Last week we covered the Strands for Trans initiative, an incredible campaign that launched in conjunction with Pride Month. The colorful movement seeks to end antiquated hair prejudices by bringing gays, straights, women, men—anyone and everyone—together to create more trans-friendly barbershops and hair salons all over the country. Hair has no gender, but historically the trans community has been made to feel unwelcome and unsafe in these establishments. But with inclusive crusades like #StrandsforTrans, this nation’s beauty landscape will continue to change for the better. Vice i-D illuminates five queer-friendly hair salons around the country that are shaking up “the gendered hair game by creating inclusive environments for all.”
X Salon and Studio (Philadelphia)
Emily Castello, owner of X, opened the doors to her gender-neutral hair salon right before Donald Trump took office. With a POTUS who upholds white supremacy more than democracy, a business like this is needed, and Castello intends to keep its doors open to every human who seeks a safe space, including her staff. “We have our 10 Commandments of the things that fly and don’t fly at X,” Castello told Meredith Graves of MTV. “Two are that we don’t discriminate, and we won’t stand for prejudice in any shape or form. So I’ve made it very clear with the staff that I want them to feel, especially in the time of Trump, that they have a space they can go to, regardless of home life or whatever.” This inclusive salon and studio also specializes in unconventional and architectural haircuts that are determined by a client’s needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Vacancy Project (New York)
Owned and operated by Masami Hosono, the Vacancy Project is more than just a salon that cranks out shaggy-chic bobs and fashion mullets. Hosono “wants her business to be a welcoming space for people to just hang out—in fact she doesn’t even really care if you don’t get a haircut.” Vacancy Project’s salon roots actually stem from a zine that focused on “documenting the city’s youth in their most intimate spaces as an exploration of how hair relates to identity, vulnerability, and relationships.” Hosono told Emily Manning of Vice i-D in an interview that Vacancy Project “really pushed to convey an essence of freedom and being your own person—not giving a fuck what people think and living your life to your own standard.” And if one does so choose to get a fashion mullet cut at Vacancy Project, they will happily note that Hosono is one of the many hairstylists in the country to eliminate gender-pricing.
Logan Parlor (Chicago)
Longtime LGBTQ advocates Tricia Serpe and Jamie DiGrazia opened Logan Parlor with an inclusive agenda in mind. The Chicago-based salon features gender-neutral pricing and a gender-neutral bathroom that one can use after enjoying a complimentary post-cut beer from the salon bar. Logan Parlor’s stylists boast skills as diverse as the rainbow flag—from beard grooming services to balayage to ultra-slick cropped fades—they strive to give no-judgement makeovers in a positive space.
Seagull (New York)
The West Village boutique hair salon was founded in 1971 “during the height of the gay liberation period, and prides itself on being the city’s first unisex barber shop.” Managed by Shaun Cottle and Johanna Fateman, the hair oasis has returned to its original location off Sheridan Square after having spent 30 years on West 10th Street. Seagull Salon is a second-floor sunlit loft whose walls display feminist icon photography, record collections, large-scale prints, drawings—everything that caters to the New York community’s blended cultural tastes.
Glama-Rama Salon (San Francisco & Oakland, California)
Since its opening in 1995 this Bay Area salon has been serving fabulous looks to all genders and has cultivated a strong bond with the LGBTQ community. The eclectic establishment proudly displays its inclusive atmosphere on their Instagram Bio: “Welcome to our Rebel Spirit, Unicorn Magic Glama-Rama Hair Salon and Gallery. You CAN sit with us.” And sit with them you should, because in addition to receiving a quality cut, clients can check out cool art shows. Glama-Rama is a passionate supporter of their local art scene and regularly hosts “exhibitions of work from emerging and established artists plus the salon’s own staff.”
Read more about these queer-friendly salons at Vice i-D.
Photography: Phùng Hải via Unsplash