Hair equality: Denmark rules on same haircut prices for men and women

Ever wonder why a man with short hair pays half the money for a haircut than a woman with the same hair length? Yes? So did we. Keeping a pixie crop well trimmed can cost a fortune to us, while the guy next door can pop to the gents salon and get away with less than twenty quid.

This is what we call discrimination and maybe that was the feeling that pushed a brave Danish customer submitting a complaint about an hairdresser charging 100 kroner (£11.50) more for a woman's haircut than a man crop. The lady, who had a very short hair-style, felt that paying more just because of her gender was utterly unfair, so she walked away.

She then went to the Denmark’s Board of Equal Treatment, which after carefully reviewing her case, ruled in her favour. Although the hairdresser tried to justify the higher price with the different amount of time taken to cut a woman's hair and the materials used in the procedure, the Board found that only gender was mentioned on the price list.

As the price did not mention any reference to the actual service, the difference of price violated Denmark's Gender Equality Act, which ensures that gender equality is respected by granting the same treatment to both men and women. The salon was even ordered to pay 2,500 kroner (£281) to the woman for damages.

On the other hand a trade organisation for hairdressers and cosmeticians has found the whole decision absurd, claiming that setting prices for customers would have been chaotic if based on something different than gender. The decision has been appealed and it will be determined whether hairstylists will have to charge based on length of time or standard of cut.

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