Apparently the prefix 'uni' means 'one' and 'bi' means two (or double) So why are salons that caters to both sexes called unisex?

Flowers which are both male and female are called bisexual flowers... So...

  • 2
    Because it unites the sexes, treating the world as if there is only one sex (at least, that's how I've always interpreted it).
    – Dan Bron
    Sep 28, 2015 at 15:59
  • What Dan Bron said, also a "Bisexual Salon" would imply a salon for bisexuals, which would be ambiguous to say the least.
    – ab2
    Sep 28, 2015 at 16:02
  • Uniform is worn by both sexes. Unicycle has one wheel only. Universal has "entirety" in its meaning. There are only 2 sexes in its entirety
    – user140086
    Sep 28, 2015 at 16:20

2 Answers 2


From the Oxford dictionary online, via Wikipedia:

The combining form uni- does normally mean 'one, having or consisting of one': it comes from Latin unus 'one'. It forms words such as unicycle, a term for a cycle with just one wheel, and unicellular, meaning 'consisting of a single cell'. And in fact the 20-volume historical Oxford English Dictionary contains entries for the words unisexual, meaning 'of one sex or relating to one sex' and unisexuality, meaning 'the state of being unisexual'. Both these words date back to the early 19th century.

Unisex is a much newer word: it was coined in the 1960s and originally used in relatively informal contexts. Its formation seems to have been influenced by words such as union, united, and universal, from which it took the sense of something that was shared. So unisex can be understood as referring to one thing (such as a clothing style or hairstyle) that is shared by both sexes.

Link to the Original Answer


According to Dictionary.com, unisex means

of, designed, or suitable for both sexes; not distinguishing between male and female; undifferentiated as to sex

Pretty self-explanatory. Since the hair salon caters for the both genders in the service then it is referred to as a 'Unisex Salon'.

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