On Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., Badlands Hair Studio in Bend opened their doors to local young people in need of a fresh new ‘do’.
The free haircut event for LGBTQ+ youth, called the ‘Gender Free Haircut Club’, was hosted through the Dresscode organization.
“The Dresscode project helps salons and barber shops all across the U.S. and Canada learn how to create a more inclusive and safer space for the LGBTQ+ population,” explained studio owner Heather Moore.
“I think unfortunately it’s not common enough. I think each salon and barber shop should be very inclusive and welcoming, and unfortunately, I don’t think we’re quite there yet,” she continued. “A lot of salons and barber shops are still very gendered. You either can choose a woman’s cut or a men’s cut for half that price and half that time, and at Badlands, we want to be more inclusive.”
The menu at Badlands is free from gendered labeling, and they charge for services based on the time it takes to complete.
“We’re stoked to be a salon that’s shaking things up a little bit and offering a safer space,” she said.
Around 15 haircut slots were filled on Sunday by young members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Moore hoped the event would raise awareness about the resources available to hair salons to create a more inclusive space, and that those attending would leave feeling more confident.
“I think for youth especially, it can be really intimidating to walk into a salon space and ask for a cut that better reflects the way that they feel,” she said. “We’re leading by example from the Dresscode project, but just really want to show up for the youth community.”
The event is one of a series of Pride Month events taking place across Central Oregon. For more information, visit the Out Central Oregon website.