“Hair has no gender.”
Most anyone who’s been to a barber shop or a salon has probably seen that the pricing of services often adheres to gender. When this is the case, women almost always wind up paying more, even if their haircuts take less time or are far less labor intensive. Hair Junkie, a salon in Ottawa, Canada, noticed this phenomenon, pointing it out on Instagram in the form of a riddle.
With the posed question in the lengthy post also came the news that Hair Junkie would be implementing gender-agnostic pricing because “Hair has NO gender!” According to the announcement, the new pricing policy goes into effect on Aug. 27, Ottawa’s Pride Day, with short haircuts for both men and women starting at $31, while longer hair or a big change in style will run $46 and up for everyone.
Despite the fact that women’s hair, as a rule, isn’t any more or less difficult to cut than men’s, women are often assessed a high price because, well, they always have been. Perhaps the pricing models were established during times when men tended to get similar, low-effort haircuts while women sought more labor-intensive ‘dos, but one look at the fashion landscape today reveals that men’s and women’s haircuts today run the gamut from simple to complex. As such, it’s only reasonable and fair that a stylist or barber charge for their effort, time, and skill, rather than just assigning a cost based on gender.
The salon doesn’t mention the pink tax — the structured pricing model that inherently discriminates against women — by name, but it’s clear the owners are fighting the same battle many other establishments are to bring gender equality into retail marketplaces.
Hair Junkie isn’t the first salon to adopt this new practice, but it’s one of the more high-profile announcements. Logan Parlor in Chicago has also gone to a new pricing model that’s based on hair length, rather than gender. Says co-owner Tricia Serpe, “From a social perspective, it’s about equality. Hair has no gender. The salon industry assumes all long hair cuts are women and short cuts are men. That is not true.”