Tender loving hair care for Yukon men

Larissa Chippett came to the Yukon 17 months ago from Kazakhstan. Now, she has opened Yukon Man, Whitehorse's newest barber shop.

Larissa Chippett came to the Yukon 17 months ago from Kazakhstan. Now, she has opened Yukon Man, Whitehorse’s newest barber shop.

With 25 years of experience as a stylist and 18 running her own salon, Chippett is no stranger to the art and business of hair.

But why start a barber shop? Why cater to men?

For starters, it was the love of one Yukon man in particular that brought her to Canada in the first place.

She met her husband on a dating site for Russians, she said.

“It’s very interesting history. I tried to meet some guy. I apply my resume on a Russian website, and my husband found me. Do you see? He’s not from Russia, he’s from Canada!” said Chippett, with a laugh.

“I don’t know why he is going to look in Russian websites. Probably he want to have adventure with Russian woman.”

Chippett, it seems, was up for an adventure, too.

“When I met him, my English was probably zero. I know the words ‘hello,’ ‘how are you,’ ‘goodbye.’ And now I’m here.”

After nine months of corresponding online, he came to visit her. Soon, they were engaged to be married.

Still today, there is a language barrier. “But heart is heart.”

Chippett had to wait two years in Kazakhstan for a visa to come to Canada, she said.

“I prayed, and I said, ‘Oh my Lord, let me go to Canada, I will be useful, I will respect people, I will do everything they ask me.’ I try to be a good person for Canada.”

Moving here meant giving up the salon she had built over 18 years.

“It was a pretty big salon, I had 12 employees every day, I had two teams. When I decided to be married with my husband, we talked about my business and I decided to sell.”

She promised her husband she would never again start her own business, she said.

But after getting here, she found both life and business to be much easier in Canada.

A friend back home who started a business two months ago had to spend $5,000 on documents alone, she said.

And so, after a year working as a stylist at the Hello Gorgeous salon in Whitehorse, Chippett once again staked out on her own.

“Of course, I am so grateful that they gave me a start there. They teach me, I learn some terminology.”

The Whitehorse business community has been very supportive, she said.

On her opening day, 18 people came to visit with gifts and kind words, said Chippett.

“They brought flowers, they give me cards, congratulations. It shows, people are happy here.

“I felt nervous because it’s a new country, new people, new life. But I believe, since first day, that business will go very well, and I didn’t have mistakes. I see, I am busy now, even just in two weeks.”

Chippett hopes to make her barber shop a special place for Yukon men, because Yukon men are special, she said.

“Canadian law, Canadian rules, grow very, very good men. I can see that because Russian men are alcoholic. They drink. It’s not everybody, but I will tell you, many people drink alcohol.

“When I came to Canada, I found men very reliable, they are very good husbands, they are very good fathers, they are very good. Canada is growing very good men.”

Part of the reason for her business’s focus on men is that she wanted to move away from the dying and chemical treatments that are part of the women’s hair care world, she said.

But she continues to see some of her old clients from the salon.

“It’s not exactly that I prefer to cut men. I’m a stylist, and I like women’s haircuts too. I really cannot give you an answer why I opened a barber shop. Probably because I see what is a different man in Yukon, what is a different man in Canada. I see how they are very reliable, very open. It’s different.”

Yukon Man is located on 3rd Ave. between Steele St. and Wood St. It is open Monday through Saturday.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Diane McLeod-McKay, Yukon’s Ombudsman and information and privacy commissioner, filed a petition on Dec. 11 after her office was barred from accessing documents related to a child and family services case. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government rejects Ombudsman requests for documentation filed to Supreme Court

Diane McLeod-McKay filed a petition on Dec. 11 after requests for documents were barred

Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens, left, celebrates his first NHL goal with defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen during the second period of a game against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 22 in Washington. (Nick Wass/AP)
Cozens notches first NHL goal in loss to Capitals

The Yukoner potted his first tally at 10:43 of the second period on Jan. 22

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Former CEO of Great Canadian Gaming, actress charged after flying to Beaver Creek for COVID-19 vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

The bus stop at the corner of Industrial and Jasper Road in Whitehorse on Jan. 25. The stop will be moved approximately 80 metres closer to Quartz Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Industrial Road bus stop to be relocated

The city has postponed the move indefinitely

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

Most Read