A huge victory in the metrosexual rights movement was made last week when the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare decided to abolish a guideline which stated that “men should not be able to get haircuts at beauty salons.”

The notice was put on record back in 1978 which made it the official position of the government to look down upon men getting haircuts in salons aimed at female clientele. It should be noted, however, that this policy was only limited to getting a plain haircut without any other service like a perm or dye job (getting a shampoo from a team of models seems to have been a gray area).

Since Mr. Sato also got a considerable amount of make-up and hair dye applied when turning into David Bowie, this would have been acceptable to the Ministry, even under the old “rules.”

Also, this was not a proper law, but simply a statement of the Ministry’s official position on the matter. So if you’re a guy who got a trim in a place with trendy music and wide selection of magazines in the past three decades, fear not. You’re not looking at jail time, but let it be known that the government officially thought you were kind of a jerk.

It would seem that the notice was set up as a way to support barbershops at the time. In an effort to keep these independent shops from getting run out of business by the higher revenue-yielding and more service-oriented salons was to classify them as separate services altogether.

In that way they deemed that a salon should never offer a simple cut to men, because that was the domain of a barber. Likewise, a barbershop should not offer perms to women, because that was in the skill-set of salons.

So when Yuichiro Wasai got his new Snickers do with a coloring from a barber, it was actually in violation of Ministry guidelines.

However, with the ever-increasing number of men preferring to frequent hair salons and the fact that no one ever really cared what the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare thought to begin with, this official policy has been wiped from the record.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to think long and hard about where my tax money is going.

Source: Yomiuri Online (Japanese)
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