Charging men less for a haircut is one of those things that has just always been that way. But why? It’s just another example of the ‘pink tax’, where women are charged more for almost identical products. One hairdresser wants to change that and end gendered haircuts. Susannah Richardson, who runs Butchers, in Shoreditch, London, says that sometimes cutting men’s hair takes just as long as cutting women’s and we should stop basing prices on gender. Susannah and her business partner Katie Knox have decided to start charging a set starting rate of £55 for all haircuts, no matter what the client’s gender is. They aren’t the first salon to level out pricing – Barberette in Hackney charges for the style, not gender and Chop Chop with branches across London follows a similar model. Susannah explains that for them, it was a change that they have been thinking about following for a long time. ‘I think we’ve been quite uncomfortable with charging men less for a while. It’s just a historic thing. We’ve always worked places where that was the case. ‘We were trying to compete with barber shops. We’re a small, independent business and we never wanted to scare men away. ‘But morally, we want it to be fair. A lot of our gents are coming for the experience – we look at the head shape, we provide massages. They are getting the same experience as our female clients.’ Susannah adds that now both men and women are more willing to change up the length of their hair – some male clients have long hair and some female clients have shorter hair – and it means the idea that men are charged less because cutting their hair is easier, is outdated. ‘Cutting a man’s hair can take just as long and sometimes even require more skill or technique. We’ve just been judging it on gender. Some women just have their ends cut off and a quick blow dry, which takes no time at all,’ she says.
The new policy will be in place at Butchers from Monday. Men’s haircuts will rise to start from £45 to £55 in line with the current prices for women.
Since announcing the idea, Susannah said that the reaction from their clients has been positive.
‘I think lots of them felt embarrassed that this was the case. Some of them have commented on it in the past and actually, I’m surprised it has taken us this long to address,’ she adds.
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