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Long Story Short

Think Hugh Jackman in X-Men.

Now recall Halle Berry in Die Another Day.

Both action films premiered when I was in my early days as a stylist, so perfecting those long and short cuts was all in my week’s work. But the fact our male customers with long hair were paying less than our female customers with very short hair did make me ponder. One cut took considerably more time than the other. So why the difference in dollars?

When I raised the point with the salon owner, I was told that was “just the way things were.” Then and now, few statements frustrate me more than that one. I vowed that when I had my own salon—which I would and it would be amazing—pricing would be equitable and gender would not figure into the equation. Which is precisely what came to be.

Hair stylists become hyper-aware of trends, not only tracking what’s fresh, but translating how certain styles will or will not work for their own clientele. Intuition plays a big role, and experience an even larger one. But the real key is reserving part of the styling appointment for the individual to talk about the look they’re envisioning. How do they want to be seen? The exchange—sometimes long, sometimes short—opens personal style doors that two often have remained closed.

We say it’s about time.


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