Autostraddle Readers Get The Six Queercuts You’re Going To Want This Fall

Communicating with your hairstylist what you want in a haircut and actually getting it can be surprisingly tough — especially so when your gender expression doesn’t align with what the person holding the scissors thinks it should be. Keeping this in mind, we collaborated with queer stylists to get six Autostraddle readers the queercuts of their dreams, and create helpful images you can show to your own stylist, too.

Photo by Shelly Simon for Autostraddle

This project was made possible by Khane Kutzwell of Camera Ready Kutz and the team at Manetamed, who incredibly generously donated their time and skills. If you need a haircut in the NYC area, give them a visit!

On Katie: The Perfectly Swooped Undercut

Photo by Shelly Simon for Autostraddle

“I’m non-binary, queer, and am still finding better terms to fit me. These days, I get my hair cut at the barbershop in my subway station, because a) it’s incredibly cheap and b) it’s still the most brazenly butch thing I’ve ever done, as someone who can’t escape being read as female. It’s a very bro-y place, and it’d be nice to get my hair cut by cool people who don’t seem to be on the verge of shaving my head for spite.”

Photo by Shelly Simon for Autostraddle

“I love this haircut so! It’s exactly what I need; I can easily wash and go, or tweak it with product for a more serious lewk when I feel like it. It makes me really happy to look in the mirror. I feel more like me.”

On Omaria: The High Top Fade

Photo by Shelly Simon for Autostraddle

“My experience with other barber shops is that they’re usually male-dominated, which is an intimidating thing to walk into. It’s really hard to ask for and actually get what I want. We’ll have a back and forth, and then they’ll still do something more feminine, and won’t take down the sides or give me the real fade I’m hoping for.”

Photo by Shelly Simon for Autostraddle

“Here, there was no back and forth necessary. Khane heard what I asked for, and gave me exactly that. I feel so comfortable in this space; this was a way more positive experience than I’m used to.”

On Virginia: The Hidden Buzz

Photo by Shelly Simon for Autostraddle

“I’m from a small town in New Jersey that’s an hour away from New York City by train, but a world away in terms of cultural environment. Since I recently started exploring my queer identity, I wanted a badass cut that I could hide when need be, and that would feel really personal to me.”

Photo by Shelly Simon for Autostraddle

“I’d Googled a few pictures of elaborate designs for this cut, but wasn’t really attached to any one, and I love the design that Khane did more than any of what I picked out. I feel empowered; this is an important part of my identity that I’m now putting on display.”

On Margaret: The Short-Banged, Spiky Pixie

Photo by Shelly Simon for Autostraddle

“I just finished a long, intense coding bootcamp on top of my regular job, which made it hard to find time for taking care of me. So this was a chance for me to do something for myself, and I wanted to get a cut from someone who understands that when I say I want it short, I really want it short.”

Photo by Shelly Simon for Autostraddle

“I’m so happy with the way my hair turned out! Vivian cut it all asymmetrical and funky, just like I asked for. I feel really great, and I can’t wait to go home and show it off!”

On Rebecca: The Flawlessly Faded Side Shave

Photo by Shelly Simon for Autostraddle

“I love having long hair, but I also wanted the chance to do something dramatic with it. I recently started looking up side shave pictures, but worried that going for it might be too bold a move. And then I saw that this project was happening and I thought, ‘Well, I no longer have an excuse.'”

Photo by Shelly Simon for Autostraddle

“I brought my friend along for emotional support, but it turns out maybe I didn’t need it; everyone is so friendly here, and my barber, Dre, did an amazing job on my hair. I’m so excited to experiment now with styling it!”

On Nora: The Soft, Long-Banged Pixie

Photo by Shelly Simon for Autostraddle

“Since I’ve been working on embracing my less-femme-ininity, I’ve become super interested in getting a skater boi hairdo to match. Lurking on Ruby Rose’s Instagram helped me realize I wanted something short, but that still had length in the front. But then I started waffling on it because, well, who has Ruby Rose bone structure?”

Photo by Shelly Simon for Autostraddle

“I love, love, love this hair! Magda was so fun to talk to, and it was especially nice to be in a less heteronormative space than at other salons (last time I got my haircut, there were a lot of assumptions about boyfriends). It was really exciting to go through a major change, and to be somewhere so supportive and safe during the process.”

Thanks to the stylists, models, and everyone else who got in touch about this project!

Nora is a writer and shoot producer living in Brooklyn. Send her links to weird clothing and dog videos to nora [at] autostraddle [dot] com.

Nora has written 53 articles for us.

34 Comments

  1. Ive accidentally been growing my hair out for three years now, so it’s literally a metre long, and this only intensifies my desire to shave all (or most of it) off.

    I’m almost definitely too chicken to do it though, so instead I will enjoy living vicariously through others

  2. i love all of these!!!! i get my hair cut primarily in my small midwestern college town, but i’ve been lucky to have a stylist that doesn’t really ask questions. she’s given me an undercut, a fauxhawk, fully buzzed hair, and various dye jobs without saying more than “this is going to look great, hon! how’re classes going?” which as a super butch-of-center woman is a giant relief

  3. I’ve actually got an appointment for a “hidden buzz” myself. I was surprised (and validated!) to see it here because it feels a bit like “the straight girl’s queer cut” based on the straight hipster context I’ve seen it in.

    I printed a picture, but I’m still worried about having to discuss it with the hairdresser. Undercut doesn’t seem to have any widely accepted French equivalent and this salon serves a rural community of 1100 mostly heteronormative old white people…

    • I am a real queermo with a hidden undercut. It’s very fun. But I also didn’t realize I would have the matienece of both a long haircut and short haircut at the same time. Lots of detangling and also frequent haircuts. But it’s still worth it so far!

      I can’t remember how to post a picture to the comments ugh.

  4. Everyone looks fantastic! I’m jealous. I’m so terrible at hair styles. Pretty much from childhood through freshman year of college I wore my hair in a ponytail. Then I cut off my hair to look more gay (seriously, that’s the main reason I did it, because people didn’t believe I was gay *sigh*) I grew my hair back out after I finished grad school and I kind of miss my short hair. But, because I have very thick hair it doesn’t look very good unless I cement it into place. ‘m kind of at a loss and feel stuck with just-above-shoulder-length hair forever!

    • maybe time to start googling short haircuts for thick hair? all the cuts i gravitate to are on people with thicker and/or wavier hair than mine, so there’s probably something out there that would work well for you!

      • That’s a good idea! There has to be something out there I could do… Although I am also very lazy and love that I can wash/dry/straighten my hair in the evening and not have to do anything to it the next morning except brush it.

    • I have thick wavy hair and I love my stacked / inverted bob. I love that I can get it cut really short and cute for Pride and then let it grow out to almost shoulder length for the winter and still have it look good.

      I found the style by googling for and also talking with people with hair like mine who wore it short.

      • I just googled that hairstyle and it’s sort of what I’ve been aiming for. It’s a super cute style, though I haven’t gone that short in the back yet. Maybe I’ll go for it when I get my hair cut in a few weeks 😀

        • It’s a great hairstyle. I try not to get too evangelical about it but it’s seriously the first hair cut I’ve loved since giving up my pixie cut (because I got too lazy to get my hair cut regularly enough to keep it looking good).

  5. this is so fun! i’ve had varying lengths of pixie cut for several years now, and i’m so boooored. i definitely don’t wanna grow it back out (ever), so i’m kinda at a loss. kinda toying with getting a fade??

  6. The BEST moment ever of getting my hair cut has been the day I was in a Walmart hair salon, having told the stylist I wanted my beyond-shoulder-length hair chopped down to short, and I worked through the talking about my roommate, and my fiancee, and finally said “my girlfriend”.

    And a couple minutes later, she said something about a girlfriend.

    And now I have an actual stylist who I will go to as long as she is still practicing because oh my God the moment of being able to say “I want short but femme” and she actually pays attention to that??!!! And doesn’t tell me it needs to be longer, or cut off about two millimeters every time I say “Yes, I still want it shorter than this”! Non-straight stylists are the greatest.

  7. I had that last cut when I had my hair short! I started growing my hair out three years ago (to teach myself patience or something like it) and I’m enjoying it long for the first time in years, but I miss it whenever I see pictures of me with short hair or other people with the same cut I had.

    I believe this is the texturizing paste I used to use when I had it short:
    https://www.bestpersonalcarereviews.com/images/4053/Sexy-Hair-By-Sexy-Hair-Concepts-Short-Sexy-Hair-Quick5.jpg
    it was a really good texture that didn’t need much product to make the hair look super cool, and it smelled JUST like lemonade. It was AMAZING.

  8. ALL OF THESE LOOK SO GREAT. i feel like i want to cut my hair short (really short, like a rachel maddow ‘do) but i’ve had long hair for my whole life and tbh i’m scared buuuut… y’all look so good i’m seriously considering it.

    • I felt this way too and ended up doing it in stages over a couple of years (shoulder-length, then chin-length, then inverted bob, then pixie with long bangs, then finally buzzed at the back and sides with medium bangs). So that’s an option. Or you could just pick a short style you like, hand the photo to your stylist, close your eyes and go for it! It’s hair, it can always grow back. 🙂

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.