Barbers refusing to serve women, arguing they only cut men's hair, is a discriminatory act, Miko Lempinen from the Office of the Ombudsman for Equality said, calling this practice illegal, Finnish national broadcaster Yle reported.
"The refusal to offer barber services to a woman amounts to discrimination. Women are entitled to be served in barber shops," Lempinen said, threatening noncompliant barbers who don't accept all kinds of customers with trial and fines.
Lempinen stressed that hair stylists cannot choose their customers based on sex — or any other criteria. Likewise, prices must relate to the services provided, not to gender characteristics. If the time, tools, and skills required for trimming women's hair are the same as those for cutting men's hair, then the price must be the same too, Lempinen said.
Thus, coiffeurs shouldn't group their services by gender and should instead cater to a broad public on an equal platform, with barbershops and beauty salons being open to both men and women, Lempinen pointed out.
Haircuts ranging from 10 to 15 euros apiece (compared with an average of 32 euros) offered by trendy barbershops that have mushroomed across Finland in recent years have lured a lot of women who want to have their hair trimmed at reasonable prices, as the price of "male" haircuts has dropped by about a third. However, some barbershops have refused to serve women arguing they only cater to men.
According to Yle, Finnish hairdressers have in recent years come under increasing competition from their immigrant colleagues.