It’s no secret that the current political climate under the Trump administration has made things a bit unstable for transgender women and men as of late. Specifically, transgender students who are no longer able to use public school bathrooms matching their chosen gender identity. However, the doors are open wide for transgender men and women at Salon K, New Hampshire’s inclusive transgender hair salon owned by Kae Mason, that offers a wide variety transgender beauty services.
In addition to the salon’s more traditional Aveda services, Salon K offers makeup, haircare, and skincare services that cater to trans men and trans women for every stage of their transition journey. These unique transgender beauty services include custom haircuts, color, wig recommendations, wig care, makeup lessons, and hair removal.
Mason’s goal is to create a safe space at the salon for transgender men and women, so that they have the beauty tools that will help them in the discovery journey of who they really are. “We show transgender women how to use makeup, but also what shades and looks can best reflect the person inside,” Kae says. “I am a transgender woman, completely post operation, fully and happily living my life by being exactly who I am. During my transition it became very evident to me that most transgendered people had no outlet or ‘guide’ on how to explore the physical and emotional changes they go through. People needed a sanctuary where they could be and become exactly who they believe they are, with no judgments and lots of support from a friendly staff.”
For Trans Models coordinator Tiffany Christina, there’s an instant sisterhood that forms among different clients in inclusive transgender hair salons like Mason’s. She began experimenting with her hair in high school, borrowing her mother’s wigs at first and then purchasing her own in a catalog. “My first purchases were always on-line, but I once saw a little ‘TG/TV welcome’ sign in a small shop in New Jersey, I steeled up the courage to go in with a friend and walked out with a truly fabulous wig,” she told us of her first transgender hair salon experience. She continues, “I really haven’t had the opportunity to grow out my own hair to any meaningful length, so longer length ‘believable’ wigs have been important to my self image and esteem. Nothing more than putting on my wig in the morning makes me physically ‘feel’ like a woman (save perhaps a bra). I also consider hair one of my points of frustration: right up there with those Jimmy Choos that don’t come in my size.”
Tiffany believes that everyone has a right to be beautiful in her or his own way. A good de-tangler like John Renau’s Easihair HD Smooth Detangler is of the utmost importance given her use of wigs. We totally feel her on that one—as well as wig spray to set her styles. She’s also an avid social media user for hair inspiration. “The Sephora website, Pinterest, Youtube videos, and beauty bloggers” are all on her daily agenda. “I’ll literally Google ‘cool hair style’ or ‘going out hair’ when I’m completely at a loss”, she states.
Mason believes the youth are the future. “[Millennials and Gen Z] they know their direction and when it comes to beauty, they usually only need help with styling and current hair trends and we’re more than are happy to provide that to them!”
The best salons in the world are those that feature a diverse staff, and can take care of you in a way that makes you not only look good, but feel good as well. And LBH, many of us treat our hairstylist like our therapist. So needless to say, a salon should be open and inclusive, and serve as a judgement-free zone to let creativity and conversation flourish. Kudos to Salon K for creating an inclusive, transgender hair salon with a safe space to let people find who they really are.