'Male only' barbershop under fire for refusing to allow women inside

Yahoo7

A barbershop in Sydney's Newtown is being heavily criticised on social media for its 'male only' policy.

Musician Kelly Jeanious posted on Facebook about her friend's experience at the Hawleywood salon on the weekend.

"A guy came in for a cut," she wrote. "He was told his girlfriend could not wait 'cause it is a men's only space. Then the guy proceeded to talk about the inequalities of men for the next half an hour and how unfair Fernwood gym is."

It's not the first time Hawleywood's has come under scrutiny for its 'no females allowed' policy.

Earlier this year, the salon were forced to post a statement on their Facebook in response to the backlash.

One of the younger male clients attending Hawleywood's. Source: Facebook/Hawleywood's
One of the younger male clients attending Hawleywood's. Source: Facebook/Hawleywood's

"We pride ourselves in an impeccable cut, shave and male grooming in a secure, understanding setting sensitive to the insecurities men feel during these procedures," they wrote.

"We have been providing these services for nearly five years, and have built our clientele of satisfied men over this period.

"We specialise in a specific style or haircut concealing and assisting in the visible loss of hair on men, we cater to men who possess insecurities with their grooming."

The salon wrote that many of their clients feel "uncomfortable" receiving these services in a grooming environment that is targeted towards women.

"Especially during the the awkward process of removing excess overgrown nasal hair, ear hair and eyebrows."

The period-style barber shop specialises in hot towel, straight razor shaves and the 'high and tight' haircut. Source: Facebook/Hawleywood's
The period-style barber shop specialises in hot towel, straight razor shaves and the 'high and tight' haircut. Source: Facebook/Hawleywood's

In the statement, Hawleywood's said their clients preferred "the sanctitude of an understanding and empathetic male environment that lacks judgement during these procedures".

Hawleywood's also said they "cater to a large homosexual community in Newtown, and assist a number of regular transexual/transgender clientele that are in the process of transition from female to male genders".

However, this assertion was contradicted by a post from Samuel John Dillon who claimed his friend, who was "transitioning", was also refused entry.

Lindsay McDowens said he had intended to go to the salon to get his beard trimmed, but was glad he changed his mind and went elsewhere.

"All those 'lets play 50s dress-ups' places give me the creeps," he wrote. "Glad I went to a normal hairdresser that my friend runs, not some bro-hipster piece of s**t joint."

Social media responded to Ms Jeanious' post with tales of their own experience with Hawleywood's. Source: Facebook/Kelly Jeanious
Social media responded to Ms Jeanious' post with tales of their own experience with Hawleywood's. Source: Facebook/Kelly Jeanious

On the issue of whether they would consider changing their policy, Hawleywood's wrote that "if we change our policy we will no longer be able to provide sanctitude and privacy for men who feel uncomfortable getting these procedures done in front of women".

The barbershop said that their policy was no different to existing businesses targeted to women only, including "Fernwood, Curves, and Coogee ladies' pool."

Hawleywood's said they "do not exclude women to discriminate against them" and that there were "a number of other barber shops within a 50m radius that do cater to women."

The barbershop is ranked one of the top five of its kind in Sydney, by the Urban List. It also has three stores in California.

"Hawleywood's may upset certain people with their infamous 'no females' policy," the Urban List prefaced in their review of the salon.

"But this barbershop provides a solace for males in need of mane maintenance."

News break – September 6