Should haircuts cost women more?

ANNA TURNER
Last updated 17:46 22/01/2013
haircut landscape
REUTERS

UNFAIR: Women fed up with paying more at the hair salon than their male counterparts may have cause to complain.

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Women fed up with forking out more cash in the hair salon than men may have cause to complain.

Denmark's board of equality ruled last month that price differences between men's and women's haircuts were illegal.  

The board ordered a salon that charged 100 crowns more for women's haircuts than men's to pay a fine of 2500 crowns.

The decision has sparked a discussion on gender equality over the price of a haircut.

In Christchurch, the Carlton Hair Corporation charged $25 more for a woman's haircut than a man's.

Hairdresser Cassie Law said there were "very good reasons" for the price difference.

"A man's haircut generally takes between 15 and 20 minutes. It's a lot more basic, with a quick wash and cut, " she said.

"With a woman's haircut, you have to blow-dry it and generally do more styling and treatments. It takes a lot longer and is more technically difficult."

Law said that if a woman came in with "short hair styled like a man's" she would drop the price.

"I would probably use common sense and revise the price,'' she said.

''It would probably be about $10 more than a man's haircut because it still requires more styling and time, but it wouldn't be as much as the usual price for a woman's haircut."

Headspace owner Niq James said his salon charged depending on time, not gender.

A haircut and blow-dry from a stylist cost $75 for a woman and a haircut and finish for a man cost $46.

"We charge in 15-minutes slots. A woman's appointment usually takes about 45 minutes because of a blow-wave, whereas a man's can be a lot shorter,'' he said.

"If a woman's hair cut took a short time we'd only charge her for that, the same as if a man wanted longer treatments. It's the same with children.

"If in Denmark they're charging different prices for the same amount of time, I think there is an issue."

A spokeswoman said the Commerce Commission could not comment on the matter.

"The price of haircuts for men and women does not fall under the Commerce Commission's remit as, in itself, it's not a potential breach of the Commerce Act or the Fair Trading Act," she said.

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