Backlash Over Local Barber’s ‘no-females’ Policy

A Leeds University student has complained of aggressive behaviour from Barber Barber, a gentlemen’s only barber in Leeds. Speaking to The Gryphon, she said “I went to Barber Barber on Albion Place to wait while my boyfriend was getting his haircut.”

“As soon as I came in, the manager came right up to me and asked me to leave. When I asked if I had to wait outside he replied saying ‘You don’t have to wait outside, but you can’t wait in here’”

“I personally completely understand that a business wants to offer customers a unique service, and in some contexts single-gender only is appropriate; but unless it’s a paying members-only business, I think it’s completely out of order to ask someone to leave on the basis of their gender.”

Barber Barber, which markets itself as the UK’s finest gentlemen’s only saloon, has a branch on Albion Place, Leeds, which opened in June this year.

Similar complaints were made against the Liverpool branch of Barber Barber. In August, Nick Small, a Councillor in Liverpool said: “Barber Barber may well believe they’re being ironic or edgy, but I believe that by banning women from the premises, they may well be in breach of equalities legislation

“Yes, they’re a gents’ barbers, but that doesn’t give them the excuse to stop mums bringing their sons in for a haircut”

When contacted for comment, Barber Barber told The Gryphon: “We do not refuse entry on gender and women are of course allowed in the shop and come in every day to purchase product vouchers. We do however offer a gentleman only service on the basis that that is all we are trained, competent and insured to provide.”

“We are a small but busy shop (the waiting area is around 65 square foot) that means this area is for customers only as we physically do not have the space for non-customers to wait. We feel it is a bit unfair to claim we are refusing on basis of gender and choosing to attack a small independent business because we do not provide a waiting area for non-customers. Tesco don’t provide this, nor do Sainsbury’s or any other retailers.”

“Confusion can of course arise, as many operators close by are hairdressers and in many cases are unisex. However we do not provide any unisex hair services.”

(Image: Facebook)

Shamima Noor

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