The Daily Mail reports that Rachael Cooper, a fifteen-year-old girl in Cheshire, England was rejected from an apprenticeship at the Edwards hair salon.
Despite the fact that Cooper has been studying hair styling part-time for two years, Tom Stears, the salon's owner, claimed the chairs would be too high and that Cooper wouldn't be able to reach the top of clients' heads.
Stears' concerns also included a possible "breach of health safety laws because she might suffer a bad back standing on tiptoe to cut clients' hair."
"I've wanted to become a hairdresser since I was a little girl. I've got a portfolio full of both long and short hair projects, carried out on standard-issue salon chairs, and my height's never been an issue," Cooper said in an interview with the Daily Mail.
"At the interview I could feel myself getting tearful when he said I was too short so I just said it was fine and walked out. It was really disappointing. If he thought I wouldn't be good enough for the job, I'd rather he just have said so instead of making up a reason I have no control over," said Cooper.
Stears defended his decision, saying, "'I didn't say Rachael was too small, I said I thought the height of the chairs were too tall. I bought these chairs specially and they are quite high. I don't know how high they are, or how high the standard ones are but I've had smaller members of staff in the past and they've struggled with the back washers and chairs, and in jobs like where you have to take the locks of hair at the root."
"I'm 5' 8" and I struggle with some taller clients' hair," he added.
Sounds like this salon should consider investing in new chairs, as limiting your staff to tall hairdressers seems pretty short-sighted.
With the average woman trying 104 different hairstyles over a lifetime, we need all the styling support we can get!