Haircut discrimination


Is it legal here to charge women substantially higher rates than men for haircuts? As a woman with very short hair, it really pisses me off when my male friends get cheaper cuts from the same stylist, even though my hair is shorter than theirs! Surely this is gender discrimination on a major scale?—Laura


It’s time to find a new stylist, because posting rates that charge you more than your male friends violates the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Code and NYC Human Rights Law. The DCA Code requires retailers (including hair salons) to post prices and forbids prices that differ on the basis of gender. NYC Human Rights Commissioner and Chair Patricia L. Gatling agrees: “Gender-based discrimination is a violation of the NYC Human Rights Law. Charging men and women different prices for the same service is gender discrimination,” she says. “Individuals who believe they are being treated differently from one another based on their gender, race, national origin and numerous other protected classes should contact the NYC Commission on Human Rights.” To do that, simply dial 311.—Sandra Plasse

Freeman’s Sporting Club

Photograph: Beth Levendis

Who makes the cut?

Ladies with super-short locks are welcome at these guy-oriented salons.

Barbiere NYC
“We had a girl come in yesterday and get a kind of taper all the way up,” says Matthew Demayo, owner of the old-school Italian barbershop (and James Franco sighting spot). “Even my girlfriend, she saw the cut and wants one,” he laughs. Customers can opt for the forbici (a textured scissor cut) or the rasoio (clipper cut with a scissor finish) for $40 and $30, respectively. 246 E 5th St between Second Ave and Cooper Sq (646-649-2640,

Esquires of Wall Street
It’s tough to imagine an establishment that’s more of an old-money boys club—this place was even financed by regular J.P. Morgan in 1932. But according to barber Ray (no last name, he says), they’ve had women clients for a long time; they can get a standard cut ($22), a cut and style ($44) and full highlights ($120). 14 Wall St between Broadway and Nassau St (212-349-5064,

Frank’s Chop Shop
The tiny, stylish space on the Lower East Side attracts hip-hoppers, alterna-dads, skaters and other “modern gentlemen of leisure.” So does it service the ladies of that persuasion? “We do, a lot,” explains receptionist Patricia Zabala, who says that clients can choose everything from a buzz ($25) to more advanced scissor cuts ($40--50). 19 Essex St between Canal and Hester Sts (212-228-7442,

Freeman’s Sporting Club
“Yeah, absolutely,” says barber Van Capizzano about serving women at his gentlemanly digs, though it isn’t common. Housed in the back of the rustic yet upscale clothing store, the shop’s stylists give classic retro snips for $40 a pop. 8 Rivington St between Bowery and Chrystie St (212-673-3209,—Tim Lowery

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