Parthip Thyagarajan of WeddingSutra.com asks: ‘Is there a difference between the Rs 50 and Rs 500 haircut for men’? While kimrobinson’s Rod Anker explains why their haircut is priced at Rs 10,000 plus!
One of the most popular posts on my blog www.5thwhy.com titled ‘WHY men can’t get good haircuts in India’ elicited a huge response. “So true”, was the overwhelming response. To read the complete post, click here.
In response to the above I received an email from Rod Anker, the Creative Director of the newly opened kimrobinson salon at The Aman Resort in Delhi. Their haircuts for men and women are priced at Rs 10,000 plus (you heard it right, Rs 10,000 for a first time consultation, cleanse, cut and finish—this does not include coloring, chemical or spa treatment). Anker claims they’ve already received an encouraging response. My first thought was ‘how could this be true, how many people in India will actually pay Rs 10,000 for a haircut’?
But a friend, a Delhi based Ultra High Networth Individual (HNI) made me think differently. He said: “If the hairstylist at kimrobinson is as good as my hairstylist in London’s Covent Garden, it makes so much sense to visit the salon in Delhi. I’m not shocked to hear that the haircut is priced at Rs 10,000, I spend that kind of money on a dinner with family or friends.”
“Moreover”, my friend adds: “I’m not interested in going to hairstylists in India, who throw ‘attitude’ because of their celebrity clients, and I certainly don’t trust hairstylists who are well-known only because of their celebrity clients.” Anker says at kimrobinson, they will never talk about their high profile or celebrity clients. He says: “We believe styling hair is not about shouting from the rooftops whose hair you have cut. Rather you should work to give your client the desired result each and every time he/ she visits the salon. We have spent years working on the ‘dry cutting’ technique which is a lot more than cutting someone’s hair dry and it ensures that the hair is going to maintain the shape long after you are home styling yourself! So you get a perfect cut– refined and made to measure, especially for you!”
Anker believes there’s no difference between the Rs 50 and the Rs 500 haircut, and is of the view that in the current scenario few highly talented hairstylists can emerge in India. “There’s very little talent or skills growth you can expect from the Rs 50, Rs 500 or Rs 750 hairstylists. And going by their existing methods of working/ training, ten years from now, we’ll still have VERY few stylists in the country who stand-out because of their work.”
We agree with Anker that there’ll be very few good hairstylists in India—even ten years from now. Only problem is, for the vast majority (even from the upper income echelons) a Rs 10,000 haircut at kimrobinson may be ‘worth it’ only ten years from now!