One of the best aspects of the beauty industry is its inherently inclusive nature. Barbers and stylists come from every walk of life, celebrate each other’s own unique style and encourage creativity and being yourself. However, there are still many people who don’t feel comfortable getting their hair done because they don’t identify with society’s gender norms. The Dress Code Project (DCP) aims to help salons and shops become safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community. Founder Kristin Rankin, owner of Fuss Hair Studio in Toronto, started the movement three years ago after a first-time transgender client tagged her in a tweet saying it was the first time she’d felt like a woman while getting her hair cut. “It was great to see, but it was also pretty heartbreaking,” Rankin says.
Today, DCP trains salons on how to respect gender differences. “Something as simple as asking a person which pronoun they prefer can make them feel comfortable,” she explains. Shops and salons can also become DCP-certified by meeting certain criteria, such as providing gender-neutral restrooms, and taking a 45-minute workshop on how to provide gender nonconforming haircuts. Shops also have to provide gender-neutral pricing, another crusade Rankin is leading the charge against with the #genderfreehaircutclub. “Hair is about length, not gender,” Rankin asserts, maintaining it’s discriminatory to charge more for a haircut on a woman just because of her gender, for example. Many people have felt alienated by this pricing scheme, including Fuss client Tin-Gee. “Before I discovered Fuss, I was charged twice the amount as a man would for literally the same haircut, just because I’m a woman,” she states. To get involved, visit dresscodeproject.com or follow @thedresscodeproject on Instagram.
[Images: Courtesy of The Dress Code Project]