I shaved my head yesterday, for the first time in quite a while. I did it all the time in college, but I was also pretty restless with my hair then. I think I might have worked out my general anxiety and unrest by changing my hair (both color and style, though more frequently color) about once a month.
This isn’t about how I wish I could have green hair at an interview and still look “professional,” though. This is about the fact that I’ve gotten my hair cut commercially twice in the past ten years.
The last time she cut my hair, Sig Fig–my barber for almost three years now–remarked that when she read Stone Butch Blues, she didn’t think she could relate to the butches all getting their hair cut in one woman’s kitchen. But the more she thought about it, the more she realized we were doing exactly that.
It’s hard to get a good “professional” haircut if you’re a lesbian. When I was younger my mom took me to SuperCuts in the mall, but as I got older and started chopping my locks shorter and shorter, I realized they were never really giving me the cut I wanted. My options seemed to be getting a crappy boy’s style, or getting their weird interpretation of a pixie cut. Thankfully at that point my high school sweetheart stepped in, and later a friend working her way through cosmetology school.
Now, I guess I should clarify a little. Ellen DeGeneres is a lesbian, and I’m betting she pays someone a fair chunk of money to cut her hair. Ellen has great hair. But I’m not Ellen, and when I go to a hair salon, I always leave unhappy.
And it’s not just me. Most of the queer woman I know who identify anywhere from androgynous to butch either suffer from bad commercial haircuts, or they resort to other means. “Other means” often meaning “other lesbians.”
Why is this? There are enough lesbians running around by now that surely stylists have seen one or two. They should know by now that we’re not all G.I. Jane, and we’re also not early 90s Indigo Girls. (I’m sorry, but there was some mullet happening there. I love me some Amy Ray, but damn.)
I’ll admit that part of the issue for me is that I’m jealous of barber shop culture. Where’s my queer barber shop, and why can’t I hang out there on a Friday night?