Hair Junkie, a salon in Ottawa, Canada, has recently announced that come September, they will charge the same price for both men’s and women’s haircuts.
Currently, Hair Junkie charges $31 (€20.47, £18.72) as the starting price for men’s haircuts and $41 (€27.08, £24.75) as the starting price for women’s. But soon, the pricing will be gender neutral.
Other salons both in Canada and the US have been taking this initiative and charging people based on how much work they have done rather than the gender of their hair cut. One example is Kara’s Urban Day Spa in Halifax, Canada which adopted this policy last year.
Hair Junkie is the first salon in the Ottawa area to have a gender-neutral pricing policy.
‘You see tons of women who have very short hair, tons of men who have very long hair,’ Jessie Stevens, Hair Junkie’s salon coordinator, tells CBC News. ‘If you’re doing the same amount of work on a male or a female, I think it’s only fair that the price should reflect that.’
According to Stevens, when the prices change, a barber’s cut or a short pixie cut will start at $31 (€20.47, £18.72) while a mid-to-long haircut or a drastic style change will start at $46 (€30.38, £27.77) since those cuts take longer. And of course, there will be a mid-range price for cuts that fall in between those two extremes.
Stevens went on CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning program to talk about the salon’s decision to start gender neutral pricing.
‘We’re hearing more and more people questioning, like, why is there a difference in the price range,’ Stevens said. ‘We have transgender clients who come in and they have voiced their — not concern, but just asking the question why [this pricing structure exists].’
‘We have been asked over and over how come I get charged so much for so little hair or how come my husband get’s charged so little for so much hair,’ Hair Junkie owner Fady Assaad told CTV News Ottawa. ‘I think it’s time.’
Hair Junkie announced their new policy to their customers on Facebook in the following post:
‘Prices are transparent. Prices are fair. Prices are neutral because Hair has NO gender!,’ the salon wrote.
Hair Junkie’s owner on the new pricing
GSN spoke to salon owner Fady Assaad about their new policy. According to Assaad, many customers have been very supportive of this pricing change. However, there has been some negative reactions as well.
Assaad told GSN about a hateful message that was left on the salon’s answering machine condemning their new policy. But Assaad isn’t phased by it. ‘Even our clients in their 60s and 70s are showing support,’ he says.
On being the first Ottawa salon to offer gender neutral pricing, Assaad says, ‘I’m surprised no one thought of it.’
‘Customers asked about it, so other salons probably got asked,’ he says. ‘You can do something about it or ignore it. We chose to do something.’
Assaad also notes that this pricing policy will reflect coloring and treatments as well as cuts. Customers will be charged based on how long their service took rather than the gender of it.
‘If time is money and we all charge according to time, shouldn’t hair have no gender?,’ Assaad asked rhetorically.
Assaad mentioned that since there’s a gender pay gap, it doesn’t make sense for women’s products and services to cost more. ‘There’s imbalance and it’s not fair. If I was a woman, I’d be upset,’ he says.
Hair Junkie will be participating in Ottawa’s Pride Day parade on 27 August. The salon will reportedly have a trailer and be giving away free samples and other goodies during the festivities.