Barber won’t cut woman’s hair because men don’t like seeing women around at the shop

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A woman claimed she was refused a haircut by barber shop staff who said men are “put off” when they see a female in the store.

Cloë Freeman, 29, said she asked for a traditional fade at Misters Mens Hairdressers in St Helier, Jersey – but was told her presence could make other male customers feel uncomfortable.

The civil servant has said she found the incident “upsetting” and is demanding an apology from the hairdressers.

Cloë said: “I wasn’t even given a chance to say what I was looking for. I was told that they don’t service women, end of.

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“But I think when you look at my hair for just two seconds, it is pretty obvious I wasn’t coming in looking for a bouncy blow dry.

“The only reason I couldn’t get what I wanted was because I was a woman.

“I had been shaving my own hair for quite some time and a while ago decided to try out a new style and approached Image Barbers at West’s Centre to get a fade.

“Initially I was a bit apprehensive, but when the guys in the barber didn’t blink an eye, I then felt comfortable enough to approach a few different barbers in town.”

Cloë added that she had gone to salons in the past but found that barbers had better expertise in the style that she wanted.

She added: “I was particularly taken aback by the reception I got when I walked into Misters because I have had fades done by around four or five barber’s shops in town and not one of them made me feel unwelcome, or even acted as though me being there was unusual.”

In addition to what Ms Freeman described as an unnecessarily abrupt reception, she added that the shop was completely empty at the time.

She added: “What I was looking to get done would take around 20 to 30 minutes and, as the place was completely empty, it made the situation even stranger.”

Cloë said that although she recognised that the barbershop may not have intended to discriminate against her, the incident had shown “a general lack of awareness’.

A woman who worked at Misters Mens Hairdressers, but would not give her name, defended her position to refuse Cloë a haircut.

She said: “Women sometimes come in here looking for a haircut because it is cheaper than in salons.

“But when men come in and see a woman sitting here they are put off coming in as they don’t like being here when a woman is here.”

But Advocate Barbara Corbett from Corbett Le Quesne law firm has waded into the argument, and said the treatment of Cloë was discriminatory.

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