New York’s Men Advocate for Equal-Opportunity Vanity

Manicure man close-up to the beauty salon
Manhands Photo: igor terekhov/Istockphoto

New York's men have long had to labor against the worst kind of injustice: overpriced salon services. But no more, reports The Wall Street Journal. In the past few years, as manscaping has become a more and more acceptable urban ritual, beauty-services professionals have capitalized on the new market, and, in many cases, charged dudes more for a manicure or a wax than they do for a woman. Whether this tax is imposed for the greater difficulty of grooming a man or is somehow exploiting any remaining embarrassment a man might feel for requesting such services remains a matter of debate.

Ben Duon, the manager at Kim's Holly Salon, said the business received a $300 violation for charging men $2 more for manicures.

"It cannot be the same. It's much more work to do the men," he said. "Most men, they need a good cleaning. They're contractors, you need to do a lot of work on their nails."

At Vanilla Hair Spa, manager Oksana, who didn't want to give her last name, said the charge to wax men used to be $5 more than for women.

"If someone's waxing a man's back and a woman's back, it's like day and night," she said. "Of course it takes longer for men. It's more labor, more product."

Either way, the city is cracking down. Last year, the Department of Consumer Affairs issued twice as many citations to salons and spas for gender-discriminatory pricing, ordering to re-price for gender parity in the name of civil rights. Of course, the pricing disparity goes both ways; women pay far more for haircuts than men. Still, we can't help but think that plenty of places asked to reconsider their pricing menus will start charging women $12 for a manicure, too, rather than letting the dudes in on the $10 deal, which would officially make it the most annoying step toward gender equality ever.