Alternative Haircuts: How & Why?

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Hair. For such an ordinary feature it certainly garners a lot of public – and private – attention. What we do or don’t do with it can cause uproar. It can also shock and allure onlookers. Blogs have been dedicated to classic hairstyles, edgy hairstyles, and – because we’re in the heart of New York Fashion Week – runway hairstyles.

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But for the LGBT community, hair has become a larger issue than a simple fashion statement. Styles, cuts, and colors are just a few ways in which the queer community has chosen to set ourselves apart from our hetero counterparts. Specifically, queer women and lesbians tend to seek out hairstyles for a multitude of reasons. Whether it’s to better suit their androgynous style, or to inform other LGBT ladies “yes, I too am in the club.” Each cut comes with a deeper meaning. Remember how upset/intrigued you were when Miley Cyrus chopped off her brown locks in favor of her current asymmetrical, platinum ‘do? It’s because it sort of seemed like she pulled out her Lesbian Calling Card, but then didn’t. And, in some cases, alternative hairstyles are a response to outdated gender norms – who says girls can’t have short hair?

961634_10153088122380761_2000142496_n“I’ve found that the queer community is brazen in breaking down barriers,” sums up Toni&Guy stylist, Holly Burns. As a card-carrying queer herself, Burns – who’s been cutting hair unofficially since she was 15, but made it legit four years back ­– believes that hairstyle plays a big part in pushing through those societal boundaries.

According to Burns, today’s trending queer hairstyles include fades, blunt fringes, and center parts. But on the whole, lesbians, gays and queers alike still have an appreciation for the classic subversive hairstyles: the mullet, the shag, and the pompadour.

Even a simple Google search proves how integral “queercuts” are to today’s gays, and not just to the quipsters – that’s queer hipsters – though they’re definitely included. Autostraddle’s “50 Queer Women with Outrageously Good Hair” was written nearly three years ago and it’s still one of the top results when searching for “Queer Haircuts.” Five different tumblrs also appear on page one of the search as do multiple links to different Pintrest boards, including “Short Lesbian Haircuts.”

No one’s critique should determine your creativity and boldness. Don’t doubt your uniqueness. – Holly Burns

11006205_10153088124330761_240074514_nHairstyles, because of their connection to fashion, have the power to become an individual’s identity marker. “Never stop making a statement,” sums up Burns nicely. As a professional, her favorite alternative cuts include anything short, shattered or disconnected. She’s also enjoying undercuts, geometric cuts, and a good ol’ fashion fade.

Of course, taking the plunge to getting an alternative hairstyle can be intimidating, which is why we tracked down some of the best hairstylists in Austin – plus a few in Houston and one in San Antonio, just in case. These professionals are skilled at what they do, and talking with them will likely ease your hesitations. And remember, when it comes to your hair, “No one’s critique should determine your creativity and boldness,” says Burns. “Don’t doubt your uniqueness.”

Written by Sarah Marloff


Holly Burns, for meticulously good cuts with edge and style.

Toni&Guy at Hill Country Galleria, 12800 Hill Country Blvd,

512.263.2736

Jen Rische, aka “the Hair Jedi for creative color and unconventional hairstyles.”

Wet Salon , 1109 S. Congress Ave

512.444.7375

Iana Wi, for “amazing color and really cool styles, like etching.”

Hearts & Robots, 1309 Rosewood Ave

512.828.7434

Abbey Gapko, for a more traditional barbershop esthetic.

Haircut Store, 2819 San Jacinto Blvd

512.472.2709

Shondi Pugh, for short hair (Paul Soileau is featured in her portfolio), and curls.

Pearl Hair, 1601 E Cesar Chavez St,

512.897.2829

Adrianne Lashley, for hair, makeup and “hip men’s”

I Love You Pink, 501 N I35, #115,

512.485.3122

Houston: Nary, for a confident and stylish cut.

Visible Changes, The Galleria, 5015 Westheimer Rd #1154

713.627.7234

Houston: The Entire Staff, where you can drink whiskey while they cut your hair.

The Argyle League, 703 W. Alabama

713.702.1026

San Antonio: Stevie, for great stylist who knows how to work with curls and color.

Lux Salon, formerly Doo or Dye

331 W Mulberry Ave #1

210.738.8089

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