This week at the end of my cut, my hair stylist took off my cape, took a long look at me in the mirror and left me with, "Your hair is better, it is finally better. Turn around and look, it's finally better."
Barbershops are incubators for masculinity. As a visibly queer person, regardless of gender, entering a space like that can be intimidating and even scary. But under the right circumstances, going to the barber can also be a positive and affirming experience.
As you sit in the salon chair with the picture that took you weeks to pick out, repeatedly telling the hairdresser exactly what you like about this haircut, you realize that you are seconds away from either the best or worst decisions you may ever make.
I've jumped around a lot from salon to salon in NYC --from super expensive to fairly cheap -- and only rarely being blown a way (pun intended) with my experience. As a busy New Yorker, (aren't we all?) I am always looking for a stylist who won't break the bank.
My son has long hair. Long, curly, wild hair. He's nearly 9 years old and it's only been cut twice. The first time came at the age of 3, when he hacked a chunk of ringlets out of the back of his head with kid scissors.
Katie does a terrific job with my hair. But even better is that Katie understands that the unvarnished truth for a female client who recently reached her (very) early '60's may not always be the best way to go. Tactful, but direct, that is Katie.
If you had asked me what Kate's greatest sensory discomfort was, I would have said it was related to her hair. Until today, she did not let us brush her hair and a proper haircut was out of the question. Then something changed.