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    Pink Tax: Women’s toiletries ’76 per cent more expensive’ than men’s

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    Women’s toiletries are way more expensive on average than products marketed towards men with shampoo and conditioner have almost twice the difference, a recent report has shown.

    Showers to You uncovered a significant price disparity between women’s and men’s shampoo and conditioners, with women’s products being almost double the price (96 per cent) on average per 100ml. Men’s shampoo and conditioner cost approximately £2.60 per 100ml, while women’s products average at a staggering £5.11 per 100ml. 

    Despite efforts by some brands to avoid the ‘Pink Tax’ on certain products, such as Toni & Guy, with their Damage Repair Shampoo for women and their Deep Clean Shampoo for men both retailing at £2.88 per 100ml—the overall prevalence of price increases associated with the ‘Pink Tax’ remains significant. 

    Women’s hair styling products are, on average, £0.96 (16 per cent) more expensive per 100ml compared to men’s equivalents. For example, TIGI Bed Head Headrush and TIGI Bed Head Power Play products both promise shine, frizz control, a smooth feel and a professional quality. Despite these similar product outcomes, Power Play, marketed towards men, is priced at £3.98 per 100ml, while Headrush marketed for women costs £6 per 100ml. This represents a substantial 51 per cent price increase for the women’s product. 

    When it comes to face creams, women’s options are 82 per cent more expensive on average, per 100ml, compared to men’s face creams. In summary, women’s everyday bathroom products are over three quarters (76 per cent) more expensive on average than the closest equivalent products for men. While some discrepancies in pricing can be attributed to differences in ingredients, it is often merely a result of different marketing strategies. Therefore, being aware of the ‘pink tax’, shopping around for various brands, and opting for gender-neutral products instead of those specifically marketed towards women is important. 

    Martin Smith, the founder of Showers to You commented, “The ‘Pink Tax’, where women pay more for toiletries than men, isn’t just about cost. It reflects broader problems like gender inequality and the need for consumer empowerment. Companies should adopt transparent pricing practices and clearly communicate the reasons behind pricing disparities to consumers. 

    “This transparency fosters trust and allows consumers to make informed decisions, encouraging brands to justify their pricing models and strive for gender-neutral product pricing. It is crucial that products are priced based on their actual value rather than inflated costs due to gender-specific marketing. 

    “On the consumer side, shoppers can take proactive steps to avoid falling prey to the pink tax. One effective strategy is to opt for gender-neutral or toiletries marketed towards men that often feature similar formulations but come with a more reasonable price tag. 

    “For example, using men’s razors or shower gel can be a practical and cost-effective alternative, as many of these products have been found to deliver comparable performance without the unnecessary markup associated with versions marketed towards women.”

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