The hairdressor industry has been growing steadily for the past decade, with more than 30,000 employees and more than $500 billion in annual revenue.
The industry is booming in Asia and has been gaining popularity in Canada and the U.S. However, the growing popularity of hairdriers has caused some concern about the way the industry is being portrayed by some media outlets.
A recent survey conducted by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) shows that one in four Canadians say they are less likely to pay for an imported hairdrier, with about one in five saying they would not buy one if they could.
Some hairdrances are seen as more expensive than the local products, while others are seen in the same category as a cheaper alternative.
One recent study suggests the trend towards more expensive imported hairstyles is partly driven by the changing cost of living.
“It’s not just a trend with the fashion companies, it’s also something we see across all the different industries.
The more expensive products are seen more often in the market, and the more expensive a product is, the more it’s seen as better value,” says Kristina Parek, vice president of communications for the CCCE.
In an article in The Globe and Mail, PareK says the trends are part of an overall trend toward a lower cost of service in the hairdrips industry.
She says it’s “a growing trend that has also impacted the hairlines industry in Canada.”
“The trend is for people to think, ‘If it costs $150 a pair, I’m not going to pay $200 a pair.'”
“In our view, the trends have not changed as much as the perception,” says Pareke.
Parek says it is not the first time the industry has come under fire.
As recently as two years ago, there were calls for an overhaul of the industry, after several scandals involving questionable practices by hairdresses and some workers.
For many, it was also a time of concern about what they were being asked to do and their livelihoods.
After an investigation by CBC News, CBC and the Canadian Press, the CCEO announced in November 2016 that it was launching a review into how the industry was run and would investigate allegations of mistreatment, discrimination and bullying.
Last year, the CBC revealed that some employees were being forced to work extra hours, and some were being denied promotions and promoted to less-experienced jobs.
On April 10, the National Association of Head Trauma Surgeons issued a report recommending that the federal government “increase the availability of hairline products by at least 10 per cent, and by more than 25 per cent in each of the next two years.”
In addition to recommending an overhaul, the report recommended the federal and provincial governments work together to implement “strong, enforceable occupational health and safety policies, and ensure that hairdrops meet standards of care.”
The National Association for Hairdressers and Allied Health also launched an online petition in January calling for an end to the “fear-mongering and fear-mongered marketing tactics” that have led to “a high-pressure sales culture.”
With files from The Canadian Press