Wallingford hair cut-a-thon to benefit LGBT group

Wallingford hair cut-a-thon to benefit LGBT group



reporter photo

WALLINGFORD — Two female barbers have organized a cut-a-thon to benefit a regional LGBT advocacy group.

Shear Alliance organizers Cass Quinn and Nikki Castillo met as students at Academy Di Capelli, a local cosmetology school that’s also hosting the event, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at 950 Yale Ave.

For a $10 donation, a team of all-female cosmetologists will offer hair braiding, haircuts, simple up-dos, hair tutorials and advice, eyebrow and eyelash tinting, and skin care advice.

No appointment is necessary. People should come with clean, dry hair and makeup-free if visiting the esthetician.

The event is a benefit for True Colors Inc., a Hartford-based sexual minority youth and family services group hosting themed activities for LGBT youth on Friday nights.

Quinn and Castillo both said they’ve experienced sexism and homophobia working as female barbers.

“I’ve had other, male barbers say things to me,” Quinn said, “like ‘you should be answering phones, you should be getting us coffee.’”

Castillo, who is gay, said she was asked to leave a shop in Wallingford where she had applied for a job, but declined to give the shop’s name.

The difference between the professions is the license required and the hairstyles in which they are trained — barbers cut short hairstyles and hairdressers do cuts on long hair. Clients usually fall along gender lines, with men typically visiting barbers and women going to hairdressers.

Currently, Quinn works at Imagine Hair Studio, a unisex salon in Wallingford, and Castillo works at VIP Barbershop in Bridgeport.

Robin McHaelen, True Colors’ executive director, said Monday that this is the first cut-a-thon to be organized as a benefit for the organization.

The amount of organizing that went into the event is unique.

Quinn and Castillo “are doing it because they care and want to make a difference,” she said.

Local businesses that donated items to the event, including raffle prizes and refreshments, are Black Hatchet Tattoo Co., Alyssa's Cakery, Imagine Hair Studio, Knuckleheads Restaurant, Gasoline Alley Tattoo, Melissa Batchelder Photography, LC Artistry and Starbucks.

LTakores@record-journal.com

203-317-2212

Twitter: @LCTakores


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