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  • Writer's pictureJo DeSerio Jones

Why are women charged more for haircuts?

Let's talk about gender neutral haircut pricing and inequality~ Throughout time, it has been a man’s world where inequality has existed, but thankfully things are changing.


New York pink tax study found that women’s products are, on average, are 13% more expensive than similar men’s products. As a result, when products that are essential for women (like feminine hygiene products) are taxed as luxury items, that can have a significant financial impact.

 

Did you know that in some communities, this has led to “period poverty” where many women cannot afford menstrual products. Period poverty affects millions of women, and sadly, it’s becoming an epidemic. Here are some statistics from their pricing equality study~ From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer

 

Table 1: Pricing Disparity Frequency Chart, All Industries

 

haircut pricing inequality


Table 2: Price Breakdown, Children’s Clothing


Price inequality Breakdown, Children’s Clothing

Table 3: Price Breakdown, Adult Clothing

 

 Price inequality Breakdown, Adult Clothing

 

Table 4: Price Breakdown, Personal Care Products


Price Inequality Breakdown, Personal Care Products

Let’s not forget about the pricing inequality of a haircut here...because this is a BIG one that our industry is guilty of!


Pricing Inequality for a mens vs womens haircut

For most of my 38-year career as a stylist there has been haircut price inequality. Why are men's vs women's haircut prices not the same when the timing is? Women have always paid more, while men and children’s haircuts were always less. Why is that???

It’s quite baffling, unfair, and in some states like CaliforniaNew York, and Massachusetts, gender-based pricing is against the law.

 

Do you see any differences in these looks found on Pinterest?

male vs female haircut
same haircut different pricing
should one haircut cost less than the other?
why do women pay more for a haircut
why are women charged more for a haircut?
 

Many beauty professionals have already made the move towards a gender-neutral business model and are still thriving, and so can you. If you are wanting to join us in gender neutral haircut pricing, this is my advice to some of your questions~


How can I go about making this change?


  • You can choose to offer block-based/ hourly rate pricing, meaning you charge X for a 30-minute appointment, Y for an hour slot and Z for 90 minutes. This is the pricing model I use.

  • You may offer technique-based pricing: razor cuts cost X, clipper cuts are Y, curly cuts are Z.

  • Or you may choose to offer length-based pricing which can help set a reasonable expectation for the cost based on time in your chair.

 

How do I transition to gender neutral pricing?


  • You can start by slowly increasing the price of a men’s haircut.

  • You can change your business model to neutral pricing (which I did a few years back).

  • If you live in a state where it’s the law, it’s easy to explain (and implement) the change.

  • You may offer a reward program for those who get haircuts every 3-4 weeks if you are afraid of losing clients.

 

What if clients question it?


  • Reply that you are adjusting your business model because it takes the same amount of time to do a haircut.

  • If you live in a state where it’s the law, tell them it’s the law.

  • Again, you may choose to offer a reward program for those who get haircuts every 3-4 weeks if you are afraid of losing frequent male clients.

 

 

Conclusion:

After going gender-neutral on my own pricing a few years ago, my conclusion is this: Yes, men will undoubtedly pay more for a haircut if they feel it is worth it (just as some women will choose a budget haircut). If you have a strong business model, you will survive!


As a curl specialist, I’ve experienced both men and women seeking my time despite my pricing because men also want a salon “experience” where someone is educating them on how to care for their curls. It amazes me how many men have never been taught how to properly shampoo their hair. They’ve also been discriminated against, but on another level; they have been subject to the “in and out” quick service for years. Sure, that’s what some are wanting, but not all.


Thankfully, our industry is changing. It’s about time we adapt to the changing times and embracing gender-neutral pricing is the future. Let’s advocate for equal treatment and charges across the industry. Whether male or female, a haircut or color services, don’t be afraid to charge your worth, but be sure to DELIVER VALUE, and they will come.


Ask yourself: Why should my earnings for a haircut be less because of gender? If you maintain this business standard, you are not being fair to yourself or your female clients.


As a community, we would love your input here on this subject, so drop any comments or questions below and let's get a conversation going ⬇️⬇️⬇️



gender equality in the beauty industry

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