Logan Parlor was designed to look like your grandma’s house — it is staged for familiarity. If Grandma was an art dealer with an impeccable (but eclectic) home-furnishing sense, it’ll feel like home. For everybody else, it looks like a snug place to get your hair cut, with vintage Belvedere chairs culled from antique stores, coffee and snacks available gratis, and a full Redken color bar. (Just like Grandma used to have!) The Parlor is a hair salon second and a safe community space first, hence the radically positive vibes. You can also drink there.
LGBTQ activists Jamie DiGrazia (a hairstylist) and Tricia Serpe (on the business side) opened Logan Parlor five years ago on Chicago’s North Side. It’s one of the country’s first gender-neutral salons, which is a complicated term for a simple business practice: Instead of charging different prices for men’s and women’s cuts, a gender-neutral space charges based on the length of the hair being cut. “When short-haired female guests would come into the salon where I was training, I’d always ask, ‘Can’t they get charged for a men’s cut?’” says DiGrazia.
“Men’s” haircuts are typically cheaper than “women’s,” which can stretch into the hundreds. But gender-neutral pricing, now an emerging salon trend, may blossom into the new normal: Earlier this year, Illinois was one of the first states to pass a law that requires salons, dry cleaners, and tailors to give customers a full price list for men and women, which makes gender gaps in pricing transparent. “The more aware the public is, the more likely they are to ask why there’s a difference in pricing between men’s and women’s services,” says Serpe. “It’s in those moments that change begins.”
Plus, in 2018, gendered spaces for hairstyling (the wood-paneled barbershop versus the sleek, blanched salon) feel like an antiquated notion. “Traditional barbershops don’t make everyone feel comfortable, especially somebody in the LGBTQ community looking for a safe space,” says DiGrazia. Everything about the experience at the Parlor is rethought from the perspective of putting people at ease; each initial appointment even comes with a 15-minute discussion between client and stylist. “A lot of things come up, and you become comfortable talking about what you’re really looking for,” says Serpe. A person in the midst of transitioning their gender, for example, might have a more difficult time expressing their needs, but that’s exactly what Logan Parlor’s stylists are trained to understand.
The more aware the public is, the more likely they are to notice a
difference in pricing between men’s and women’s services.
They’re also trained in all of the hair stuff, and nothing is off limits. You want a balayaged buzz cut? It’s done. You want gorgeous, flowing waves with an undercut? Just ask. You want a beer? Absolutely — it’s complimentary with the service, and there’s a bar up front. “We wanted that old parlor feel, where people are hanging out,” says DiGrazia. “It’s really a community.”
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