Gender neutral styling and experimentations with androgyny have been seen on runways, in ad campaigns and on the streets of the world's most stylish cities.
When I start flipping through the pop culture rolodex in my head, the two names I stop at when I think gender neutral hair are David Bowie and Grace Jones.
Besides achieving legend status through their long and storied careers in the worlds of music, fashion, art and film, the lasting influence of Jones’ and Bowie’s androgynous style can not be understated.
In the early 1970’s, Bowie, heavily influenced by Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, and the rebellious glam made special by the New York Dolls, began to develop Ziggy Stardust. Ziggy, a character which has now come to define glam and androgyny, was a sexless space traveler who was sent to earth to save it from impending doom. The creation of Ziggy as something “other” saving a world fraught with war and civil unrest was a rebellious act that had lasting resonation. Ziggy’s bright red feathered hair is something that is still instantly recognizable to people across the world, even those who may have never heard Bowie’s music.
Bowie was a master of visual storytelling. He would evolve his looks and personas over the next four decades to craft immersive experiences for his audiences. In his art and personal life, androgyny was ever present. It’s particularly prominent in his choice of hair styles which have been copied and adapted by people of all genders, orientations and backgrounds. A true breakthrough.
When I think of Grace Jones, the word that pops into my head instantly is powerful. Grace is art in motion.
Before branching out into music and film, Grace started her career as a model. She wore a faded flattop that would accentuate her stunning bone structure and wrap it all up in gender ambiguous high fashion suits and sportswear.
It’s nearly impossible to miss the style influence of David Bowie and Grace Jones in all facets of pop culture. Certainly everyone from Marilyn Manson to Rhianna have followed in their footsteps, pushing fashion and gender neutral styling into the mainstream.
Raquel, Fellow Barber Regional Barber Manager in LA, has some advice for folks looking to experiment with a gender neutral style.
“Use your preferred pronouns with your barber. Having a barber who also recognizes pronoun use is helpful. Any haircut can be gender neutral, it just depends on how we rock it. Of course you’d want to use your favorite features and enhance those. So again suitability is key”.