Finland: Hairdressing and Gender discrimination

First, let’s look at what the news say:

Hairdressers Could Face Fines for Gender Discrimination
Published 09.10.2007, 09.13 (updated 09.10.2007, 10.29)

Four hair salons in the Helsinki area could face fines because they charge women more than men, regardless of how long it takes to cut their hair. Customers have filed complaints against the shops, and they have already received warnings. Hairdressers argue that women’s hair is usually more difficult and time-consuming to handle than men’s.

If those hairdressers still charge man and woman at different price even after listed criteria (highlight in bold) as below, then I guess the charge is fairly done:

Discrimination in Pricing Should Be Eliminated in Hairdresser Services 

The Ombudsman for Equality and the Consumer Ombudsman have together called for barbers and hairdressers to stop discriminative pricing and instead base prices on the amount of time required for service as well as factors involving quality and skill. The same message was sent to the field as early as 1993.

Hairdressers and barbers can price their services freely. Prices are influenced by the amount of work required for service and also professional skill, the difficulty of the job, materials used and the location of the shop. The Ombudsman for Equality and the Consumer Ombudsman emphasize that pricing should depend on the service performed for the customer, not gender.

So my question would be… is there any observation/data collected for those hairdressing services? The customers who complaint to the authority were really sure about ceteris paribus, the hairdresser unfairly charged differently solely based on gender? It would be interesting to know, isn’t it? 😛


  1. October 12, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    I owned a salon and spa for 7 years. We based our prices on the amount of time it took to perform the service, as well as the type of products used regardless of gender. Having said that, when a woman says, “I just want a trim”, 99 out of 100 times meant something entirely different and more time consuming than when a male would say, “Just trim me up”
    If, on the rare occasion a woman is charged more than a similar service priced for a male, the law of averages of her total services would be the equalizer. The “authorities” really shouldn’t have “authority” over what should be a business decision on the owner’s part.
    The Hypnotic HairDresser

  2. Isabelle said,

    April 7, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    What happened in the end? Did they get fined or not?

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