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Kansas City-area salons, barbershops listed as safe spaces for transgender community

Strands for Trans
Posted at 6:04 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 09:01:35-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Getting a haircut may be something most people check off their to-do list without thinking twice about.

For people in the transgender community, it can be a daunting task to find a salon or barbershop where they feel safe and accepted.

Haircuts are historically gendered, with salons being traditionally meant for women and barbershops for men.

However, there is a resource out there to provide businesses across the country that consider themselves safe spaces for everyone, no matter how they identify. has an interactive map that shows salons and barbershops trans people can feel safe going to.

There are several locations listed in the Kansas City Metro, such as Hair Lovin' and Deviant Locks, both in Overland Park.

Deviant Locks owner Pam Ranker, said it's always been important to her to provide a safe and affirming place to trans people, as well as the entire LGBTQIA+ community.

She chose the name Deviant Locks as her business to represent her love for everyone in the world, no matter who they are or how they identify.

"I want all the people that don't fit in, and I want the people that don't feel like they have any place to go, I have a place for them," Ranker said.

It's been several years since Ranker listed her business on the Strands for Trans website.

While she doesn't ask her clients if they discovered her through the website, some of them will bring it up to her.

Ranker said many clients have expressed gratitude over the years for providing a place they feel safe.

"They know that I can help them maybe tweak, or adjust, or go through that awkward hair growing out stage, or give them a more masculine neckline instead of a more feminine neckline," Ranker said. "I'm not going to be like 'Oh that's weird.' It's you, it's your body and your image and I'm here to help look your best, so you can feel your best."

A blue, pink and white barber pole sticker sits on the front door of Ranker's business. The colors represent the trans flag and are a symbol that anyone who is trans will feel safe.

Ranker hopes to continue to spread the word about the website, which also provides a list of other resources for the trans community.

Just a few minutes down the road is another location listed on the website. Jesi Lipp, who uses the pronouns they/them, has been getting their hair done at Hair Lovin' for 10-years.

Lipp said the Strands for Trans resource is one more people need to know about.

"It's so great that there is a resource out there, that lets people know this is a place you can go, that isn't going to look at you weird when you ask to cut it all off, if you ask to style it longer," Lipp said.

Owner Dana Burton said she wants her business to be a safe space for those in the trans community and those about to be.

"Just not being judged and also just kind of having someone to go through that journey with you, to help you learn about what looks good on you as a different gender or non-gender," Burton said.

Lipp said gender presentation is complicated and difficult for people who are not in the trans community and it is even more so for those who are.

"Hair is something that is deeply personal, and a very defining part of gender presentation, and for a lot of trans people it is very scary to try to figure out what is going to look good on you and also show yourself to the world the way you want to be seen," Lipp said.

For anyone beginning to transition, Lipp encourages them to put in the time to find a place that treats them right.

"Make sure that you are getting the respect you deserve and go somewhere that's going to embrace you for who you are," Lipp said.