The case of the missing hair stylist

imagesSo, I went to get my hair cut Friday afternoon because I was starting to look like a character from the Flintstones.

I drove down the street to the Superhaircuttery where I get my locks lovingly shorn.

“Is Crystal here?” I asked.

“Crystal doesn’t work here anymore,” the receptionist said with a smirk on her face.

“Okay.” I paused. “Can you tell me where she went?”

“I don’t know,” she said, even though I knew she knew and she knew that I knew she knew.

“Sorry,” she lied as I walked out the door of Superhaircuttery for the very last time, one single tear cascading down my cheek.

images (1)This, folks, is an emergency. A butch emergency. Code flannel. Crystal has been cutting my hair for the past five years or so.

W doesn’t get it.

“It’s a Superhaircuttery,” she said. “Why don’t you try one of those unisex places?”

It’s not about the place. It’s about the stylist.

Someone who won’t refuse to cut my hair short.

“Are you sure you want it that short?” I’ve had many hair stylists ask.

“You can’t cut it too short,” I’ve told them, even though they never cut it short enough.

True story: I once got my hair cut twice in one day because the first stylist refused to cut it as short as I wanted.

Someone who won’t refuse to square off my sideburns. “Square sideburns are for men. Angled sideburns are for women,” I once had a 17-year-old hair stylist lecture me.

Someone who won’t chase me out of the shop because I’m a woman. “I don’t cut women’s hair!” a stylist once yelled at me when I entered her barber shop.

Crystal knew my usual. A number four on the sides and back. No fringe. Cleanup the sideburns. Scissor cut the top. Short, spiky.

I find myself stuck in that middle place again.

There’s no haircut place around here catering to butch women.

I picture myself walking into a beauty parlor or barber shop and holding my breath, bracing for the reaction.

Steeling myself for acceptance. Or something else.

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20 responses to “The case of the missing hair stylist

  1. I laughed a little at “code flannel”! I hope you’re able to find a good stylist who’s accepting.

  2. It seems haircuttery folx are constantly leaving. I went a year between my last two haircuts because of not wanting to deal with finding/trying a new stylist. I feel your pain. I hope you find someone good, and soon. Good luck.

  3. So I am not the only one with the side burn thing and when I ask for short I do mean short and please do not mention whisppy .. ….hope you find someone soon….Flintstones back in Vogue

  4. I’ve used “men’s” barber shops for decades all over the country and I’ve never had one refuse to cut my hair. I’ve gotten a few raised eyebrows, but nothing more. I was thrilled to find a female barber in Lincoln, Maine. She’s awesome and gives a great cut for $10.
    Barbers are trained to cut hair short with minimal frills. No nasty dye and bleaching smells. Stay away from Super Cuts, etc. They are filled with recent graduates and anyone good won’t stay there long.
    When I was growing up, I had women refuse to cut my hair the way I want it because it was too short in their opinion. I wear it an 1/8 on the sides and a 1/2 on top. That scares the hell out of most straight women, but I can’t tell you how many women come up to me and say they wish their husbands would let them wear their hair that short. Unbelievable.

    • Ugh, I have a short “women’s” haircut and straight women even say that sort of thing to me. “I wish I could cut my hair like that.” I always say, “Of course you can!”

      • Crazy that in this day and age women feel the need to ask permission to get their hair cut short. Guess that explains a lot regarding the state of the nation these days.

    • I find your reply encouraging. I’ve had some bad experiences in the past. Many of the trendier barber shops I’ve looked at around here are men only. I have gotten a recommendation from a trans friend, so will probably try that out.

      • Most old school barbers are in little hole in the wall places. Avoid the froo froo places. My life experiences are a lot different from what hear from other lesbians. I have never had problems with guys hassling me or physically threatening me in anyway and I’m 53 years old. Women, by far, have been the most violent and nasty people I have ever run across and yes, they knew I was a woman. I have been the only woman at work and in technical classes and never has a guy complained that I didn’t belong there or treated me in a disrespectful manner. I would never set foot in a woman’s salon again. Gender non conformity, from MY experience, antagonizes women, far more than the men I’ve encountered.

      • One of the worst experiences I had was with a female barber. I thought that would be a good way to make the transition to a barber shop, but she refused to cut my hair. She was so damn angry and yelled at me. I write about it in my book. I could tell she wanted nothing to do with a big ol’ bulldyke like me.

  5. Our haircuttery has a high turnover of staff, usually straight outta haircuttery school too. I just rock up, tell ’em exactly what I want, tell ’em to fix it if they don’t get it right, and give ’em the ‘look’ if they continue being silly. You know the ‘look’ a butch gives when someone messes with ‘the hair’! 😀

  6. I have a delightfully queer barber who gives me a kick ass hair cut. And I go even shorter on the sides than you! But it took me awhile to find him, and until then, I had the same problems you describe.

  7. As someone who also wears their hair in a short buzz cut, #3 on top, #1.5 sides/back, I feel your pain in changing stylists. I was a solid regular with my barber for about 3 years, he left and now my hair just isn’t being done “right” at all. Right now it’s longer, but I’m on a mission to find a new barber and get a proper crew cut in the near future. Be sure to let us know how you make out with this hunt of your own. Peace! ~MB

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