to pay the HST. The Cutting Edge Hair Studio said they didn't cut enough hair to charge the HST. It's hard to say if all were as open when it came to charging the HST. Women or men with extra long hair can expect to pay more to get it cut. The prices below are similar with a difference of $2 or $3 between many. However, as you read down the list, you're going to find stylists who include a wash and blowdry/style and some who don't.



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