Why are Short Cuts for Women More Than Short Cuts For Men?
Updated: Apr 4
"There are very few jobs that require a penis or a vagina. All other jobs should be open to everybody with equal pay."-Florynce Kennedy
Women make on average 77% of what men make. Does this enrage you? I hope so. I know it infuriates me. So, why is a pixie cut $60 and a men's cut $30? It has nothing to do with genitalia. Men's cuts generally take 20 minutes, some even 15. Women's cuts(even short) take 45-75 minutes.
Men's cuts are traditionally "in and out". Common conversation regarding men's cuts:
Male Customer: "I'd like a #3 and then scissors on top and clean up my neck line."
Me: "Cool, let's do it! How's everything going?"
Male Customer: "It's good. Work is good, family is good."
I proceed to give him a number 3, scissors on top, shampoo, blow dry and he hands over cash and is out the door in 17 minutes.
Common conversation regarding women's cuts:
Female Client: "Um, so. I don't know, just I want it short. Not too short, but like a pixie, but maybe longer in the front*pulls all her hair to the front*, or like I don't know how about I don't want my ear to show, but I want it long enough to tuck it behind my ear, but not like, a lot lot of hair in the front. Well maybe I do want it kind of in front of the ear, and maybe like trim it over my ear a little, but I definitely don't want my ears just like STICKING OUT*tugs on ears stretching them like bubble gum*. Maybe I should do like a chin length like a bob, but shaved in the back? But not like shaved, maybe an undercut, but that seems weird because I want to be able to pull up all of my hair*grabs hair into pretend ponytail* and that always looks weird back there. DO YOU SEE HOW THICK THIS IS*grips her hair with the strength of 20 men* Remember that one cut we did like 3 or 7 years ago? I loved that! Except I think I wanted longer bangs*frantically moving bangs around like a cyclone left and right* and more layers and kind of longer,*pulls hair up, pretending to cut layers into it* except not like that one time we did a llloooong pixie but it wasn't like a Karen cut, or was it? I don't want it like Posh Spice or a Karen or Kate plus 8, I think I have some pics on my phone. Hold on. Where's my phone?"
*I stand patiently watching as client searches under her cape, under her legs, pats herself down like a cop doing a weapon check, then lunges forward to grab her purse and proceeds to rifle through it like an angry robber, pulling out granola bars, hair ties, broken lip gloss, a baseball card, 2 wallets, and 15 other things and then mysteriously finds her phone in her back pocket. She gets settled back in the seat, composes herself and then I awkwardly watch her scroll through 9,318 photos on her phone, 318 albums on Pinterest with 78,239,475 pins saved so she can find the cut.
*4 minutes later
Me: "How about we-"
Client: "HERE!!! I found it! See this? No wait I like the color on this one not the cut, hold on. Ok, here, see this? This is it, except well, look at this pic with these bangs and maybe I just need some highlights. Wait let me take my earrings off. *drops earring back* Oh crap! Can you see it? Wait, maybe I see it. No, hold on, I'll find it. *frantically searching the floor like a bloodhound on the scent of a prison escapee* I can't see anything with this mask on! Is that it over there? No, over THERE. No here it is I found it!"*proceeds to remove all jewelry, rifle through purse again to put it in a little side pocket that she'll later forget that she put them in there*
*2 minutes later
Me: "Let's just think about all of the words you just said for a second-" Client: "You're so funny, look at this pic-see how she's like oh god she's like 18. I don't look like that. My hair used to be SO THICK AND NOW I'M PRACTICALLY BALD*puts head in hands having slight panic attack*. Maybe I shouldn't do a pixie, what do you think? My husband doesn't really like my hair short, but I told him WHO CARES IT'S MY HAIR but still, I want him to like my hair, you know? I mean if the cut is longer on the top it won't be like BOY short, right? I don't know, I mean, what do you think?"
Me: "Well, I think if we stop for a second and look at-"
Client: "You know what? *$@! it. Let's just chop it off!! Let's just chop.this.off!!! But here, what do you think about like Jennifer Lawrence when she did that and oh! Sharon Stone, remember, she just went like SHORT but she's beautiful, I know she's had work done, but I mean oh god what's her face, when she went short....Cheryl SHarli Charlie Charlize Theron! Well, but I liked her hair when it was in that bob. Remember when she was in that movie with Keanu Reeves? Was that her? You know Raquel Welch has some great hair styles that are short! Jamie Lee Curtis, I like that cut, but I don't know, it doesn't really seem to-"
Me: "OK stop, you're spiraling out of control. What's this really all about. It's the quarantine and you haven't seen your mom. Settle down and we'll get through this together. You're driving me crazy! "*I put my hands lovingly, yet firmly on client's shoulders, to ground her*
*So we're a good 12 minutes into the haircut service before we've even done anything or decided on a cut.
I am slightly exaggerating(but also you can't believe how long clients freak out in front of me before cutting their hair), but in all honesty, short cuts are the most challenging. They take the longest on women. They are NOT the same as a man's cut unless you are straight up #2 clippers and scissors on the top with no real style, product usage or anything. If you are legit a clipper all the way up and cut on the top, you get the men's price. However, if you like to spiral out of control and make me watch you go through all of your selfies and screenshots, I have to charge full price. Women require more time with their hair. So, to wrap it up, short womens' cuts take more time. From consultation to shampoo to cut to style, they require more time. I love being thorough and giving you what you want, even if I have to go through a 20 minute therapy session with you before we can even head to the shampoo bowl.
Stay angry friends. Demand pay equality. You deserve equal pay. And next time, there's going to be a therapy co-payment tacked onto your final bill.