The Director’s Cut

Coming from a context where a barber’s prices varied only by procedure, this Shanghai salon’s take on pricing models, where a haircut’s cost is based upon the skill (or at the very least, the job title) of the one giving it, intrigued me. What other pricing models that you know of work like this?

In central Shanghai, in a neighborhood known for its relatively higher cost of living, the range here runs from a senior stylist’s 128 yuan cut ($17.50/15.80€) up to a Creative Director’s 398 yuan cut ($54.50/49.50€). This being China, one is likely able to lock in a favorable price by purchasing a loyalty card with a set number of more affordable cuts, ensuring you’re insulated as your favorite stylist rises through the ranks. 

Curious about the basis upon which one is promoted as a haircutter, and also about what happens when someone comes in wanting a more affordable cut, but there are only seasoned haircutters available (and vice versa). To what extent does this model exist to be bent to the shop’s constant advantage, and how do customers negotiate around that?

How do haircuts work where you are? What was the last pricing model that surprised you?

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