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Should Women Pay More for Haircuts Than Men?

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06 . 25 . 18

Data from mobile payment company Square show that the average haircut for men costs $28 nationwide, and costs $44 on average for women, according to U.S. News. Nationwide, a woman’s haircut is about 50% more expensive than a men’s haircut. Our two reactions to this information are: what the heck, and why? The gender discrepancy, also known as pink tax, is widespread in various retail arenas, from women’s hygiene products to little girls’ toy dolls. Because we know how much time women spend in the salon, we were curious about how stylists, barbers and salon owners in today’s age feel about pink tax, and why it’s even a thing—so we went around asking them. Ahead, find out just how real the pink tax is, and how prices differ across salons in the greater Los Angeles area. 

Fernie Andong, Owner and Barber

Name of salon or barbershop where you work or own: DeadEndz 

How long have you been a stylist/colorist/barber: 13 years

How much do you charge for women’s:
Haircut and style (mid-length or long)- $80 
Buzz cut- $40
Short cut- $40 

How much do you charge for men’s:
Haircut and style- $40
Buzz cut- $40
Short cut- $40
Long cut- $80

Why is “pink tax” applied to female-specific hair services only? In other words, why are they more expensive than men’s?

I don’t really have a pink tax if a women’s hair is short. For a pixie cut, I charge her the same as a men’s cut—$40. The price changes as soon as I get into the bob length or longer, and if I gotta pull out a smoothing iron or round brush and blow dryer—that’s when my price jumps up to $80, and vice versa if a guy comes in with longer hair past his jaw, he gets charged $80, the same as a female.

How do you feel about/what’s your personal opinion on women being forced to pay “pink tax”? 

I think it’s wrong. I charge everything on “time.” It’s the thing we don’t get back so that’s what I charge for—not if you’re a female or male. 

Would you ever consider evening out your rates for women to match with your rates for men?

 Yes, if they all wanted short pixie cuts 🙂 No, but really, I think my pricing is fair. 

 

Chelsea James, Owner and Stylist

Name of salon or barbershop where you work or own: Owner and stylist at Forma + Collective Salon

How long have you been a stylist and/or colorist: 11 years

What are your rates for women’s vs. men’s services?
All my prices are starting at. If it takes longer I charge accordingly. Prices depend on city I’m working in. For Denver in salon, this is my pricing:
I charge $200 per hour
Haircut- 45 min $150 (women) usually
Haircut- 30 min $100 (men) usually

Why is “pink tax” applied to female-specific hair services only? In other words, why are they more expensive than men’s?

This topic has always fascinated me. I remember when I was in school and learning how to cut men’s hair, I felt it was much more intimidating and challenging because you can see every detail. If you make a mistake it is there for the world to see.
The reason I was told this exists in the industry is because men don’t put as much value on a haircut (or their appearance) as women, so they will not pay.
I have a large clientele of men who pay the same price for their haircut as my female clients and they do value their aesthetic and salon service. My male customers come back to see me in the salon every 3 weeks or up to 6 weeks in between services to maintain their style.

How do you feel about/what’s your personal opinion on women being forced to pay “pink tax”?

The entire concept of pink tax is something of an old world to me. I spend so much time, energy and money on education and mastering my craft as a professional and because of that training, I thoroughly understand head shape, facial features, texture, and silhouette, so I can create the best look for any guest. My services are valued in time, not by gender. I switched to this methodology about 5 years ago and it has been a very enlightening process for my guests. Over this time period, I have found that having transparent conversations with my clients is my small part in helping to shift the consciousness of our industry and raise awareness to what it means to be a hairdresser. We are of a time where it is more than socially acceptable for men to care about their appearance, it’s basically a standard. My male clientele are proud and want the same level of expertise and care as my female guests. They want a professional to help guide them in creating a look to help them show up as their best self to the world. This is so important to me, that I also spend time thinking of the male experience in my salon in great depth. I inquire with them to find out what they would like to see, hear, drink and feel like during their service the same as I do with women. My salon has gender neutral decor, music and vibes. I know this “pink tax” exists is other industries and is a huge problem in equal pay as well, but I believe that our society is modernizing with the gender neutral movements in fashion, equality roles in jobs and pay, relationships and the beauty industry is no exception. I personally believe that I can make a difference in my position, and it is my responsibility to educate, raise awareness and facilitate the change I wish to see in the world
Would you ever consider evening out your rates for women to match with your rates for men?

 

Felicia Rials, Stylist

Name of salon or barbershop where you work/own: ALEN M Femme Coiffure

How long have you been a stylist and/or colorist: I am a stylist. I have been a stylist for 1.5 years.

How much do you charge for women’s:
Haircut and style (mid-length or long)- $195
Buzz cut- if you are talking about shaving their head, $45
Short cut- $150
Bang trim- $25
Blowout-$85

How much do you charge for men’s:
Haircut and style- $85
Buzz cut- $45
Short cut- $85 would be considered same as haircut/style
Long cut- $85
Bang trim- I would say most men don’t have bangs but would be $25
Blowout- I don’t know any man to get a blowout but if they had long hair and wanted one it would be the same $85

Why is “pink tax” applied to female-specific hair services only? In other words, why are they more expensive than men’s?

I feel that women’s hair cuts are more expensive because a lot of times they can take longer to execute than a men’s haircut! For example, a women comes in with a lot of hair it would take up to an hr and half to cut and style where as a male even if it’s a fade could take only 30min . But it does vary by client.

How do you feel about/what’s your personal opinion on women being forced to pay “pink tax”?

My personal opinion on women paying more for their hair cuts is fair. Women will pay to be beautiful and they want good hair. They always say you get what you pay for, and I think us as hairstylist should know what we are worth. Pricing also depends on location, but reality is that women’s hair treatments can take more time than men’s. They have more to work with and care more about the service than men. Women expect a shampoo haircut and blowout usually ending with hot-tools, whereas men just expect a shampoo and cut.

Would you ever consider evening out your rates for women to match with your rates for men?

I dont think that evening out rates would be a fair choice. Maybe charging what some places charge is a little outrageous, but the prices also target the consumer. We as colorist and stylist want to work smarter not harder but we also want our clients to come back. Me being a women we expect more and that comes with a cost.

 

Colleen Duffy, Stylist

Name of salon or barbershop where you work: BENJAMIN Salon Weho

How long have you been a stylist and/or colorist: 8 years

How much do you charge for women’s:

Haircut and style (mid-length or long)- $195

Short cut- $195

Bang trim- $0

Blowout- $100

How much do you charge for men’s:

Haircut and style- $135

Long cut- $195

Bang trim- $0

Why is “pink tax” applied to female-specific hair services only? In other words, why are they more expensive than men’s?

Usually they are more because they also include styling. Women usually have to come less often as men as well to maintain their haircut.

How do you feel about/what’s your personal opinion on women being forced to pay “pink tax”?

I feel that if you want a good haircut, you pay whatever it costs. Also, if you get a great haircut it may seem like a lot up front, but the grow out is much better and you can go for a longer period in between cuts, so it ends up not really being more expensive and you’re happy with your hair the whole time.

Would you ever consider evening out your rates for women to match with your rates for men? 

I would consider it for pixies keeping up their haircut, since they would need to come more often. The initial cut going from long to pixie would be the original price because of the amount of time and effort.

 

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