I visited my girlfriend’s hair stylist Leroy Powell to talk about his experience with lesbian haircuts. He’s been working with a lot of queer women in their 20’s around the Boston area, and he’s learned a lot about the qualities of lesbian haircuts within that demographic.
A lot of the girls he’s been working with base their haircut around THE BIEBER, because it’s really about fun in the front and straight in the back.
He says that a lot of what differentiates between straight cuts and gay cuts are that straight girls like to have their hair extend past their hairline (see pictures below of some of his cuts). They often want hair to come over their ears, rather than cutting out the shape of the ear like he would do in a men’s cut. Lesbians tend to want a tighter look with their hair cut right at the hairline in the back.
Missy does a combination by wearing her hair over the ears but keeping it tight in back. Leroy explained that whether we recognize it consciously or not, the tight hair in back is one of the main signifyers we use for identifying gay women verses straight women with short hair. Young lesbos are also the most terrified of the mullet so they tend to police the back of their head as much as possible. Essentially, lesbian hair cuts are the same as men’s cuts in the back.
Queer Cut (Oh hay who’s this cutie?)
Lesbians tend to like asymmetry and find that it’s a nice way to separate themselves from the crowd. Straight girls who would prefer a bob over a pixie and tend to keep it safer. Lesbians are more likely to come in and say, “Do whatever you want. My head is your art piece,” while straightsicles are more likely to ask for hair that looks healthy and flowing. Many lesbians who prefer to keep their hair long can still express their queerness through an asymmetrical long-haired cut.
As for knowing what a client wants, Leroy says that he picks up cues during the client consultation that gives him a pretty good idea of their sexual orientation. Sometimes they tell him via mentioning their lady lover, or he might even ask them straight up. “Are you a lesbian? Because this haircut will make you look like one.” He says you don’t necessarily need to know exactly what you’re looking for because you can tell him a few things and he’ll take it from there.
If you live in the Boston area and want a lesboliscious cut, check out Leroy Powell at We Are Hair in JP.
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As Qwear's Founding Editor, Sonny’s work centers around envisioning a future in which the clothing people wear does not dictate their chances of survival. Sonny was awarded 2015 dapperQ of the Year and was the first trans blogger to be sponsored by Topman. In March 2016, Sonny spoke at South by South West's first official queer fashion panel.