HAIR II: POC Queer Cuts

When I received guest blogger Abbey Gapko’s submission “HAIR: Updated Queer Cuts,” I immediately had the same reaction that many of our readers had when we published it: WHERE ARE ALL THE STYLES FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR!!!???? I let out a big sigh, gave the draft the “side eye,” and started to write an e-mail to Abbey asking her to include more recommendations for QPOCs.

But, then I stepped back and looked at the post from a different perspective. As a black woman, I only get my hair done in black salons by stylists who personally understand and have experience with afro-textured hair. Like other black women, I have had negative experiences when trying to get my hair done at white salons, – ranging from stylists telling me that they don’t know how to “deal” with my hair, to getting a style that I was completely unhappy with because of the stylist’s lack of competence in working with a variety of textures. Further, I haven’t invested much time into looking for a white stylist who knows how to do my hair  because I also just simply enjoy the safety and comfort of black salon culture.  Black salons are places where I can speak freely about news, culture, family, etc. without feeling like I have to censor myself, lest I be labeled an “angry black woman.” This excerpt from a CNN article about the role of barbershops and beauty salons in black culture reflects some of my feelings about my preference:

“Barbershops and beauty salons are perhaps second only to black churches as institutions in the community,” said Ingrid Banks, an associate professor of Black Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara and author of a forthcoming book on contemporary black beauty salon culture. “It’s not about hair per se, it’s about what hair means, particularly for black women in terms of racial identity, identity based on gender and ideas about power,” she said. “On one level, hair matters because race matters in our society. For black people, our hair has been infused with these racial politics.”

black_barbershop_historyvia Collectors Weekly

So, I paused on asking Abbey to submit a more inclusive post because I recognized that Abbey was writing from her own experience; and, maybe, for a variety of reasons, she does not have the expertise to give advice on QPOC hairstyles. Instead, I reached out to one of our guest contributors T’kay, a QPOC who had written a piece for us before on cutting  and styling her own afro-textured hair, and asked if she would do a follow up post with additional recommendations. T’kay agreed, but, in the meantime, I couldn’t resist sharing some of my favorite  QPOC hairstyle inspiration:


Short Hair 1via Veer

Alexavia dapperQ

Hair 2via Pinterest

Deb-Wade-2-808x1024via dapperQ

Day7bvia dapperQ

soozeevia Autostraddle

Faux Hawkvia Pinterest

Dapper Q-Take Ivy-Photos Bex Wade-36via dapperQ

Modern Dandyvia Catch Fire

Robin-Cloud2via dapperQ

Crownedvia Crowned editorial

Janina-677x1024via dapperQ

Hokulani-Rich-672x1024via dapperQ

Hairvia Brklynbreed

Alicevia dapperQ

Naricevia dapperQ

blakePhoto by Jannatul Pramanik

Cam1-644x1024via dapperQ

queer cutsvia Alice in Nappyland

KaiAlexandervia dapperQ

Crowned IIvia Crowned editorial

AriFitz5bBannervia Afro Punk

HoleShoot-128-2via dapperQ

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