Double standard pricing: Should price be based on gender?

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Dear Scott: I am woman with short hair. It makes me mad that men’s haircuts costs less than mine. I don’t understand why that just because I am a woman I should have to pay more for my haircut. Why is it like this? It seems like it is sexist and that I am being discriminated against for being female. All salons are like this. Even the quick hair cutting places are set up this way with signs out front that says one price for men and one for women. This is clearly sex discrimination.

Answer: This has been something that people have wondered for years. It’s a pickle.

Denmark, where just about everything is legal except jaywalking, has recently passed a ruling that hair pricing must be the same for both genders.

New York, where a manicure once cost more for men than women has passed a law that require nail salons to charge the same price for both genders. Haircuts may soon follow.

Manicurists in the Big Apple protest that men take longer than women because many of them are in the construction business and have dirty hands. It would stand to reason that they should pay a little more since the job would be a bigger job.

Long hair on women usually will cost more than short hair in most salons. Clients usually don’t complain about it. It’s easy to understand that it takes more time to cut, blow-dry, and finish. But usually, long or short, the men’s cut still cost less.

When called into this debate, hairdressers everywhere will say that it takes more time and expertise to do a woman’s short hair cut than it does for a men’s cut. Bearing in mind that the two are totally different as far as design lines and style modifications for the sexes, the truth is, they are both the same.

A great man’s haircut takes the same amount of time and expertise as a great woman’s cut.

This is a generalization, but men tend as a whole to be a little cheaper than women about anything where appearance is concerned. The beauty industry is working on this problem. Until it’s solved, women’s haircut pricing will not go down to the price that men pay. Salons can’t afford to cut their prices.

Men’s cuts would inevitably increase to meet the price of a woman’s cut. If this happens, the ramifications will be severe. If women don’t let this one slide by, guys might start shaving their own heads with clippers and everyone will end up looking like Q-Tips. You wouldn’t want that to happen now would you.

Scott Terwilliger, an Aiken salon owner, can be reached at scott.terwilliger@hotmail.com.


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