New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

The 4 best hair salons for a gender-affirming haircut

Gone are the days of questionable comments and upsetting ‘dos.

Hairstyles have evolved throughout the years to cater to gender identity and expression, and often, haircuts carry a story. For LGBTQ+ people, finding the perfect stylist is imperative as they seek a look that fits their gender identity as well as service that is friendly and accepting. 

Luckily, New York City is filled with a number of caring stylists who are eager to find the perfect cut for you. Genuine service and inclusivity is a top priority for all of these establishments. Rest assured that the stylists at these salons will respect your choice of hairdo and work with you to make it as affirming as possible. If you are tired of gendered haircuts or want to reinvent your look to reflect your identity, these shops are great places to start. 



34 E. First St.

A person in a blue face mask and black apron is styling a client’s hair who is wearing a black barber’s cape and a black face mask. Hair equipment lines the tabletop in front of them.
HAIRRARI on 34 E First St. (Kiran Komanduri for WSN)

If you are looking for reliability, HAIRRARI is the choice for you. Founded in 2011 by Magda Ryczko, HAIRRARI is a woman, immigrant and queer-owned hair salon that prioritizes gender neutrality. With locations in the East Village, Bushwick and Williamsburg, this salon is definitely convenient for any lower Manhattan resident. 

Finding a trustworthy stylist is seamless with the full transparency that is offered through each worker’s specialties, bio and schedule. The East Village location alone has 20 stylists who specialize in everything from nongendered and androgynous haircuts to mullets and blowouts. In addition to the work they do styling, the shop is involved with charities including Planned Parenthood, Hetrick-Martin Institute, The LGBTQ Center, The Trevor Project and Black Lives Matter. You can rest easy with the knowledge that you will love your haircut and support a business with a good cause. 


Astor Place Hair Stylists

2 Astor Place

Astor Place Hair Stylists on 2 Astor Place. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

Astor Place Hair Stylists, an iconic basement shop, has been in service for over 75 years and features a wide range of stylists and barbers. Although it is not LGBTQ+-owned, the compassion and understanding at this shop are the reasons it has been around for as long as it has. On top of that, the shop prioritizes accessibility, so it is unsurprising that it has long served the NYU community. 

Since it’s right on the corner of Astor Place and Broadway, this barbershop is convenient for any students studying at the Washington Square campus. The reasonable prices are also perfect for those who don’t want to break the bank but are in need of a new updo. Many New York-based celebrities, including Channing Tatum and NYU Tisch alum Donald Glover, have even gotten a trim at Astor Place Hair Stylists. To book an appointment, look up the stylist of your choice on their website and call in to secure your next good look. After reading their endearing bios, you will immediately know you are in good hands.



117 Ninth St., #227, Brooklyn

Orange and purple salon chairs are placed in front of two mirrors in a salon with green and yellow walls.
Mutiny on 117 Ninth St. (Courtesy of Mutiny)

This Brooklyn-based barbershop was established to provide gender-affirming haircuts that may be intimidating or difficult to ask for at a traditional barbershop. While it may be a smaller shop consisting of five stylists, it is not a business that should be overlooked. 

On select days and times, stylists provide “pay what you like” appointments that are helpful for those who can’t afford a standard haircut. You can look up the stylist bios on the Mutiny website and book appointments easily once you know which stylist you want to choose. For the Tandon students, the commute is only a 20-minute ride on the F train.


Camera Ready Kutz, Inc.

73 Utica Ave, Brooklyn

Side view of the exterior of a hair salon that has a black and white mural of three people on a red wall. The mural says “CAMERA READY KUTZ INC 2007.”
Camera Ready Kutz, Inc. on 73 Utica Ave. (Courtesy of Camera Ready Kutz, Inc.)

In 2007, Khane Kutzwell became a barber after hearing stories from her friends in the LGBTQ+ community about their terrible treatment at neighborhood barber shops. After ten years of industry experience, Kutzwell opened her own brick and mortar shop in 2017. Camera Ready Kutz, Inc. is a proudly black, female and queer-owned barbershop ready to provide a safe space for people of all backgrounds. 

The shop has six barbers with diverse specialities, and the website even includes the barbers’ past work, so you can get a feel for their style and who might be best for you. Whichever stylist you choose, you won’t need to worry — Camera Ready Kutz is a no judgment, supportive environment available to cater to your aesthetic needs.


Contact Marbella Ramirez Arrazola at [email protected].

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