14 April 2016

In the wake of today’s BBC News item suggesting that salons charge different prices for the same services for men and women, the NHBF has urged salons to take a long, hard look at their pricing structures, and what they may inadvertently be “saying” to clients.

A recent NHBF survey found the vast majority of member salons – 84% – still split their price list by gender, despite the fact nearly a fifth (18%) had experienced clients asking why services were priced differently for men or women.

Although the NHBF has argued most salons do not have a deliberate gender bias within their pricing, it does agree that salons could be more open and transparent with clients about why prices sometimes vary.

NHBF president Paul Curry said the BBC item may have done salons a service by kick-starting a healthy debate about pricing structures within the industry.

He added: “Two thirds of NHBF members say they offer services to both men and women, and services such as male grooming have been huge growth areas for the industry in recent years.

“We are seeing a definite trend towards men paying higher prices as they are now asking for services such as full colour, highlights or perms which have historically been more commonly requested by female clients. These services take longer to do, use more products and require skilled and experienced stylists, which is why salons charge higher prices for them.”

However, the NHBF survey also showed that nearly 85% of salons who responded had not thought about the possible benefits of having and displaying a gender neutral price list within their salon or on their website.

“By not being open on price, salon leave themselves vulnerable to claims of discrimination. As consumer attitudes are changing, actively promoting your salon and your price list as being gender-neutral can be a great selling and marketing point. This is something I would encourage more salons to consider,” Paul said. 

The BBC News item is here: