Customers with Type 4 hair pay an average of 43 per cent more for the same service as those with Type 1 straight hair, according to a new report by Ripe Hair & Beauty Insurance.
Released in line with World Afro Day (15 September), the report highlights inequalities facing people with Type 4 and Afro hair.
The new study, which surveyed an ethnically diverse group of more than 2,113 UK residents, outlines the shocking cost disparity between different hair types accessing the same service. An appointment which includes a cut, style, colour, and treatment usually costs someone with Afro hair £68.19 more than their straight-haired counterparts – £225.13 for Type 4 clients compared with £156.94 for those with Type 1 hair.
The impact on personal finances for Afro hair clients is even clearer when you consider costs accrued over an annual and lifetime period. Based on an average of three hair appointments per year, those with Type 4 hair pay an extra £204.57, which amounts to a further £12,683.34 over a lifetime period.
Clients with Afro hair also travel twice as far for appointments compared to those with straight hair due to a lack of adequate services nearer home. This equates to a travel length of 17.4 miles compared to 8.9 miles for Type 1 customers, making extra travel another cost to bear.
Once in the chair, those with Type 4 hair are also more likely to face discrimination and poorer quality service than Type 1 hair customers. The study found that one-fifth (20 per cent) reported discrimination when getting their hair done compared to just 4 per cent of customers with straight hair.
More than 58 per cent of Type 4 hair clients have felt let down by the quality of service they have received in a salon or barbershop, compared to 44 per cent of Type 1 customers. The most common reason cited was that the hair stylist or barber didn’t know how to manage their hair texture (32 per cent).
More than three-quarters (78 per cent) of respondents said the salon specifically advertised that it specialised in their hair type, suggesting that many businesses are falsely claiming to be able to confidently service those with Type 4 hair.
To read the report in full, click here