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What is Gender-Neutral Pricing?

In recent years there has been a shift in the industry towards gender-neutral pricing, promoting inclusivity through neutral pricing. Gender-neutral pricing’s main premise is to remove the gendered pre-fix around hair services and instead opt for a service menu name and price that reflects the service performed. For example, a ‘Men’s Cut’ is replaced by a ‘Short Hair Cut.’ What started as a strategy to create more inclusivity in the salon has proven to be just as powerful at boosting business and appealing to younger generations who longer value or appreciate labels.

Why Were Gender’s Included Anyway?

What originally may have started as a way to promote that the salon offered services for both genders has evolved into unfair pricing. The ‘pink tax’ is applied to many products and services across several industries, and the salon industry isn’t immune despite being predominently female. The stereotypes that exist within gendered ‘Men’s Cut and Color” and ‘Women’s Cut and Color” don’t actually reflect variances of what is being performed within the service. Gender doesn’t reflect the length or density of the hair, or the complexity of the service, so why are we discounting for the guys and penalizing the ladies?

An Inclusive Salon Experience

For the client, coming into the salon should be an uplifting experience, one that leaves them feeling confident and empowered, ready to take on the world with the help of their fresh new ‘do. For some, that experience can become halted by the expectation to choose a gendered appointment. In an industry that promotes individuality and self-expression, centering services around gender is irrelevant and alienating. Salons that have removed gender from their service menu have had amazing results, promoting a positive salon experience, building loyalty, and strengthening the client/stylist relationship.

Future-Proofing Your Salon Business

Gender-neutral pricing not only promotes inclusivity but can also create a more logical structure to your service menu. Most salons start by considering costs, time and product, and often settle on time-based pricing or a revision that lists the service by time taken or complexity. Ultimately, these are the factors that determine pricing along with experience level.

Clients with shorter hair should pay less based on the fact that it takes less time and color to achieve their desired look while clients with longer hair and more regrowth should pay more due to on the increased amount of time and color. To make the process easier, many salons have turned to Vish to automate product and labor charges, ensuring potential profits are never left to chance.

There’s No Time Like the Present

What many salons and stylists have discovered when making the switch is that when they release their services from the gender constraints, they unleashed new color profit potential. Having such rigid ideas around what each service entails results in color charges and additional services that are omitted from the final ticket because of assumptions, ultimately leaving you to eat the additional costs. Every time this happens you’re missing out on the opportunity to capture additional revenue.

From behind the chair to the C-suites, the adoption of change is palpable. At Craft House Salon, owned and operated by Mallory Zenner, the pricing structure and ideology are highly embraced. All services are gender-neutral and pricing is based on the time, level of experience, and education of the service provider.

“Salon owners tell us their new [gender-neutral] pricing approaches are fairer than an à la carte price, and that an updated pricing model encourages inclusivity and the move towards gender-neutral pricing. After the closures, especially, many salons realized the importance of being able to charge in proportion to the amount of product used and time spent—and said their guests could understand and accept the change.”

-Stacey Soble, Director of Brand Content Strategy at Salon Today

Want to learn more about revising your pricing structure to promote inclusivity, increase transparency, and boost revenue? Book a walkthrough of the system changing the game today.

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