A: You know, I was a little hesitant to address this question because as a hairdresser, I have heard this attitude espoused often and I have many non-gay hairdresser friends who take offense to the attitude. Heck, I even
got a job once over an equally-skilled candidate because the person hiring for the position felt that more people would want a gay hairdresser.
However, since the question you ask doesn’t say that non-gay hairdressers aren’t as good as gay ones, I decided to pose this question to my gay and non-gay hairdresser colleagues to get
their input, Here was what we came up with:
One: It is generally accepted that most gay men have a stronger creative bent than the general public. This creativity lends itself to all forms of artistic expression and hairdressing is
a prime example. If you look at virtually any creative field, you’ll find a good proportion of the practitioners are gay.
Two: There is also the school of thought that because most gay men are at least somewhat “in touch” with their feminine side, they have a greater understanding of the things a woman goes
through regarding her self-image and wanting to appeal to men. They also tend to be users of similar products for combating aging and adding esthetic value to their appearance. This empathy makes them more nurturing and
genuinely want to try and make the women look and feel better about themselves.
There is also the fact that since most gay men are genuinely concerned with appearance, that they are forced to use products that are predominantly marketed to women. Facial creams,
masques, exfoliants, concealer, hair products, color, skin lotions and hair removal products, are all generally designed for women, but are often purchased by gay men since they are more focused on appearance.
Three: While a very small minority of the gay population are into drag performances, it is generally accepted among the gay community to engage in cross-gender dressing at some point or
another. Because of this gender-fluidity, most gay men become familiar with how to feminize otherwise masculine traits. This translates well into the realm of cosmetology, since the goal for a stylist is to help a woman
look more alluring – to play UP her strongest features, while playing DOWN those features that are less appealing.
In fact, the simple fact that for most gay people, their lives are lived playing a “role” in some sense for at least a portion of their time growing and developing, the act of helping to
present a more appealing image to the public becomes second nature.
Four: Finally, the fact is that a gay man is able to look at a woman from a dual perspective. He and she are attracted to (and want to appeal to) the same gender, and therefore generally
identify in a similar fashion with one another. He is also able to look at a woman without an ulterior motivation for providing a compliment or critique. He is not trying to impress her to like him amorously, so telling her
that she’s pretty serves him no purpose unless it happens to be a statement of fact. Women often unconsciously are aware of this and will value a gay man’s opinion more highly than a compliment from a straight man, whom
they feel may simply be trying to manipulate their feelings toward him.
This means that a gay man will look at a woman and be honest about his assessment of her appearance. He can also usually identify what she is doing that could be improved to alter the
way she is perceived.