Nova Scotia

Gender-neutral prices for haircuts introduced at Halifax salon

'If it's a woman who has the same length of hair as a man, why are we charging her $20 more because she's a woman?'

Price will be decided by length of hair and amount of time the stylist needs, not gender

Kara's Urban Day Spa is the latest in a small but growing number of Canadian salons offering gender-neutral pricing for haircuts. 1:05

A Halifax spa is the latest in a small but growing number of Canadian salons offering gender-neutral pricing for haircuts. 

Stylists at Kara's Urban Day Spa will price their cuts on the length of someone's hair and how much time the cut takes.  

"If I'm doing a pixie haircut on a woman or a short haircut on a man, it takes me the same amount of time to do it," says Kevyn Martell, the salon's new artistic director.

"If it's a woman who has the same length of hair as a man, why are we charging her $20 more because she's a woman?"

With gender-neutral pricing, haircuts for people with short hair will start at $25 and long hair at $35. (Kara's Urban Day Spa)

Men wearing longer hair

Martell joined the salon just six weeks ago, and started looking into how other salons handle pricing. A Google search revealed just a handful of salons in Canada had gender-neutral policies. 

He traces the tradition of different pricing for a men's haircut back to the 1970s, when unisex hair salons were trying to lure male clientele away from cheaper barbers. But in the era of the man bun, men are often just as style-conscious as women.

"Men are wearing longer hair again, and not the messy hair I was wearing in the 1970s," he said. 

He's hoping gender-neutral pricing spreads to more salons — and maybe even other industries, adding that a woman's shirt often costs more to dry clean than a man's shirt. 

'Fairness is a great thing'

Martell says there has been a good reaction since Kara's announced the change on their Facebook page. 

"Most people think that fairness is a great thing," he told CBC.

"Maybe some men may say that's a lot of money, but that's what your wife has been paying." 

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