While we believe that as an industry, hairdressing is among the most inclusive out there, there are always more ways you can support those around you, whether they’re your clients or your colleagues. Keri Blue, founder of Hair Has No Gender, is calling on salon owners and managers to think about small changes you can make in your businesses to become even more inclusive.
Hair Has No Gender was first created when Keri was discriminated against in a barbershop for asking for a short haircut, only to be turned away feeling angry and humiliated. Through a study launched in 2020, Hair Has No Gender has identified that 96% of respondents from the LGBTQIA+ community would rather go to a recognised, supportive space to have their hair done.
More than half of the study respondents said that they felt nervous or anxious before a hair or beauty treatment because of previous bad experiences about how they identify, and more than a quarter had even experienced direct homophobia or transphobia in a hair salon or barbershop.
To celebrate Trans Awareness Week, Hair Has No Gender have put together three quick action points you can put into place to make sure your business is more inclusive:
1) Remove gender from your pricing
This is one of the easiest things you can do. Remove references from ‘Men’ and ‘Women’ from your price structure, and simply replace with ‘long’ and ‘short’ hair. A good way to define these is anything above the ear as short, and anything below the ear as long.
4) Identify yourself as an LGBTQIA+ safe space
We know that people from the LGBTQIA+ community feel anxious when having hair or beauty treatments, and that they are actively looking for spaces where they feel safe and valued. If your salon can provide this, you can add this as an attribute to your Google profile, social media or website.
3) Educate yourselves
It’s great to welcome people from the LGBTQIA+ community, but how much do you really know? Hair Has No Gender offer online Trans Awareness Training for the hair, nail and beauty industry. A percentage of sales are donated to national transgender charity, Sparkle.
Keri says, “We envision a world where every salon and barbershop has full acceptance of all identities including those from the LGBTQ+ community. To do this, Hair Has No Gender will provide education, events, and support programs to help create safer spaces with more diversity.”
For more information about courses, head to instagram.com/hairhasnogenderuk