Dutch human rights watchdog College voor de Mensenrechten has ruled that two hairdressing chains are discriminating against women by charging them more than men, and says they should be more transparent about their pricing.
The case was brought by a woman who had visited salons from the Toni & Guy chain and Wave International Hairstyling. Women, she said, had fewer options to go for cheaper hair treatments than men and this constituted discrimination on the grounds of sex.
Both chains saidin their defence that hair treatments for women are more extensive and take up more time, which makes them more expensive. Moreover, allowing women to go for a cheaper version of the treatment would be detrimental to the ‘luxury formula’ promoted by the salons, they claimed.
However, the fact that women are not able to choose shorter, less comprehensive and therefore cheaper styling, while men can ask for additional services, is proof of discrimination, the watchdog said.
The watchdog said in its ruling that the two salons should describe the separate elements of the treatments, as well as how long they take and price them accordingly. This would avoid any suggestion that some treatments are only offered to persons of a particular sex.
The College ruling is not legally binding and hairdressers do not have to follow the recommended change.
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