A WOMAN told how she was left feeling “upset and humiliated” after a barber refused to cut her hair.
Natalie Collins, 39, of Delhi Road, in Pitsea, wanted to get her hair cut into a “short back and sides” style, which is frequently favoured by men.
She had initially hoped to get her hair cut by a stylist in the hairdressing side of Broadway Barbers, in High Road, Pitsea, but there was nobody available.
The mum-of-three claims she then asked for a barber to style her hair - but was told he “doesn’t do women’s hair.”
She said: “I went there a couple of months ago with my sons and as I’ve actually got a similar haircut, and had it cut by a barber.
“I thought that was great and was pleased with the cut so didn’t think it would be a problem. So when the women’s hairstylist said they didn’t have any room for me I asked if I could have it done by a barber and and he just said: ‘I don’t cut women’s hair.’
“I asked what’s different about cutting my hair to a man’s hair as I wanted a men’s style and he just said again: ‘I don’t cut women’s hair.’
“I was told I could wait for another hairdresser to arrive so waited about 25 minutes and she never arrived so I ended up just sitting there.
“I felt really angry, upset and humiliated to be honest and eventually left.
“I would understand if I had long hair and wanted a women’s haircut as I know they are trained differently but I wanted a men’s haircut.”
Amir Glassi, the barber at Broadway Barbers, said: “She came in asking for a haircut so I told her I don’t do women’s hair and that the other hairdresser isn’t here yet so she said she would wait.
“The woman who did it before wasn’t here.
“Her hair wasn’t that short - if she wanted an all over cut it might be different but she wanted it long on top and short on the sides.
“Can you imagine if I cut it and she didn’t like it?
“I don’t cut women’s hair - we didn’t do anything wrong. The other hairdresser was on her way.”
Other barbers have agreed this is a common stance in the profession - but said they would probably have taken the job on anyway.
She said: “We cut girls hair as long as it’s a short cut, but I’m not surprised as there’s lot of people in the industry who would say the same.
“But we would never turn anyone down because they are a woman.”
Ashlee McCarthy, 29, of Jopman Lane, Benfleet, owns Hair To Stay, in Basildon. She said: “At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if it’s a man or a woman if they want a man’s haircut. We wouldn’t refuse to do it. It doesn’t really make any difference.”