It’s a common story. Trans people like Ben, as well as others who don’t visually conform to traditional ideas of masculinity and femininity, are among those paying more.
Hair salons perpetuate these gender stereotypes with their prices, among other things. In most places, price lists differ between men and women, with women’s prices being more expensive. In Zurich, women usually pay at least 20 Swiss francs more.
‘This distinction made sense in the past,’ says Simone Rigliaco from Liquid Hairsalon. ‘Men had simpler haircuts and women went to the hairdresser every week to get more varied hairstyles.’ Fashion and hairstyles have become more diverse, according to the young hairdresser. He noticed a hair salon that had gender-neutral prices when he was working in London for a short time. He wondered why we have gender-specific prices. ‘I want to be paid for my work, not for the gender of the person whose hair I’m cutting.’ In winter 2020, Rigliaco opened Liquid, his hair salon, in Zurich’s Idaplatz with a gender-neutral price list. ‘It’s not just the price list that matters, it’s the message behind it. Everyone is welcome here; you can be yourself without being judged.’ The concept, which is still rare in Zurich, delighted many, and was particularly well received in the queer community. Rigliaco and his colleague Lissa Hauri, were criticised and praised in equal measure.