Friday, February 13, 2009

The 200-Dollar Difference

For $750, in Salon G, one can get a Senior Stylist with credentials including film, theater and TV credits, to do his hair. This includes shampoo, a haircut and color correction. As soon as the client comes in, he is greeted warmly by his stylist, whom he can also enjoy a nice chat with throughout the whole session. He will also be asked to choose from a list of beverages that includes coffee, tea, juice or wine, that he can have before or during his session. He can experience the friendliest, warmest pampering from its staff of articulate and pleasant professionals.

At the end of the day, the client looks more beautiful than he actually is, because he feels great and such positive energies are manifested physically even sans effort.

But there are times when the client has other things to spend on. So he opts for a cheaper alternative.

For $550, in Salon H, one can get the Salon Director to do his hair, with credentials, uhhh... (they don't have a website, and I couldn't find any other research material.) Well, let's just get back on that later. This includes shampoo, a haircut and color correction, although the correction may not be as precise as the client envisioned it would be. It could be 4 shades yellower. When he walks in, he has to wait 3-5 minutes before the stylists decide which of them wants to do the job. If the client doesn't speak Cantonese, he can also get annoyed with his stylist who just won't stop speaking to him in the vernacular despite the fact that he had done everything--- charades, playing deaf, raising an eyebrow, half-yelling--- to let him know that he doesn't understand a word in the Chinese vocabulary. The whole process can take longer than usual, because time allowance for translation has to be factored in. The client might get parched, so it is advised that he bring something that he can drink. They have a strict BYOB policy. With the amount that the client is paying, he gets to see, first-hand, assistants gossiping behind each other's backs, and also the chance to interact with assistants who do not have the time to shampoo clients because they're busy having their mid-afternoon dimsum and coffee, or doing their own hair.

At the end of the day, he feels cheaper than he actually is because when he looks in the mirror, he sees that his cheapness is manifested by his hair even sans effort.