Top stylist Allan Parss tells us why a $150 cut is worth it
If the influx of blow-dry salons in the city is any indication, we are visiting our stylists a lot less these days. Fewer cuts means more money in our wallets, so it’s not surprising Torontonians are developing a penchant for long-lasting haircuts, like the ones stylist Allan Parss is famous for giving at his swank Wellington Street space. We chatted with the 20-year veteran about why a good haircut is worth spending money on now, how the recession has affected his business and why flat, straight hair is on its way out.
Your haircuts usually cost about $200. Why?
With a good cut, you don’t have to do much the next day—that’s why it’s worth it. Most of my clients get compliments the day after a cut. A good haircut shows off.
The cuts are known to be long-lasting. What’s the secret?
I cut the hair very precisely. I go section by section and work through the whole head. If it’s heavy, I take the heavy parts off. If it’s light, I try to work it so it looks nice. It’s a work-in-progress. It’s not just bada-boom, bada-bing, cut and go.
Why do you prefer to cut hair with a razor over scissors?
A razor can give you very soft edges. Cutting with a razor is a technique based on tension in your fingers. With scissors, it’s too mechanical.
Has the recession had an impact on your business?
Some clients used to come in every four to six weeks. Now some of them have downgraded to different stylists, or if they were coming every four weeks, they come every eight.
Did you make any changes in response?
I reduced my price from $200 to $150 for women’s cuts. My men’s haircut used to be $100, and I reduced it to $75. Every stylist here gives one free blow-dry before the next haircut. We also have discount cards for clients, and right now, we have a summer special.
I have to ask, what are the big trends for fall?
Big hair is in, with lots of movement and lots of volume—a red carpet kind of look. It’s not flat and straight anymore. But what is really in is a good stylist. A look could be in, but that doesn’t mean it will look good on you. A good stylist should verify what looks best.
Allan Parss, 42 Wellington St. E., 416-622-9070, allanparss.com.
25 thoughts on “Top stylist Allan Parss tells us why a $150 cut is worth it”
Stylists who ‘razor cut’ are lazy. If you have any curl to your hair, stay the hell away from a razor cut – you will have major frizz and fly-aways. I had a ‘razor cut’ once, to the tune of $175 and I had to spend an hour blowdrying my hair and then using a straightening iron to make it look decent after each shampoo. Time is money, and that haircut cost me a LOT!
Razor cuts work on curly hair so long as your stylist know what they are doing. Allan uses a razor on my thick, coarse, curly hair and I’ve never received so many compliments.
If you want a great short haircut that’s easy to maintain, I suggest you book with Allan today. I always leave the salon feeling fantastic and I get complimented every time!
My worst hair nightmare EVER was by a razor. At Fiorio no less. It was in the early 90s when it was pretty new here in T.O. still and this Frenchman went crazy. He was like Edwards Scissorhands. What a freak. I complained to Fiorio himself and he just looked at me dumbfounded. He was like, ok, how about I give you a discount? He just didn’t get it. Oh well, Fiorio’s shitty attitude lost him literally thousands of dollars he would have had.
Any stylist knows that if you use a RAZOR, your clients hair will turn out FUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZY.
Scissors are the best way. Tried and true
I had my hair done by razor not so long ago at a place in rosedale, he was taught in Italy…omyg!!!!!I have fine naturally wavy hair, however this person did such a work of so called art that it looked even less hair on my head…it took some time to get the texture and length back…are you kidding 150.00???? This guy is a marketing specialist…no thanks for b.s.
I had the very best haircut years ago by a George at the Fairview Mall; but he left and I haven’t been able to find him; he used scissors and he took quite a while to cut my hair but the results were simply amazing; I had a shorter hair style and it swayed as I walked; I had compliments in the salon and by everyone I saw afterwards.
Since then I’ve been to vaious expensive salons but haven’t been satisfied. George! Where are you?
I’m a hairstylist and I have to admit that the razor is a much faster/lazy way to cut hair … I’m not saying it’s bad but it only work for 10% of client … you really need the perfect hair texture for it to work … It took me a couple years to fix a bad job done at another salon … and the cut only look good for a few week rather than a good 3 to 6 month if done by someone who can actually work with scissors … and always run away if you see a stylist get close to your long or curly hair with tinning shears … unless you like fuzzy, frizzy texture or that you will actually get it cut every few weeks !
I walked into Allan’s salon in May, just looking for a wash and blow dry, but Allan convinced me to try a make over. I had the best haircut and colour of my life and at 63 years old I have tried many (including Robin Barker years ago who just said I had every difficult hair).
I have never had so many compliments and my hair is much easier for me to manage between visits. I have been back 4 times and each visit I walk out feeling (and some say looking) at least 20 years younger.
I wish I had found Alan 20 years ago!
Razor is a tool like scissor,it does give each strand a softer edge,it cuts the hair diagonally,alot of stylist don’t know how to use razor,like alot of the don’t know how to use scissors,lol,if someone dose the slicing technic on your hair with scissors ,it’s like running the razor on your hair ,it’s the same,any how if you know how to use your tools you’d be fine,basically razor cut is not as healthy as scissors because it leaves more surface exposed to the airpollution,sun,…but it gives a nicer look to most styles,we should be open minded and embrace all the tools,just know where and when to use them ,all the best to my colleagues. Cheers
I dont believe even if he’s gone to any school for this.lol. Mohtadi is a middle age middle eastern guy with attitude problems. He was working in downtown and I had the worse hair cut ever.lol
Allan Parss gave me a beautiful stunning hair cut. Thanks Allan for your great job.
hey shirley wilson george works on denforth:)
Where on Danforth does George work? What’s the salon, and how much is he now?
I have to agree with Mohtadi,every tool has it’s place, I must say,I had never heard of Allan Parss before ,you can’t just come out of nowhere and charge $200 for a haircut
and drop $50 because it’s recession,I’ve been doing hair for over 16 years in downtown Toronto,and know, people who pay $200 for haircut don’t care about recession.
It’s obvious Mr. Masoud Mohtadi has some issues with Allan Parss and Its not cool to disrespect others and their work unless you are so unsatisfied with yourself to attack successful people like Allan and ………
If you can’t be something be decent and don’t envy others.
Dear Mark,I was just told about these comments from a friend of mine and thought I should respond ,I have no issues with Allen,I don’t even know him,I was browsing on Internet and I came across this article about him,and saw some comments about razor cut that how it makes the hair frizzy and so on,and in Allen’s defence and since I do like razor cuts myself I made an educated comment ,just wanted to tell people that they shouldn’t be afraid of razor ,it’s just another TOOL,I do use razor myself quite a bit,some stylists don’t like razor but they do the slicing technique
,it’s same as razor,(sliding a sharp tool on the hair),some people are afraid of razor but you can get a bad haircut with scissors too,so what I meant is it’s the operator that
matters not the tool ,and we should embrace all kinds of tools,as long as you know how to use it,it’s fine.
I did put my full name for my comment out of integrity,and have nothing to hide from,and I am successful in what I do,
and I hope who ever that is putting the effort and energy be successful as well,and I do mean it when I say all the best to my colleagues and Allen is one of them too.
So I hope it’s clear that I just meant good,wish you all and Allen happy holidays and a very good year,hope 2010
brings people closer. Cheers
This guy is the WORST. He’s arrogant, obnoxious and does what he wants instead of what you ask for. On top of that he kept me waiting for a half hour and then, in the middle of my cut, left me to do someone else’s cut and color. I’ve been to many high end hair salons around the world…and I cannot believe he has the audacity to charge $150 for his services. Skip him…there are many better, more service oriented stylists in this city.
Allan Parss is full of himself,and it’s not worth even trying him,take it from me ,my wife hated his work,so did I.
save your time and money,I can see him charging $50 not a penny more,and for men $25.
I’ve been going to Allan for a few years now. Yes, he’s arrogant and obnoxious. But he has also given me the best haircuts and colour I have ever had. I get compliments for weeks after I’ve gone and it seems as though when the cut is growing out, it looks even better. Sometimes he uses a razor and sometimes scissors and mixes it up during the cut. Either way, the cuts are very long-lasting. I’ve gone months between cuts at times and my hair kept on looking pretty good even after 3 or 4 months.
I went to this guy Masoud Mohtadi twice in Queens Quay West and god the worse hair cut that Ive ever seen. He was so self centered and act like he is the best just believe me he doesn’t have any idea regarding hair cut.
I didnt go there anymore becuse of this man. Be aware not to pay a penny to this middle eastern guy,he’s a middle aged man full of himself. Any idea where to go for a good hair cut?
I wouldn’t trust him to use a razor on my dog let alone me.
I just want to say a few words about Allan.He is the best hairstylist that i have met.I have started working for Allan when i was 19.I did work for him for about 4 years and i can say i have learned a lot from him.He is not an easy person to work for but i wanted to learn from a great stylist and I did.Because of him i became a good stylist too.From his technique and my working experience i can say i did really well,too and opened my own salon CALYPSO in Etobicoke.Thank you again Allan you are the best stylist and teacher xoxo ALENKA
Terrible service! I will never go back. He did not ask me what I wanted (no consultation for my first visit) and when i asked why he didnt colour my hair he said “is there a problem here?” When I called in to book my appointment, I specifically stated highlites and colour. He then told me I should have stated it again. Well im sorry, but you should ask! I have never felt so unwelcomed! And he really didn;t do that great of a job. He needs to learn some customer service skills.
I know great place in North York, Toronto where you can get great hair cut for $50 or less. Place called The Lab Salon and Spa http://thelabsalonspa.com/. They had never messed up with my hair
I am now having to grow out TWO bad haircuts from different salons. The first was back in May at a salon on Ossington Ave. I have fine hair, but a lot, so she decided to use her scissors and razor out some of the bulk. I was in tears afterwards as my beautiful hair was full of short pieces, and became increasing difficult to manage and very fly away on windy days. I then went to a little neighbourhood salon where she cut it blunt to clean up the other style. I went back as it felt heavy and weighed down. She became ‘scissor happy’ and cut shapeless layers in, shorter on one side!!! I am at my wits end in trusting anyone and finding a wonderful stylist who REALLY GETS MY HAIR!!!!! I have spent a fortune all over the place. I never thought I had such difficult hair????
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