Denmark Rules On Gender Equality For Haircut Prices

haircut-prices-sexistYou know how it’s really, really annoying that no matter what haircut you decide to get, the price is nearly always higher for women than men? I have had a pixie style multiple times, and I recall paying the standard haircut prices for each of them, including quick trims, whereas all my male friends with similarly short hair pay about $20 less at the same salons (and, sometimes, even at nicer ones as well). It makes some sense to charge extra for longer hair or complicated cuts, but only if that rule goes for both males and females, and unfortunately, that is rarely the case on pricing menus. Having experienced this annoyance, a woman in Denmark recently decided to argue against it.

The woman apparently had a short haircut already, but when she went to a salon, they still insisted she pay about $16 more for a “woman’s haircut.” Despite seeking the exact same cut a man with the same hair length would get, she was told she’d be charged more simply due to her gender. As a result, she opted to not get the cut and instead went to Denmark’s Board of Equal Treatment. They ruled in her favor against the salon, observing that the business only listed the gender of customers with regard to haircut prices, whereas they should have listed the hair length or time that services were needed if the owners had wanted to up prices for specific haircuts.

According to the Huffington Post, Denmark isn’t alone in its unbiased pricing rules: New York City has gender-equality provisions to keep businesses from using different prices for women versus women. Hopefully, more salons will take note and amend this rather frustrating, yet very expected, custom.

Photo: Meagan Fisher / Flickr

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    • Sean

      Funny story in relation to this, in undergrad my roommate shaved her head to raise money for breast cancer awareness, and once her hair started to grow in, we played a game of going to the local hair salons and asked for the same basic “Ivy League” haircut. Typically they wanted to charge her $50 and me $20 – for the same exact style.

      It took us about 11 (12?) tries before we finally found a place that charged us both the same price.

    • Grace

      NYC may have gender equality pricing in theory, but the two salons on the block I work on definitely don’t follow that, and I’m guessing most others don’t either.

    • tm

      as a hairstylist, i can understand the frustration, most of the time what a client wants and how it is cut isn’t actually as simple as you think. Men as a general rule come in to get their haircut twice a month. Women with short hair tend to come in every 6-8 weeks. Women’s hairstyles have a lot more work involved, refining, adding texture and softness. While most men are clippered and that requires less actual skill. So if a man comes in with shoulder length hair and wants a short cut he should be charged double because of the length?

      • Nat

        I was thinking this as I read the article. Women’s short hair cuts don’t look the same as men’s short cuts. A pixie cut looks much more different than a man’s haircut. Actually, a pixie cut to me looks much more complicated, in terms of layering and things, then a long hair cut.

      • Samantha_Escobar

        That’s why I said that pricing should be listed on “time that services were needed” (or hair length, depending on the discretion of the stylist). My trims during my short hair phases were almost always super quick, no longer than 20 minutes. I just feel that pricing should be based on services rendered rather than gender-specific prices. When I still did makeup, I charged based on timing; since many females took longer, that meant the session cost more. If a male wanted a look that took a similar length of time, they paid equal. If a woman or man required a quicker look, the cost was lessened since the services took shorter and required less material.

    • Stephanie Rittenhouse

      Im a stylist too and i totally agree with TM, i can rock out a man’s short haircut in 15 mins, a pixi will take 45, by the time ive cut, styled, tweaked…sometimes that can take longer then a
      strait cut on long hair.

    • Silent Agony

      It should be this way everywhere.