Price cut

With gen­der equal­ity so heav­ily in the news, why are women still pay­ing more than men for a hair­cut? Natalie Lukaitis says it’s time for a…

Grazia (UK) - - Contents -

LAST WEEK I had my hair cut from mid-back length up to my col­lar­bone. No fancy stuff, just a blunt chop. It took 10 min­utes to do the job, six of which were spent in the wash chair, so tech­ni­cally, it only took four min­utes. The cost? An eye-wa­ter­ing £110. That’s £27.50 per minute. A week ear­lier, my hus­band got the full works – a wash, graded styling and a tidy-up around the ears. It took 45 min­utes. His price? £65.

Right off the bat, it was ap­par­ent that we pay way too much for hair­cuts, but even more bleed­ingly ob­vi­ous was the gen­der price gap. In fact, a 2016 study found the av­er­age Bri­tish wo­man spends £750 on her hair each year, with men spend­ing just over half of that. And that’s with­out tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the added costs some sa­lons ap­ply if you have ex­tra thick or afro hair. Why? Be­cause women’s hair and cer­tain types of hair re­quire more work – or so I was told when I made a fee­ble at­tempt to solve this mys­tery (not an easy ques­tion to ask when some­one’s hold­ing scis­sors near your head). The thing is, a lot of men I see have pretty sim­i­lar hair to me. In some cases it’s even more shiny, neat and coiffed than mine! So surely it’s time to quit this way of think­ing and start charg­ing by time, or ap­ply a blan­ket price across the board?

Thank­fully, a hand­ful are, with Chop Chop Lon­don break­ing ground last week. Self-de­scribed as a ‘neu­tral hair­dress­ing hub’, their goal is to make the hair sa­lon ex­pe­ri­ence more ac­ces­si­ble to all races, gen­ders and hair types at a frac­tion of their com­peti­tors’ costs. ‘It makes com­plete sense to have a skilled team of ses­sion stylists trained in all hair types to pro­vide a fair, equal ser­vice that isn’t based on gen­der or race,’ ex­plains co-founder Kaye So­tomi. With a set menu of 24 styles that suit all hair types, can be com­pleted in 20 min­utes and cost just £20, it’s set to shake up the mar­ket. ‘Con­sumers are be­com­ing more con­scious of their spend­ing, so we’re aim­ing to pro­vide a straight­for­ward process with­out com­pro­mis­ing on qual­ity,’ adds Kaye. Mend­ing a re­cent hole in my pocket, I couldn’t wel­come it sooner. Old Street Yard, EC1Y 1BE; chop­choplon­don.com

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