I have many posts around the topic of hair and salons and the anxiety they cause me. However, after nearly three months without a haircut, it was starting to enable me even to wash my hands with my eyes open due to gender dysphoria, which causes me bruising from bumping into stuff with the chair which isn’t safe.
My closest friend noticed and asked me about it, and I told him the truth. He came up with a plan he’ll look for an accessible barber shop and book us both a haircut. When he told me that he did it, I tried to get out of going in every way possible, because I felt I didn’t deserve it (sometimes my mind is dumb I know) he told the barber that I’m a transgender male and that I use male pronouns which looking back it was a good idea. On the day, I was sick twice due to anxiety, but there was no way I would let down my best friend.
So I made my mum take me which wasn’t an excellent idea for two reasons, firstly, I’m 23, and I needed some space to keep myself together. Secondly, my mum misgenders me and uses the wrong pronouns which confuse people about which pronouns to use when talking to me. The barber saw me shaking, and surprisingly he knew what to do and calmed me down.
We figured out a style for me and as soon as he touched the clippers to my head my body relaxed. It felt so good to be doing something that creates fear with my best friend doing the same thing in the chair next to me. I did pay the same as a ‘normal’ guy would, I’m pointing out this because I heard that in some barber shops and salons a transgender guy has to pay more for a regular haircut.
Thank you, Adrian, for giving me what I needed to overcome my dysphoria. I’ll leave his info below, so if you are in Malta, go check him out, you won’t regret promise. I wasn’t paid to say all that, but he deserves it.
If you been following me for a bit, you know that my hair is one of the sources to my anxiety when it gets an inch of what I’m comfortable with, I start to see my face more feminine. That causes gender dysphoria that ends up in anxiety. Your job is to select one of the styles to below, so I can go and have a haircut.
I had to breathe in and out a few times when I started to think about writing this post. Let’s start with a timeline with my hair. At the age of three, I had my first surgery which kept me three months laying in bed, so my hair got one big matted mess. It had to go; I was given a crew cut and believe it or no I was happy with it, my mum gave me a nickname as ‘teddy boy’. When I got out of the hospital, my hair started growing, and my mum used to cut my hair into a ‘bob’ which I hated it. I begged my mum to let me grow my hair; she said yes so I did. By then, I was about eight or a bit younger by that I began to figure out that I was in the wrong body, (its when my body started developing). I used my hair as a place where I could hide what I was feeling. At fifteen I relapsed with Anorexia, and some of my hair fall out, so I chopped it off long enough to put up like always. At seventeen I told my boyfriend at the time, I want short hair, so I got a pixie cut. He hated it, so I grew out. In the same, period I told him I don’t want my chest (he was shocked). At twenty I was ready to come out, and my hair was the first thing that had to go so, I went from hair down my waist to a ‘short bob’ because that’s what my ex-hairdresser wanted and I let them do their thing. About four months after that we found a hairdresser that was willing to shave most of my hair. One problem her salon isn’t accessible. Therefore, She came to my home to cut my hair. Sadly, my family still used refer to me with my death name and use female pronouns for me, so my hairdresser misgenders me which causes me anxiety to the point that I don’t tell what my hair to look like on my head.
Tips that might help
• When I booked my haircut, I told the hairdresser that I’m trans to avoid misgendering.
• Take pictures of what you want your hair to look like so they have an idea of what you want (don’t do like me and freeze with anxiety, so I don’t show them the picture).
• Be aware of how you want to style it and ask for advice.
• If you’re uncomfortable going to a barber like in my case, go to a unisex salon, especially if you are going from super long to super short barbers can be intimidating.
• If you are scared to go short all at once, you can keep your hair longer and go shorter with every haircut till you get the length you desire.
In the end, when I was about to shave my most of my hair off it’s on my list of the days, I was most happy.