October 27, 2002
“The Stereotype of the Male Hairdresser"
As you are walking down the street you see a sign: Dean's Hair Salon, Styles of Europe. You are plagued by too many split ends, so you walk into the salon. You see several different male hairdressers. They are all tall, thin, neat, and fashionably dressed. The walls are painted pink and Lite FM is playing on the radio. Most of the clients are women, though there are a few men.
You walk up to the receptionist’s desk and ask if there are any hairdressers available for a quick cut and style. There is. His name is Joe. He is a tall, thin man, with a tan, medium length hair with highlights. He is wearing stylish black pants and a thin black v-neck sweater. He greets you with a friendly hello and a firm handshake. Then he introduces you to his assistant Ken. Ken is young, tall, thin and muscular. He is wearing slate gray pants and a fitted black polo shirt. One of the first things that come to your mind is, “hmm…I wonder if they are gay”.
Ken takes you back to the sinks to wash your hair. As he is washing your hair you begin to chat with him and find out that he is in the Army Reserve and will be leaving the salon by the end of the week to begin training. You are shocked at the fact that a male hairstylist is in the army, and begin to reconsider your earlier thoughts about Ken being gay. Ken then walks you back to Joe’s station only to see Joe sitting down reading the sports section. He looks up at you and says “How ‘bout them Steelers?” You just smile back and sit down in the chair, while Ken and Joe begin to talk about football. Your eyes wander around Joe’s station and you notice two pictures of Joe with his wife and two kids, and realize that Joe might not be gay either. Ken and Joe just might be regular guys.
A man who chooses to be a hairstylist might not seem manly, but it does not mean that he is any less masculine than a guy who...