Men’s Barbershop Fined $750 for Not Cutting a Woman’s Hair

The men’s barbershop in Washington, Pennsylvania referred the woman elsewhere and even offered to pay for her haircut because of the inconvenience of not being able to serve her. Now, they’re getting slapped with a $750 fine by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs for gender discrimination. The Associated Press reported:

[Barbiere] Owner John Interval tells the (Washington) Observer-Reporter the fine “infringes” on his shop’s environment.


The female customer had booked hair appointments online for herself and her boyfriend. She asked for a short haircut known as a wave but was turned away.

Interval says his staff recommended other shops and even offered to pay for a haircut at someplace else to compensate for the inconvenience.

Barbiere bills itself as a high-end gentleman’s barbershop (it’s exclusionary of women). You can check out their website here. The owner told the Washington Observer-Reporter, “Guys come here as a kind of a little getaway, to be around other guys.” Naturally, being a men’s hangout place, they also serve beer and liquor. (Is that a sexist stereotype?)

I don’t get what the big deal is here. I don’t know why they turned her away. Maybe they didn’t think they could do a woman’s haircut well enough for the price they advertised on their website. They advertise very plainly on their site that a haircut is $23. Women’s cuts are typically far more expensive than men’s, because women usually have a lot more to work with, and they’re more particular then most men are. (Was that a sexist generalization?) And why did the woman insist on this men’s barbershop to give her a woman’s haircut. Were there no women’s salons around?

Who knows what their reasoning was. But it was well within their rights to turn her away. The fact that they even offered to pay for her haircut elsewhere shows that they weren’t just a bunch of male chauvinistic pigs.

It’s a privately owned business. They should be able to turn people away for any reason they want. Have you ever seen those signs that read, “No shoes, no shirt, no service?” If you come in barefoot or shirtless, they reserve the right to tell you to leave.

Is it gender discrimination for a business to offer a ladies’ night discount? Is it age discrimination for a business to offer a senior discount? Should a girl be allowed to sue an all-boys school for not allowing her to attend? (What if she “identified” as a boy?)