Beauty Launchpad Magazine

NOV 2018

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44 | BEAUTY LAUNCHPAD | NOVEMBER 2018 S tylist Kristin Rankin has always welcomed clients of all stripes at her Toronto-based salon, but it wasn't until she serviced a transgender woman that she realized this isn't the case for every stylist. When the client confessed that a new cut made her feel like a woman for the fi rst time—and that she was often nervous about or disappointed with past salon experiences—Rankin recognized a need for change. "When I did some research and talked to the LGBTQ community, including youth, I realized we needed to facilitate safer spaces in salons," she explains. "It's incredible how discriminating our industry can be without even realizing it." To fl ip the script on old-guard gender politics, Rankin launched the Dress Code Project in 2017, reaching out to her inner circle to gauge interest—and was soon overwhelmed by the impassioned response from industry pros who wanted to join the effort. Now, the organization boasts 160-plus salons in fi ve countries, all of which provide non-gender-specifi c washrooms and pledge that staff members act as allies to the community. Salons receive a gender- affi rming salon package that offers tips on redefi ning the consultation process (i.e. avoiding identifi ers like male or female), while clients can search an online directory of LGBTQ-friendly spaces. "Ultimately, we want to create awareness so people realize gender discrimination is a problem in salons," Rankin concludes. "Safer spaces and equal services should be available for everyone." Live & Learn/Giving Back COURTESY OF KRISTIN RANKIN The Dress Code Project aims to rally an alliance of salons and stylists around a shared commitment to creating safer spaces for the LGBTQ community. —TRACY MORIN JOIN THE MOVEMENT Breaking the Code T a s fo Rowan is one of Kristin Rankin's transgender clients who inspires her work with the Dress Code Project. REVOLUTIONARY ROAD The Dress Code Project (DCP) has several irons in the fire to help revolutionize salons' approach to gender: • Using the hashtag #lengthnotgender on social media, Rankin urges salons to rethink their gender-based haircut pricing. • The Hair Has No Gender campaign solicits real-life experiences by asking stylists and clients what a haircut means to them. • The volunteer-led Gender-Free Haircut Club gifts free cuts to LGBTQ youth in DCP-certified salons. • DCP has aligned with Kevin.Murphy and the It Gets Better Project to spread awareness about in-salon discrimination. I'm a transgender woman and, growing up, I never felt as though I had autonomy over my hair and had a lot of trauma linked with getting my hair cut. The Dress Code Project and salons that are on board with creating safer spaces for LGBTQ folks ensure that nobody has to feel uncomfortable or have a haircut they don't want." —ROWAN, A CLIENT OF KRISTIN RANKIN dresscodeproject.com @thedresscodeproject Dress Code Project @drsscdprjct

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